About Ryan Hoselton

Ryan Hoselton is working on a Master of Theology in Louisville, KY. He’s married to Jaclyn, his latina co-explorer in learning, travel, and exotic culinary research. He contributes blogs on church history at Historia Ecclesiastica. Twitter: @ryanhoselton

In Light of Macklemore’s Same Love, the Church is Called to a Different Love

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A church choir, stained glass windows, and an altar decorated the background of one of the most daring spectacles in TV history. During the Grammy performance of “Same Love” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lampert, Queen Latifah officiated thirty-three weddings, many of which were for same-sex couples. The religious message was loud and clear: this is how church should be. Madonna’s appearance for the post-ceremony entertainment was no surprise. Her music is notoriously … [Read more...]

The Hidden Craze Over Mein Kampf

'Mein Kampf' dust jacket, from the Digital Library of the New York Public Library, via Wikimedia

What do Mein Kampf (written by anti-Semitic dictator Adolf Hitler) and Fifty Shades of Grey (an erotic novel that’s enraptured suburbia women book-clubs) have in common? They are selling way better as e-books. Now that the “Best of 2013” lists are finalized, several voices in the media, from the Los Angeles Times to The Guardian, have found it alarming that Mein Kampf is among the bestsellers of 2013. Ever since its release in the U.S. in 1939, the sales of Mein Kampf have steadily … [Read more...]

The Problem with the Daniel Diet

Feet on a Scale

Want to be a better Christian? Then you should start eating like the prophet Daniel. The “Daniel Diet” has gained momentum among Christians looking to increase in their discipleship and decrease their waistline. Many churches are promoting the Daniel Diet, encouraging believers to replace sweets and processed foods with a strict intake of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. But does the Bible story of Daniel really warrant Christians to build a dieting subculture around it? Daniel … [Read more...]

What Christian Celebrities Can Learn from Jonathan Edwards about Handling Controversy

Photo: Sue Byford via sxc.hu

One of our defining ironies as Christians is that we love unity, yet we are often obsessed with disagreeing. Believers play their own version of “Family Feud,” sharply dividing even over what unity means. Much of the noise that passes for Christian dialogue today lacks an element of class. Social media has armed the masses with the ability to add their voices to these conflicts, either to devour the other tribe or to cheer for their team. Internal disputes are ingrained in our history, … [Read more...]

The Burka Avenger: Can She Save Western Entertainment as Well?

Mild-mannered teacher by day, masked superhero by night, the Burka Avenger fights corruption and oppression, and aims to empower the girls of Pakistan. (Picture: Unicorn Black Studios, via npr.org)

Watch out evildoers, there’s a new superhero in Pakistan. The Burka Avenger made its recent debut on Pakistani TV, and she’s not your average superhero.  An intelligent schoolteacher by day, an enemy of injustice by night, the Burka Avenger stands for peace, education, and women’s rights. Haroon Rashid, a Pakistani pop star, invented the Burka Avenger to offer children a role model that counteracts the religious and political injustice in Pakistani society.  As Rashid tells NPR in a … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Our Digital Soap Opera

You love social media for maintaining your dating groove. Then again, you hate it. Social media affords the opportunity for a non-committal, casual relationship style to prosper, eluding those old-fashioned consequences of traditional courtships. And yet, the Facebook updates, Twitter feeds, and the instant power to shoot and receive a text make those lingering, shallow relationships hard to shake. You are caught in a sickening digital "soap opera," as NPR recently explored. … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Shorn of Porn

As the English Prime Minister orders blocks to household access to internet pornography, Russell Moore, newly appointed President of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, urges Christians to block it from their eyes, minds, and hearts. Pornography erodes marriages, undermines human dignity, and counteracts healthy sensuality. God designed your sexuality for more; read why here. … [Read more...]

Herman Bavinck and Our Selfish Obsession with Authenticity

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America’s white whale is authenticity, and according to Simon Critchley and Jamieson Webster, our naïve optimism drives this futile and destructive search onward with no promise of ever landing the harpoon. In the opinion column of The New York Times, Critchley and Jamieson address the newest form of the American dream: “The Gospel According to Me.”  In the “gospel of authenticity”—a by-product of the burgeoning self-help industry and New Age spirituality— “well-being has … [Read more...]

On July 4th, Celebrate America, But Don’t Worship It

Image:  JD Hancock via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

On July 4th, Americans will wave our flags proudly, belt out our national songs triumphantly, and consume our barbecue and lemonade a little too freely. Why? Because we live in America, the best nation this planet has had the privilege to host. I’m grateful to be an American, and I enjoy the many freedoms and benefits that come with my citizenship. Nonetheless, our nation’s history has a track record for taking patriotism beyond gratitude and into nationalist idolatry. Many Americans through … [Read more...]

Jesus Is an Opera Sensation

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If you want America’s attention, claim that the Gospel stories were a fraud and that Jesus Christ did something else. The San Francisco Opera premiere of Mark Adamo’s The Gospel of Mary Magdalene is a sophisticated example. Adamo recycles the common historical revision that Jesus was no divine Savior at all but rather the lover of the prostitute Mary Magdalene. In an interview with NPR, Adamo relates that his “goal was to place sexuality, and female sexuality in particular, back into the … [Read more...]


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