A new podcast series, produced by Oklahoma Christian University graduate students, is taking a detailed look at how popular culture changes society’s thinking about various topics.
Payton Minzenmayer, Lex Moore and David Russell are producing a podcast series, Deeper Podcasts, which examine how culture influences people in subtle ways.
According to Josh Bailey, Oklahoma Christian graduate school of theology program director, the podcasts cover a wide range of media sources and their influence. He said the topics are relevant to the situations listeners encounter on a daily basis.
“Deeper Podcasts is about taking a deeper look at the things which shape our culture every day,” Bailey said. “This can range from movies, to TV, to how we communicate and more.”
Bailey said he knows the hosts of the podcast through their academic studies in ministry. He said the buildup and promotion prior to the start of the podcasts interested him from the beginning. Because the topics are relatable and the hosts have natural chemistry, Bailey said he listens every week.
“I’ve been listening to them from the beginning,” Bailey said. “David, Lex and Payton did a big pre-release push, so I was excited for Deeper Podcasts to begin. New episodes are available on Mondays, but I usually listen on Tuesday mornings.”
Although Bailey said the podcasts are filled with interesting content, Bailey said his favorite aspect of the podcasts are when the individual thoughts come together to reveal the main idea. He said the main point isn’t always clear from the beginning.
“I love that every episode has at least one ‘Aha’ moment that brings light to something that wasn’t apparent on the surface before,” Bailey said.
According to Bailey, anyone who wants to be aware of and understand underlying meanings and messages would benefit from listening to the podcasts. He said the show is credible because the hosts understand the research required to produce an accurate show.
“They know how to do the research it takes to make a quality product and aren’t just talking off the cuff,” Bailey said. “This podcast is great for anyone who likes to think and talk about the deeper meanings of things we encounter all the time.”
In order to bring awareness to the podcasts, Chris Rosser, an Oklahoma Christian theological librarian, said he invited the hosts to speak in Beam Chapel on Feb. 8. He said the two organizations are interested in similar topics, and recognize the connections between faith and culture.
“Beam Chapel and Deeper Podcasts seem to be grappling with many of the same types of questions, namely, ‘How does popular culture form and inform faith’,” Rosser said. “This semester, Lex, Payton and David offered a deeper look at ‘Stranger Things’ and did an excellent job.”
Rosser said he thinks the podcast’s ability to address deep, challenging questions should be emphasized. He said listeners have the opportunity to listen in on conversations between the hosts, which are both relevant and meaningful. There are many factors in everyday life impacting aspects of faith and Rosser said the hosts are not afraid to discuss them.
“Deeper Podcasts engages the intersection of faith and popular culture, which is precisely what Beam Chapel is all about,” Rosser said. “I love the way they pay attention to gritty, challenging questions arising out of film and television, and consider how these questions form and inform faith.”
Sophomore Wesley Cruse said he attends Beam Chapel on a regular basis, which is where he first heard about Deeper Podcasts. Although he said he doesn’t normally listen to podcasts, this particular topic seems interesting.
“Beam Chapel was a helpful way to find out more about how Oklahoma Christian members are contributing relevant content,” Cruse said.
According to Cruse, the efforts of the podcast hosts are a making a positive impact on the Christian community, and topics addressed are both necessary and helpful for Christians to consider. He said he hopes listeners will learn to better incorporate their faith into their everyday life.
“I like that they’re taking aspects of Christian faith and fusing them to contemporary culture,” Cruse said. “It’s an honorable effort to make Christian faith relevant, and that’s respectable.”
Bailey said he wants to encourage people to listen to the podcasts, if they feel they might be interested. He also said the topics appeal to a large group of people.
“If you like to know about hidden messages, behind the scenes motivations and don’t like to just take things for granted, this podcast is for you,” Bailey said.