2016 has been an interesting and volatile year. The year’s unconventional politics notwithstanding, it’s also been a year full of surprises and disappointments in the pop culture sphere. 2016 broke the previous year’s records for box office sales, showing that the culture is just as invested in story as it has ever been, if not more so. In a spirit of looking back at the year’s high and low points, here are our top ten posts from the year.
A lesser-known Christian film, God’s Club stars Stephen Baldwin, as well as Corbin Bernsen of Psych. The film earned an 8/10 rating from us, more than Christian films tend to garner (for reasons discussed in the review).
This was one of our favorite albums of the year, and Andrew Warnes illustrates exactly why. While Young the Giant continues to create interesting music, this album is more thematically cohesive, and interesting, than their previous efforts have been, tying together the diverse multiculturalism of the group with the idea of America as a “melting pot,” and the tension that immigrant families often face.
It’s always been easy to be a Stirling fan, but this album is probably her best, and undoubtedly her most creative. With guest appearances from several contributors, and lots of genre-breaking tracks, Lindsey Stirling has proven that she’s here to stay.
The Mortal Instruments series is an interesting one, and one that Christians ought to pay attention to. The series delves into lots of theological elements with its emphasis on demon-hunting and angel mythology, often with mixed results. Unfortunately, transitions to the big and small screens have not gone over terribly well. This review takes on the TV adaptation, and showcases why this show is (probably) not around to stay.
While BvS was not a critical success (even if it was a commercial one), this film has more to say about theism and atheism than any other comic film to date. Read this review to see how the film acts as a very direct analogy between theism, atheism, and agnosticism, and how the film ultimately endorses theism, albeit in an implied sense.
Hands Like Houses is one of the best groups in the alt-rock mix, and their third studio album Dissonants is no exception to the rule. Check out this album review to see why exactly that is the case.
Not all Oscar nominees propagate godless ideals. The Revenant is a revenge story by a man who hates violence. Director Alejandro Inarritu once gave an interview to Relevant Magazine, where he talked about how much he hates the downwards cycle of violence. The Revenant turns out to be about something else, using religious imagery and wilderness survival to, in some small way, point us toward the Almighty.
The science fiction genre sometimes places science and religion at opposite ends of the spectrum. But other times, the genre uses investigation of the otherworldly in ways that also apply to the supernatural. This Netflix hit has things to tell us about faith and evidence, in a show that’s extremely engaging in the process.
Just when we thought MTV was totally irrelevant, they released one of the bigger YA fantasy hits this year: The Shannara Chronicles, best on the best-selling books by Terry Goodkind. The result is somewhat mixed, with content issues typical for the genre, along with a few bright moments. Here’s our review.
You might have thought that Panic!’s golden days were behind them. You would have been wrong. This album has garnered the band some attention, even snagging a couple of Grammy nominations. That’s not entirely good, though – there are some issues to be aware of. Andrew Warnes tackles this with our most popular album review, and post, of 2016.