Living with Longing: The Genuine Challenge of Singleness, Chastity, and Heartbreak

Romantic love and longing can be polarizing states, because they so often cause us to do seemingly unreasonable, needless things. They lead us to make questionable life-choices, to reconsider our belief systems, to abandon our public dignity in order to affirm and receive affirmation from someone else. The longing for romantic companionship can haunt those who are too young for any practical pursuit of marriage. Many adolescents find themselves existing in a hellish limbo of “talking” and “da … [Read more...]

During the Olympics, Russian Christians Work for Reform and Revival

The Sochi Games were mired in controversy before they even began.It wasn’t supposed to be that way. The first Russian Games since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Sochi was supposed to show the world just how far Russia has come in the last 23 years. It was supposed to change the perception of Russia held by those whose international sympathies were forged during the Cold War. Yet, as reports of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s exorbitant spending came to light (at $51 billion, the Sochi G … [Read more...]

Science: It’s Worth Doing Badly

A younger student of mine recently remarked, “No one can be good at everything, because then they would fail at failing.” If she had been in my Logic class, I would have given her extra credit for that little gem, but it was Science. And the reason failure was on her mind was because her experiment didn’t yield the results she wanted. She felt like a failure and was trying to comfort herself with a witty proverb.Failure has been on a lot of people’s minds lately, in both theory and practice. … [Read more...]

The Surprising Parenting Problems of Unlimited Screen Time

By Jamie O'DonnellTelevision and video games have been my arch enemies in parenting, and though they're amoral things, it’s really bothered me that they’ve stolen so much of my kids’ attention. Consequently, they’ve become the focus of many battles. The boys especially seem to have zeroed in on them, and the other exciting things in our world have faded into the background. Again, amoral things, neither good nor bad. So why, then, is my gut reaction to “Can I play/watch something?” disappoint … [Read more...]

What They Want Us to Believe: Our Takes on the Most Noteworthy Super Bowl Commercials

Every year, we watch the Super Bowl for the football, talking through the whole thing, yelling at the television, marveling audibly at the half-time spectacle, and then shushing one another to a hushed silence during the commercials. It’s a time that, for better or worse, both reflects and influences the attitude and mood of the general public. It takes our culture’s temperature, and it writes a prescription for what ails us. Here, have some Taco Bell and call us in the morning. Drive this car an … [Read more...]

Donald Miller and the Myth of Isolated Worship

So, Donald Miller wrote an article about why he doesn’t go to church much. You can read it here. I was surprised by how much I didn't agree with it, given the way his earlier works blessed me when I was in college (especially some of the moving things he has written about needing community). In essence, for this article Miller took some of the worst cliches and cultural trends of American life that contribute to our consumeristic view of church and handily bundled them all together in one art … [Read more...]

Mike Huckabee, Helpless Women, and Straw Men

In The Moral Landscape, atheist Sam Harris writes that much research on deductive reasoning suggests that people have a “bias” for sound conclusions and will judge a valid argument to be invalid if its conclusion lacks credibility. Mike Huckabee’s speech to the Republican National Committee winter meeting last Thursday brought Harris’s words to mind. In what may have been a strategic effort to stoke speculation about his potential candidacy in the next presidential election, Huckabee took on the … [Read more...]

What I Learned From Philip Seymour Hoffman

by Alissa WilkinsonThe great actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead yesterday of a heroin overdose in his apartment in Manhattan, and I swore aloud when I saw the news, unconsciously: he was 46 and probably the greatest actor of his generation, but I've also always felt like I learned from him, in some odd way. Lots of things. Here's just a couple.One reason is that if you go to theater in New York, you get (got) to see him work there, too. Seeing Hoffman onstage was a revelation - … [Read more...]

Is the Proper Christian Response to the Grammys to Walk Out?

Sunday’s Grammy Awards were about par for the course for our beloved and admittedly messed-up pop music culture.  Performance and style ruled the day, perhaps at the expense of artistry and talent.  A few performers delivered the “shock-value” acts that we've come to expect from awards shows, vying to deliver the most attention-grabbing, publicity-worthy performances, including a mass wedding of heterosexual and homosexual marriages. Because if there's one thing pop music loves, it's love, accept … [Read more...]

Do You Struggle with Sports Idolatry? Cultivate Sports Atheism

by Nathaniel ClaiborneOne of the first football games I remember watching was the Super Bowl. It was 1992, and the Washington Redskins beat the Buffalo Bills in the last Super Bowl to be played in the Metrodome. With a minor exception here and there, I’ve watched every Super Bowl in the 22 years since. Considering Peyton Manning is my favorite quarterback in the NFL, you’d probably expect me to be ecstatic that he is playing in this year’s installment. While I do hope the Broncos beat the Sea … [Read more...]