Week One of Weekday Blogging, Complete

On this new web portal, explore topics like Aquaman’s “cheesiness,” the widow’s mite misinterpreted, and a weird search term.
on Jan 8, 2019 · 4 comments

Wow—I’d forgotten what a rewarding challenge that is, to blog once every weekday.

In this case, my new daily website articles, Monday through Friday, are being released for my new personal platform at

This shouldn’t take away from my Tuesday work at Speculative Faith (and certainly not Lorehaven Magazine). If anything, this means SpecFaith readers can expect even better content from me. Now that I’m covering, say, some nonfiction biblical articles, general geeky and popular culture, and other topics at my own site, my SpecFaith articles can focus more exclusively on our mission.

In fact, we’ve just added our revised mission slogan to the site’s logo at the top left:


Possible exception: today’s article, which previews the last week’s stories over at Can you please pray real quick that I can keep up this exhilarating pace?

Jan. 1: Jesus’s People Need Fantastic Stories

Jesus’s people need fantastic stories.

We need them like we need food, water, air, love, and above all, Jesus himself.

Really? Can we say we “need” fantastic stories? Why not just say “want” or “can use”? [Continued …]

Jan. 1: Tim Keller: Jesus versus the ‘Religious People’?

Tim Keller (accidentally?) reinforces the old myth that the Pharisees and Sadducees were “Bible believers.”

No, they weren’t.

Jesus constantly called the Pharisees to task for not believing the Old Testament, which pointed to Himself as its fulfillment.

Also, it’s tiresome to hear an (accidental?) “irreligious versus religious” people mantra.

In fact, everyone is religious in some way. [Continued …]

Jan. 2: Aquaman Isn’t Simply ‘Big Dumb Fun,’ So Why Do Critics Claim It Is?

Most people, when they hear “cheesy,” think about low quality. They think of poorly made Christian movies, in which characters don’t speak or act like they’re in any place resembling the real world. Or they think of formulaic Hallmark movies for Christmastime.

Aquaman doesn’t qualify for any of those. The movie is well-made and makes its aesthetic choices by design, not by accident. And where it follows any “formula,” this is simply the classic hero’s journey played underwater.

Only if you believe the superhero genre is intrinsically cheesy would you apply this label to Aquaman. But then, why apply the label at all?

Which also leads to my question of why people, with good intentions, call Aquaman “(big) dumb fun” or “cheesy.” [Continued …]

Jan. 3: People Keep Finding SpecFaith By Searching for ‘Spells’

christian magicTwo of the most popular 2018 articles on Speculative Faith share a surprising connection.

It’s the word “spells.” [. . .]

So why are these two articles so popular?

I’m not sure. But I am concerned about recent headlines, such as “millennials are ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology.” I hope that, in an occult-crazed culture, these two articles are not popular because people are actually searching for “Christian white magic” or Progressivist spells. To try out. [Continued …]

Jan. 4: The ‘Widow’s Mite’: It Might Not Mean What You Think it Means

Right after Jesus observes the widow, he foretells the Temple’s destruction (Luke 21, verse 5 and onward). This is hardly a natural followup to praising the charitable recipient of a heartfelt gift—to prophesy its doom!

But even more telling, just before this account, in Luke 20: 45–47, Jesus specifically warns against legalistic, authoritarian scribes. Jesus says that, among their other sins, they “devour widows’ houses” (verse 47). After such a warning, it would make no sense for Jesus to suddenly switch themes. Why would Jesus turn around to comment about this good widow who gave all she owns to support this (suddenly good?) religious cause? [Continued …]

Jan. 7: ‘Young Justice’ Fans Actually Got the Show Renewed, So Why Do Some Still Complain?

Last Friday, the new season [of the animated superhero series Young Justice] debuted with the title Young Justice: Outsiders. With one “catch.” (If you could even call it that.) DC had chosen not to host Young Justice season 3 on a preexisting streaming service, such as Netflix (where many fans, including myself, first found the story). Instead DC debuted the season exclusively on its own relatively new media/streaming service, DC Universe.

Plenty of fans are overjoyed with this. But plenty of fans are not at all whelmed. [Continued …]

On a final note, here’s one action item I neglected to share in last week’s update!

Given the rising backlash against social media control of content, we at SpecFaith would greatly appreciate if you subscribe by email to this site. You can bypass the social-media middle man, and receive daily Monday–Friday updates each time we share a new SpecFaith article. Also, you can get free access to download Lorehaven Magazine. (Those updates are a bit less frequent, mostly to announce new issues.)



E. Stephen Burnett explores fantastical stories for God’s glory as publisher of and its weekly Fantastical Truth podcast. He coauthored The Pop Culture Parent and creates other resources for fans and families, serving with his wife, Lacy, in their central Texas church. Stephen's first novel, a science-fiction adventure, launches in 2025 from Enclave Publishing.
  1. notleia says:

    I’m still skeptical of Aquaman NOT being big and dumb or cheesy to some degree. Even the Justice League cartoon that scraped up all lame odds and ends of old DC heroes didn’t really have much idea of what to do with Aquaman. I don’t even have a clear idea of what his powers are supposed to be besides talking to dolphins or some crap. Did they make him a waterbender in this one? That seems to be about the only non-lame direction to take it in.

    • Even the Justice League cartoon that scraped up all lame odds and ends of old DC heroes didn’t really have much idea of what to do with Aquaman.

      That’s where you lost me. Or have a poor memory of the Justice League animated series. They knew exactly what to do with Aquaman: he was the noble yet rough-edged ruler of Atlantis, at first annoyed with the surface world, and then proving truly heroic in order to save his son, save Atlantis, and ultimately help join the League to save the surface world. This series was literally the sole reason I appreciated Aquaman in the first place.

      • notleia says:

        Well, it was a few years ago that I watched it, so you can tell what kind of lasting impact it had on me. I remember some about Atlantis, I can’t remember Aquaman doing much besides punching things.

What do you think?