General IntroductionGhostbusters
– Getting on up there
– In almost-Spring Break
– Grubbsy’s back!
– Listener feedback
– Terence Malick
– Where to start with Updike
– Christian high schools and Christian colleges

The Ghostbusters as Academics
– Different from one another
– Venkman, the academic tick
– Spengler and Stantz, the true believers
– Conflicts with the administration
– Well, ghosts are white, right?
– Farmer shills for the video game
– Slobs vs. snobs

– What Dan Aykroyd believes
– Its organized supernatural world
– Science and the supernatural
– Medicalizing the sacred world

On Winston Zeddemore
– I love Jesus’s style
– Stantz becomes a skeptic
– The importance of this scene
– Winston’s PhD

A Comedy of Humours
– Winston the sanguine
– Peter the phlegmatic
– Ray the melancholy
– Egon the choleric
– Or another interpretation
– Lining the Christian humanists up with the Ghostbusters

Urban Alienation
– Dana and Louis
– Louis’s pathetic party
– The gods intervene

The EPA and Reagan-Era Conservatism
– Entrepreneur as hero
– Danny doesn’t get political
– Slobs vs. snobs, revisited
– Is Peck the real hero of this movie?
– Grubbs defends the Ghostbusters
– The corporate villain

Other Stuff
– How well it holds up
– The scruffy elites
– The movie’s content
– Murray’s ironic distance
– What might have been
– Sequelitis

6 thoughts on “The Christian Humanist Podcast, Episode #129: Ghostbusters”
  1. Great episode!  Definitely one of my favorites (Ghostbusters is one of my favorite movies)!  I could tell you guys had a really good time with it.  I definitely see Nathan as Spangler!

    Regarding the comparison with science and sorcery, I can certainly see the similarities you pointed out.  Both speak of unseen forces and hidden knowledge that only comes with great difficulty.  So, I get what you are saying there.  I’m reminded of Arthur C. Clarke’s third law: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”.  Especially for a culture that is unused to the wonders of modern science and technology, the line between the arcane and the technological must appear blurry indeed.
    I do, however, feel compelled to point out a tremendous difference between the two, and apologies if this comes across as flippant (I really don’t mean it this way): science works, and sorcery doesn’t.  The reason, I think, lies in the methods that are employed.  The methods of science are designed such that theories about hidden forces and the like only ultimately pass the muster if they agree with rigorous observations and experiment, whereas, it would seem no such constraint is applied to the methods of sorcery (or rather, if it was, it was found wanting — perhaps sorcery and the like can be considered a “failed science”).  Also, with magic one gets an overwhelming sense that it is investigated with a primary purpose of gaining otherwise unattainable heights of power and control over nature or others.  With science, while certainly its discoveries can and have led to immense arcane-like power, both for good and evil, I think most investigators are quite happy to practice their craft for the sheer purpose of learning more about how the natural world works.  If this leads to more tangible benefits to society, so much the better (not to mention promising such is sometimes the only way we get funding!).
    Really looking forward to the new shows!

  2. A very fun episode!  Glad to have Prof. Grubbs back and I am pumped about the two new shows.  The Christian Humanist empire is expanding and that is a very good thing!

    Thanks for the feedback on the priority of funding Christian primary school or Christian college.  For many people in my church – and for my family – home schooling isn’t an option and we don’t have the cash to pay for private high school and a Christian college.  My wife and I are convinced that college was the priority, so your consensus on the same conclusion was very encouraging.
    I found a very good book on Christian families sending their kids to public school.  Going Public: Your Child Can Thrive in Public School by David and Kelli Pritchard.  They are a Christan family involved in Young Life out here in Washington and are in the process of putting eight kids through the Tacoma public schools.  You can get it at for $11.69.  I highly recommend the book as a practical “how-to” as well as providing a theological argument for Christians participating in the public schools.

  3. Ghostbusters 2 isn’t great in general, but it does have its moments. The scene where the crew goes to court and Louis is their inept lawyer is one of the funniest in either movie.

  4. Ghostbusters?  I’m really hoping your next podcast is Airplane!.   I really enjoy the podcast when I travel.  I would love to hear y’all’s take on Westerns (movies and books), sonnets, and fairy/folk tales.

  5. SaraDavis1 Sara, I think we cover Westerns a bit in the Superheroes episode, though maybe we should do a whole episode on them, too. Thanks for listening!

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