Theology & The Church

A theology of maps

Editor’s note: John Van Sloten is at it again. Always looking for God’s presence in the everyday, he recently preached on the providence of God as revealed through the cultural lens of maps. “Maps tell stories,” John says. “They show us … how things fit together.” And they can do…  [more]

Actually, guns do kill people

The recent shootings in Portland, Las Vegas, Seattle Pacific University and UC-Santa Barbara, among others, have reignited discussion around gun control. According to Everytown for Gun Safety, the Portland shooting is the 74th school shooting since Sandy Hook. And although these high-profile cases often garner more media attention, “routine” gun…  [more]

Edge of Tomorrow and Tom Cruise’s works-based salvation ethic

For a science-fiction blockbuster, Edge of Tomorrow offers some surprising parallels to the doctrine of salvation. Too bad they’re largely of the works-based kind. Edge of Tomorrow is a Tom Cruise vehicle, but it interestingly doesn’t begin as one. Rather than being the hero, Cruise’s character, Maj. William Cage, is…  [more]

Death without hope in Japan’s valley of dolls

There's a village in Japan where there are more dolls than people. Fritz Schumann's short documentary Valley of Dolls, embedded below, tells the story. Nagoro, a small town situated in the Shikoku valleys, once was prosperous and lively, thriving off of the local industry connected to the nearby dam. Hundreds…  [more]

Maleficent’s nuanced understanding of evil

In 1959’s Sleeping Beauty, Disney offered an iconic personification of evil: Maleficent, the spurned fairy who bestows a curse on a newborn princess. The new Maleficent, told from the sorceress’ point of view, gives that evil some background and nuance. In the process, the story becomes less a fairy-tale version…  [more]

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