ELSEWHERE: Doctrine Wonks Must Read Fiction

What I’ve struggled for years to say, crime-novel author J. Mark Bertrand easily proclaims at The Gospel Coalition: that doctrine nerds (this includes us “young, restless Reformed” types) should occasionally forego nonfiction in favor of reading a novel. “Fiction will give you an appreciation of both storytelling and also the depth of human beings that might actually help you pass down your theology to people who aren’t going to sign up for a lifetime of reading Puritan reprints,” Bertrand remark … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Moonshot: Google Defies Death

When there’s nothing after death, it makes sense that a human project would be created to defy death itself.  As Luc Ferry, writes in his book, A Brief History of Thought: A Philosophical Guide To Living, “…Philosophy, unlike the great religions, promises to help us to ‘save’ ourselves, to conquer our fears, not through an Other, a God, but through our own strength and the use of our reason.” Featured on the cover of Time Magazine, Google epitomizes this humanism in action with the creation of Ca … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: How Much of a ‘Foodie’ Are You?

I will be the first to admit that I take all of the cliche photos you find on Instagram. Yesterday, I came across this link on Mashable, and suddenly, I was in awe. How can a photograph make cut apples look so beautiful? I've come to see food in a new way through Instagram, honestly. Food is not solely meant to sustain us, but to bring joy and thankfulness into our lives from the Giver of all good things. … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Jhumpa Lahiri’s World

I’ve been a fan of Jhumpa Lahiri’s writing ever since reading her debut collection, Interpreter of Maladies.  She has a new novel, The Lowland, coming out, and so the New York Times has featured a brief but intriguing interview with her.  Turns out she shares my love of Thomas Hardy, but also of Flannery O’Connor and C. S. Lewis’s Narnia.  Born in London of Bengali Indian parents, but a longtime resident of the American northeast, Lahiri’s thoughts on “immigrant fiction” are particularly interest … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: A Clown in Town: This Is My Worst Nightmare

For as long as I can remember, I have been terrified of clowns. Birthday parties, carnivals, Halloween events, you name it, if there's a clown, I will steer clear of it. I remember once trying to watch Stephen King's It; it didn't go well. So when I came across this, I shuddered. It's one thing to choose to expose yourself to fear (in this case, clowns); it's another thing entirely to walk down the sidewalk and find the thing you dread standing right in front of you. … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Hello Kitty Is Now Pushing Beer

Beer sales in China were almost nonexistent for the female market, so some brew was designed especially for them: a fruit-flavored variety boasting all the innocence and sweetness of Hello Kitty. I can’t help but feel sad for my childhood icon. Poor girl. … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Damon Lindelof is Bringing the Rapture to HBO

Wired reports that Damon Lindelof (Star Trek into Darkness, Prometheus, Lost) is working on a new series for HBO titled The Leftovers. Based on Tom Perrotta's novel, the series takes place several years after the world has experienced a Rapture-like event that isn't quite like some Christians were expecting. The show boasts a solid cast, including Christopher Eccleston and Liv Tyler, and Peter Berg directed the pilot. No word on an air date yet, but HBO has ordered 10 episodes. … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Summer’s Gone, but Fall Brings Movies

As much as I hate to see my beloved summer go, I always look forward to the autumn months that bring with it a collection of Oscar-worthy films. Here's a list of 16 films that could win an Oscar this year. I am particularly excited about Inside Llewyn Davis (a Coen Bros. film) and Saving Mr. Banks, the back-story to our beloved Mary Poppins. … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Jesus is having a moment in literary fiction

Many hands have wrung recently over an apparent dearth of writers of faith in the world of letters. While that charge is disputable, it is certainly not disputable that Jesus has been getting a lot of literary attention in recent months. An article in the Guardian aggregates these additions to the long history of fictional riffing on the life of Christ. One of the novels mentioned, Colm Tóibín's The Testament of Mary, is on this year's shortlist for the prestigious Man Booker Prize. … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: How to Quantify Your Self

The smartwatch manufacturing bandwagon is growing more and more crowded (with Nissan now jumping aboard). The rapidly growing popularity of smartwatches and other "self-tracking" devices seems to be fueling a lifestyle movement called the "Quantified Self." NPR has an interesting story on self-trackers, here, along with a list of apps to help you find meaning in the data of your bodily functions. Happy quantifying. … [Read more...]