The Kingsmen welcome Dr. Kutter Callaway to unpack the mind-bending Marvel show, Loki (2021). What makes a person? Can a person change and become better? Is a human (or a god’s) life predetermined, or do they have free will? Is self-love always narcissistic? What makes a system authoritarian? What is your glorious purpose? [00:00:19] Introduction [00:02:47] Initial Thoughts on Loki [00:05:03] Graciousness toward God [00:09:08] Letting Go of Control [00:09:56] Respect for Mystery [00:13:58] The Shape of Authoritarianism [00:21:34] Catalysts of Transformation [00:26:20] Is Self-Love Always Narcissistic? [00:32:40] To Be Human, One Requires an Other [00:42:18] Fundamental Attribution Error [00:44:44] The Punitive Time-Loop as Parable and Metaphor of Hell [00:49:13] Family, Not Enemies [00:53:07] Inspiring the Other to Be Better [00:55:52] Seeing Eternity as Eternal Growth [00:57:28] Free Will, Determinism, and Resurrection [01:09:22] The Scandalous Incarnational Embodiment of God [01:11:13] Glorious Purpose [01:12:38] Closing Remarks
September 12, 2021
S3E01 The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
The Kingsmen premiers its third season by delving into the thought-provoking show, The Falcon & the Winter Soldier (2021). With their esteemed guest, Jordan Acosta, they explore topics like power and privilege, conflicting interpretations of symbols, the worthiness of a successor, imagining a just future, and striving to always do better. Contents [00:00:12] Introduction [00:05:19] Theme of Power and Privilege [00:19:36] Sam is a Peacemaker [00:25:22] The Symbolism of the Shield [00:31:49] The Shield and Its Bearer as Incarnation [00:38:18] Various Responses to the Ideal/Shield [00:45:44] John Walker, Resentment, Idolatry [00:52:18] The Difference Between Following Order and Doing What’s Right [01:00:21] Characters Represent Political POVs [01:03:22] The Armor and Shield from Wakanda [01:11:46] Art Creates Space to Imagine Potential [01:17:55] The Struggle of Democracy as a Social Practice [01:19:19] Sharon Carter: Good Person Wronged and then Gave Up on the Cause of Justice [01:21:47] Conclusion
May 20, 2021
S2E06 Pixar’s Inside Out
The Kingsmen and special guest, Danny Fitelson, embark on an inward journey exploring emotions in Disney Pixar’s Inside Out (2015). What is the purpose and effect of emotions and human imagination? How do Joy AND Sadness partner together in the Christian life? Don’t be afraid to let your emotions out on this episode. You might get angry and disgusted with yourself if you miss out. Trust us, you’ll be joyful that you didn’t. Timestamp of Contents [00:00:32] Introduction [00:02:35] What makes Inside Out such a good movie? [00:06:50] What happens to memories? Are they truly forgotten? [00:09:38] How does Bing Bong reflect Christ? [00:11:13] What is imagination, why is it so important for life, and how does it complement with Joy? [00:19:35] What is the significance of Joy as our first emotion? [00:23:12] What makes Joy unique in respect to the other emotions? [00:25:13] Why are the range of emotions equally important? [00:30:25] What exactly is Joy? In the general sense and specifically in Christian terms? [00:42:40] Why is it healthy to embrace personal and corporate sadness? [00:50:00] Are we allowed to feel anger, fear, or sadness? [00:51:42] Would relying only on emotions lead us astray? [00:55:58] How might reason and emotions work together in decision-making?? [00:57:18] What is Sadness’s unique contribution that Joy could not provide? [01:02:00] How can Joy sustain us during the COVID-19 pandemic? [01:05:28] Do children have disparate feelings? [01:08:25] How might self-talk be so deceptive? [01:13:17] What is the value of going through the Pit? [01:26:50] Closing Remarks and Final Thoughts
April 3, 2020
S2E05 The Mandalorian
Baby Yoda is the best! The Kingsmen unpack the hit Disney+ series The Mandalorian (Season 1). How does the Mandalorian culture and creed sync with Christianity? In what ways do Kuiil the Ugnaught and Baby Yoda reflect the figure of Jesus Christ? How can we revolutionize a world marked by betrayal? Joey and Simon go deep into these subjects. Don’t miss it. We have spoken! [00:00:21] Introduction [00:01:08] War of Mandalore and Peace of Christianity [00:13:50] Kuiil: A Kenotic Christ Figure [00:17:12] IG-11: Resurrection and Transformation [00:24:28] Baby Yoda: Another Christ Figure [00:27:12] Understanding the Mudhorn Pit [00:33:43] The Powerful God Incarnated in Weak Flesh [00:41:12] Trust Overcomes Betrayal [01:03:15] Let Go of Prejudices and Learn to Trust [01:07:18] The Vacuum of Fallen Empire [01:13:19] Conclusion
January 27, 2020
S2E04 Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker
The Kingsmen pay homage to the finale of the 49-year Star Wars saga, with Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker. Joey and Simon reflect on how culture re-imagines mythology, how identity is formed, and the way to defeat evil without becoming evil yourself, and how God subtly works throughout the universe to rescue every creature. The Force is strong with this one! [00:00:00] Intro [00:00:42] Kylo Ren’s Mask and the Art of Kintsugi [00:05:05] Re-Telling & Re-Imagining of the Skywalker Myth [00:07:33] Redeeming Skywalkers [00:16:28] The Impact of Our Perspective on Others and Ourselves [00:25:56] Resolving Identity Crisis and Overcoming Loneliness [00:44:35] Overcoming Cosmic Evil [00:57:04] The Pit and Coming Out from It [01:02:37] The False Security of Invulnerability and Power [01:09:36] Confronting Evil in Trinitarian Partnership [01:19:02] Acceptance: Freedom from Old and Journey to the New [01:25:46] The Universal Activity of the Holy Spirit [01:33:03] Conclusion
December 31, 2019
Superman has had a prevailing impact on popular culture, sparking the imagination of every new generation. The Kingsmen explore what makes Superman so fascinating and how the hero reflects truths about Jesus Christ. Timestamp of Contents [00:00:00] San Diego Comic Con: Affirm or Counter Culture? [00:04:45] Superman’s Dual Identities as Same and Other [00:08:55] Superman: Analogy and Inspiration of the Incarnate Jesus [00:13:38] Jesus and Superman’s Scandalous Compassion [00:19:50] A Hero’s Gentleness and Self-Control [00:23:22] Superman’s Value of Free Will [00:26:37] Lex Luthor: Antithesis of Superman [00:32:50] Why Does Superman Help Other People? [00:37:00] What Makes Superman Good?
August 21, 2019
S2E02 Spider-Man: Far From Home
In the consequential aftermath of Thanos' destructive snap and ultimate defeat, Spiderman: Far From Home grapples with themes like grief, self-worth, following in the footsteps of heroes, the passing of the mantle, and exercising discernment of character. As always, The Kingsmen analyze these themes through a Christian worldview. Contents 00:00:00 - Introduction 00:00:40 - Iron-Man and Spider-Man's Relationship 00:14:11 - Why is Spider-Man Worthy? 00:35:51 - Mysterio: False Hero, False Prophet 00:55:48 - The Peter Tingle and the Christian’s Spiritual Discernment 01:08:42 - The Heart of the Kingsmen Podcast 01:12:27 - Conclusion
July 19, 2019
S2E01 God as Parent
Among all the analogies that Christians use to describe God, none has been more central than the concept of God as Parent. In the second season opener, the Kingsmen reflect on both the paternal and maternal qualities of God. As usual, the Kingsmen suggest several movie references that showcase this concept of God as Parent. Episode Outline: 00:00:00 Introduction 00:02:44 God as Father 00:22:38 God as Mother 00:36:29 Knowing God as Parent is a Calling 00:44:42 Knowing God as Parent is a Guide 00:55:53 Conclusion
July 16, 2019
S1E10 Avengers Endgame (Part 2)
The Kingsmen conclude their two-part discussion on Avengers: Endgame in their first season finale. Focusing on the meta-theme of Resurrection Simon argues that Ant-Man's return from Thanos’ decimation snap is, in a way, a kind of resurrection. And since the capstone of the Christian faith is the historical moment when Jesus bodily rose from death to life, we explore in what ways Endgame conveys the results of resurrection and its significance. Timestamps of Contents: [00:01:30] Introduction [00:05:04] Antman : Pioneer of Resurrection [00:07:37] 3 Eyewitness Accounts of Antman’s Resurrection [00:13:48] The Results When Resurrection ACTUALLY Happens [00:15:27] Resurrection Results in Having A Different Perspective [00:21:38] Resurrection Inspires Hope [00:28:31] Resurrection allows space for forgiveness and redemption [00:37:58] The Radical Path of Forgiving Our Enemies [00:41:32] The Impact of Resurrection [00:41:49] Resurrection Perfects Justice [00:52:48] Resurrection shows Justice is Also Restorative [00:56:55] Social Justice In Context of Christ [01:01:39] Let Your Kingdom Come [01:04:15] Where the Spirit of the Lord is, There is Freedom to…Let Go [01:05:53] Freedom From the Fear of Failures [01:12:10] Resurrection impacts the Individual [01:16:18] Everyday Heroes Doing Everyday Things [01:18:52] Conclusion
May 20, 2019
S1E09 Avengers Endgame (Part 1)
The Kingsmen assemble! We discuss the cultural phenomenon that is Avengers: Endgame (2019). With talking points that range from Christlike sacrifice to the astronomical significance of just one rat, we reflect on ways that the film illuminates Christian truths. In many ways, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the current culture and society’s mythology. And similar to how Inkling authors like C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien approached mythologies, the Kingsmen approach this the Marvel mythology with the question, “What in this story is true?” 00:00:00 - Introduction 00:03:03 - Heroes Sacrifice like Christ 00:07:43 - Avengers Themes: “We don’t trade lives” vs. “Whatever it takes” 00:12:22 - Selflessness as Taking Responsibility 00:15:35 - Fat Thor is a Nobler Hero 00:17:41 - Thor Giving up the Messiah Complex 00:20:52 - Avengers Teamwork Reflects God Invitation to Rescue 00:22:01 - Thor Giving Up the Throne 00:24:04 - One-Punch Man and Teamwork 00:26:11 - Every Field of the Battle is Important 00:29:15 - Partnering with God in Creation and Restoration 00:33:07 - Destinations and Trajectories for Iron-Man and Captain America 00:44:57 - Stark as Pre-Resurrection Era and Rogers as Post-Resurrection Era 00:52:29 - Forgiveness as Flexibility to Not Avenge 00:56:07 - Gamora and Nebula’s Sibling Rivalry/Love 01:04:27 - The Call from God for the Participation of Women in His plan 01:06:07 - The Snap Back and Holding onto the Painful Memory 01:15:37 - God Who Expresses Emotions 01:20:04 - The Way Arguments Cloud Judgment (Stark vs Rogers) 01:26:25 - The Depth of the Resurrection Event 01:28:10 - The Prerequisite to Forgiving an Offender 01:32:53 - The Astronomical Coincidence of Perfect Rat-Dancing 01:35:00 - Conclusion
May 14, 2019
S1E08 Villainy and Devilry
The Kingsmen explore the idea of villains. What makes a bad guy "bad"? By discussing some iconic villains like Darth Vader, the Joker, Thanos and Cersei, we sketch the outlines of what makes a person a villain versus a hero. Like always, we draw parallels between pop culture and the Christian perspective. In this episode, we discuss how villains share some sort of character trait with the Devil/Satan, namely, the elevation of oneself at the cost of others. Contents 00:00 - 02:52 Introduction 02:52 - 10:50 What is a Villain? 10:51 - 20:02 Case Studies of Villainous Intent 12:20 - 17: 09 Joker Portrayed by the late Heath Ledger 17:10 - 18:37 Darth Vader 18:38 - 19:22 Thanos from Avengers: Infinity War 20:03 - 25:12 How Does A Sovereign and Good God Respond to Pain and Suffering caused by Villainous Intent? 25:13 - 29:55 Inhumane Practices Dehumanizing Humans 29:56 - 39:35 Idolatry as a Source of Villainy 39:36 - 50:29 The Thin Line of Culpability and Breaking the Cycle of Violence 50:30 - 54:16 Naruto and the Christian Virtue of Taking the Penalty for a Criminal 54:17 - 01:12:42 Does Current Society Sympathize with Villains, and Why? 01:12:43 - 01:15:32 The Line Between Hero and Villain 01:15:33 - 01:23:06 The Biblical Narrative's Baddest Villain, Satan 01:23:07 - 01:29:39 Satan’s Flawed Authority vs. God’s True Authority 01:29:40 - 01:42:13 What is the Proper Response to Villains? 01:42:14 - 01:43:58 Conclusion
April 19, 2019
The Kingsmen return to the DCEU with a discussion on 2018's Aquaman. How might Aquaman illustrate profound Christian concepts like the Incarnation, kingship, and the divine trajectory of peace and unity? How does peace overcome violence and tyranny? And, most importantly what attributes characterize a true hero? Apparently, Aquaman does more than just talking to fish! Find out in the newest episode of the Kingsmen Podcast!
January 31, 2019
S1E06 Christian Vision of Art (and Daredevil) ft. Dr. Felix-Jager
In the sixth episode of the Kingsmen, we invite Dr. Steven Felix-Jager, an expert in Christian/Pentecostal aesthetics, to describe why art is so important to human and Christian life, and what we can do to participate in the transformative power of art. As a case study, we examine how Marvel’s Daredevil, as a work of art, explores questions of justice, sacrifice, forgiveness, and heroism.
December 14, 2018
S1E05 The Stranger Things About Church
In the latest episode on the Kingsmen, Simon delves into the Netflix series "Stranger Things" and attempts to point out similarities that the show has with the concept of Church. How does the experience and relationships of the characters reflect the reality of what the Church should be?
October 31, 2018
S1E04 Black Panther
Join the Kingsmen in delving into Marvel's Black Panther (2018), a stellar movie about the harrowing journey of two men who are profoundly shaped by the people who surround them, compelling them to become a hero or villain. In surprising ways, the Christian narrative parallels the story of The Black Panther. 00:00:12 - Welcome 00:01:22 - T'Challa's Experiences (Re)Shape His Values 00:03:18 - Factors that Led to a Change of Heart 00:31:46 - The Best Villains 00:36:24 - Okoye the Priest, Nakia the Prophet, and T'Challa the King 00:55:55 - Active Sins vs Passive Omissions 01:05:15 - Cain & Abel, T'Chaka & N'Jobu, T'Challa & Erik Killmonger 01:20:44 - T'Challa (Jesus), Killmonger (Judas), M'Baku (Peter) 01:22:48 - Universal Human Family 01:25:12 - Inclusion and Exclusion 01:33:56 - The Importance of Fatherhood 01:45:00 - Tell Me a Story 01:46:36 - Wrap Up
September 21, 2018
S1E03 Coco and Eschatology
In this episode, the Kingsmen explore Pixar's Coco reflecting on the film's parallels to Christian Eschatology. How does Miguel's journey through the land of the dead while solving his family's mystery reflect the purpose for Christ's return? Episode 004 will analyze Black Panther (2018). Leave a comment, and we'll try to incorporate your questions, insights, and comments into our next episode.
September 1, 2018
S1E02 Wonder Woman & Confronting Evil
What values does Wonder Woman (2017) parallel with the Christian faith, especially as it relates to how evil is confronted?
July 21, 2018
S1E01 The Kingsmen - Avengers: Infinity War
The pilot episode of Joey and Simon's new podcast - an intersection on pop culture, theology and Jiu Jitsu. When comparing Thanos with Jesus, how are we supposed to respond to scarcity and need?
May 26, 2018