Category: Arts & Leisure

CSLewisDoodle: pitching a tent in YouTube culture

You’ve seen them before: the illustrated YouTube videos that condense TED Talks or leadership books into four-minute, hand-drawn illustrations. Now there’s a new voice (or rather old) on this scene: that of C. S. Lewis. CSLewisDoodle takes the Christian apologist’s essays and illustrates them with hand-sketched illustrations. Since its inception in 2012, the YouTube phenomenon has gained 12,600…  [more]

Star Wars: Episode II - He Who Lives by the Lightsaber…

This is the fifth installment in our Theology of Star Wars series. Read our other essays on Episode I, Episode IV, Episode V and Episode VI. Pity the storyteller who – having sketched the faint outlines of a quasi-Buddhist guild that also once served as a sort of pan-galactic Ministry of Defense – subsequently resolves to depict in detail how such a thing could function at all. George Lucas never was a…  [more]

Adele and Advent: worth the wait

If you’ve been following me on social media the past few weeks, then you know how much I adore Adele. I have been counting down to last Friday’s release of her new album, 25, and have now spent this past weekend listening to it on repeat. The anticipation was due not only to her amazing talent, but to the four-year hiatus since her last album, 21. 25 is on track to be a record-breaking album, projected…  [more]

Mockingjay’s Syrian refugees

Although The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 brings an otherwise excellent sci-fi franchise to an underwhelming conclusion, one provocative scene particularly resonates this week in the aftermath of recent terrorist attacks in Paris and the subsequent, polarizing conversation surrounding refugees. At this point in the Hunger Games narrative, ambivalent heroine Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) has snuck…  [more]

Star Wars: Episode I – Making Sense of Midi-chlorians

This is the fourth installment in our Theology of Star Wars series. Read our other essays on Episode II, Episode IV, Episode V and Episode VI. If there was a Spectrum of Awesomeness for Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, it would run from Darth Maul on one end (awesome) to Jar Jar Binks on the other (crime against humanity). Most fans would put midi-chlorians - the blood-borne symbiotes that mediate the…  [more]

Soma and the sting of death

Even as video games have grown into a respected artistic medium that tackles some of life’s biggest questions, they can still struggle to grapple with the tragic reality of death. While death plays heavily into the core mechanics of games, it often lacks weight. Most games give players ample checkpoints and save points, as well as infinite respawns — meaning if the player’s character dies, she or he…  [more]

Learning how to love from Master of None

In an interview with the A.V. Club, Aziz Ansari described the theme of Master of None, his new Netflix series, like this: “Instead of yelling your opinion, or telling people to shut up, or engaging in this clickbait-internet culture, have a dialogue with someone and ask people questions and listen to what they have to say.” After seeing several episodes, I think this ethos comes through strongly,…  [more]

Chris Stapleton and the triumph of twang

Expecting deep, soulful or truthful ruminations on love and the human condition at the CMA Awards might be as fruitless as hoping to find healthy food at a traveling carnival, but sometimes miracles happen. When Chris Stapleton won CMA trophies for Album of the Year, Male Vocalist and Best New Artist last week, many people had no idea who he was. Though he has been critically acclaimed, country radio has mostly…  [more]

Star Wars: Episode VI – Can Anything Good Come from Endor?

This is the third installment in our Theology of Star Wars series. Read our other essays on Episode I, Episode II, Episode IV and Episode V. Poor Return of the Jedi. Somehow it has become the Rodney Dangerfield of the original trilogy (“no respect!”), routinely ranked by fans as the least favored installment. On lists that include the prequels, it sometimes falls below Revenge of the Sith. Those who…  [more]

Do Christians underestimate fiction?

I’m not one to worry about those aspects of modern life that threaten good old-fashioned reading. After all, even though I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was 7 and though I studied English and writing in college and though I’ve spent a career as an editor and a writer, I wasn’t a big reader as a kid. Though I did read and liked it — the click of the syntax, the weaving of sentences,…  [more]

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