Most Popular Posts of 2010: #4 – Is "The One" Worth Searching For?

The idea of "the one" or a "soul-mate" is quite common in popular culture today.  The Twilight series based 4 rather lengthy books on this concept (I am not sure how, but its an impressive feat nonetheless).  I will never forget Serendipity, whose plot is based on two people who met briefly in the past who later in life attempt to reconnect because each simply feels that the other is "the one."  Even some of the most popular romantic comedies play off this idea on some level--Sleepless in Se … [Read more...]

Parenthood, Life, Death, and the Art of Asking Questions

Do stories that present us with ideas that we disagree with make those stories bad?  What makes something a bad story or a good story?  When a story asks a big question, I for one appreciate a non-answer, let me explain.My wife Jennifer and I recently watched a fascinating episode of NBC’s serial drama Parenthood, titled “Damage Control” in which a mother and father are forced to talk to their 5 year old daughter about death.  For the sake of argument and time, I will briefly explain the story. … [Read more...]

The Most Popular Posts of 2010: #5 – $#*! My Favorite Christian Band Says

What do John Piper, Derek Webb, Mark Driscoll, and British folk band, Mumford & Sons have in common? A lot more than they would probably all admit, but at the very least each of them has used a curse word in a public setting (to be fair to Piper--he is merely quoting someone). If you are a music fan, you are probably familiar with the controversy (albeit somewhat self-inflicted) surrounding Webb's song "What Matters More" in which he uses two four letter words in an effort to expose what … [Read more...]

Pop Culture New Years Resolution: Read More

New Years resolutions may seems like opportunities for failure, but I think we can all appreciate the sentiment behind them.  We make New Years Resolutions because we want to be better.  I'd like to run more, read more, eat better, and serve my wife more.  I recognize how having a baby come July will make each of those things more challenging so I hesitate to make any hard and fast resolutions. However, I would like to suggestions toward getting a little more out of our interactions with pop cu … [Read more...]

How to Think About Art

The best way to grow to appreciate art is to experience it but sadly we live in an age where many Christians have been trained not to do so.  Certainly, there are mediums that Christians should avoid altogether (i.e. pornography), but as someone who is learning to appreciate art on its own terms, I find it sad that so many have been trained simply to avoid much of it altogether (and often on unbiblical grounds).  Sometimes its seems art is this ambiguous thing we can't quite get our heads around … [Read more...]

Art and Originality: Exit Through the Gift Shop

I watched Exit Through the Gift Shop this weekend (if you haven't seen it you can watch it on Netflix Instaque), an interesting documentary about man who set out to make a film about street art and ending up becoming a street "artist" himself and the subject of a documentary himself. It was a fascinating movie because it brings up the question, what is art?  If you care to see the movie, you may want to watch it first before reading further.The movie brings up the question is street "art" art? … [Read more...]

Book Recommendation: The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing by M. T. Anderson

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing by M. T. Anderson is the fictional (though not without historical precedent) account of an African boy whose mother was a queen in Africa but is sold into slavery and ends up living in the U.S. during the time of the revolutionary war.  Octavian, the young slave boy, is given something of a privileged upbringing as he is taught Greek and Latin and gets a thorough classical education as he grows up among the fellows of the Novanglian College of Lucidity. … [Read more...]

Should We Care About Kinect?

Certainly the most innovative video gaming peripheral to hit the stores this holiday season was Xbox 360’s Kinect.  The idea is so simple and refreshing that it is a wonder that it hasn’t been done well before now—gaming with no controller.  There is no need to be familiar with the layout of a controller, no combination of buttons to press, no question of whether to invert your thumbstick—you are the controller.  You don’t even have to have a controller to navigate the game menus—everything can b … [Read more...]

A Man of True Grit: The Hidden Hero

Though the subject matter is certainly dark, True Grit is one of the brightest Coen Brother’s offerings in some time.  While No Country for Old Men was something of a horror movie with modern western elements, True Grit is pure western.  What surprised me most about the movie was its lack of quirkiness—simply put, the Coens produced a wonderful western without attempting to revolutionize the genre.  What makes this particular film brighter than recent Coen offerings is its characters.  The three … [Read more...]

Driscoll on Talking to his Children about Santa

A few years ago, I wrote a misguided and somewhat scathing post on my personal blog about why I would probably not celebrate the mythical version of Santa Clause when I have kids.  I ended up deleting the post for a number of reasons--I was arrogant in the way I made the argument and I also think I was overreacting.  So what should Christians think about the Santa of the popular culture (i.e. the Santa who sneaks into people's houses through their chimney delivering presents based on children's g … [Read more...]