About Jonathan Sircy

Under the Sun: Postmodern Athletics

Each week in “Under the Sun,” Jonathan Sircy provides cultural history for an issue generating buzz at CaPC. This week, Jonathan responds to the issue of sports skepticism as detailed in Brad Williams’s Holy Huddle column.Consider the following quotation from English writer Simon Barnes: "[I]t is better for our souls, to believe in something marvellous that turns out to be false than to sneer at something that turns out to have been marvellous all along." What's shocking about this statement is … [Read more...]

Under the Sun: The Cultural Shift from Disney to Chick-Fil-A

Each week in “Under the Sun,” Jonathan Sircy examines the history of a cultural practice that’s generating buzz at CaPC.The Chick-Fil-A kerfuffle has inspired so many smart, insightful pieces (the pieces by our own Alan Noble  and Drew Dixon being good examples) that it feels like every angle has been examined five, six, or twenty-seven times. The thing I've learned from the best of these articles (Alan's included) is that this chicken-flavored brouhaha is representative of the worst parts of … [Read more...]

Under the Sun: The Health Care Debate, Then and Now

Each week in “Under the Sun,” Jonathan Sircy examines the history of a cultural practice that’s generating buzz at CaPC.The year was 1993. Bill Clinton was president, the Contract with America was just a gleam in Newt Gingrich’s eye, and Congress was vehemently debating the merits of an individual insurance mandate.Only that mandate’s proponents were chiefly Republicans. The health care package stalled because President Clinton would not budge in his support for an employer insurance mandate, … [Read more...]

Under the Sun: Michael Salman's Attorney and the Christian Legal Movement

Each week in “Under the Sun,” Jonathan Sircy examines the history of a cultural practice that’s generating buzz at CaPC.If you saw that jailed Arizona minister Michael Salman hired John Whitehead to be his attorney and thought, “Yeah. That seems about right” then this column will be old hat.If, on the other hand, you’ve never heard of Whitehead and the Rutherford Institute he founded, prepare to be sucked into the vortex of the Christian legal movement.You don’t have to look very far for st … [Read more...]

Under the Sun: Patriotism Inside the American Church

Each week in “Under the Sun,” Jonathan Sircy examines the history of a cultural practice that’s generating buzz at CaPC.In his recent feature “The Separation of Church and Patriotism,” Brad Williams writes that “worship and patriotism don’t mix.” I was glad to see Brad explain the theological underpinnings for such a claim as I had been thinking through this same dilemma.On the Sunday morning preceding Brad’s post, my wife and I sat through a church service that featured boy scouts parading t … [Read more...]

Under the Sun: Depoliticizing the Pulpit

Each week in “Under the Sun,” Jonathan Sircy examines the history of a cultural practice that’s generating buzz at CaPC.“When I warn against the politicizing of the church, I do so not to diminish her power but to increase it.” – John Piper“Overall, it's not the task of the church as church to take political stands or provide political information.” – Marvin OlaskyThis November, Minnesota’s voters will see the following question on their ballots: “Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amend … [Read more...]

Under the Sun: C.S. Lewis, Swimsuits, and Social Propriety

Each week in “Under the Sun,” Jonathan Sircy examines the history of a cultural practice that’s generating buzz at CaPC. “Everything is relative--girls weren't wearing thongs or getting bikini waxes, but they were coming to school in knee-length skirts, wearing lipstick and smoking.” Joshua Zeitz, author of Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and the Women Who Made America Modern; man.“[W]hile the rule of chastity is the same for all Christians at all times, the rule of propriety … [Read more...]

Eat Your Vegetables: Lola rennt and Dramatic Irony as Love's Performance

"After the game is before the game."  Sepp HerbergerLola is a woman who knows what she wants.  We see twenty or so minutes of her life.  But it happens to be the same twenty minutes three different times, so we think we know her, or can at least make a reasonable guess about what makes her tick.She wants love.  She wants fidelity.  And, of course, she wants money.This movie is conflicted.  On the one hand, the movie tells us, "Don't think.  Act."  On the other hand, it shows us that when we … [Read more...]

Eat Your Vegetables: Where are the Wild Things?

Each week in Eat Your Vegetables, Jonathan Sircy shares the benefit and appeal of some of the culture’s more inaccessible or intimidating artifacts.Acclaimed children’s author Maurice Sendak died two weeks ago. While considering Sendak’s legacy, the hosts of Slate Culture Gabfest made a point of panning Spike Jonze’s 2009 film adaptation of Sendak’s most famous book, Where the Wild Things Are, claiming that it made Sendak’s essential book into more of a trifle than a vegetable. I complete my th … [Read more...]

Eat Your Vegetables: Adaptation (2002)

Each week in Eat Your Vegetables, Jonathan Sircy shares the benefit and appeal of some of the culture’s more inaccessible or intimidating artifacts.Change happens.  In nature.  In people.  In art.  Adaptation (Spike Jonze's 2002 film now available to stream via Netflix) is about one man trying to figure out how and why it works.The movie tries to make its titular process more manageable by whittling it down to one man (Charlie Kaufman, played by Nicholas Cage) trying to write one script (os … [Read more...]


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