Words We Used Too Much in 2012

Each year, a handful of words receive extra attention from us. They're used and used and used some more -- in interviews and articles and news reports -- until they're used one time too many. That’s when the latest buzzword goes from darling to pesky.Sources say the following words have become rather threadbare during 2012. For this compilation, I looked to Philip Corbett -- who reports these occurrences in his After Deadline blog at The New York Times -- and Michigan’s Lake Superior State Un … [Read more...]

Christianity in Civilization V?

Have you ever wondered what Christianity might look like if it could rise above political maneuvering and military power plays and corruptible influences?One way to explore that is through gaming that allows players to develop their own worlds and test out the weight and impact of decisions and actions across multiple nations and lands. CaPC’s very own Richard Clark writes about this for a ChristianityToday.com article titled “Gods of Power and Might: What Civilization V Gets Right (And Wro … [Read more...]

Our Favorite Television of 2012

The Christ and Pop Culture writers got together and hashed out our list of the best television we watched this year. Here's what we came up with. (But watch out for spoilers.)#1 Mad Men One temptation with television is to depict the rise and resolution of conflict within the comfortable confines of a single episode. Mad Men, however, demonstrates tremendous patience by resisting the impulse to resolve conflict too quickly. Issues that have long been simmering beneath the surface are … [Read more...]

What Can the Church Offer Victims of Abuse and Violence?

It’s no easy task addressing serious issues such as abuse and violence. Even within the Church, where honesty and help should abound, such issues are often tucked away rather than tackled. That’s why I so appreciated the way Trillia Newbell handled this difficult topic. She displayed great grace and wisdom—and courage—in an article posted at The Gospel Coalition titled “Remember the Victims—Like Me.”Newbell boldly calls on the Church to raise its awareness level regarding this issue because v … [Read more...]

Listening to Thanksgiving Din(ner)

For many of us, Thanksgivings grants valuable time with family and friends, full of feasting and conversation and togetherness. Each year that we have hosted the festivities, my husband and I remind each other what’s most important about the day. More than a spotless house and delectable casseroles and a golden turkey, we want to give our guests our presence.Sounds easy enough, but with a large crowd, concentration can be a challenge for me. Giving my presence to people isn’t easy when there … [Read more...]

Feminine Appeal: The Casualties of Casual Sex

Join Faith Newport and Erin Straza each week for Feminine Appeal, an e-discussion bringing a female perspective to the latest in cultural happenings and hubbub.Faith: Now that it's finally over, one of the things that stood out the most to me when reflecting on this election were all of the (often ill-advised) comments politicians made about rape as it relates to abortion. One in particular, Rep. Roger Rivard's "some girls rape easy" comment really got me thinking. It seems like all too … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: Orange Juice Is Good But Not Omniscient

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.Some days are so full of trouble and mishap, they leave us breathless and downcast in its wake. We wish we had gotten a hint of what was ahead so we could have been prepared for the onslaught.A campaign for Florida Orange Juice plays up this common human desire in its campaign series titled “Take on the Day.” The TV spots show a main character sipping orange juice in an early-morning … [Read more...]

Are Your Friends to Blame for Your Bad Choices?

Good news! If you are in debt or overweight, you can now blame your friends. A recent article at Mashable, “Your Facebook Friends Are Making You Fat,” reports that we get more than we bargain for from scrolling our news feeds: According to a study by researchers at Columbia Business School and University of Pittsburgh, that will be published in the Journal of Consumer Research in June 2013, keeping watch of your good friends’ activities on social media correlates to a higher body-mass index and … [Read more...]

How Crowd Funding Mimics the Early Church

Poor social media. It’s received a lot of blame for relational difficulties in our day. The very tools that are supposed to help us connect can also put distance between us.Most commentary on the matter pushes us from one end of the spectrum to the other: either abstinence is espoused to avoid the misuse, or entrenchment is sanctioned to embrace the benefits. I see these tools as neutral -- it’s our misuse that’s the trouble. So I was encouraged to read a recent NPR report of a positive use o … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: War Child PSA Turns Bullets into Crayons

Communication is plentiful today. Messages arrive via other people, e-mail, radio, TV, mobile devices, mail, telephone, and the Web. The sound is deafening. Message overload is the norm.Marketing specialists look for creative ways to slice through the cacophony, to capture our interest long enough with a message riveting enough to make an impression. It isn’t easy. Our attention is hard to gain, and we are a difficult audience to impress.That’s why I get so excited when a message jolts me … [Read more...]