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‘S-Town’ Explores the Maze of the Divine Clockmaker’s Mind

Posted on | April 7, 2017 | No Comments

In the new hit podcast from the producers of ‘Serial,’ the shattered Imago Dei takes center stage.

My favorite professor likes to say that a biblical view of humanity “needs to start in Genesis 1, not Genesis 3.” In saying so, he’s arguing for a fuller picture of what Scripture tells us about ourselves—not only that we’re fallen and sinful, but that each and every one of us is made in the image of God. It’s actually the combination of these ideas that most fully explains both the goodness and evil of which humans are capable: We display—albeit brokenly and imperfectly—characteristics that point us to the perfect character of our God. Christians can find signs of this eternal truth in highly unusual places, such as the incredibly successful podcast S-Town.

S-Town was downloaded over 10 million times within four days of its release on March 28, setting a new record for podcasting. It was produced by the makers of 2014’s Serial, a true crime series that quickly became a breakout hit. Like its predecessor, S-Town begins as investigative journalism, but ends up much more like a Faulkner novel than a crime serial. Host Brian Reed began the series by responding to an email from John B. McLemore, a resident of Woodstock, Alabama, who believed that a murder was being covered up by his local police. Eccentric, foul-mouthed, prone to apocalyptic pessimism, and surrounded by a cast of equally peculiar characters, McLemore begins corresponding with Reed about his claims. Reed visits Woodstock to investigate the alleged murder, but he ultimately discovers a far more fascinating subject for his project—McLemore himself.

An antique clock restorer and horologist, McLemore spent his life learning centuries-old techniques for repairing and enhancing intricate timepieces. In a beautiful …

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