Category: Theology

Wes Craven, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and a Christian defense of horror

With the death of Wes Craven over the weekend – very likely the only Wheaton College alum to ever go on to direct a horror masterpiece – I’ve noticed a familiar question bubbling up once again in some circles: should Christians watch horror films? I somewhat agree with the affirmative answers others have given: that by focusing on the darkness, there is opportunity to shine a light; that many…  [more]

Is Dismaland as distorted as Disneyland?

“Wish.” “Dream.” “Believe.” These words defined our obligatory family vacation to Disney World a few years ago, largely because they appeared on endless signage, were incorporated into nearly every show and, I suspect, were pumped into our hotel room via barely audible whispers as we slept. So to prove that the cult of Disney had not indoctrinated us, we began using these words as…  [more]

Sharing the good news amidst Tinder’s ‘dating apocalypse’

Love isn’t easy in the digital age and, apparently, neither is responding to criticism. Last week, Vanity Fair ran a piece by Nancy Jo Sales on “Tinder and the Dating Apocalypse,” the contents of which provoked the Tinder Twitter account into an “emotional meltdown” that ranged from accusations of shoddy journalism to invoking North Korean users as legitimation of its services. Although…  [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]

What Pet Should I Get? and the well-ordered chaos of Dr. Seuss

It’s been a summer of suspiciously published books by iconic authors. First came the release of Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman amidst debate over her level of involvement. That was followed by What Pet Should I Get?, a long-completed but never-published book by the late Theodor Geisel – aka Dr. Seuss. Is the belated release of Seuss' work a capstone on his career or a besmirching of a literary…  [more]

Go Set a Watchman and “company manners”

"Company manners" is that set of cultural armor black people don as protection against racism. The breastplate is made of “Yes, ma’am” and “Yes, sir.” The shield is comprised of smiles and tips of the hat. The armor goes on in the presence of a person whose trustworthiness is questionable. In Harper Lee’s newly released novel, Go Set a Watchman, the…  [more]

Does Donald Trump need to repent?

Donald Trump has certainly added spice to the politics-as-usual flavor of the presidential primary season. Whether it is his controversial comments about Mexican immigrants, his critique of John McCain’s status as a war hero, his support of Mike Huckabee’s much-criticized Holocaust analogy, his broadcasting of Lindsey Graham’s cell phone number or his labelling of Hillary Clinton as a…  [more]

Instead of Facebook, a book of faces

A book of photographs titled Face elicits obvious comparisons to the social media giant. The latest from photographer Bruce Gilden, the collection of portraits might be more appropriately titled Mug Shot. If these folks filled your Facebook news feed with selfies, you’d probably be tempted to click the “hide” option. In a world overflowing with Photoshopped and filtered images, Face stops our…  [more]

Restorative discipline: a gracious alternative to zero tolerance

The problem of school violence, truancy and student drug abuse needs to be addressed. No one disputes that. But it’s becoming clear that the zero-tolerance approach isn’t working. Consider Texas, where in recent years some 60 percent of middle school students will eventually be suspended or expelled at least once. Many of these students risk dropping out and landing in jail instead. Fortunately, it seems…  [more]

A new way to marry

Wedding season is well under way, as can be seen by the many wedding photos being shared on social media. Add to this continued debate over the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on same-sex marriage, and the topic is dominating my Facebook feed. Although I’ve heard and seen much about the meaning of marriage, few have raised the question of what our wedding ceremonies say about our theology of marriage. In…  [more]

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