Rest In Peace, GCTN. Arise! Shake Yourself From The Dust!

Greetings and felicitations, friends.

A tragedy occurred here. Michael (co-host of Secret Fire Podcast and Finding Christ In Cinema) inadvertently “nuked” all of our websites. What that means is that nothing that has been published in the previous five years exists anymore.

This image shows the logo for the Secret Fire Podcast.

Needless to say, he is not very happy about this. In fact he’s so cross that he is writing in the third person – which is silly.

I’m not sure how to proceed, but I plan to. We (all who are involved in the Great Commission Transmission Network) have no desire to cease creating and decimating (thanks Autocorrect! That’s “disseminating”) content for the edification and equipping of Christians.

This image shows the logo for the Finding Christ In Cinema podcast.

We have been blessed over these years to hear from listeners of Finding Christ In Cinema, The Theonauts, and Secret Fire Podcast who tell us what a blessing our podcasts have been; how much they have grown in their understanding of the scriptures; and how we have provided tools for sharing the Good News with friends and loved ones.

Michael caught on camera the moment he learned that the GCTN suite of websites were gone… forever.

Rebuilding is going to be rough. In fact, I can’t see how. It most certainly will be different than before. We had so many tweaks to the code on the backend: custom this, latest do-dad that… All these things – these customizations – were added a little here; a little there. There is no way to remember what all previously existed.

Too, the loss of such fantastic blog posts – especially those of Brenden Taylor for the Finding Christ In Cinema podcast. They were truly stellar. And now, gone.

Secret Fire Podcast is only up to thirty-nine episodes, so those could be re-written. But, goodness, that’s a lot of work!

Perhaps we should just pick-up anew, begin where we left off, and mourn the loss.

Perhaps GCTN will be will be even better. What do you think?

Thank you all for years of friendship. Thank you to our patrons who help to fund this ministry via PayPal and Patreon. I love GCTN and could not imagine life without it.

  • Update: Many of our friends are asking about the podcast audio files. All of the mp3’s for Finding Christ In Cinema and Secret Fire Podcast are alive and well secured. They are backed up three different ways. The Theonauts podcast are all fine too. The real loss was all the hundreds of blogs posts from the past five years.
  • Update #2: I have been able to copy the text for our podcast episodes from the podcast app that I use. All Secret Fire Podcast episode blog posts and the most recent 100 episodes blog posts for Finding Christ In Cinema have been saved from oblivion. Now begins the arduous task of reposting everything.

Lothlorien Pt. 2, The Lord Of The Rings | SFP039

The company has reached the eaves of Lothlorien – the Golden Wood – home to the Galadhrim. After traveling little more than a mile into the forest they came upon the Nimrodel, a stream with healing powers, named for the Elven-maid who lived beside it long ago. Join us as we continue our adventures through The Lord of the Rings.

In The Eaves Of Lothlorien

The Lay of Nimrodel and her beloved Amroth is long and sad. “It tells,” says Legolas “of how sorrow came upon Lothlorien, Lórien of the Blossom, when the Dwarves awakened evil in the mountains.’

Both Nimrodel and the Elf-king Amroth were lost to Middle-earth. But her voice can still be heard in the falls that bear her name.

‘Do you hear the voice of Nimrodel?’ asked Legolas. ‘I will sing you a song of the maiden Nimrodel’

The Lord of the Rings: One Volume, p. 339

On this episode of Secret Fire Podcast we take a closer look at the healing waters of Nimrodel and see what we can learn about the significance of water during the Jewish Feast of Succoth, also known as the Feast of Booths.

This image shows the forest of Lothlorien as depicted in The Lord of the Rings Online video game.

Middle-earth Music

The lay that Legolas sings of Nimrodel is beautiful. We are happy to share this poem set to music by Brocelïande, called “Lay of Nimrodel” from their album The Starlit Jewel.

What stood out to you in Lothlorien Pt. 2? Let us know in the comments below.

On The Secret Fire Podcast we travel chapter-by-chapter and book-by-book through J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth viewing it through Christian lenses. We invite you to join us each week as we continue the adventure on the Arkenstone server in Lord Of The Rings Online.

Please join our Fellowship on our Facebook and Twitter pages for even more fun from Tolkien’s Legendarium.

Support the Secret Fire Podcast and the GCTNetwork on our Patreon page.

You may listen to the podcast by using the audio player at the top of this post, or use the links below for other convenient ways to subscribe and listen.

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Theme song: Hobbit’s Dance from the album Memories Of Middle Earth, by Brobdingnagian Bards

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JUSTICE LEAGUE: Reaching Out for Restoration | FCC 163

In JUSTICE LEAGUE, the world is afraid because Superman is dead, but Batman fears the worst is yet to come. He doesn’t let fear stop him from reaching out for help and encouraging other heroes like Wonder Woman and the Flash along the way. Join us as we discuss these Christian themes and so much more on this episode of the Finding Christ In Cinema podcast.

For your convenience, you will find each podcast segment at the time referenced below:

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction and Previous Episode Recap
  • 00:01:45 – Movie Discussion
  • 00:28:40 – Christian Themes in JUSTICE LEAGUE
  • 00:55:30 – More Christian Themes in JUSTICE LEAGUE [Podcast Only]
  • 01:27:00 – Listener Feedback and Well-Mannered Frivolity [Podcast Only]

Whenever you have about ten minutes to spare, click here for personal video update from Brenden:

Justice League: Best or Worst Superhero Movie?

It’s hard to tell whether or not, after some time has passed, Justice League will still be perceived as a lukewarm experience like it is now by some critics. They argue that when Zack Snyder left the film (under the most dreadful of circumstances, no less), an irreconcilable rift stunted the film’s growth into what could have been one of the best superhero movies ever made. Again, that’s only what some critics say.

Michael and I, however, as well as several others (and the number is steadily growing), see it differently. We think Justice League is a great film even if it does contain a few hiccups. We further expound on this notion in the podcast, so please listen to it for those opinions and discussions if you haven’t already done so. What I can tell you now, though, is that we have found some deeply enriching Christian themes in Justice League that will encourage you like it has encouraged us.

This image shows the cast of the DC and Warner Bros. movie, Justice League.

Fear and Hope

To better understand those Christian themes, let us first consider Justice League through a framework of fear and hope. If one were to rewatch the film and keep a tally of how many times they heard either of those words, they wouldn’t even get through the first few scenes without realizing that those terms are woven into every piece of the Justice League tapestry.

It’s important to remember, though, that fear is not a bad thing. Speaking from my own experience, I (Brenden) was raised to believe that being afraid was a sin. If I had fear, I thought, then I didn’t have faith. What was really meant by fear in this context was timidity – the outward expression of fear that remains stagnant, unprocessed, and ultimately isolating. This is a skewed understanding of one of God’s greatest gifts that, unfortunately, scares more people away from Him than endears them closer to Him,

Fear is a Gift from God?

You heard me right: fear is a gift from God that lets us know we are in danger and that we need help. Fear isn’t the opposite of hope; it’s the predecessor. Fear leads to hope because fear, when processed correctly, turns into faith and wisdom. Solomon even says it himself: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

This only happens when we respond to fear with the right process of action. Yes, there is a process for handling fear properly, and we see it in Bruce Wayne. He is no stranger to fear; it’s what led him to become Batman in the first place. The first step of the process is reaching out for help, and Bruce Wayne is familiar with this first step as well. The character of Batman is built around the idea of reaching out for help when in danger.

Reaching Out For Help

Consider Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. As Gotham’s great watchman, Bruce sees the dangers coming in every situation, and he reaches out to everyone he knows that can help. His butler Alfred Pennyworth, his lifelong friend Rachel Dawes, Lieutenant-turned-Commissioner Jim Gordon, public defendant Harvey Dent, cat-burglar Selina Kyle, and the rookie police officer John Blake all rush to Bruce’s side when he calls.

This is no different for Justice League. Bruce’s primary mission is to build the team he believes can defeat Steppenwolf. He doesn’t even fully comprehend Steppenwolf and his plans, but he knows enough to fear for his life and the lives of everyone in the world. In his fear, Bruce does what he is wont to do and reaches out to those who can help. He cries out for “Wonder Woman” Diana Prince, “Aquaman” Arthur Curry, “The Flash” Barry Allan, and “Cyborg” Victor Stone, and they all gather ‘round (even if reluctantly at first) and lend a hand.

(In the Podcast-Only segment “More Christian Themes in Justice League, Michael and I have a discussion about how he also reaches out to Superman and the risky repercussions of that action. It kinda opens up a new pocket of conversation, but I’ll save it for the segment.)

Asking for Help is Risky Business

One of the surprisingly hesitant members of the League is Wonder Woman herself, Diana Prince. At first, Diana wants nothing to do with being a popular hero. She takes a small job in a museum where she can restore works of art from ages past (there’s your dramatic irony) and mainly keeps to herself. When Bruce Wayne reaches out to her, he encourages her to take up her mantle once again as the hero we know and love who’s also a leader, a servant, and a motherly protector. In the episode, Michael connects Diana to Gideon, Esther, Deborah, and Phoebe.

So, the next time you watch Justice League, keep track of these things. Note the fear the Bruce Wayne experiences and how he responds, and compare his response to that of the rest of the world. And keep an eye on Diana’s transformation. Both characters are heroes for a reason, and when viewed through a Christian lens, they both can be very inspiring.

What Christian themes did you find in Justice League? Let us know in the comments below.

Finding Christ In Cinema is the show where we discover Christian themes in movies past and present. Join us and together we’ll dig deeper into the silver-screen classics of yesteryear as well as the box-office hits of today. Brought to you by the Great Commission Transmission Network. View the complete show notes – including links to articles discussed – by clicking here.

Use the audio player at the top of this article to listen to the podcast, or use the links below for other convenient ways to hear FCC.