The World and Everything in It - February 11, 2022
On Culture Friday, Joe Rogan’s bout with cancel culture; the latest film adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile; and Myrna Brown reviews the latest album to come out of the Passion Conference. Plus: a talk radio record, and the Friday morning news.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Good morning!
Today on Culture Friday we’ll talk about Joe Rogan and cancel culture.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And tell you about a conversion-therapy ban going down to defeat in Indiana. We’ll talk about that and more today with John Stonestreet.
Also the lavish new adaptation of one of the best known mystery novels of all time.
And a new music project growing out of the Passion Conference. Myrna will tell you all about it.
BROWN: It’s Friday, February 11th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Myrna Brown.
EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!
BROWN: Time for today’s news. Here’s Kent Covington.
KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Unemployment drops for third straight week » The number of Americans applying for jobless benefits fell for the third straight week. WORLD’s Anna Johansen Brown reports.
ANNA JOHANSEN BROWN, REPORTER: The Labor Dept. says jobless claims fell about 7 percent last week to 223,000.
The four-week average for claims, which smooths out weekly volatility, also declined slightly—less than 1 percent. But any decline at all is good news. That average had risen for five straight weeks as the omicron COVID-19 wave disrupted commerce.
Last week, the Labor Department reported a surprising burst of hiring in January, with employers adding 467,000 jobs.
In total, 1.6 million Americans collected jobless aid the week that ended Jan. 29th.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Anna Johansen Brown.
Tesla racks up recalls » Tesla has issued 15 recalls since January—four in the past two weeks as federal regulators ramp up scrutiny of its electric vehicles. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has more.
KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched multiple investigations into the company’s safety features. That includes a probe of a possible autopilot malfunction that might have caused a dozen crashes into parked vehicles.
The latest recall targets so-called “Boombox” software on more than a half-million cars that allows drivers to play sounds while the vehicles are moving. That feature violates a federal pedestrian warning noise requirement.
Last week, Tesla recalled nearly 54,000 vehicles over reports that its “full self-driving” feature did not completely halt the car at stop signs.
And the company recalled more than 800,000 cars this month because seat belt chimes failed to activate when drivers were not buckled.
The electric carmaker has had explosive growth in recent years. In 2021, it delivered nearly a million cars, bringing in $5.5 billion in revenue.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.
I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: Joe Rogan’s bout with cancel culture.
Plus, the latest album from one of the country’s largest worship gatherings.
This is The World and Everything in It.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: It’s Friday, February 11th, 2022.
Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Myrna Brown.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. Well, it’s Culture Friday. Let’s bring in John Stonestreet. He’s the president of the Colson Center and host of the Breakpoint podcast and he joins us now. Morning, John.
JOHN STONESTREET, GUEST: Good morning.
EICHER: I really thought we might be able to ignore the Joe Rogan controversy—the very famous podcaster—because when you file a story like this under 'cancel culture', an example of cancel culture at work, at first, it didn’t seem to have any legs to it, but this story has had staying power and I don’t think it’s over. What do you make of this?
STONESTREET: Well, obviously, it started when Joe Rogan had on a guest that gave an opinion about the vaccines and about COVID-19 that ran afoul of the only embraced acceptable narrative. And then, when Neil Young then wrote and said, Spotify, you've got to choose, it's either Joe Rogan, or it's me, which in my mind is kind of like, AC Green, calling the Lakers and saying, hey, it's either me or LeBron James, you know, somebody that's been retired for 20 years was pretty good dude. But you know, not Lebron James. And Spotify made their choice really clear at the beginning. You know, then a couple people who've kind of self appointed themselves to kind of keep watching all these things, posted clips and of language used by Joe Rogan, that's unacceptable language to be used in public in that context. I think there was there was context around it, it certainly wasn't used in any sort of racist way that I can see, unless I'm missing something. But of course, it just led to more and more and more and more circling of the wagons. I guess the thing that's been so interesting to me through this whole conversation is that this really is probably the most visible example we've seen of the battle between the quote unquote’ woke mob' and the power brokers. We just haven't really seen that this conversation or this fight happen at the heavyweight level, you know, there's been kind of welterweight bouts and lightweight bounce, but this is a heavyweight bout. The other thing that's been really interesting is Joe Rogan's response has been, I think, a model of humility and just saying, you know, look, I get it, I get where your concern is, I don't think this is cancelable. And here's why. And, you know, here's what I could have done differently. His response to the second, you know, round of the controversy having to do with the language used was, I think, was very, you know, very humble. I mean, he basically just, you know, said I was wrong, I, here's my intent, but, you know, I see now that it was a bad idea. Many people think that he didn't need to apologize for that. I think he did. And I think he did it well.
EICHER: Last week, we talked about the Canadian law banning conversion therapy and I should note on that subject that a small college town in Indiana, West Lafayette, just went through a related controversy. The city council there came very close to passing a local statute essentially doing the same thing, banning conversion therapy in a very overbroad way, but this week, this Monday night, the city backed down. Steve West, reporting for WORLD, has a very good story on this and we’ll link to it in the program transcript, but I want to read this particular passage to you—really interesting quote from a pastor who’d really become an activist on the issue, listen to this:
“I really believe this is ‘coming to a theater near you.”
Yeah, in other words, West Lafayette may have backed down, but it’s not over, and it’s almost certainly coming to your town. Do you think he’s right?
STONESTREET: It's coming to a theater near us if more people aren't courageous enough to just say no. And this is one of the ways that we have to do things differently. There's no question, you know, in this highly controversial, cultural moment on this highly controversial issue. In other words, as Christians, we've got to decide between the fear of God and the fear of man. As Christians, we've got to figure out what is an essential belief and whether it's a doctrinal belief or a moral belief in a Christian worldview, and this issue, by the way, touches on both a doctrinal belief, one about creation and who we are made in the image of God, as well as a moral belief in terms of what is the human behavior that best corresponds with the way the world works and especially for the good of children. We've got to decide that this is the line, it's here and no more. We've got to be clear on this. It reminds me of that document that Chuck Colson, Robbie George and Timothy George worked on called the Manhattan Declaration back in 2009. And how prescient it is, basically, not because they got it all right, or because you know, this document was comprehensive, but it was the first to really say, You know what, this is a matter, not only of Christian conviction, but of Christian faithfulness, like we can't fudge on this one. This has to be clear - our understanding of what it means to be human and how that relates to the LGBTQ issues. You know, the other thing too, I think it's worth mentioning is that, in addition to, you know, doctrinal beliefs and moral beliefs, there is care for victims. Christian witness requires us to do victim care. I think that's a missing part of this whole story. And those victims include not only the young people that have been confused in sexual orientation and gender identity issues, and want help, but also their parents. No one's talking about parents who've spent their whole lives raising a young man. And suddenly that young man rejecting not only everything that their parents taught, but who their parents told them they were. And their feelings. And I know enough moms, it's it's like a death in the family. It's a struggle. And their feelings aren't even considered. And I think what this city council did is so important, because it takes into account that there are victims here and to subvert the conversation, to prematurely make a decision on here's how the world is going to work now, even though it's different than the whole history of civilization up until this point, is irresponsible. And so good for them.
BROWN: John, I want to talk numbers now. First, on the effectiveness of the pro-life law in Texas. Our colleague Leah Savas reporting for WORLD pulled data from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission…total recorded abortions dropped by about 60 percent during the first month of the state’s heartbeat bill. Now, it’s possible some pregnant moms traveled outside the state, but the 60 percent figure is pretty significant.
But here’s another set of numbers from Daniel Darling, writing at WORLD Opinions. He cites a Lifeway Research study measuring the attitudes of men whose wives or girlfriends had an abortion.
Nearly half of the men advised their partners to abort—nearly half. About a third gave no advice, had nothing to say at all. Another figure from the survey: 51 percent of post-abortive men say they attend church regularly.
John, is there a hole in the pro-life movement and what can the church do about it?
STONESTREET: There was a remarkable line from Frederica Mathewes-Green in a documentary film series that Focus on the Family did several years ago, I had the privilege to be in it as well. It was called The Family Project. And Frederica Mathewes-Green had a line that stole the show in that film, in which she said so much relies on on whether the man realizes his God-designed place and all of this, she said, Because suddenly things like the financial status, things like beliefs, you know, religious affiliations, these things fade into the distance. And the most important thing in most of these situations is if the man, if the father says, I'm not in this with you, then that baby is at great risk. If the man, if the father says, I'm in this with you, suddenly that baby has another level of security and protection. In other words, it's almost like God created sex and marriage and procreation to be a package deal. And what's missing in I think so much of our church discipleship to get more specific is that inherent connection. In other words, we tell people abortion is wrong if we go that far, which many churches unfortunately do not, but we don't get to the “why”. We don't get to the this is what sex is for this is what male female relationships are for this is what family is for this is what husbands and wives and fathers and mothers are for. And you know, the “why” makes sense of the “what”. The “why” makes sense of the “how” we're supposed to do it. And it's often missing and so that's why we see this gaping hole emerge among pro lifers, and that stuff I think is often missing and this number this piece from, from Dan, I think points to one of those things as you said the hole in the movement and what we need to be doing about it.
BROWN: John Stonestreet is president of the Colson Center and host of the Breakpoint podcast. Thanks, John.
STONESTREET: Thank you both.
NICK EICHER, HOST: We’ve hosted some fairly long radio interviews over the years, but nothing like this.
Two DJs at an Ohio college radio station just broke the Guinness World Record for the longest radio interview ever.
Zachary and Collin are DJs for WJCU-FM at John Carroll University near Cleveland.
Over the weekend, they interviewed each other—scintillating stuff, too, what’s your favorite pizza topping, what’s your favorite movie—on and on and on—for 25 hours and 35 minutes.
Better than the previous record by 9 minutes.
And at the end of the ordeal, Zachary was surprisingly coherent!
SINUTKO: I’ve been here since 6 am yesterday. So I’m going on 27 hours on 6 hours of sleep. But I’m going home and sleeping after eating this hashbrowns and coffee.
Hashbrowns, coffee, sleep-deprivation.
These are things you can get away with when you’re young!
It’s The World and Everything in It.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Friday, February 11th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day.
Good morning. I’m Nick Eicher.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And I’m Myrna Brown.
Hey, we mentioned this on Monday—in case you missed it—a great offer on WORLD Watch, our TV news for students. Subscribe now for a full year, not only do you get that full year of the Big Bash and our team, you get your own Roku Express.
We’re celebrating the fact that our WORLD Watch TV app is up and running—it looks great—and if you don’t have a smart TV or, say, an Apple TV to run the app, that’s the reason we’re making that Roku Express available to you with a new one-year subscription to WORLD Watch.
EICHER: Right-o. Details at WORLDWatch.news. Get ’em while they last.
Coming next on The World and Everything in It: Death on the Nile.
The latest film adaptation of the famous detective story arrives in theaters today. Here’s reviewer Collin Garbarino.
COLLIN GARBARINO, REVIEWER: Kenneth Branagh returns to the role of the world’s most famous detective, Hercule Poirot, in this lavish adaptation of Agatha Christie’s novel. He also directs this film about wealthy Westerners traveling in Egypt during the 1930s.
Bouc: Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome the newlyweds, Mr. and Mrs. Simon Doyle.
Gal Gadot plays Linnet, who until her recent marriage to the penniless Simon Doyle, was the richest and most glamorous single young woman in England. Linnet charters a riverboat called the Karnak to take her and her husband, played by Armie Hammer, on a honeymoon excursion down the Nile. In a show of extravagance, the couple invites numerous friends and family along for the ride. Poirot improbably finds himself swept up in the fun.
Linnet: We have the Karnak all to ourselves until Abu Simbel. Don’t worry about your things. Darling Louise will go back and pack up all your rooms for you and meet us at Shellal.
Louise: Happy to, miss.
Linnet: We have a piano tuned, a chef stolen from Shepherds of Cairo, and enough champagne to fill the Nile.
But, of course, this is a murder mystery, so not everything is as festive as it seems. Linnet’s marriage to Simon hasn’t made everyone happy, and some of those friends and family aren’t really on friendly terms.
Bouc: If I were in his shoes, I’d only come here to put a bullet in the groom. Our other guests, Linnet’s godmother, who despises Linnet’s wealth, and the godmother’s nursemaid Bowers, who covets it. As does Linnet’s own maid, poor Louise. Oh, and that’s cousin Andrew, he’s a slippery fish. No one except Linnet trusts him. We find mother and I are the only sane people here. The only one who seems to like Linnet at all is her old school mate Rosalie.
In case you haven’t read the book, I won’t spoil anything for you, but suffice it to say, someone will die on the Karnak, and it will be up to the world’s greatest detective to discern the whos, whys, and hows of it.
Poirot: I suspect you invited me for reasons other than the fun.
Linnet: When you have money, no one is ever really your friend.
Agatha Christie was known for her invisible prose. The plot and the characters drive the story. But Death on the Nile is anything but invisible. The film is chock full of exquisite scenes of exotic scenery and lavish depression-era sets and costumes. Branagh’s direction is equally extravagant. He gives us long takes, exciting use of negative space, attention to detail. Shot after shot we’re exposed to so much artistry that it threatens to overwhelm the storyline. Death on the Nile is a truly beautiful movie, perhaps to the point of being self-indulgent, but I’m not going to fault it for that.
Poirot: What did you do last night?
Marie: You accuse me of murder?
Bouc: He accuses everyone of murder.
Poirot: It is a problem. I admit.
Death on the Nile is rated PG-13 because, well, there’s a murder, but the movie also contains some pretty suggestive scenes. Everyone keeps their clothes on, but this adaptation is much racier than anything you’ll find in a Christie novel. And it’s where Death on the Nile departs from Christie’s original vision that I think the film stumbles. I don’t want to sound like the guy who complains that the book was better than the movie. But Christie was so good at what she did, that it seems unwise to tamper with it too much.
Another big departure: too much of the movie asks us to think about the meaning of love. The third rule of golden-age detective fiction—yes, there are official rules—is that the story must not contain any love interest. It’s about murder, not romance. Everyone, even Poirot, seems to get a love interest in this movie, and fleshing out these subplots steals too much time from the interviewing and detecting scenes. Some of the added subplots address social issues about race and same-sex attraction, and these token attempts at contemporary relevancy weren’t fully thought through. Some of the changes don’t make much sense, and an Agatha Christie story, though often complicated, should always make sense.
Bouc: Here she is. The only woman I have ever loved. Mother. Mother, you must meet Hercule Poirot.
Bouc: He’s only the greatest detective alive.
Poirot: He exaggerates. No, he’s quite correct actually.
Euphemia: You are quite the most ludicrous man I have ever seen.
Poirot: Not the first time I’ve heard this.
Bouc: And you’re in my view.
Poirot: Stepping aside.
While I didn’t care for the film’s unfocused script, I couldn’t help but like Branagh’s version of Poirot. He gives us a convincing depiction of the quirky, vain Belgian whose little gray cells can work their way through any problem. The film tries to humanize Poirot too much for my taste, but in the end Branagh’s Poirot manages to solve this case of style over substance and bring this beautiful and deadly trip down the Nile to a satisfying conclusion.
Poirot: Lock the door! The murderer is here and will stay here.
I’m Collin Garbarino.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Today is Friday, February 11th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Myrna Brown.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher.
Well, Myrna, we are four weeks into this year’s season of Effective Compassion, I think our best yet. Powerful stories of redemption! This week’s episode especially—just thinking about the lives of inmates—and the trauma so many went through before their crimes and before their imprisonment and the compassionate work of helping to heal that trauma, really moving, as you listen to this week’s reporter Jenny Rough describe it.
BROWN: Agreed, really powerful! We will release that episode tomorrow on The World and Everything in It.
But if you want to hear it now—and trust me, you do!—you can find the Effective Compassion feed on your podcast app. And the benefit of subscribing is getting each new episode on Tuesdays, instead of having to wait until Saturday. Well worth it.
EICHER: Coming next: Music for a new generation. A few weeks ago we introduced you to a children’s music project, created by moms. Today, Myrna, we’re jumping from pre-school to college—art imitating life, right!
BROWN: Yep! They grow up just that fast! Last month, tens of thousands of 18 to 25 year olds came together for one of the largest worship gatherings in the nation. Out of that conference, a new music project.
PASSION 2022 LIVE: Atlanta, Georgia get on your feet! Passion 2022 make some noise!!
MYRNA BROWN, REPORTER: It’s a cold winter night in Atlanta, Georgia. A 70-thousand-seat stadium is packed from the floor to the roof. Shiloh Lancaster is in the nosebleed section.
SHILOH LANCASTER: I mean this is a place where people come to watch the NFL and all these like big sports teams and this is full of people who just love Jesus and they want to know Him more and they’re singing at the top of their lungs.
SONG BURN BRIGHT: Sing it… (crowd sings) Gonna burn bright. Gonna let love rise.
On the stadium floor, six-foot-two Evan Findley lifts his hands as he tries to hold back the tears.
EVAN FINDLEY: I don’t get very emotional with things, I really don’t but a couple of times I was just kind of looking around and it was just beautiful to just hear that many voices uplifting the name of Christ. It was beautiful.
Since 1995, college students like Findley and young adult ministry leaders like Lancaster have come from all across the nation to be part of the annual Passion Conference. The day and a half event features a roster of notable speakers and enough Christian music artists to fill two stages. But worship leader Kristian Stanfill says students don’t come for a concert or conference.
KRISTIAN STANFILL: When I think of a concert I think of a spectator sport. This is more of a generation participating in a moment in history that God has brought together.
SONG: WHAT HE’S DONE
Over the past two decades, Passion Music has released nearly 30 music projects, many of them live albums. Burn Bright is the latest studio project. Stanfill says like its predecessors, the five-song EP has two major themes.
KRISTIAN STANFILL: Helping these students understand that God is telling a big story and that they have a role to play in it.
That story revolves around what Jesus has done for us. That truth is beautifully reflected in the captivating, soulful What He’s Done, featuring Anna Golden, Tasha Cobbs Leonard and Kristian Stanfill. The second part of the story is what Stanfill calls the ripple effect.
KRISTIAN STANFILL: Passion ends—and then like I was saying earlier—all these students go back to their cities, go back to their campuses. They go back home and they take this fire with them and now they are shining the light of Jesus to their family, their campuses and their jobs.
SONG: SHINE LIKE STARS
The song Shine Like Stars sings that message clearly. The acoustic-driven introduction is a bit longer than it probably needs to be.
Aside from the repetitive intro, this lyrically sound anthem, ardently proclaims in the song’s bridge Isaiah 6:8, And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, Whom shall I send and who will go for us? Then I said, Here I am, send me.
SONG: SHINE LIKE STARS: Here I am with open hands, life laid down surrendering. Here I am Father send me.
The song Beautiful Jesus has more of a reflective and contemplative tone.
SONG: BEAUTIFUL JESUS
Worship leader Chidima Ubah is the voice behind it. At this year’s Passion conference there were a lot more than five songs.
SONG: GOD REALLY LOVES US
A few of them, including this one, God Really Loves us, didn’t make the EP. It’s too bad as it was my favorite of the conference. That got me thinking… How does Passion Music choose its songs?
KRISTIAN STANFILL: And so every year after the conference we look back at what was captured and recorded and we look back at what were the really marking moments at Passion 2022. What were the songs, what were the sounds, what were those times when we all looked around and said we could have never planned it like this. God is doing something now. Those are the moments that we want to capture.
With so many moments and worship songs captured over the last 27 years, it’s easy for a project like Burn Bright to become susceptible to redundancy and cookie-cutter choruses. 18-year-old Evan Findley says having the right focus keeps him from such distractions.
EVAN FINDLEY: Growing up honestly, I would have seemingly euphoric experiences related to these very popular worship songs… And then when that feeling would dwindle, like it inevitably would, I would think that God is no longer with me because I wasn’t feeling that feeling. When I really recognized that having a foundation of faith that is built upon obedience, repentance and following God because He is God and not because of my experiences, that is what really shifted my faith and allowed me to have that foundation.
Shiloh Lancaster agrees. As a preacher’s kid, she’s pretty sure she’s heard and sang every worship song there is… at least once.
SHILOH LANCASTER: Sometimes I feel like we can get so wrapped up especially in worship, about who we are and who we are to God and our place, but to step back and be reminded that worship isn’t about us. Worship is about God and the songs they wrote were just a great reminder of that.
END SONG: MY EYES HAVE SEEN: My eyes have seen the King of glory.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Time now to thank the team that put together this week’s programs. This time, just for fun, in reverse alphabetical order!
Cal Thomas, John Stonestreet, Josh Schumacher, Mary Reichard, Onize Ohikere, Amy Lewis, Kim Henderson, Katie Gaultney, Collin Garbarino, Lauren Dunn, Kent Covington, Janie B. Cheaney, Anna Johansen Brown, Joel Belz, and David Bahnsen.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Johnny Franklin and Carl Peetz are the audio engineers who stay up late to get the program to you early! Leigh Jones is managing editor, and Paul Butler is our executive producer.
The Psalmist says, I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1 ESV)
I hope you’ll worship with your brothers and sisters in Christ this weekend.
Lord willing, we’ll meet you back here on Monday.
Go now in grace and peace!
WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.