Category: Theology & The Church

Ex Machina and what it (might) mean to be human

What makes us human? And how is that related to the way we’re made in God’s image? These are perennial questions that tantalizingly linger along the edges of the new science-fiction thriller Ex Machina, my favorite film of the year thus far. Written and directed by Alex Garland, who brings a cool mercilessness to the proceedings, Ex Machina imagines the birth of artificial intelligence in the form of a…  [more]

Baltimore and the prevailing of peace

Freddie Gray died the other day. He was not a victim of gang violence. He was not a victim of cancer. He was not a victim of a car accident. Freddie Gray died because of injuries he suffered in police custody. And when his family went to memorialize him on April 27, their funeral candles lit a forest fire. Riots and violence terrorized Baltimore afterward - “the language of the unheard” as Martin Luther…  [more]

Podcasting’s still, small voice

I sing the praise of Ira Glass, Sara Koenig and Jad Abumrad. I tout the triumph of closely produced programming: This American Life, Serial, Radiolab. I hail the voice of the podcast. At Slate, Jonah Weiner extends this paean by suggesting that the podcasting voice can increase the range of what we care for. He refers to the “empathic encounter” of audio fare that “knocks us outside of a blinkered…  [more]

Can spirituality save our achievement-driven kids?

The capacity to subscribe wholesale to the American dream is often thought to be exclusive to adults. We rarely stop to consider the effects of a performance-driven worldview on youth. Yet the insidious tendency to compare ourselves with others, self-identify with our careers and make self-worth contingent upon productivity is as threatening to children as it is to adults. Lisa Miller, director of clinical…  [more]

Questions I have after the Bruce Jenner interview

In an ABC interview last night with Diane Sawyer, former Olympian and step-patriarch of the Kardashian family Bruce Jenner confirmed his transgender identity and said that he* is in the process of transitioning from male to female. For many Christians - and, for that matter, non-Christians - the topic of transgender identity is a complete unknown. What questions can we ask that can help us formulate a grace-filled,…  [more]

Sex and death in It Follows

The hit independent horror movie It Follows seems, on the surface, to be just another fright flick in which sex equals death. Yet the movie offers a narrative variation that suggests something far more interesting, especially in regard to a Christian understanding of sexuality. The sex-as-death theme goes back to the early days of film - 1942’s Cat People is a good example - yet it came of age, so to speak, in…  [more]

A note about our “bake for them two” post

After publishing a guest post by Jessica Kantrowitz, which proposed one way that Christians might handle the prospect of baking a cake for a gay wedding, readers challenged Think Christian to clarify our position on homosexuality. We mean to answer that here. TC is ultimately a ministry of the Christian Reformed Church in North America, which distinguishes between same-sex attraction and homosexual erotic behavior,…  [more]

Should we be “redesigning” death?

“With just a little attention … he might be able to refract some of the horror and hopelessness of death into more transcendent feelings of awe and wonder and beauty.” These words, taken from the California Sunday Magazine article “Death, Redesigned,” speak to a new understand of mortality in our culture. It doesn’t take much experience with death to understand how daunting the…  [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]

Francis Collins on being a man of science and faith

National Geographic usually likes to stay above the fray, but the magazine dipped its toes into the faith-science debate with a March cover story entitled “Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science?” Encouragingly, part of that package was a brief interview with Francis Collins, a Christian and director of the National Institutes of Health. It’s a fairly surface-level conversation, but it does…  [more]

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