Black Flops: Why The Latest Call of Duty Fails the Medium

Does every video game have to advance the medium in a positive direction?  Of course not. There is value in taking old ideas, repackaging them and producing an entertaining game.  However, with Medal of Honor releasing just days before and Modern Warfare 2 and Battlefield: Bad Company 2 coming out not too long ago, Black Ops feels very unnecessary and as I forced myself to finish the campaign that feeling became more and more of a reality.  The first person shooter war game genre is the most po … [Read more...]

Hoarders, Possessions, and the End Times

2 Peter 3:13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.I have good news—this world is temporary—everything that is wrong with it will be made right.  Part of God’s plan of redemption is a restoration of our fallen world.  It will be a world free from the effects of the fall—no sin and death, no disease, no frustrating labor.  It will be a place where men still work, where they still plant and create and think and live in community … [Read more...]

Harry Potter's Sacrificial Friendships

Harry Potter is and always has been a mysterious adventure about bravery and friendship.  David Yates’ adaptation of the first half of Harry’s final adventure is appropriately dark and yet effectively draws out these two themes gracefully. Despite my frustration with The Half-Blood Prince, I am glad that David Yates has returned to direct both volumes of The Deathly Hallows. It seems he made a decisive effort with this film to stick to the major plot developments while making few additions.  The … [Read more...]

Must our Art be Uplifting?

Flannery O'Conner responds to an accusation from a reader that her stories were not meeting the needs of the "tired reader" who comes home and wants to be uplifted: And his need, of course, is to be lifted up.  There is something in us, as storytellers and as listeners to stories, that demands the redemptive act, that demands what falls at least be offered the chance to be restored.  The reader of today looks for this motion, and rightly so, but what he has forgotten is the cost of it.  His se … [Read more...]

The Age of Adz: We Can Do Much More Together

Sufjan Stevens is striving for authenticity and encouraging us to come along.  This is perhaps why Sufjan decided to take his new album, The Age of Adz, in a new direction to the disappointment of many of his fans.  However, if you can get over the fact that this is not the California or New York version of Illinoise (don’t forget he gave us All Delighted People, which is much closer musically to Illinoise), what you will find is a coherent and personally authentic album with a consistent theme a … [Read more...]

6 Relatively New Albums Worth Listening To

It seems like a lot of good music has been released lately and I have wanted to say something about this for quite some time but everytime I sit down to do it, it feels overwhelming because I have so much to say about the music and why I enjoy it so much that I get discouraged about how difficult such an article would be to write, so I write nothing.  Thus, this list is going to be pretty basic--I am just going to recommend some great albums, mention a few highlights and try to keep it … [Read more...]

Apparently Evangelicals Don't Know Nothin' about Religion

You have probably heard the news, you may have even taken the test, but apparently atheists and agnostics know more about the major world religions that evangelicals do.You may be surprised by this--I wasn't.  I am not sure how accurate these pew forums are, but in the end, I think its probably true that most Evangelicals don't know all that much about world religions.  Some may argue that if Christianity is true, we don't need to know about other religions.  While I would agree with the first … [Read more...]

$#*! 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 h … [Read more...]

I Love My Church!

I am a big fan of my church.  Its not perfect mind you, no local expression of Christ's bride will be this side of eternity, but I love it.  God uses it regularly to encourage, convict, and stir me.  I just wanted to say that my church is a wonderful gift from God, a gift by which God promises to mature me.  I thank God for my church.I felt the need to say that because I want to be an empathetic Christian, and thus I make a regular practice of reading blogs by Christians and following Chr … [Read more...]

How Should We Respond When "Christians" Misrepresent Christ in Public?

I wrote this little article for my church's newsletter this week concerning Pastor Terry Jones the Qur'an burning controversy that is getting so much media attention.  My concern is not to give this whole debacle more attention than it deserves but to address what Christians should do when "evangelical" crazies misrepresent us.In the meantime, also check out Denny Burke's blog which summarizes my thoughts about how Christians can best respond to this Pastor's proposed plan to burn Qur'ans.I … [Read more...]