Your intrepid cohosts have been watching lots of films with their families during this season of social distancing, so it’s not surprising that so many movies make appearances in this week’s episode. The first film that shows up is the 2016 Netflix film Barry, a fictional look at what Barack Obama’s first year at Columbia University might have been like. At one point in this film, a young Barack Obama confronts a band of Black Hebrew Israelites in Harlem. Popular urban apologist Vocab Malone—author of the book Barack Obama Versus the Black Hebrew Israelites—uses this scene as a starting-point to help listeners to understand the rapidly-growing Black Hebrew Israelite movement. Along the way, Vocab Malone reveals his longstanding affection for an early doo-wop group that almost no one else remembers, and he describes how he once danced with the Transformers at Comic-Con.
The second film to make an appearance is the 2018 animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. This film shows up because Timothy’s thirteen-year-old sends Spider-Gwen from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse into battle against a fireball-breathing platypus from Garrick’s thirteen-year-old. The result of this week’s Toybox Hero Tournament is a spider-person and platypus supergroup that will one day rule the world.
The final film is Iron Eagle, which happens to be one of Garrick’s favorite childhood films. Iron Eagle represents the low point of intelligent dialogue in the year 1986 (not including that one time in the autumn of 1986 when thirteen-year-old Timothy attempted to express his feelings for a member of the opposite sex and ended up babbling about how the MiG28 fighters in Top Gun were actually F5 Tigers—along the way, Timothy said, “And, um, I really like, um” several hundred times but never actually finished the sentence to tell the girl that he liked her). The reason Iron Eagle shows up is because the movie’s soundtrack included the song “One Vision” by Queen, which is the focus of the second half of this episode. In the process of analyzing “One Vision,” Garrick and Timothy trace the religious journey of Queen’s lead vocalist Freddie Mercury from Zoroastrianism to an apparent interest in Christianity and beyond. What Freddie Mercury’s journey reveals is humanity’s inescapable yearning for oneness and harmony, but this yearning is one that can never be fulfilled apart from the cross of Jesus Christ and the community he has created.
(It may also reveal that all humanity can unite around fried chicken. Also, even though Iron Eagle was a terrible movie, it would make a great name for a band.)
The high point of this week’s episode takes place when dynamic duo is adulating the four-octave wonder of Freddie Mercury’s voice. That’s when Garrick poses the most mind-blowing question ever posed on this podcast, which has been a veritable fountain of mind-blowing questions over the past couple of years: What if Steve Perry and Freddie Mercury had formed a supergroup and sang together? Besides tearing the space-time continuum, this most excellent combination would have—Garrick and Timothy realize—produced the world-saving song that Bill and Ted were tasked with writing in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
This Week’s Guest to Discuss the Black Hebrew Israelites
Vocab Malone was born and raised on the south side of Columbus, Ohio. He holds a master’s degree from Phoenix Seminary and is a doctoral student at Talbot School of Theology. Vocab’s ministry focus is urban apologetics and cultural worldview analysis. Vocab is a member of First Arabic Baptist Church in Arizona, and he is the author of Barack Obama vs. the Black Hebrew Israelites: An Introduction to the History and Beliefs of 1West Hebrew Israelism.
Links to Click
For God So Loved the World: book edited by Dayton Hartman and Walter Strickland
Barack Obama vs the Black Hebrew Israelites: book by Vocab Malone
Black Christians You Should Know: YouTube series by Vocab Malone
Some Kind of Magic: album by Queen
One Vision: song by Queen
Iron Eagle (1986): movie trailer
Bill and Ted Face the Music (2020): movie trailer
I Wonder Why: song by Dion and the Belmonts
What’s Up Danger: song by Blackway and Black Caviar
Fabulous: song from Phineas and Ferb (Disney XD)
The Major Political Writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau: book edited and translated by John T. Scott
Essays on Religion, Science, and Society: book by Herman Bavinck
Jesus: song by Queen
The Show Must Go On: song by Queen
How to Make Three Chords and the Truth More Amazing than It Already Is
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The Closing Credits
Three Chords and the Truth: The Apologetics Podcast thanks B&H Academic for their sponsorship. Music for the podcast has been licensed through Artlist.io and performed by Trent Thompson. Brief excerpts of music played in each program are included solely for the purposes of comment and critique as allowed under the fair-use provision of U.S. copyright law. “The fair use of a copyrighted work … for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, … scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright” (U.S. Code § 107, Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use).