Thursday, September 20, 2018

Comic Book Theology: Omega

I do not remember exactly what comic book contained this panel, but I thought it was interesting.


The second definition that the woman gives for "Omega" is an accurate quotation from three different spots in the book of Revelation --  1:8, 21:6, & 22:13. And whether those verses refer to the Father or to Jesus, the woman's identification of the speaker of those words -- as God -- is accurate.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Dead Theologians Society: St John Chrysostom

An early church father who was later declared a Doctor of the Church, John was born in 349. Ordained a deacon in 381, he became known as a compelling and insightful public speaker, earning the nickname "Golden Mouth" (Chrystotom). He became the Archbishop of Constantinople in 397, and died a decade later.

Many of his teachings and sermons survive, and many of these writing are worth revisiting. This is a quote from him, about how to best deal with sinner.

"For Christians above all men are forbidden to correct the stumblings of sinners by force...it is necessary to make a man better not by force but by persuasion. We neither have authority granted us by law to restrain sinners, nor, if it were, should we know how to use it, since God gives the crown to those who are kept from evil, not by force, but by choice."

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Comic Book Theology: Hellblazer

A recent issue of the DC Comics title The Hellblazer contained this panel, which contained an interesting take on afterlife theology. Or at least John Constantine's understanding of theology. 

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The statement "the great faiths will tell you the dirty flesh is just a vessel ... " is an inaccurate (although common) description of what orthodox historical Christianity teaches. As a matter of fact, this dualistic approach ("spirit is good, flesh is bad") is much more closer to Gnosticism, as heresy that was dealt with in the very early days of church, and dismissed as not having a plae in Christianity. 

Despite the anti-gnostic statements that fill the book of 1 John, there are places in the modern church where the heresy of gnosticism rears its ugly head.

All of that is to say this: Don't look to comic books for your theology. And most of all, don't look to John Constantine for your theology.



Tuesday, September 4, 2018

"The Art of Gentle Protest"

As discussed on our most recent podcast episode (#18), the Nomad Podcast recently hosted author and activist Sarah Corbett on their show. On Nomad episode 174, the podcast discussed her work as a craftivist and her belief that "gentle protest" has the greatest potential to bring about important social change.


Her book, How to be a Craftivist: The Art of Gentle Protest, can be purchased here.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Podcast 18: Feedback, Updates & Discussion

Emptying Out The Mailbag

On this eighteenth episode, Em & Alan reply to all the listener feedback they've received since the last time they went over listener feedback, which was at least 3 episodes ago. This gives them a chance to revisit Marah in the Mainsail, The Prince of Egypt, and Audiofeed.

They also talk about the value of community, and reiterate the fact that ALL ARE WELCOME in the Dorkness to Light community.

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: Faith and Fandom
Link: The Redeemed Otaku Podcast
Link: The Nomad Podcast

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

You can follow the network on twitter @DorknessToLight or Alan @ProfessorAlan

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

New York's Floating Churches

This article discusses a fascinating bit of American church history with which I was unfamiliar. In the early 1800s, a number of churches and Christian organizations in New York organized floating churches, to provide spiritual and material support to seamen. The last such church existed until 1910.



Source: This story was tweeted out by Fr Seraphim Beshoner, host of the excellent church history podcast, Catholic Under the Hood.


Wednesday, August 22, 2018

To Pray or Not to Pray

Jon Crist deals with one the most vexing issues that Christians can run across when dining -- which foods require a blessing, and which foods don't?



Many more videos are available at John Crist's web site.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

The Search For Black American Saints

This is a terrific article about the lack of black American saints, and the Catholic University that is trying to change that.


There are nearly a dozen Americans who have been canonized, and it is actually a fairly diverse group. Women are well-represented, a number were immigrants, and one was a Native American. But a group at Xavier University of Louisiana have identified 5 potential black candidates for canonization, including Pierre Toussaint (pictured above), Julia Greeley & Augustus Tolton.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Audiofeed Pics: More Bands

More bands that we saw at Audiofeed 2018, most of whom we talked about on our podcast episode covering the event, include the Mexican heavy metal band Deborah:

 And Insomniac Folklore:

And Laura McElroy:


And Mikayla Powers:


 And the ska-tastic stylings of Must Build Jacuzzi:
 

And Staghorn:


And there were Ninja Pirates, too!


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Audiofeed Pics: The Prettybads!

Our recent podcast episode about Audiofeed 2018 included a discussion with pink-punk band The Prettybads. At the fest, we also took a few pictures of them. One from the stage:


And one from the merch table:


Sunday, August 5, 2018

Audiofeed Pics: Harry Gore!

Our great and long-time friend Harry Gore played a number of sets at the recent Audiofeed Festival. The first night, he played a set of Christmas songs:



And then later in the fest, he was joined by Audiofeed (and before that, Cornerstone) legend Glenn Kaiser for a session of busking. Harry has busked at the two fests for decades.


And there was a selfie. 


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Audiofeed Pics: Podcast Promotion!

As we discussed in Podcast Episode 17, the Audiofeed Music and Arts Festival has continued the Cornerstone tradition of bands posting flyers on porta-potties, and any other flat surface they could find. But mostly porta-potties.


So when we printed up flyers to hand out at the fest, we knew where a few of them just had to go.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Podcast 17 - Audiofeed 2018

The Audiofeed Music & Arts Festival

On this seventeenth episode, Em & Alan talk about their recent attendance at the 2018 Audiofeed Music & Arts Festival.

They talk about the bands they saw play, the seminars they attended, and the merch they bought. Included are interviews with a number of bands and vendors.

Audiofeed is the most unique Christian festival around. The music is eclectic, the seminars are interesting, and the ideas discussed are varied and diverse.

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 Prettybads on Bandcamp
Link: Staghorn
Link: Insomniac Folklore
Link: Destroy Nate Allen 
Link: Must Build Jacuzzi on Bandcamp
Link: Laura McElroy on Bandcamp

Link: Black Sheep Collective
Link: Chicago Tiny House


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

You can follow the network on twitter @DorknessToLight or Alan @ProfessorAlan

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Audiofeed Review: Black Sheep Collective

One of the vendors we met at the recent Audiofeed Festival was a fashion and lifestyle brand, Black Sheep Collective.

They are a faith-based company whose designs are based on Scripture, and speak to the individuality of each person made in God's image. We met the owners, and admire their approach, and really guy a lot of their work.

A few of our favorite designs (which we may have purchased on shirts) include:


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Audiofeed Review: Chicago Tiny House

One of the organizations that we ran across at the recent Audiofeed Music & Arts Festival was a non-profit called Chicago Tiny House.

Their mission is "to create tiny house communities throughout Chicago that will provide homeless Chicagoans with safe and cost-effective housing and integrated supportive services."

This is a really cool idea. 

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Audiofeed Preview: The Prettybads

In preparation for the upcoming Audiofeed Festival, I investigated a few of the bands that I was not familiar with. And I discovered an awesome female-led punkish ban, The Prettybads.

Their debut album has a bunch of great songs on it, including a theme song. It's hard to bead a band that has a theme song. Looking forward to seeing these guys play live at the fest.



Thursday, June 28, 2018

Audiofeed Preview: Jericho Harlot

In preparation for the upcoming Audiofeed Festival, I investigated a few of the bands that I was not familiar with. And I discovered one I really dig, The Jericho Harlot, a post-punk band out of the Midwest. 

Their album "Salt & Light" has a number of good songs on it, including one of the title songs, "Salt." Looking forward to seeing these guys play live at the fest.



Sunday, June 24, 2018

Audiofeed Preview: At The Wayside

In preparation for the upcoming Audiofeed Festival, I investigated a few of the bands that I was not familiar with. And I discovered a cool one, At the Wayside, a energetic post-punk band out of the Upper Midwest. 

Here is a video of their song "Drown Us Out." Looking forward to seeing these guys play live at the fest.







Monday, June 18, 2018

Audiofeed 2018: Preview

As we do every other year, we are again this year heading to the excellent Audiofeed Festival. This is the "successor" to the defunct Cornerstone Festival, but with the great advantage of being hours closer to us!

This year's festival has a number of regular acts that we are looking forward to hearing again, including Must Build Jacuzzi, Marah in the Mainsail (we talked about their album "Thaumatrope" on episode 15 of the podcast), Comrades, and Insomniac Folklore. But there are new bands (or at least new to us) we're looking forward to seeing as well, such as The Prettybads, At the Wayside and Dezorah.

Audiofeed is not just about the bands, of course. There are speakers, worship, The Asylum goth tent, and the book and movie discussions at the Imaginoplis, And of course, Harry Gore busking by the food court.

Really looking forward.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Podcast Suggestion: The Antidote

Where has this podcast been my whole life? Despite having over 300 episodes, this show has only recently come to my attention.I have found a handful of decent Christian music shows over the years, but few have lasted this long, or are still producing new content.

The point of this show is that yes, most Christian music sucks, but this podcast serves as ... the antidote for all of that. Maybe the fact that it is based out of Canada keeps the show from being "infected" the industry. The show focuses on hard rock, metal and punk, although some alternative and singer-songwriter artists have been featured, as well.

The antidote comes out weekly, and can be streamed at the show's website, or listened to after the fact via any podcast player.

Recent episodes include discussions with bands such as Must Build Jacuzzi, Remedy Drive, Church Tongue and Chasing Victory. It is a great show, and the only good thing about just recently discovering it, is that I have hundreds of episodes to catch up on.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Timely Humor

Jon Crist deals with one the most pressing issues that Christians can run across during the vacation season. Where will we go to church?


Many more videos are available at John Crist's web site.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

We Have a Twitter!

There is not a lot there yet ... but we have joined the Twitterverse.

Follow us @DorknessToLight

Over time, more stuff will appear on that feed.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Graphic Novel Review

The Illustrated Gospel - Searching for Truth, by Tim Chaffey, with art by  Colin Dyer.

The premise is of the comic is simple: A group of college students discuss the content of their religious studies class. The students come from different religious backgrounds, and the discussions are adequately realistic.

The book does break away from this narrative on occasion for discussions of inerrancy and prophetic fulfillment, but these serve as brief and informative breaks.

One of the characters faces a serious trauma, which brings them to a point of crisis. This is a standard of Evangelical storytelling, and this book adds nothing new to this trope. But it does a reasonably good job at taking that typical story point and doing something interesting with it.

Like many similar stories in the genre, the primary point of this is not to tell a compelling dramatic story. The point is to present the Gospel message, and it does that well. The story is fine, albeit predictable.

Despite being published by Answers in Genesis (our copy was purchased at the Creation Museum, fyi), the book is surprisingly free of Young Earth or overly fundamentalist concepts. The evangelical "altar call" in the story is blunt and clear, but the book does avoid some of the thornier theological issues. Which is a good thing.

The book can be purchased here, through Amazon.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Podcast Suggestion: Two Geek Soup

Another show has joined the More Than One Lesson family of podcasts, which promotes "movie talk for the discerning Christian."

Two Geek Soup, hosted by John Viinalass and a revolving crew of co-hosts, has spent it first 20 episodes looking at all of the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So far, they have delivered an entertaining and thought-provoking look at these popular, popcorn flicks, finding illuminating and insightful things to say about each one.

I am looking forward to what films or franchises the podcast will take on next.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Happy 500th Podcast, Paeter!

We wanted to congratulate the recent 500th episode of Spirit Blade Underground, one of the first Christian geek podcasts we discovered back in the day, and the only one of those that is still producing content. Paeter Frandsen has done an excellent job in consistently producing high-quality podcasts.

On that epiosde, Paeter announced that the podcast would be re-branding itself as "Christian Geek Central" with episode 501, to continue to tie in to other branding changes that he has made.

To hear more about the development of Spirit Blade podcasts and audio dramas, listen to episode 6 of our show, Dorkness to Light, where we spoke with Paeter Frandsen.

Monday, April 16, 2018

What is Arminianism?

We have mentioned that we identify with the theological system of Arminianism, and have recommended the Remonstrance podcast as a place that explores that theological system in depth.


On episode 5 of the podcast, they discussed in depth the question "What does it mean to be an Arminian?" It is a good discussion of what the term means, and more importantly, what it does not mean.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Podcast 16: The Prince of Egypt

"Commentary: The Prince of Egypt"

On this sixteenth episode, Emily & Alan observe Passover by talking about one of their favorite animated films, "The Prince of Egypt," one of Dreamworks' earliest movies. Actually, they talk OVER the film. Grab some popcorn and a beverage, and settle in for a commentary episode.

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.

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

You can follow Alan on twitter @ProfessorAlan

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Christianity, the Church and Abuse

Rachael Denhollander was one of more than 150 girls and women to be abused by Dr. Larry Nasser, when he was employed by USA Gymnastics. In her statement in court, at Dr. Nasser's sentencing hearing, Denhollander spoke of her Christian faith.

In a recent interview with Christianity Today, Denhollander discusses how the assault effected her views of God. She also speaks about how her church failed her after her abuse, and how poorly prepared many evangelical churches are to deal with victims of sexual abuse.


My Larry Nassar Testimony Went Viral. But There’s More to the Gospel Than Forgiveness.




Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy St Patrick's Day!

Have a great Irish Day, by enjoying a terrific song by one of our favorite Irish bands, Iona.


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Adapting "Wrinkle"

From what I understand, the answer to this question from a Christianity Today article seems to be: "Not all that well." In the course of adaptation, some things have to be lost, but according to Madeleine L'Engle, the spiritual themes were the core to the book. It would be a shame to lose that aspect of the work.

How Will Hollywood Handle the Spiritual Themes in ‘A Wrinkle in Time?’



Friday, March 9, 2018

Podcast Suggestion: Remonstrance

On our podcast episodes, we have made it clear that our theology is informed by the Arminian viewpoint of systematic theology. In a world awash in Reformed/Cavinist theology, it's always refreshing to find a blog or podcast that presents a systematic theology from that worldview.

One such podcast, The Remonstrance Podcast, does an excellent job digging deeply into the distinctives of Wesleyan-Arminian Theology. They put out an average of two episodes per month, and they tend to run in the 35- to 50- minute range. This makes for good digestible podcasts.

The hosts do their best to be positive, to be pro-Arminian, but that does by necessity require that they occasionally critique Calvinism. But even then, the show is positive and thoughtful. Anyone interested in an in-depth exploration of Arminianism should check out this podcast.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Podcast Suggestion: Redeemed Otaku

We wanted to give a shout-out to someone who is doing a similar thing with their podcast to what we try to do with ours. We haven't covered any anime or manga on the Dorkness to Light Podcast, and I don't anticipate doing so in the near future.

Which is where The Redeemed Otaku Podcast comes in. Becky and her co-hosts talk about anime, manga, and other aspects of Japanese pop culture, from the Christian consumer. Shows include reviews, discussions, and recommendations of anime that are old, new, classic, and obscure. It is a delightful mix of content.

In the two years that the show has been around, they have released about 30 episodes, which can run from 40 minutes on the short side, to over 2 hours. I appreciate a podcast that does not limit themselves to a specific time frame, but is willing for a show to be as short or long as the content requires.



Thursday, February 15, 2018

Strange Days

Valentine's Day & Ash Wednesday being on the same say is a bit odd.


And then 46 days later, we'll get Easter ... on April Fool's Day.

These odd confluences don't mean anything, but I do fear the memes.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

From Ashes, To Ashes

Marked by Ashes by Walter Brueggemann
Ruler of the Night, Guarantor of the day . . .
This day — a gift from you.
This day — like none other you have ever given, or we have ever received.
This Wednesday dazzles us with gift and newness and possibility.
This Wednesday burdens us with the tasks of the day, for we are already halfway home
halfway back to committees and memos,
halfway back to calls and appointments,
halfway on to next Sunday,
halfway back, half frazzled, half expectant,
half turned toward you, half rather not.
This Wednesday is a long way from Ash Wednesday,
but all our Wednesdays are marked by ashes —
we begin this day with that taste of ash in our mouth:
of failed hope and broken promises,
of forgotten children and frightened women,
we ourselves are ashes to ashes, dust to dust;
we can taste our mortality as we roll the ash around on our tongues.
We are able to ponder our ashness with
some confidence, only because our every Wednesday of ashes
anticipates your Easter victory over that dry, flaky taste of death.
On this Wednesday, we submit our ashen way to you —
you Easter parade of newness.
Before the sun sets, take our Wednesday and Easter us,
Easter us to joy and energy and courage and freedom;
Easter us that we may be fearless for your truth.
Come here and Easter our Wednesday with
mercy and justice and peace and generosity.
We pray as we wait for the Risen One who comes soon.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Podcast 15: Thaumatrope

"Thaumatrope"

On this fifteenth episode, Emily & Alan talk about one of their favorite albums, "Thaumatrope," by Marah in the Mainsail. Stealing (ummm, borrowing) the format from the podcast Long Play, they go through the album song by song, discussing the lyrics and music.

And then they cover listener feedback, most of which is pretty awesome. Because Dorkness listeners are pretty awesome.

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.

NOTE: although the discussion in this episode is "rated PG," the underlying material discussed includes intense images of violence, depression, cannibalism, and suicide.

Link: Marah in the Mainsail's website
Link: Marah in the Mainsail's Band Camp page
Link: Marah in the Mainsail on Spotify
Link: Official YouTube video for "Wendigo"
Link: Video Trailer for the new album "Bone Crown"

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

You can follow Alan on twitter @ProfessorAlan

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Overcoming

We sang this song at church last weekend. Over MLK Day weekend, it seemed appropriate.


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison, 50 Years Later

On January 13, 1968, Johnny Cash recorded the iconic album "At Folsom Prison." The idea of the sinner saved by grace, the Man in Black, playing to a group of convicts is perfect on so many levels.

The story behind the concert speaks to Cash's desire to reflect his Christian beliefs, despite his failure to hold to resist the temptations of the road. Cash fell and rose and fell and rose throughout his life, and this enabled him to empathize with the prisoners.

This review, from 10 years ago, tells some of the stories behind the making of the album, as well as providing a nice "40 years later" perspective. Many of the observations still hold true, now 50 years later.