Category: Theology & The Church

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]

When prisoners choose not to escape

Some Arizona prisoners made headlines when their transport bus crashed into an overturned semitrailer just after midnight on a remote stretch of desert highway last month. The newsworthy part wasn’t just the crash itself, as bad as it was, but the fact that when first responders arrived, they didn’t have to scramble law enforcement to round up a bunch of escaped convicts. Instead, they found the uninjured…  [more]

Eating alone, eating with Jesus

A recent NPR article drew attention to the fact that American adults are increasingly eating alone: 46 percent of our “eating occasions” - meals and snacks - are solitary. There are numerous factors that contribute to this, including our on-the-go lifestyle, the increased habit of replacing meals with snacking and the rise in single-person households. Although technology can sometimes bridge the gaps…  [more]

The evangelical idolatry of Donald Trump

Donald Trump is nothing if not polarizing. You can’t just like or dislike the upstart presidential candidate. His unapologetic personality often forces people into the margins of adoration or abhorrence. And among his passionate supporters is a surprising contingent: evangelical Christians This baffles Frank Bruni, who wrote a New York Times op-ed piece entitled “Trump-ward, Christian Soldiers?”…  [more]

The (somewhat) sacred outdoors

My family lives surrounded by an embarrassment of scenic riches. In less than six hours, we can drive to no less than five national parks. We don’t even have to leave our own county for a rich experience of nature. We have San Francisco Bay to the east, the Pacific Ocean over a mountain ridge to the west and Redwood groves and open space teeming with deer and mountain lions just miles from my house. We are…  [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]

The CCCU and same-sex marriage: is withdrawal the best response?

Scholars have long debated the precise etymology of the word “Protestant.” While some have promoted the widely held view that it originated from its root word “protest,” others have advocated that the term is more properly translated as “proclaim.” Regardless of the initial meaning, the term Protestant throughout history has most certainly been synonymous with those who are…  [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]

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