Category: The Bible

Why I think Mad Men is headed for the abyss

I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind. Ecclesiastes 1:14 From the animated opening credits of the first episode, AMC’s Mad Men has been about holding one’s composure in the face of life’s terrifying abyss. We see a silhouette of a man entering a well-appointed office, which he claims by setting his briefcase on the floor.…  [more]

The Christian undergirding of David Brooks’ moral bucket list

I am seriously considering taking David Brooks’ recent New York Times essay, “The Moral Bucket List,” adding a dozen Bible references, tacking on an “Amen” and preaching it this Sunday. The piece begins with these words: “About once a month I run across a person who radiates an inner light. …They seem deeply good. They listen well. They make you feel funny and valued.…  [more]

The handless body of Christ

In 2008, Kelly Knox was an unknown credit controller from Enfield, North London. By the end of that year, she had won Britain’s Missing Top Model and appeared on the cover of Marie Claire. What made this particularly notable was not her previous anonymity, but the fact the Knox was born without her left arm. Knox represents a particular perspective on living with a disability. She hails from a family that…  [more]

Uncomfortable baking a cake for a gay wedding? “Bake for them two”

In Jesus’ time, the nation of Israel was under Roman rule. The Israelites were allowed to live there and practice their faith for the most part, but they had to pay taxes to Caesar and obey the Roman laws. To the Israelites, the Romans were evil and ungodly. They had no place ruling over God’s chosen people in God’s chosen nation. That land had been promised to Moses and his descendants when God…  [more]

Raising narcissists: what over-approving parents can learn from Philippians 2

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…  [more]

Why I’m OK with the boy Yahweh in Exodus: Gods and Kings

If you’re making a big-budget Moses movie, with all of Hollywood’s resources at your disposal, you can do better than a burning bush. And so, although the bush of the Bible does make an appearance, Exodus: Gods and Kings offers an additional visual representation of God. And that choice has already resulted in some grumbling. When Moses (Christian Bale) encounters God on Horeb, He appears in the form of…  [more]

Discussing Kieslowski’s Decalogue III

This is part of a joint series with Elijah Davidson of Reel Spirituality, in which we’re considering each installment of The Decalogue. Krzysztof Kieslowski's landmark collection of short films was first released on Polish television in 1989 and is based on each of the Ten Commandments. Links to our other posts can be found here. Something we’ve been talking about, Elijah – particularly in the…  [more]

Remembering 9/11, and the Bible’s take on fear

These remarks were given at a recent chapel for employees of the Christian Reformed Church, TC’s parent denomination. Where were you on Sept. 11, 2001? I suspect each of us remembers the moment that we heard about what had happened. I remember where I was. I was a young mother at the time, fumbling my way through life as a stay-at-home mom. I had driven to my parents’ house that morning, eager for adult…  [more]

Reconsidering relatability

An off-handed Twitter comment from radio personality Ira Glass about Shakespeare has set forth an interesting discussion about what it means to find a story “relatable” and whether or not we should prefer to engage media that is relatable for us. Rebecca Mead of the New Yorker, for instance, is concerned that the use of the word reduces our interest in art to only how it reflects ourselves as we would…  [more]

Bibliotheca and the real reason we call the Bible boring

“The Bible is boring.” As a pastor and professor, I have heard this lament countless times. I have heard it from college students, church members, the lips of my three children and my own mouth. Recognizing this as a growing trend in America, book designer Adam Lewis Greene has set about the task of conducting a new public relations campaign for the “the Good Book” that he’s calling…  [more]

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