Black Friday is a Monster that Must Be Stopped!

When I was kid, I liked creepy old horror movies. I have fond memories of watching The Wolf Man, Frankenstein, and my all-time favorite, The Blob. The Blob was about this amorphous alien thing that crashed onto planet Earth via meteorite. It was a black, tar-looking thing that basically devoured everything it touched, and every time it devoured something, it grew larger. Friends, Black Friday is the Blob. It has burst its bounds and is threatening to devour the single greatest holiday that we … [Read more...]

The Knockout Game Myth and its Racist Roots

"Groups of black youths roam the streets looking for a solitary pedestrian, preferably white (hence the alternate name 'polar-bearing') but Asian or Hispanic will do. The trick is to knock him to the ground with a single punch. . . . Widely available video exists of almost all Knockout incidents, since the really cool thing is to have your buddies film it and upload it to YouTube. And it’s so simple to do in an age when every moronic savage has his own 'smart phone.'" --Mark Steyn, National Re … [Read more...]

The Objectionable Fiction of ‘Immigrant Fiction’

In a recent NY Times Sunday Book Review, Jhumpa Lahiri was asked the question: "What immigrant fiction has been the most important to you, both personally and as an inspiration for your own writing?" This was her answer: "I don’t know what to make of the term 'immigrant fiction.' Writers have always tended to write about the worlds they come from. And it just so happens that many writers originate from different parts of the world than the ones they end up living in, either by choice or by n … [Read more...]

Lou Reed and the Iconography of Rock and Roll

In the flood of eulogies prompted by Lou Reed’s death last month, the words “rock icon” featured prominently. This modern usage of a very old word may seem like an anomaly for those more familiar with its older sense, but though it’s been watered down a good deal in its popular usage, calling a rock star an “icon” is remarkably apropos.Before it came into its current idiom, “icon” was a fairly archaic word that was mostly used of the religious pictures of the Eastern Orthodox Church and the t … [Read more...]

It’s National Novel Writing Month, a Time to Delight in God’s Creative Act

As I was lamenting to a friend several weeks ago about my inner urge to write fiction again, but struggling to find the time, she directed me to NaNoWriMo, or rather, National Novel Writing Month.  Unbeknownst to me, this November event has been going on for years, and it was created to jumpstart writers into what seems like the impossible: writing an entire novel in a month.  Naturally, it would most likely only be a rough draft of a novel, but as the site says, it might just be the “kick in the … [Read more...]

A Veteran’s Thoughts on Veterans Day

Service to one’s country through the various military branches is an honorable thing. The branches act, under the government's authority, to preserve the peace and to protect the citizenry from threats foreign and domestic. They are servants, not unlike police officers or firefighters, who are willing to risk their lives for the country and for a paycheck.At the risk of offense, I want to say that no one would serve in the military for very long if they didn't get paid. Not unless there was a … [Read more...]

Why Complementarian Women Should Read Jesus Feminist

by Lore Ferguson Sarah Bessey has done a unique thing in her book that the whole Church should try a bit more. Interwoven with thoughts on theology, history, and her vision for the future of the Church, Sarah told her story. Raised in Canada, educated in the Bible Belt, on staff at a church in Texas, and then relocating back to Canada gave Sarah a bit of a unique story. Though she grew up in the Church, she did not grow up in the kitschy church-culture so many of our contemporary couch … [Read more...]

What Christian Celebrities Can Learn from Jonathan Edwards about Handling Controversy

One of our defining ironies as Christians is that we love unity, yet we are often obsessed with disagreeing. Believers play their own version of “Family Feud,” sharply dividing even over what unity means. Much of the noise that passes for Christian dialogue today lacks an element of class. Social media has armed the masses with the ability to add their voices to these conflicts, either to devour the other tribe or to cheer for their team.Internal disputes are ingrained in our history, even si … [Read more...]

New Rules for User Comments: The Bottom Line for the Common Good?

In the past few weeks various Internet sites, such as YouTube, Goodreads, and Popular Science, have announced new approaches to user comments, either regulating, deleting, or getting rid of the option altogether. In response to negative reactions from regular users and commenters, these sites all defended the switch by emphasizing a desire to improve Internet communications, and by doing so to promote a common good. As leaders of society, they are taking the initiative to set new standards on … [Read more...]

Seven Tips for Enjoying Halloween, Even if You Hate it So Much

Because some of my brothers and sisters in Christ get very uptight at Halloween, I thought it would be helpful for us to include a few guidelines on "redeeming" the holiday. These should help even the biggest fundamentalist not to  accidentally worship the devil on Halloween. So here goes:Do not actually become a witch, warlock, or necromancer, no matter how tempted you might be. You will ultimately be disappointed if you do, because witches and warlocks and necromancers do not actually … [Read more...]