Category: Theology & The Church

Is the gender-swapping Twilight the best thing to come out of the franchise?

At first blush, Stephenie Meyer’s gender-swapping, 10th-anniversary edition of Twilight - called Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined - is the dumbest idea of all time. High-school girl Bella is now high-school boy Beau and vampire Edward is now vampiress Edythe. A friend who is reading Life and Death would add that even at second, third and fourth blush, it’s a dumb idea. After all, characters are who…  [more]

The practical salvation of The Martian

The Martian is nothing if not practical. As it tells the story of astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon), who has been abandoned on Mars, the movie spends little effort wondering “what it all means.” Watney doesn’t waste time pondering life and death or his place in the universe. Rather, as he says, “You can either accept that (death) or you can get to work.” The Martian watches him work.…  [more]

Bitmojis: a bridge toward authenticity?

Few situations in life have prompted as much internal dialogue as the creation of my Bitmoji. My love handles - did they really disqualify me from the athletic body shape? Was it truly necessary to choose a nose that actually matched the crooked shape of my own? Why are there so many eyebrow choices? And, more importantly, why was I so tempted to downplay the actual size of what I have always referred to as my…  [more]

Seeing God in Toronto Blue Jays baseball

I wonder if God had playoff baseball in mind when He created the heavens and the earth? After making human beings - with amazing capacities to run, throw, catch and swing at things - He gave us a mandate to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth with people, society, culture, sport, home runs, double plays and split-fingered fastballs. God made us with the ability to play and He called us to create a game like…  [more]

The Blacklist and our need for sin-eaters

“I am a sin-eater. I absorb the misdeeds of others, darkening my soul to keep theirs pure.” So confessed Raymond Reddington (James Spader) in the season two finale of NBC's The Blacklist. With Thursday’s premiere of season three, it seems appropriate to cast light on this little phrase once again. The Blacklist prides itself on showcasing the blurred lines between right and wrong, as it…  [more]

Google’s Deep Dream and spiritual perception

When Google showed a group of its computers images and asked them to visually describe what they saw, the results were full of vibrant color and kaleidoscopic patterns, resembling something from a dream or a hallucination. Indeed, the name given to the code that was used is Deep Dream. The human race has long been fascinated with the content of dreams and the ability of the mind to invent impossible landscapes and…  [more]

Why Protestants should applaud Pope Francis’ U.S. visit

If the attention he's received over the summer is any indication, then Pope Francis' upcoming visit to the United States is likely to receive a great deal of media scrutiny. Just picture the scene as the supreme pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church heads to the highest halls of political power: the U.S. Congress and the United Nations. The pope's visit provides a good opportunity to reflect on the…  [more]

A pastor’s guide to surviving kickoff Sunday

As a brand-new minister, I was part of a small group of recent seminary graduates who met weekly with an incredibly wise retired pastor. One week we asked him, “If you could go back and do anything differently as a young pastor, what would it be?” “I would go out back of my church and sit in a chair and watch the grass grow more often,” he answered. We all expected something more practical or…  [more]

The real question for Christians concerning Kim Davis

Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis was released from jail this week. An elected public official, Davis had refused to sign marriage licenses in resistance to the United States Supreme Court’s June ruling that same-sex couples have a right to marry. When Davis was told to issue the licenses or face contempt of court, she defied the order. She was then put in jail by U.S District Judge David Bunning. Bunning…  [more]

Why the Syrian refugee crisis must be met with Gospel-sized grace

“In His free grace, God is for man in every respect; He surrounds man from all sides. He is man's Lord who is before him, above him, after him, and thence also with him in history, the locus of man's existence.” Karl Barth What does it mean to be displaced geographically, spiritually and emotionally? This is the question millions of Syrians are facing amidst that country’s devastating…  [more]

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