Black on the Air: Truth Unexpected

July 17, 2017 — Leave a comment


Over at Christ and Pop Culture, you can read my article on Larry Wilmore’s Black on the Air. After listening to a few episodes this summer, I knew I wanted to write something on the podcast. There’s actually several that I’d like to do something similar for, but this was the place to start.

Initially, I wanted to take the article in a more political direction. Wilmore clearly doesn’t like Trump, but he’s able to make light of it. Probably helps that he’s a comedian. Beyond that, his political commentary is mostly irenic toward those he disagrees with. Unless you really like Trump, and then you’d probably feel like Wilmore secretly works for CNN or something.

I also thought about commenting on Wilmore’s takes on race relations. However, I don’t feel particularly qualified to jump into that other than to say, if you are, how we say, “white,” you might want to get Wilmore’s perspective on some things.

As for the actual article I wrote, it focused mainly on two episodes from the podcast. In both, Wilmore ends up having theological discussions with Charlamagne tha God and Neil deGrasse Tyson. I won’t recount that here, but here’s some of my conclusion:

While I can’t vouch for all of Wilmore’s theology, I enjoyed his willingness to engage Tyson and not be afraid to ask hard questions. Because he seems to be operating from a place of faith, he wasn’t shaken when Tyson brought up the problem of evil. In an unexpected place, he provided a good model of apologetic dialogue, even if one disagrees with the content of what he was defending. Wilmore certainly didn’t argue with Tyson, but he didn’t let him escape some level of critique and thoughtful interaction. They both seemed to enjoy their conversation, and I’m looking forward to the next time he’s on as a guest.

If you’re curious about what the apologetic dialogue was like, read the rest of the article. And better yet, check out the episodes I alluded to. As a warning though, the podcasts contain language that isn’t safe for the little ears. That’s probably a different article entirely, but I should at least let you know that the F-word isn’t a stranger in the discussion. I don’t think the conversation itself took any inappropriate or crude directions from what I remember. But, if you’re sensitive to that sort of thing, you might not enjoy the podcasts as much as I do.

Nate

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I’m an avid reader, musician, and high school Bible teacher living in central Florida. I have many paperback books and our house smells of rich glade air freshners. If you want to know more, then let’s connect!

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