Sometimes it seems that even Disney movies have given up on moral instruction. Take last year’s Maleficent, the studio’s revisionist version of the Sleeping Beauty tale. I loved it, but mostly for the way it evoked the psychological effects of trauma while also offering a nuanced understanding of evil. Not exactly kids’ stuff. Meanwhile, as animated efforts become increasingly chaotic, even those with instructional instincts… [more]
Sufjan Stevens has so thoroughly inhabited his own creative space over the last 15 years that future critics likely will append the suffix “esque” to his given name. Where else can you find complex, understated, folk music with swirling mythological, environmental, Christological and psychosexual underpinnings? Stevens’ exceedingly rich musical prowess is prodded ever forward by the best kind of folk-art madness. By mastering… [more]
Editor’s note: This is the fifth installment in A More Welcoming Way, a series of TC articles on the immigration experience, attempts at reform and the church’s role in the process. When Michigan law changed in 2008, barring undocumented immigrants from holding a driver’s license, Reyna Garcia could no longer attend her Catholic church because it was beyond walking distance from her home. So she decided instead to visit a… [more]
When Duke University scientists recently modified mice with human DNA, resulting in mice with larger brains, we learned something new about what makes humans unique. But does this discovery tell us anything about the way humans are made in the image of God? The sequence of a person’s DNA largely determines the biological make up of that person, yet discovering which part of the DNA gives us uniquely human traits is quite a challenge. Debra… [more]
If Breaking Bad takes the form of a Greek tragedy, then maybe we could call its new prequel series, Better Call Saul, a Lutheran tragedy. Set several years before the events of Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul is the origin story of Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), a scuzzball lawyer from the earlier series. Saul was once Jimmy McGill, a former scam artist from Cicero, Ill., who is trying his best to go straight in Albuquerque, N.M. In the first five… [more]
Two years ago I sat in a parent-packed auditorium waiting to find out what our fifth graders would be learning in their first round of sex education. Since our family had just switched from a Christian school to a public one, I wondered what I’d hear. The night was tame enough, at least from the instructor. She assured parents our fifth graders really got “puberty ed” - all body hair, body odor, erections and menstruation,… [more]
The announcement this month of the Apple Watch raises a number of perplexing challenges for Christians. A dominant theme of much commentary has had to do with the top-tier Apple Watch Edition, with options ranging from $10,000 to $17,000. These models feature rare crystal screens and precious metal cases. Apple products have never been cheap, but this new level of luxury represents the company’s recognition of the mainstream nature of such… [more]
Chappie isn’t much of a science-fiction action film, what with its wild variations in tone and juvenile fetishizing of weaponry. Yet like even the most dunderheaded of sci-fi enterprises, the movie does offer some tantalizing speculation about where the human race may be heading. And according to Chappie’s future, downloadable souls will be the next big thing. Part E.T. and part Pinocchio – but without the charm of either… [more]
Editor’s note: This is the fourth installment in A More Welcoming Way, a series of TC articles on the immigration experience, attempts at reform and the church’s role in the process. For Christians who take seriously the authority of Scripture, immigration is much more than a complex and controversial political issue. It is also an important theological issue. The Bible actually has a lot to say on the topic of immigration. The… [more]
A study released this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found a strong correlation between parental patterns and the development of narcissism in early adolescents. The study found that childhood narcissism “is cultivated by parental overvaluation: parents believing their child to be more special and more entitled than others.” This is set in contrast to what the researchers call “parental… [more]
joshmuir: It has always seemed to be a misunderstanding: Scripture's commands to "reign" and "subdue" creation as justification for bending it to our will regardless of harm it can cause.
Deb Koster: Much of what I see on Facebook is very condescending to parents who with the best of intentions made a misguided decision. Facts and statistics may be far less convicting than someone expressing their love and concern.
Doug Vande Griend: Ironically, the Islamic faith is challenging Duke to realize that all of life finds its foundation in one's religious perspective. Suggesting that Duke retreat deeper into its myth that secular is possible helps no one.
Michael Bentley: This sensationalist propaganda isn't nearly as "sensational" as what’s in the Bible, but the way it’s presented plays on our sentimentality more than it does on God’s holiness and righteousness.
Bob M: The church ministered to the poor long before government did. Where did we lose our heart? I wonder if my church could really prove we are a tax exempt charitable institution?
Emily: Bell didn't remain in his belief with God for the same reason some church kids end up denouncing their faith - they never had an encounter or strong personal relationship with Him.