How Reading Disturbing Novels can make you a Better Reader of the Bible

As a PhD student in Literature, a typical question I get asked when I meet someone is what my field is. My answer, Modern American literature, has seldom been received well, as it is also known as a dreadfully depressing period in American fiction. Usually the follow up question goes something like: "Do you read those books because they are assigned or because you enjoy reading them?" The implied question is why anyone, particularly a Christian, would choose to read a book like As I Lay Dying or … [Read more...]

Christian First, American Second

Christian First, American Second … [Read more...]

Rethinking the Stumbling Block: Christian Culture as a Barrier

As Christians discern how to navigate through popular culture in a way that is edifying to themselves and their neighbors and glorifying to God, one concern that commonly arises is whether or not a particular cultural pursuit will cause a brother or sister in Christ to stumble. We might personally have the freedom in Christ to watch a mature movie, but, for the sake of a weaker brother who might sin against his conscience if he sees this film, we might abstain from watching it for a time. … [Read more...]

"Trading In the Bad Boy Image for Spirituality in Action Sports –"

The New York Times has an interesting write up on how some stars of the X Games have become Christians. What is particularly interesting is how concerned these athletes were about their fan's reaction to their conversions:Trading In the Bad Boy Image for Spirituality in Action Sports - … [Read more...]

It's Lonely on the 'Moon'

Sam Bell has been the sole operator of a helium-3 mining facility on the far side of the moon for three years. Other than the occasional video message from his wife and daughter, Sam's only companion is the computer who helps him, named GERTY. When Moon begins, Sam has two weeks until his three-year contract is complete and he can go home, but before his time is up, something strange happens. That is just about all I'm going to say about the plot of Moon. You'll thank me later, if you see … [Read more...]

Giving: the Beauty of Christian Hospitality

A few weeks ago, my wife and I took a houseboat trip with her extended family on Lake Powell in Utah. Building up to the trip, I knew there wasn't going to be a lot of room on the boat since her aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and grandma and grandpa would be on board with us. Frankly, my ideal vacation is a nice hotel in Europe, not a hot, cramped houseboat in Utah shared with people I hardly knew. I enjoy privacy, quiet, and comfort. I prefer to control when I eat, and what I eat, to be able t … [Read more...]

"Why We Should Listen to Ken Myers"–ByFaith Magazine interviews Myers

ByFaith Magazine, the web magazine for the PCA, has a very insightful interview of Ken Myers by Walter Henegar.  Here's one of my favorite comments by Myers:"As one example, why have Christians embraced cremation in the last 20 or 30 years without apparently a lot of thought? The early church was profoundly concerned about burial and not adopting cremation because of their theology of the body. The question is not how God will regenerate cremated bodies, but how do we honor our dead?" … [Read more...]

My Online Image: Facebook, Twitter, and Privacy

Just a few years ago social networking was primarily a past time for dramatic preteens, garage bands, and spammers, but more recently an older demographic has been drawn to sites like Facebook and Twitter, altering the landscape of these social worlds and normalizing to some extent the disclosure of personal information online. One challenge of this new technology has been the balance between privacy and public disclosure. At this point, most of us have heard the horror stories of people who … [Read more...]

Kinkade, Old and New

In the journal First Things, Joe Carter takes a look at Kinkade's aesthetic. HT: J. Overstreet. … [Read more...]

Going Beyond New Releases: Appreciating Culture as Tradition, Part 2

If you haven't already, read part 1 here.Aside from consumer culture, society's increasing dependence on and trust in technology has contributed to the belief that what is newer is always better and more worth our time. Technology has always had an affect on how works are made and what gets made, but the rapid changes in technology that we have seen in the last 30 or so years have had a more dramatic effect and have given rise to the belief that cultural artifacts can become obsolete, just … [Read more...]