About Amy Lepine Peterson

Amy Lepine Peterson teaches ESL Writing and American Pop Culture at Taylor University, but spends most of her time making a home in the cornfields for her best-friend-husband and two (frankly adorable) children. Look for her with a french press of coffee and a book or a screen, plus a little one on her lap, thinking about education, mothering, theology, tv, movies, music, and sustainable habits of living.

ABCFamily’s “The Fosters” and the Power of Adoption

Late last fall, I found myself furtively googling “foster children Indiana.”  I say “furtively” because fostering children was something my husband and I had never discussed, and something I was barely able to imagine for myself.  But I had a sudden yearning to see the faces of the children who needed foster homes, to know their names and ages, to allow my worldview to be colored by the reality of the tragedies both big and small that had left those precious ones unmoored and in need of family. … [Read more...]

Is the Proper Christian Response to the Grammys to Walk Out?

Sunday’s Grammy Awards were about par for the course for our beloved and admittedly messed-up pop music culture.  Performance and style ruled the day, perhaps at the expense of artistry and talent.  A few performers delivered the “shock-value” acts that we've come to expect from awards shows, vying to deliver the most attention-grabbing, publicity-worthy performances, including a mass wedding of heterosexual and homosexual marriages. Because if there's one thing pop music loves, it's love, accept … [Read more...]

Beware the Frozen Heart

“Mom, it’s kind of rude for a princess to say ‘Don’t know if I’m elated or gassy,’ right?” “Mom, why does she love chocolate so much? It’s not very princessy.” “Mom, why is Elsa so unkind to her sister?  Why won’t she open the door and play with her?”  “Mom, why does it say ‘beware the frozen heart?’ ” I took Rosie, my 5-year-old daughter, to see Frozen last month.  I clutched her mittened hand as we crunched through the slushy parking lot toward the theater, unaware we were also heading towa … [Read more...]

Pajama Boy is Everything That’s Wrong with American Manhood! (and Other Misconceptions)

When I first saw this ad, I was at my parents’ house for Christmas, sitting on the sofa, scrolling through Twitter. I was drinking coffee, and if you want to know the truth, I was probably wearing pajamas, or at least leggings. Someone had retweeted the ad with a dismissive remark about Obama or man-boys or something, and I sighed and moved on. But apparently a lot of people haven’t moved on.  Apparently to a number of people, the biggest problem with this ad is that it represents everything tha … [Read more...]

19. Feminism: “Women are Rising” #CaPC25

All this week, the writers of Christ and Pop Culture unveil their 25 most loved things of 2013.  Previous #20: Mad Men (AMC)#19. Feminism Why did “feminism” make our list in 2013 when it’s been around for well over a century? This year we've been encouraged by discussions by and about women within the church. From Wendy Alsup’s call for a New Wave of Complementarianism to Sarah Bessey’s plea for Christians to recognize the way that Jesus loves women in her book Jesus Feminist; from Malala Y … [Read more...]

24. When We Were On Fire: “The Dismantling of Christian Cliches” #CaPC25

All this week, the writers of Christ and Pop Culture unveil their 25 most loved things of  2013.  Previous #25: From Up On Poppy Hill #24: When We Were on Fire by Addie Zierman There’s a reason that Addie Zierman’s debut work was named by Publisher’s Weekly as one of the top 5 religion books of 2013. In lovely,well-paced prose that moves more like a novel than a memoir, Zierman ushers her readers into the heady evangelical youth culture of the nineties, complete with Jesus Freaks and True Love … [Read more...]

You Can Keep Walter White. I’ll Take Inspector Foyle

Perhaps you, like me, have grown weary of rooting for the anti-heroes crowding our cable networks.  Dexter, Don, and Walter (et al.) murder, lie, cheat, and steal, trying all the while to convince us of their depth and complexity, like teenagers who have just discovered existentialism.  We praise their creators for their willingness to engage with the moral ambiguity of the modern world. But isn’t it possible to acknowledge the complex issues surrounding morality without giving up on morality al … [Read more...]

The “Millennial Unease” of Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires of the City

Modern Vampires of the City, the third album from the New York- based rock band Vampire Weekend, released on May 14 this year, and (to my own great surprise, not having loved their earlier work) I’ve hardly stopped playing it. The band’s first two albums (Vampire Weekend, 2008; Contra, 2010) brought popular and critical acclaim. The albums also brought vitriolic criticism for being privileged white boys with a boat-shoes-and-blazer aesthetic playing with African rhythms. (I’m told you can’t writ … [Read more...]

Before Midnight Hits Home: A Married Couple Discusses The Film

In the spirit of Richard Linklater's "Before" films, each of which follows Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) through a few hours of intense discussions about work, love, and the meaning of life, my husband and I decided to review the newest film, Before Midnight, via e-mail.  Spoilers ahead!Are Jesse and Celine that German Couple Now? Dear Jack, Do you remember that very first scene in Before Sunrise? Jesse and Celine haven't met yet, but they're on the same train heading to … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: The “Evolution of the Swimsuit” and Nostalgia for More Modest Days

Are your friends passing around that Q video where Jessica Rey talks about "The Evolution of the Swimsuit"? Now, I like a classy vintage-inspired suit as much as the next girl, but there's good reason to take Rey's argument with a grain of salt; the video, after all, amounts to an advertisement for her company. A group of ladies at Christianity Today offer a variety of helpful critical perspectives on the video, and Rachel Marie Stone expounds on her contribution at her personal blog, arguing … [Read more...]