Is Church Discipline Cultish? A Response to the Mars Hill Drama

Mars Hill in Seattle is in the news again, but this time Mark Driscoll seems only vicariously linked to the controversy. This time, the issue at hand is apropos to all evangelical churches instead of reflecting on merely the character of Driscoll. This event has brought the concept of church discipline itself under scrutiny, and as the pastor of a church that seeks to practice accountability in a biblical way, how this shakes out can make a difference as to how our folks and our visitors view … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: The Rise of Single Motherhood

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture. The New York Times reported this week that more than half of all children born to women under 30 are born outside of marriage. According to the article, there are a number of causes for this trend, including a generation jaded toward marriage by their parents’ divorces, a preference for cohabitation (which, even with children, is less stable than marriage), and a … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: Why Christianity Doesn’t Get the Sympathy Vote

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging. When Apple’s iconic TV spot premiered back in 1984, it portrayed mindless folks sucked in by the unnamed (but obvious) computer dictator of the day. The message was clear: Apple had come to set the captives free through its Macintosh computer. Through the new Macintosh, computer usage (and users) could be redeemed. That messaging tapped into the desire we all have to be free … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Salvaging the "Date Night"

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture. The University of Virginia’s The National Marriage Project recently released a new study on married couples and “date night.” The study considered the potential effects of regular couple time based on the following five criteria: communication, novelty, sexual and romantic passion, commitment, and stress relief. Not surprisingly, the results consistently show … [Read more...]

Sacred Space: Where Addicts Find Help

Every Friday in Sacred Space, Brad Williams explores the place of popular culture in the local church. On the way to the office this morning, I heard a report on NPR that the Mexican military recently busted a ranch devoted to making meth-amphetamines. According to the report, the military seized 15 tons of these drugs, all ear-marked to be sold in the United States. This was the second such bust in recent months, and the sheer amount of drugs they found stunned me. This was meant to come … [Read more...]

Citizenship Confusion: Dismissing our Opponents

after edan

Every Monday in Citizenship Confusion, Alan Noble discusses how we confuse our heavenly citizenship with citizenship to the state, culture, and the world. A few weeks ago I opened my column by noting a running theme for many of my posts: "the various ways in which the church has wrongly adopted vicious and self-interested discourses and rhetoric which are so popular in our country. Charity is seen as people-pleasing or being “PC.” Complex issues are reduced to … [Read more...]

Sacred Space: Facebook Can Help Your Church

Every Friday in Sacred Space, Brad Williams explores the place of popular culture in the local church. Most of us know that Facebook can be a handy tool for enriching and forming relationships. It helps us keep in contact with family and friends who are out of town. We get to see their family pictures, and we see their kids grow. We can wish them Happy Birthday when we might have otherwise forgot. Facebook is like an easy way to drop in and say "Hi" to someone, and a helpful reminder that even … [Read more...]

From Fanboy to Frustrated: A Plea To Mark Driscoll

“Did you hear what Driscoll said?” I have come to hate that question, largely because it reflects the obsessiveness with regard to Christian culture's pastor-celebrities. But I have also come to hate it because I grow weary of Mark Driscoll’s misstatements . If he’s not saying video games are stupid, or Avatar is satanic, then he is saying that “real men” are those who look and act like him. When I first was introduced to his ministry I was captivated. I became a Driscoll fanboy … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: This Year's Best Super Bowl Ad

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging. This week's installment is a guest post by Jason Morehead. While most people watch the Super Bowl for the football, there are many like myself who watch it for the advertisements. Super Bowl Sunday is prime advertising time, given the game's massive audience, and companies shell out millions to produce high profile ads for the event. (This year, companies spent an average of $3.5 … [Read more...]

What Memes Mean: Muppet Political Discourse

Each Wednesday in What Memes Mean, Kirk Bozeman questions the significance, humor, and subtexts of viral videos, memes, and other Internet fads. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8YhED4IgQA The Muppets have always presented themselves to the world as actual persons both on and off set. Most film and TV characters stay well within the boundaries of their imaginary worlds, their respective actors walking out of the studio at night in khakis and sneakers, ready to resume a normal human existence. … [Read more...]


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