Category: Entertainment

Beyoncé’s spiritual Formation

While I have always appreciated Beyoncé’s presence in the entertainment business, I never donned wings for the BeyHive. What I have loved most about Beyoncé is how hard she works — she dances hard, she sings hard and she goes hard on the creativity. (I mean, dropping a video with no announcement — like whoa!) In addition to her career, she seems to take very seriously the relationships…  [more]

Serial, Making a Murderer and the true-crime trend

Truman Capote first published his book In Cold Blood as a four-part serial in The New Yorker, beginning in September of 1965. The groundbreaking work outlined the grisly murder of four family members in rural Kansas and became one of the most popular true-crime books of all time. In Cold Blood elevated the genre of nonfiction crime stories and took readers on an intimate journey into the minds of killers. In the five…  [more]

Bill Cosby and dual natures

I love superhero stories. The idea that a mild-mannered, shy and unassuming person could transform into a fearless superhuman and selfless protector of humanity has always intrigued me. As a kid, I was amazed by this phenomenon, primarily because I saw the possibility of greatness in each one of us, no matter how unimpressive we were on the outside. As an adult, I am still intrigued, but for slightly different…  [more]

Scott Weiland and debunking the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle

We lost another rock star last week when Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver fame finally succumbed to the repercussions of decades of substance abuse and addiction. It’s a song we’ve heard too often. This time, however, even as the tributes and platitudes piled up, Mary Forsberg Weiland, the singer’s ex-wife and the mother of his two children, offered some brutal and painful…  [more]

The great American identity crisis

On Sunday, my church transitioned from a church plant to an independently organized congregation. As part of this milestone, we remembered how our church was started and the people and events that shaped its character. We told stories about what brought each of us to the church, we worshipped together with our parent church and their council prayed over our newly commissioned one. This personal experience of communal…  [more]

Stephen Colbert’s theology of suffering

Anyone who follows Stephen Colbert as closely as we do won’t be surprised by the religious tenor of his recent interview with GQ, in advance of his Sept. 8 debut on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. The piece covers Colbert’s preparations for the new gig and the evolution of his comic persona, which leads to some provocative observations about the nature of suffering. Colbert discusses most of this in…  [more]

The approaching scourge of virtual-reality porn

Before the Internet, it was easy to think of pornography as a worldly problem far removed from the church. Videos and magazines could only be bought in stores, which required showing one’s face at a public establishment - something most Christians probably avoided. But by the time I was 15, I had a computer in my room with a wire to the world. Suddenly, pornography could be accessed at the touch of a button…  [more]

Comedy, community and church

I’m a big fan of comedy. The schedule on my DVR will tell you that when I want to relax at the end of a day, a sitcom or sketch show or comedy talk show is where I’m likely to turn. A few comments from comedians I appreciate lately have gotten me thinking about how the comedy I like the most creates a sense of relationship and community. It makes me, the audience member, feel like a friend and an…  [more]

Miranda Sings and the many faces of narcissism

YouTuber Colleen Ballinger’s malaprop-mad persona, Miranda Sings, has a lot of “suscribers” pretty “essited” by her cat sweaters, garish lips and blaring songs. As Miranda, Ballinger burpily parodies everybody from illiterate online commenters to basic girls to inspirational speakers to do-it-yourselfers to inept webcammers. Next month, Miranda will be sharing her wisdom in a book…  [more]

Louis C.K. is not a good person

Louis C.K.’s recent Saturday Night Live monologue drew fire by surmising that child molestation must be really, really fun - otherwise, why would molesters risk so much to keep doing it? He generally survives the outrage that such jokes evoke by being the first to admit his own moral failings. No one in public life today is quicker to point out that, “Yeah, I’m not a good guy. I am not. I wish I was…  [more]

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