The plight of the Christian female isn’t so different from that of Brienne of Tarth in Game of Thrones. Bear with me. At first glance, we can tell that Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) doesn’t quite fit into her society. Though she is a highborn lady, she doesn’t aspire to the virtues of courtly life, a strategically arranged marriage, and the comforts that come with them. She would much rather don a man’s suit of armor and… [more]
In response to the Sept. 30 mass shooting in Las Vegas, upstart country artist Maren Morris unveiled a fascinating ballad, one she originally wrote with Tom Douglas and David Hodges after the 2015 Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church massacre but had not yet released. The song, entitled “Dear Hate,” features a duet vocal with Vince Gill over sparse acoustic guitar and piano instrumentation. It’s a beautiful piece of… [more]
The awe-inspiring visuals of Blade Runner 2049 paint more than a pretty picture. They also suggest, alongside the story, that the very expression of awe is a uniquely human quality. Might the movie be right—that if you’re capable of expressing wonder, you have a soul? Blade Runner 2049, as its title suggests, asks this question in an imagined future. A sequel to 1982’s Blade Runner, in which Harrison Ford played a LAPD… [more]
Here’s the thing. I don’t like the dark, gritty Batman. I like the pun-slinging, shark repellent-spraying, wham-pow Batman of Adam West and the Lego movies. Similarly, when The CW premiered iZombie, a silly procedural about a zombie who also solves crimes, I was on board. Sometimes I get frustrated when pop culture forgets to be fun and instead turns serious. One thing I’ve come to respect about The CW is the network’s… [more]
What a gut punch this is. Tom Petty is gone? One of the greatest songwriters in the history of rock and roll will never compose again? One of the most generous and magnanimous performers will never again take the stage? A week after the final show of his final tour, one of the best voices in rock and roll is silent, succumbing to cardiac arrest at the age of 66. Petty had announced that he was done touring, but I fully expected a long and… [more]
Podcasts are far from new to the Star Wars universe. In fact, they abound. Every nook and cranny of the fandom seems to have a podcast to match: collectors, original trilogy purists, fans of the expanded universe and legends. Each of these has its own following. When I found a podcast entitled Coffee with Kenobi—Discussion, Analysis, and Rhetoric, I thought I’d discovered my little corner of the fandom. After listening for a while,… [more]
BoJack Horseman, now in its fourth season, has offered one of the most bizarre yet compelling narratives in television. Absurdist humor and obscure pop-culture references dominate, yet at the core of the show is a deep sense of melancholy. Paste described it as “the sad horse show.” As an animated series, BoJack Horseman is able to get away with this tonal mashup without feeling insincere. The show follows the title character, a… [more]
I imagine that many people experiencing hell—literally or figuratively—are filled with regret. This also appears to be the assumption of Thomas Brush, creator of the indie game Pinstripe. In Pinstripe, you control a former minister, named Ted, who is searching for his kidnapped daughter in—you guessed it—hell. Brush’s version of the underworld is covered in snow and ice instead of fire and brimstone. Beauty and… [more]
When I first stepped into the enormous Canterbury Cathedral, which direction do you suppose I looked? This, the central location of worship for the Church of England, is a series of heavenly columns drawing the eye upward in a posture of rapt attention. All the architectural elements are crafted for fostering wonder. It’s a stark contrast to a few of the American churches where I’ve served as a pastor, with worship services taking… [more]
We are a wordy people, casting about for phrases and metaphors as we try to make sense of the big and small things in life. Sometimes, however, we should just shut up. The apostle Paul, when addressing the deeply troubled church in Corinth, said that he didn’t come proclaiming things about God with lofty words or advice, but instead came “in weakness with great fear and trembling.” Words allow us the perception of dominion. If… [more]
Glenn: Obey the (righteous) laws of our country? Absolutely. But nowhere in the Bible do I see a command to blind obedience to a nation's flag or creed.
Andrew Shields : Few early readers of the bible were in a position to choose their civil leaders, so this is a hard topic.
Kester: When we take this body broken, we mourn for all the broken bodies, from Brussels to Birmingham to Buchenwald. When we covenant to share in his suffering, we also covenant to share in the suffering of Michael Brown and Tamir Rice and Sandra Bland and Trayvon Martin. We acknowledge the Communion that we share with this victim of violence and, through him, with every victim of violence.
Malachi Moore: As Christians, I think we can do well when we recognize the great while in no way minimizing the unGodly.
Andrew: If we are to preserve human-human interactions, we need to look much deeper than the comfort of our living rooms and further ahead than today or tomorrow.
Keith: Christians identify “offense” as a clear eject point from which they disengage from an experience or conversation, especially when dealing with art and culture.