Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A Kickstarter for Tyler Smith

Our buddy Tyler Smith from the More Than One Lesson website and podcast network has a new crowd-funding effort. The specific details about the campaign, including the giving levels and rewards, can be found here. 

Tyler has attended a number of Christian pop culture and movie festivals over the last few years, and has found himself with nothing of his own to give away or sell at these events. The purpose of this Kickstarter project is to raise money to print a collection of Tyler's reviews and essays.

Tyler is an important voice in the world of Christian film criticism, and a work like this could help bring critical thinking and understanding of the role of film criticism to Christians interested in the arts.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Audiofeed 2016 - Saturday Events

No surprise, but Saturday was the busiest day of the festival. Busiest both in terms of the musical acts and activities, but also in terms of attendance. If any person or church group is going to come for one day, most often it's Saturday.

We were busy all day long. The three of us stayed together for some events, and split up for others. Between us, we attended another seminar, morning prayers, an excellent movie (more on that in a later post), a worship time, and concerts by some of our favorites. We spent a little bit of time chatting with Insomniac Folklore after their set, and frontman Tyler Hentschel provided us with an opening clip for our podcast.

We saw other concerts during the day, ending with a terrific back-to-back. Twenty-five years after the only other time I saw them play live, hard rockers One Bad Pig put on a terrific, energetic show.  They sang some pieces from their new album, as well as the classic songs "Isaiah 6," "Red River," and "Ice Cream Sundae." They even had a Johnny Cash impersonator join them for "Man in Black."

We ended Saturday with a harp concert. It's the kind of musical juxtaposition that made Cornerstone what it was, and that has been translated over the Audiofeed. Timbre Cierpke played a terrific show, as intense in its own way as the One Bad Pig show was in its way. She played many tracks from her latest release, Sun and Moon, which was based on works by George MacDonald. As was mentioned in a previous post, there was a surprisingly strong presence of MacDonald-related content at Audiofeed 2016.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Podcast #011 - Religious Fandom & Spiritual Head Canon

"Religious Fandom & Spiritual Head Canon"

On this super-sized episode, Emily & Professor Alan talk about some of the similarities between religion and pop culture fandom.

Then they spend most of the episode talking about their own individual faith journeys, doubts, beliefs, questions, and oddball notions. 

Click on the player below to listen to the episode:

Right-click to download the episode.

You may also subscribe to the podcast through iTunes or the RSS Feed.

Link: The music of The Choir
Link: The music of Iona
Link: The music of Anderson Cale

We would love to hear from you about this issue, the podcast episode, or the podcast in general. Send e-mail feedback to 

You can follow Alan on twitter @ProfessorAlan

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Alan's Christian Comic Corner

The Unforogttens: Mission of Tranquillity #2, Trinity Comic Ministries, 1994. The story, “Of Giants and Dragons,” was created by Timothy A. Gagnon.

Our story continues from issue #1 (reviewed here), where three teenagers discovered that dabbling in the occult had consequences they were very unprepared for. The spiritual warfare continues in the hallways of the local school, with and angel-demon battle. And at the end, we are set up for a face-off between the angelic Unforgottens and the demonic Brotherhood.

I had a problem with the quality of the lettering is the first issue, and that problem exists here, as well. However, there is a two-page feature at the end of the book that has much better lettering, clearly done via computer. If that was meant to test a new lettering process, I hope that it continues into the next issue.

There are moments of decent art, mostly in individual panels and figures. Yes, some are drawn in the over-the-top style of the 1990s, but glimpses of artistic skill are evident. The storytelling aspect of the comic is weak, but that is much harder skill to learn and develop,

This issue has one great advantage over the first. Issue #1 was printed on traditionally-sized paper, but comic books tend to be published on slightly smaller paper. Starting with this issue, the series is produced in traditional comic book size. What that means for me is that the first issue is a little bit of a mess, crunched up at the top, etc … while this issue and the others are in pretty decent shape, even after more than two decades. For what it’s worth, the paper quality is extremely high.

The series contains two more published issues, and they are on the to-be-reviewed list.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Audiofeed 2016 - Friday Highlight

I mentioned in a prior post a few of the musical acts that we saw the first day of the festival. But another highlight of that first day was the return of seminars.

Seminars were the hidden strength of the old Cornerstone festival, especially those put on in the Imaginarium. This was the first year that seminars of that type appeared at Audiofeed, this time under the name Imaginopolis. Describing themselves as “an annual celebration and exploration of film, literature, and other narrative media in an inclusive, Christian-rooted community,” the group put on an interesting series of seminars at the Festival.

The theme for their tent this year was fairy tales, with the works of George MacDonald. We started our first day at the fest by attending talks titled “Tangled in Redemption: The Feminine Christian Image,” and “In a Galaxy Far Far Away: Star Wars as Fairy Tale.” It was great to have seminars at Audiofeed this year, and hope that the Imaginarium returns again for future festivals.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Book Review of "Wounds That Heal"

Wounds That Heal, by Stephen Seamands. Paperback.
Stephen Seamands, a professor of Christian doctrine at Asbury College, has produced a very readable and insightful study of the healing work of the Cross. His point is that in a world of wounded people, we have hope. Through the ministry of Jesus, God enters our painful situations to bring healing and redemption.
The book does a good job balancing biblical analysis and pastoral care. The book is filled with real-life stories of people finding healing and redemption amidst their painful experiences. Seamands also includes a range of quotes and examples from people from a range of Christian experiences.
The book is valuable for personal or group use. Each of the 10 chapters ends with a half-dozen or so questions for reflection. Along with the wealth of personal stories included in the text, these questions make sure that the book is as practical as it is theological.
The book starts with a discussion of hurt, rejection and shame. He then moves to a discussion of freedom, liberation, and healing. The overarching theme is that at the Cross, Jesus felt all of the emotions of humanity, including shame, abandonment, and rejection. And through His work, all people have the opportunity to receive the benefits of His love and acceptance.

Source: My wife purchased this book, most likely from the bookstore at this church. 
This review originally appeared at Alan's Eyes & Ears. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

I Need to Read This Paper

  This was posted in a Facebook group that I am part of. All that the author posted was this title page, but all that did was whet my appetite to read the entire paper. I appreciate that this Australian university approved this paper as a Master's Thesis, and  wish the author success in having this research paper approved. And maybe then ... he'll post the entire paper.