The Opponent that Lance Armstrong Has Yet to Master

There is such a thing as wanting to win too badly. Lance Armstrong and his team are examples of that, as are, it seems, the majority of cyclists in the Tour de France over the last 15 years or so. Yesterday, the USADA (US Anti-Doping Agency), came out with its case against Lance Armstrong, and my hope in him was finally crushed.I have been a Lance Armstrong fan, not because of his personality, but because of his Herculean feat of winning 7 Tours and surviving cancer. Until recently, I was a c … [Read more...]

Does Faster Church make for Better Church?

In Reaching for the Invisible God, Philip Yancey describes visiting a Russian prison that had its own chapel (a rarity at the time). One of the men in Yancey's party asked the priest, Brother Bonifato, to say a prayer for the prisoners there. Yancey describes the elaborate process that soon unfolded. "A prayer? You want a prayer?" Brother Bonifato asked, and we nodded. He disappeared behind the altar at the end of the room. He brought out another icon of the Lady Who Takes Away Sadness, which … [Read more...]

How the #FirstWorldProblems Anthem Video (Sort of) Missed the Point

The #FirstWorldProblems Anthem video (embedded below) may not have gone viral (yet), but it is making the rounds. Reactions to the video have been mixed, as Emel O’Toole explains in the Guardian.Writing for Co.Create, Joe Berkowitz has aptly captured both a central problem behind the now-famous #FirstWorldProblems Tweets and the rationale driving the ad group to release this video: While taken individually #FirstWorldProblems jokes may seem innocuous, but according to DDB New York, there ar … [Read more...]

Bodies and the Body of Christ

A few of my Facebook friends posted a link to an article titled "Why Six-Year Old Girls Want to Be Sexy" and I agree with their comments that the content is both compelling and disturbing. Author Jennifer Abbasi describes a study in which young girls choose between an avatar of themselves dressed in revealing clothing or one dressed in more modest (though still fashionable) clothing. More girls chose the "sexy" version as the one they'd prefer to emulate and the one they perceived as more … [Read more...]

Counting Moral Indiscretions Is Not a Movie Review

My frustration with a recent movie review of Paranorman actually began a few months ago. I was preparing for a ministry trip to Tanzania; it's a long flight, and I needed some stuff to read. A friend recommended Anansi Boys. (I have Neil Gaiman's The Sandman series on my "one day I'm going to read that" list because I do not currently have a graphic novel budget.) This considerably cheaper book would be a good start for reading Gaiman. I bought it and savored it on the long flight to Dar Es … [Read more...]

Is It OK to Fake a Disability to Skip Airport Lines?

Rules are a part of living life in a civilized society. These rules keep our society in order, giving us a construct by which we can live life without a paralyzing amount of fear or distrust. For example, we trust that other drivers are obeying the traffic signals, making it possible for us to enter intersections with confidence when we have a green light.At some point, however, each of us has encountered a rule or two that we find less crucial to obey.One of those rules has been … [Read more...]

The “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” and the Challenge of Confirmation Bias

In September 2012, Karen King, a professor of early Christianity and Gnosticism at the Harvard Divinity School, announced that she had discovered a small papyrus fragment in which Jesus referred to his wife. King was careful to explain that the fragment, which she titled the "Gospel of Jesus' Wife", didn't prove that the historical Jesus was actually married, but that it did prove that some early Christians believed Jesus was married.Not surprisingly, King's announcement was met with … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: We Are… God’s Handiwork(ers)

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.I remember reading Martha Nussbaum’s Sex and Social Justice in graduate school; in it, she argues that we are all “body workers,” that every human is embodied and therefore uses some physicality to perform our work. It’s just that the product of some people’s work is divorced from our bodies, so the work is considered more dignified. I’ve been thinking about that … [Read more...]

Why Colonel Reb Had to Go

You should take a minute and read "Goodbye, Colonel Rebel." Seriously, stop what you are doing and read that article. If you can't read it now, bookmark it and read it later. It is a reflection piece by a black woman who attended Ole Miss in the early 80's. That's not so long ago. You should read about her experiences then, and the experiences she relates of those who went before her. It is a disgrace that we treat each other so horribly. The idea of denigrating a human being in such a way … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Project Runway’s “It’s Fashion Baby”

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.I’ve always been a big fan of Project Runway: I’ve seen every season, which is more of a commitment than I’ve ever made to any other reality TV show (and possibly any other show at all). I think my appreciation for the program has something to do with the contestants possessing skills that are actually creative and interesting, as opposed to say, being former D-list s … [Read more...]