Christ and Pop Culture Has Moved!

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Downton Abbey: People Talk

Warning: This article contains spoilers about the seventh episode of Downton Abbey’s fourth season.Each week, Christ and Pop Culture will present an analysis of the latest Downton Abbey episode after it airs on PBS.Episode One: Downton Abbey: A Job Well Done.Episode Two: Downton Abbey: Things We’ve Lost.Episode Three: Downton Abbey: Bring the Light.Episode Four: Downton Abbey: All in the Family.Episode Five: Downton Abbey: Means to an End?Episode Six: Downton Abbey: Gu … [Read more...]

Walking with the Dead: Living on Borrowed Faith

Each week in “Walking with the Dead,” David Dunham reflects on the latest episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead.“Don’t doubt in the darkness what you know to be true in the light.” It’s one of those Christian clichés that has managed to make an impression on me. Perhaps it resonates with me because it recognizes the tension that so many of us experience between doubt and faith. It’s the same tension that many of the characters from The Walking Dead are experiencing in the second half of season f … [Read more...]

ABCFamily’s “The Fosters” and the Power of Adoption

Late last fall, I found myself furtively googling “foster children Indiana.”  I say “furtively” because fostering children was something my husband and I had never discussed, and something I was barely able to imagine for myself.  But I had a sudden yearning to see the faces of the children who needed foster homes, to know their names and ages, to allow my worldview to be colored by the reality of the tragedies both big and small that had left those precious ones unmoored and in need of family. … [Read more...]

On the Anniversary of His Execution, What Can We Learn From the “First Martyr of Science”

On February 17th, 1600 A.D., Giordano Bruno, a Dominican priest, philosopher, and mathematician, was condemned as a heretic and burned at the stake by the Roman Inquisition. Among his heresies was the belief in an infinite number of worlds (similar to what physicists today call the multiverse hypothesis). In more recent times, Bruno has become somewhat of a patron saint of atheist and free thought groups, who gather each year at the statue commemorating his death in Rome. Some have even heralded … [Read more...]

How The Lego Movie Helped Me Overcome Fantastical Disappointment

The following contains spoilers for The LEGO Movie.Popcorn, soda, and candy? Check. Everyone is happy.My excitement for The LEGO Movie only grew as I sat in the crowded theater. The humor and creativity teased in the trailers exceeded my expectations. The animation was splendid. The cameos were many—and hilarious. I was giddy for almost the entirety of the film, exclaiming with Emmet, Wyldstyle, and Batman, "Everything is awesome!" (Seriously, I haven't stopped singing it. It's way too c … [Read more...]

History, Christian Scholarship, and Learning to Re-embrace Our Missionary Past

Many young Christians probably have some mixed feelings about our missionary past. For those of us growing up in the Church, the big heroes are the brave families who head out to spread the Gospel, risking comfort and danger for the sake of the call. In some settings, the 19th-century mission movement is still held up as a halcyon high-mark of the Gospel's progress in the world, shrouded in mythic glory. Of course, then you go to school, read modern critical accounts, and find accusations (some … [Read more...]

Tim Tebow Can Do All Things Through Christ, So He Should Quit

When he made Sports Illustrated’s cover, Tim Tebow’s face showed a player determined to win, and his eye black featured what is probably the most used Bible verse in all of American sports, Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” If human achievement can’t exemplify the claim made in Scripture, then Tim Tebow’s football efforts come close. While in college, it seemed his "Superman" nickname was highlighted by the assumption in that verse -- he could do all things. … [Read more...]

‘Alone Yet Not Alone’ and the Racial Tone-Deafness of Conservative America

It’s arguably one of the strangest entertainment stories of the year so far, and, depending on who you ask, can easily be spun a number of different ways.It’s either a classic David-and-Goliath tale cut tragically short when David had his chance taken away at the last second, or it’s a tale of an insidious subculture mercifully stopped short of infiltrating the mainstream. The press is, of course, spinning it both ways.Here’s what we know for sure: when the Academy Awards were announced, … [Read more...]

Ones and Zeros: A Reflection on Spike Jonze’s HER

Theodore Twombly is only human, and that’s a problem. If Mary Shelley has taught us anything, it’s that mortals should not mess around with creating life artificially; but that is essentially what the protagonist of Her does, without much more than a cursory glance through the instruction manual. His creation is Samantha, an artificial-intelligence “OS” fashioned in imago Theo (“How would you describe your relationship with your mother?” his computer asks him while installing Samantha’s program) … [Read more...]