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The Wild West

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
The Truth Network Radio
May 10, 2023 9:00 am

The Wild West

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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May 10, 2023 9:00 am

In this show, Dr. Shah talks about his love of western movies and the America spirit.

If you like this content and want to support the show you can visit us at Don't forget to rate and review our show! To learn more about us, visit us at If you have any questions or would like to contact us, email us at or text us at 252-582-5028. See you tomorrow on Clearview Today!

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Hello, everyone. Today is Wednesday, May the 10th. I'm Ryan Hill. I'm John Galantis. You're listening to Clearview Today with Dr. Abbadon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at, or if you have any questions for Dr. Shah or suggestions for new topics, send us a text at 252-582-5028, or you can email us at contact at That's right. You guys can help us keep this conversation going by supporting the show, sharing it online, leaving us a good review on iTunes or Spotify, where you get your podcasting content from.

We're going to leave a link in the description of this podcast so you can do just that. But before we do anything else, I want to start this Wednesday off right with the verse of the day. The verse of the day. It's coming from James 126. If anyone among you thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless.

I love this. We've been going through the book of James in Illuminate in our youth group, and the whole book of James is set up with this is what you think religion is. This is what religion actually looks like. This is what you've been taught.

This is what it for real is. If you don't put into practice in your speech, in your interactions with other people, this religious bridle on your tongue, controlling your tongue and using your words and your speech in a way that glorifies God, your religion is useless. Well, I've been down that road as a young man. I started cussing and stuff when I was a teenager just because it was fun and then got saved and then realized afterwards that it's very difficult to stop. Once you start slipping back down that road, the moment you let your talk and your speech start slipping, your behavior is going to follow after that. It's not just it becomes easier, it becomes necessary. Your behavior is going to absolutely start following that downward path because you start rationalizing. If you rationalize this, you will, by human nature, rationalize something bigger.

Absolutely. Speaking of speech and our words and the power of our voices, I have a confession to make. Ooh, confession. I am going to share with you one of my guilty pleasure TV shows. Do you have a guilty pleasure TV show, the ones that you share with a bunch of people but it's one of your go-tos?

It just feels good when you watch it, but you wouldn't necessarily be forthcoming with, like, hey, I really like this show. Probably. I can't think of one right off the top of my head. Here's mine. Let me hear it. Elizabeth and I have really gotten into The Masked Singer.

Okay. I can see that. I love that show. I love the entire premise.

I love the concept. For those of you who don't know what The Masked Singer is, it's this singing competition show. It's celebrities. Every guess is celebrity.

Not necessarily musician or vocalist, but every guess is celebrity. But they're completely disguised. Their voice is disguised. They're dressed like a skunk or a banana or just crazy outlandish costumes. But they have to sing on the show. So their voice is disguised when they're talking, but it is their actual voice singing.

And based on the clue package and based on their singing voice, the celebrity judges have to determine who they are. It's just such a fun show. I hear you and I hear your excitement and I want to engage you on that. I'm looking at the multi-view monitor and David just looks disgusted. While you were talking and setting up the premise of the show, he just was shaking his head. David, I mean, you clearly have something you want to say. I do not like The Masked Singer. Why? I just don't.

I don't know. Ellie loves it. I know she loves it because Elizabeth and Ellie text back and forth about The Masked Singer. Here's what I'll say on The Masked Singer.

Because if your wife likes something, it's just going to be on in your house. I don't like those fake scripted reality shows, especially competition. That being said, Masked Singer has a very interesting premise. I don't want to say original, but it is compelling. I think premise-wise, it's very, very, very strong. And it has the potential, not only the potential, it's kind of guaranteed to draw people in because it's celebrities, it's a voice competition which people already like after American Idol. It's like you trying to figure out with the judges. I mean, it just works.

The whole thing just works. Well, I think one of the things I like the most about it is where you have American Idol or The Voice or America's Got Talent or one of those, you name the other shows, it's somebody trying to make their big break. If I win this, or even if I just get into the top three, I'm going to be set as a recording artist. Whereas these people are already celebrities.

They're already famous. So there's not really anything riding on the line for them. It's just fun.

Yeah, the stakes aren't for them. It's for us because it's like, I want to figure out the mystery. It's a game that I'm playing rather than a game that we're watching other people play. Exactly. And it does kind of work because then you start texting your friends, who do you think it is?

Who do you think it is? And then we kind of see if we're right. We can get office pools going. I mean, conceptually, it works very well. Go ahead. I think that I would like it. I really think that I would like it if it were more like we're watching behind a curtain or behind this glass frame or something where... Like if you knew who it was?

No, no, no, no, no. We don't know who it is still, but I just don't like the costumes and the masks and the... I don't know what it is. You don't like the wacky get-ups. Right. You know how y'all don't like cosplayers? Ryan likes cosplay just fine. Okay. You know how you don't like cosplay? Yes. Yeah. It's like that. I don't...

These people are on TV. They're not in the grocery store buying ham next to me while I'm shopping. I don't know. That's what I don't like.

I got to pick up my milk and coffee cream and walk around like a caterpillar. Yeah. I don't have anything against people cosplaying and going to conventions and stuff and living their own life. I don't want to be standing in a Ralph's or a Trader Joe's and they're next to me.

That's what I don't want. I mean, I think the Mad Singer is kind of cheesy and hokey, but sometimes people like cheesy, hokey TV. Yeah. I mean, I'll be the first to tell you, it is very cheesy. It is very hokey. The dialogue is just, I mean, it's predictable.

It's very obvious that some moments between the judges are scripted. It is very cheesy and hokey, but it kind of leans into that and makes fun of itself. I see. I try not to be a TV snob because movie snobs I don't like because for me, I love the Godzilla movies. There's these new monarch Godzilla films. They are objectively bad. The human characters, I can't tell you a single person's name.

Bryan Cranston was like marketed to be in the first one and he was in it for like 15 minutes. They are objectively bad movies, but I love them because there's giant monsters fighting and I don't want people to make fun of them. I'm trying to do that with TV because Ellie loves these shows and I only say negative things about it. So I'm trying to see in that perspective of people just want to watch stupid nonsense on TV and have fun. So I don't know why there's a shift in my mind where movies, that's okay. Like Mario Brothers movies, Sonic the Hedgehog movie, they were terrible, but I'm like, they're still fun and they're fun to watch.

For some reason, all my TV has to be like serious. I don't know, but I don't know. I love it. Masked Singer. It's fun. It's just kind of like chill. We can put it on and like, I mean, it's just kind of like a good way to unwind.

That's Ryan's recommendation. Watch The Masked Singer. Masked Singer. Available on Hulu. Season two coming out this spring. No, they're on season nine. Season nine. You're joking me.

I need that to be taken out because I sound like a fool. Season nine. This show's been, y'all are just getting into it now?

No, no, no. We've been into it. Kind of fell off a little bit, but we missed a couple seasons here and there. So we're watching season nine, but the episodes only come out once a week.

So in the interim we're like backtracking and watching like season six. Fun. Yeah. All right. That's good stuff.

Cool. We're going to grab Dr. Sean in just a minute. We've got a great episode planned for you guys today.

If you have any questions or suggestions for new topics, send us a text at 252-582-5028 or visit us online at We'll be right back. Hey there, listeners. I'm Jon Galantis.

And I'm Ellie Galantis. And we just want to take a quick second and talk to you about Dr. Shah's and Nicole's book, 30 Days to a New Beginning. Daily devotions to help you move forward.

You know, this is actually the second book in the 30 days series. And the whole point of this devotional is to help us get unstuck from the ruts of life. You know, when it comes to running the race of life, it matters how you start, but a bad start doesn't ultimately determine how you finish the race. You can have a good finish even with a bad start. And that's where this book comes in. No matter who you are or where you are in life, you're going to get stuck.

Instead of going out and buying some gadget or some planner, like I know I've done several times. I know that's right. 30 days encourages you to find your fresh start in God's word. Life doesn't have a reset button, but our God is a God who does new things.

His mercies are new every day, which means every day is a new chance for you to start over. You can grab 30 Days to a New Beginning on We're going to leave a link in the description box below. And if you already have the book, let us know what you think about it.

That's right. Send us a text 252-582-5028. Share what God has done in your life through this devotional. Hey, maybe we'll even read your story on the air. Ellie, you ready to get back to the show?

Let's do it. Welcome back to Clearview Today with Dr. Abbadon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at If you have any questions or suggestions for new topics, send us a text at 252-582-5028. That's right. If today's your first time ever joining us on the Clearview Today Show, we want to let you know who's talking to you. Dr. Abbadon Shah is a PhD in Testament textual criticism, professor at Carolina University, author, full-time pastor, and the host of the show.

You can find all of his work on his website at That's right. Dr. Shah, we were talking about this a little bit earlier, but I've got to know, of all of the Westerns that you've seen, because I know that Westerns are your fave. I know that you love Westerns.

Is there one that stands out to you that maybe it's your favorite or maybe it's just the most iconic in your mind? Well, it's not as much Western movies that I'm a big fan of. I like the Old West. You like just the mythology of the Old West, like the whole atmosphere. Some is mythology. I think some is truth. I'm more on the truth side of things, but the mythological side, the side of the Old West, the simpler times, the railroad coming.

I think it makes it fun and exciting. I don't think all of it is mythology, but some of it maybe through Hollywood. Maybe some of those tales have been embellished a little bit. Maybe Hollywood got their hands on some of it.

Well, they had a winning formula. Western movies and that whole cultural phenomenon, that has latched on and has persisted. People still love Westerns and the Old West and cowboys and that whole genre of thinking.

Today, people still love it. How were you exposed growing up in India to the old Western movies that aired here in America? Did they come overseas?

Yes. My first exposure to Western stuff was reading Bonanza comics. I don't know how those comics got to me, but reading Bonanza comic books was the way I got exposed to the Old West. And seeing how this father and threesons and how they're living out in this massive ranch and then they have their adventures and then they have the bad guys that come and try to cause trouble and those kinds of things. They're so sensible and then they have this dilemma they have to fix and solve and they're trying to be nice.

At the same time, they have to be tough with the bad guys. It just appealed to me that freedom, that sense of vast outdoors was a big deal. And then in time, I read The Virginian. Okay, a lot of these things I didn't get from movies. I read the books. So Virginian, I read that. Any of you all here know?

Never read The Virginian. It was a little tough to get through for me because I was so young when I started reading them. So it was a little tough. And then there was a group called Operation Mobilization. It's a big evangelistic organization and they had these two massive ships, Logos and Dulos. And they would travel through Asia and even Africa and other places and then they would dock. And they had people on the ships and they would go out and share the gospel and sell books, good Christian books.

And then people would come to the ship as well and hear messages and teaching times and all that. So my dad worked with them, Operation Mobilization. In fact, the one who started all of that just died. Just died last Sunday, I think. Saturday.

Friday or Saturday. Last Friday or Saturday, he passed away. His name was George Werver.

So he passed away. But anyways, so one of the times they were at our church, they had a book called Treachery at Cimarron. I know you guys have tried to buy it. I've tried to buy it. You cannot find that book.

You can't find it anywhere. Because you brought it, the reason I heard about it is because you brought it on one of our staff retreats. And you were talking about it and you were reading, I think Thomas was reading through it. And you were talking about it, you said, you know, that book kind of got me into the Old West and it really meant a lot to me. So I was like, well, maybe, I mean, I love fiction. I read fiction every single day.

So I was like, yeah, I'll go buy it. You cannot find it. You cannot find that book. But that's where I learned about the cowboys and then about, you know, the tough life, the hard life.

And it's not a lot of cool stuff. And so that's where I learned. And then, of course, after that, I was exposed to Louis L'Amour, his novels, and Zane Grey, his novels. So I read a lot of those novels about the Old West.

Some of that may be embellished. That's interesting to me, though, that that's what got you into it. Instead of like, instead of the movies or things like that, it was reading about it.

It was the books, the comics. Yeah. And it's fun because then literature takes you to a place where you kind of are in control of your imagination. You can sort of, you can sort of scape that out and see it. And it becomes much more real to you. You know, rather than interpreting visuals that you're seeing, you kind of create those visuals.

Yeah. Those visuals came in my head first of the big red, red buttes, you know, out in Arizona. And then seeing the vast open landscape and the, what do you call them? Like the canyons and the- The canyons and, you know, the cowboys hiding over there or the rustlers hiding out there. Those things appeal to me without having seen much of the landscape pictures. So these pictures, these- Other than the comic books, yeah. These pictures and things that you crafted in your mind, when you got to see those things in person- Mind-blowing. I was going to ask how close- Very close.

How close was your- Very close. Mental picture. Yeah. I saw the pictures later on. You know, of course, as a teenager, I began to see it and I was like, wow, that's, that's the way- That's what I always imagined it literally. And then I actually made trips Southwest. I've been, I mean, you name it. I've been to all the old cow towns. I've been to Tombstone where the, you know, Tombstone, O.K.

Corral. I've been there. I've been to Dodge City. You know, I don't know how many more I can talk about.

I have a dog holiday's grave. I've been to all those places. Yeah. So what was it like? How did you first, you first went once you were married and had kids? Was that the first time that you'd made the trip out West?

Yeah. We had Southern Baptist Convention. And so that was out in Phoenix, Arizona. So we went, Nicole and I went out there and then I told Nicole, I said, I want to go see Tombstone because, you know, Tombstone came out, um, or I think 1990 or 1991, somewhere there anyways.

It was a big movie. And I was like, I want to go to the O.K. Corral. And sure enough, we went to Tombstone. We had to go like almost two hours South of Phoenix. And I was like, man, we're going in the middle of nowhere. There's nothing else out here. Are you sure we're going in the right direction?

And sure enough, we were. Got to Tombstone and it was, it felt like I was in Tombstone because there's nothing else there. Yeah. That's it.

It's a lot of emptiness. I think the thing that draws me to Westerns, um, cause, cause my dad played Westerns pretty much nonstop, uh, when I was growing up. And I think people write Westerns off a lot because they're older films and they look, you know, they all kind of look the same. So people kind of tend to think they're the same, but the Westerns really say a lot about where society was in that day. Westerns have a lot of, um, commentary written subtextually into the films that I think really speaks a lot to either where society was in that day or where they feared society might be going.

Yeah. You know, I think it epitomizes that American spirit. You know, I don't know how people today want to revise history and all that and make it something it's not, but it really epitomizes the American spirit. Like, Hey, I am my own person. I'm going to, um, I have my freedoms, I have my rights and if I work hard, work smart, I can, I can do what I want to do.

And to me, I would add the God element to me is the most important one. And many, many of them were, you know, you know, God fearing. So it just, it just captures the American spirit and I love it.

Yeah. I love that picture of a, of a simpler time. I think we talked about it in the past is when, when life wasn't as fast paced, when life didn't move, you know, quite in the same direction, times were simpler and people valued those things that we've been talking about that seemed to be lost on culture today.

Yeah, we have, we have, it's sad because, um, in our young generation does not know that period. Now we are far more international, which is great. I love that part because we need to be connected and be aware of the rest of the world. But at the same time, there's something very unique and distinctive about the American world and we're losing that. That was one thing that you, that you told me, and I think you've said it on the show many times, but the image of America when you were young and living in India is not the image that most people have that live in America today.

America was this land of promise and opportunity where, like you said, even if you come from the lowest social situation, you can become something because this is a land of opportunity. This is a land that God has his hand on. That's right. That's right. Yeah.

I, I love it. And we've been out West at least two, three times now. Uh, one Nicole and I just went and did a whole tour. I mean, we went through Kansas and, and then we, of course, Missouri, Kansas, and then we moved up to, um, Colorado, went to Buffalo Bill's, uh, museum and his grave went, went over there and then we made our way down South, um, through Glenwood Canyon.

And, and amazingly, you guys got to go with us in one of our staff retreats. And I always wanted to go to Doc Holliday's grave. You know, they say he's maybe buried in Georgia, maybe in Colorado. Um, I think he was in Colorado.

I can't see them back in those days, dragging his body all the way back to Georgia. It was cool to go to Colorado and see that grave because we had our son at the time. And, uh, I remember we had to hike up this mountain to get there. Like the grave was on this like mountainside.

And so I remember having Gavin strapped to, he was a baby at the time, having strapped to my chest and it kind of, even though like I didn't look a thing like John Wayne, like John Wayne would not go across like hike with like a baby strap and like this big, yeah, this big thing of like water to hydrate himself. But at the same time it kind of brings that outdoorsy element to you where it's like, I'm, I'm a mountain man right now, you know, I'm climbing this mountain. We don't have a lot of hiking opportunities necessarily where we are.

I mean, there are probably some, but just, it's not like quite as prevalent, but out there walking around in Colorado, like walking up, like literally hiking up to where Doc Holliday's grave, you know, supposedly was. We walking up there, I was like, I could get into hiking. Like I could be about hiking. I could, I could do this. And I probably couldn't, but that mindset was there, that excitement. I was like, I can, I can do this.

Even though there's like trails and there's like a path that's like with nice signs, like planned flowers and fences. You're like, I can conquer this mountain. Like when I get to the top, I'll have bested this mountain. It's like just this, this animal, like manhood inside you where it's like, no matter what I'm hurting right now, but I'm getting to the top. I have conquered.

Yes. That's kind of funny. I can imagine stepping into town like that as like back in those Western days and being like, this is going to be my town.

You know what I mean? Well, I think everybody should, should go out West and see some of those places. So I know it's hard for many people to do it because it's expensive to travel and the commitment and you know, work and all that, but it's, it's worth it. We went, when we went out to Arizona, when we saw like those buttes, like you were talking about those red mountains, we actually got to film out there. Do you remember when we were like, there was a point where, cause we've been on tours before where we're trying to film. Like we went to Israel and we, we did some filming. I think we did that twice with me and David and it was, it was fun, but at the same time we're on a tour.

You know what I mean? We're at the mercy of the tour and so we have to kind of go off and film our thing and same thing we did at Grandfather Mountain. We have to kind of go off and film our thing, but in Arizona it's like, this is our time. We can stop on the road.

Complete control. Yeah, we can stop on the road and it's just, it's literally what you see in the movies. It's a road and mountains and that's it. Like road, mountains and sky. And so just being able to just take our time, get whatever pictures we wanted.

We were running in the middle of the road. Yep. Seriously.

Taking pictures and videos and I'm talking. There were no cars for miles and you could literally see for miles. Like you could see cars come in like five, 10, 20 minutes in the future. Really? Yeah.

This is just flat. Yeah. It's like, Hey, there's a car coming. I think you guys have about seven minutes to get out of the road. I see them.

They've gone from like a spec to about the size of a piece. So we've got probably about five more minutes. Yeah, we should be okay. We should get like maybe 20 more pictures, but then we really got to get out of the road. And I love that scenery there because that's where John Ford and John Wayne made some of those movies. That's Monument Valley is near there.

I think that's what you're referring to. And unfortunately we couldn't go in there, but I've been in there and I've been into Monument Valley. It is so beautiful.

I mean, just the Red Rock, our whole family went in there back in 2009 and I could almost see any moment John Wayne come just walking around. Careful. Easy there, pilgrim. Just taking pictures, man.

I don't want no trouble from you. Because just as, you know, taking a cattle drive somewhere, you know, just walking out just like, like time forgot him and he's just still there just kind of wandering around. Well, it's funny you mentioned that like time forgot like, like this place that time forgot because you also said earlier, like this simpler time. And I noticed a lot of themes in these movies that seems to be like progress is typically the enemy. Like you come into town, like this lone gunslinger rolls into town and there's a railroad being built. And unfortunately the people of the town, they, they got a vamoose, but there's, there's this outlaw that's promising safety and just, I always noticed that these, they have very, like we were saying earlier, they have very real themes that people, and I think tomorrow actually we're going to talk about the transcontinental railroad.

It's kind of serendipitous, but I don't know. It's just, there's something in them that I think people overlook. Yeah.

Yeah. Well, just the adventure, the unknown, that is what drives us to go check it out. What is there? What's out there?

You know, what can we find? That sort of manifest destiny sort of feel like, I just want to see all that there is to this land. And that's one reason why a lot of people went out there, you know, that's one reason some bad guys went out there too, you know, like the movie Tombstone.

It's Hollywood done, right? I mean, it's a little bit embellished, but the, the Cowboys of course were doing their thing, trying to make their life and create like almost like a mafia like business. And so Wyatt Earp and his brother and others were were kind of a threat to them. And of course, then began the, the, the famous or infamous, I don't know which one you want to say, shoot out at the O.K. Corral. And you said you went to the O.K. Corral.

Yeah, I did. It doesn't look anything like you would imagine. It's not like a vast open space. No, it's literally from here, like 20 yards, 10 yards. That's as much as it is that they were firing very close to each other. And, and, you know, they had guns smoke that, that part hadn't been worked out yet. So when you fire, smoke comes out. So hard to see who you're firing at.

So you have to be up close. Wow. Wow. The stakes seem a little bit higher there. Yeah.

Well, it's also more personal and it makes for a more personal battle when the stakes are so personal like that you're in there and there's, it's just nitty gritty and it's almost, like I said, animal, you know. And those characters are so iconic, you know, you're talking about Wyler or Doc Holliday, such iconic characters. And some of them were, you know, they knew how to sell it.

They did that. And some others knew how to sell them because, you know, Doc Holliday died and he wasn't there to publicize himself. Other people did and made him more than he was. But still, he was quite a character. Yeah.

I mean, he's a staple of American history. Yeah. I mean, you know, he actually was a dentist.

Really? Yeah. He was a dentist. I didn't know that.

Yeah. He studied dentistry and he unfortunately had tuberculosis, TB. And so decided to go out West. He had a rough childhood, you know, lost his mom and all that stuff.

So it's kind of sad to think about. But then he went out West trying to get that dry air, dry heat, whatever. I don't think that quite worked that way.

Didn't work the way that he was hoping. Yeah. He got into gambling and he got into all kinds of drinking. And before you know it. He was the man he was. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. He, prior to all of that, prior to going any of those places, you know, he did have a commitment that he made to God. So I don't know.

I don't know where he stood. Was he just a prodigal? Maybe. Yeah. You know, who knows? Interesting to think about.

I like to think that he was going away so that he wouldn't get his family sick. Yeah. Yeah. I see that kind of like that sacrifice, that honorable sacrifice sort of thing. I've got to go and make my own way, but at the same time, keep my loved ones safe. Yeah.

I'm not going to stick around because if I do, I'm going to give it to them and then they'll get sick. That's my opinion. It's always fun to think about. And it's got sort of that Western romanticism with it.

Yeah. Well, it's kind of like what we've been talking about. Like you let your imagination run wild. Like you kind of explore all those possibilities, what's not written, what's not filled in. We can kind of, you know, I suddenly want to go get like a belt buckle and like a cowboy hat and some boots. You're ready for it.

Like a little piece of hay, a little John Wayne scarf. Well, maybe we're going to talk about the railroad tomorrow, but maybe we can jump back and revisit this conversation about Westerns. I want to explore that a little bit more. If you guys enjoyed today's episode, you have questions or suggestions for new topics, send us a text to 252-582-5028. Or you can visit us online at You can partner with us financially on that same website.

We're grateful to all of our giving partners who count you as our Clearview Today Show family as we impact the nations with the gospel of Christ. That's right. I thought it might be appropriate to actually end with a John Wayne quote. It says, a friend of mine told me to shoot first and ask questions later. I was going to ask him why, but I had to shoot him. He said that? Yeah, he said that. Oh my goodness.

John Wayne. Oh, that's too funny. I was going to ask him why. But I had to shoot him. Unfortunately. You hate to say it. The cars break that way. We love you guys. We'll see you next time on Clearview Today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-10 10:06:24 / 2023-05-10 10:19:49 / 13

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