Great news! You can now watch “Step Brothers” at church!

Today, it was announced by Yahoo that Sony is going to make "clean" versions of some of its most popular titles available for the whole family. The company's "clean version" initiative will offer family friendly versions of select movies, basically allowing them to choose the airline version of a film when they purchase the movies on select digital platforms.The movies include:50 First Dates Battle Of The Year Big Daddy Captain Phillips Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon Easy … [Read more...]

Crashing: Christian in the wild

HBO's new series "Crashing" finished its first season on Sunday. As with many of the network's other comedies, I highly enjoyed it. The combination of star/creator Pete Holmes and executive producer Judd Apatow made this look into the stressful world of stand-up comedy heartfelt, awkward and funny, often in the same beat. But it's the show's spiritual side that made it resonate."Crashing" follows Holmes (playing a slightly fictionalized version of himself) as he tries to make a break in New … [Read more...]

“Beauty and the Beast” and the backfiring of outrage

So, my piece a few weeks back on the outrage over Disney's choice to include an "explicitly gay" moment in its remake of "Beauty and the Beast" caused quite a stir. As of this writing, there are 195 comments and it's one of my most-read pieces here at Patheos. I'm thankful to everyone who shared, read and commented.The film is out now (you can read my review here), and the controversy doesn't seem to have hurt its performance at the box office one bit; the film grossed a record $170 million t … [Read more...]

Goodbye, Family Christian Stores

This week, it was announced that Family Christian Stores — one of the world's largest Christian retailers — will close all 240 of its stores. This isn't really shocking; Family Christian had gone through bankruptcy a few years back. But it will have an impact; more than 3,000 employees are going to lose their jobs as the stores shutter and Christian culture loses one of its largest and most diverse suppliers of books, music and trinkets.Granted, this is just the nature of the beast these days … [Read more...]

The Story of God: Heaven, hell, hope and justice

Season two of "The Story of God with Morgan Freeman" airs Mondays at 9 p.m. (8 p.m. Central) on the National Geographic Channel. Once again, I'm writing about it here each week from a Christian perspective as a preview. This post is about episode two, "Heaven and Hell."Years back, I was out to dinner with a friend when we began talking religion. She was agnostic and I was in the middle of a pretty ugly bout of cage-stage Calvinism. She kept trying to change the subject, and I kept bringing i … [Read more...]

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Return to “The Story of God” on Jan. 16

One of the highlights of last year was writing about National Geographic's "The Story of God with Morgan Freeman." Being part of Patheos' "blogging carnival" was a great writing experience and a chance for me to re-examine my faith. I was deeply challenged by that discussion and, in the end, it made my faith stronger.National Geographic Channel will debut season two of "The Story of God" on Monday, Jan. 16 at 9 p.m. (8 p.m. Central Time). I will once again write about each episode. I will … [Read more...]

Blog Goals 2017

I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year. I'm sure that, for many, it was nice to say "so long" to 2016, and I hope that the new year is treating you kind. Our holidays were great, filled with time with family and friends and some chances to recharge our batteries. I'm still on vacation from work for another week, and I'm hoping to use this time to really gear up for the coming 12 months so I can attack 2017 afresh next week.I thought it might be good to take some time and write about the … [Read more...]

To everyone telling me to be quiet and trust God after this election

Again, apologies. I know: I'm the movie guy. And trust me, next week, you're going to get movie stuff. Thoughts on "Moana," "Arrival" and possibly the return to the Harry Potter universe. Plus, my thoughts on some pop culture I'm thankful for and a fun new series just for the holidays that I'm extremely excited about. But this election rocked the church. So, indulge me, please. Ever since the election, I've seen attempts by myself and friends to voice our concerns or anger tempered by people … [Read more...]

Losing my evangelical home

I promise we'll get back to movies shortly. Given the events of this week, I wanted to post this, originally from my Facebook account. It has been edited for length.I am surprised how angry and depressed I felt seeing the election results. To think that Donald Trump is the next President of the United States still seems unreal. I have no clue how a man with such a short fuse and no political experience will govern. I’m terrified.Tuesday afternoon, I posted on Facebook that people s … [Read more...]

5 pieces of pop culture to help you endure the election

The election. I know, I'm sick of it, too. But take heart: November 8 is less than a month away. One month from now, the political ads will stop, a candidate will have been chosen, and we'll begin the difficult work of moving on.I doubt there are many undecided voters left. Whether you're casting a ballot for Donald Trump (shudder), Hillary Clinton (a slightly less violent shudder), a third party, or abstaining all together (which is your right), you've probably already chosen your side and … [Read more...]

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