The Kiddy Pool: Happy Dress-Up Day!

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.Playing dress-up is practically a daily activity at our house. It’s not uncommon for my toddler to grab a sequined purse, slip on her sparkly red shoes, don dada’s reflective orange running hat and tell me she’s off to work. I still haven’t figured out where she works. We are now, of course, approaching that momentous holiday when playing dress-up becomes a national eve … [Read more...]

Elsewhere: Balking Dawkins, the "Age" of Instagram, Grand Grantland, and the Music of 1991

Rich What do Military Shooters Leave Out?Here’s a thoughtful piece on the rising star of Lana Del Rey.We’re all adults here, right? Batman: Arkham City’s Weird “Bitch” FixationDoes playing Wolfenstein 3D provide catharsis for young Israelis?Really looking forward to having an iPhone 4S in my hands so I can try some of this stuff.Grantland in print: this is going to be awesome.Alan Richard Dawkins is all, “Ha, I ain’t debatin’ with you, ‘William’ Lane Craig, fool” (not a direct quote). … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: Seeking Some Quiet in the Media Storm

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.Years ago when I was working with my church’s youth group, the youth leaders challenged the students to a week-long media fast. We were all in it together, leaders and students alike—no entertainment via TV, movies, video games, iPods, or the Internet. The goal? To create some quiet in our lives so that we would have more time for God and more mental space to hear what He was sayin … [Read more...]

Reading Through “Half the Church,” Part 3: Putting Women in Their Place

Women have struggled throughout history to understand what womanhood means. The struggle doesn’t dissipate for Christian women. In fact, the struggle may actually heighten for God’s daughters as they attempt to align their lives to the measure of Scripture. Author Carolyn Custis James tackles this struggle head-on in her book Half the Church: Recapturing God’s Global Vision for Women.Here in the third of a four-post review (also see Part 1 and Part 2), I want to highlight how James unpacks the … [Read more...]

Citizenship Confusion: the Offense of the Gospel as a License for Arrogance

Every Monday in Citizenship Confusion, Alan Noble discusses how we confuse our heavenly citizenship with citizenship to the state, culture, and the world.One of the most insightful ways to understand the identity of a group is to listen to the stories it tells about itself. In Christian culture, there are a number of stories we like to tell: our testimony, how we were hurt by "the church," how an atheist/agnostic/mormon was converted/refuted, how society is oppressing us, how a particular song … [Read more...]

Sacred Space: Becoming an "Every Tribe" Church

Every Friday in Sacred Space, Brad Williams explores the place of popular culture in the local church.In my last column, I picked on the idea of niche churches, and I singled out the Cowboy Church in particular. The resulting commentary did not make me sorry for what I had written, but it did make me think that I should go ahead and poke the de facto "white middle class" niche church so we could continue the conversation by making everyone uncomfortable. The goal is to help us all be aware of … [Read more...]

Reading Through "Half the Church," Part 2: Image Bearing Basics

Welcome to the second installment of my review covering Carolyn Custis James’s Half the Church: Recapturing God’s Global Vision for Women. In this four-part review, I’m tackling a few of the main themes and threads of this book. Obviously, four posts will not cover every aspect of a 200-page work. My hope is that you will want to dig into this thought-provoking book on your own.In Part 1 of this series, I highlighted the concern James raises that the gospel of the West has been run through a gr … [Read more...]

The CaPC Podcast #100: The Christian and the Illegal Immigrant

The CaPC Podcast #100: The Christian and the Illegal ImmigrantThis week's podcast features new hosts: CaPC editor, Drew Dixon and writer, Brad Williams. This week Brad and Drew discuss Christians' responsibility toward illegal immigrants in their midst. The Supreme Court of Alabama recently ruled in favor of new legislation that imposes greater restrictions on illegal immigrants.Brad and Drew live in Albertville, Al which has a large Hispanic population. The New York Times recently reported … [Read more...]

Struggle With the Death Penalty

When my high school government class held a series of debates against another class, I charged in at full steam.  The teachers had agreed not to interfere, but they let me know in private that if I wanted to offer some “assistance” to other debate teams from my class, I could.  I did just that, helping each team research concepts for their issue (social security reform, abortion, education spending, etc), showing them how to lay out key points in an argument, and sharing ideas for the short video … [Read more...]

Sacred Space: Cowboys and Niche Churches

I have a friend who moved to Texas to become the pastor of a Cowboy Church. At the time, I had never heard of a Cowboy Church. I was also, as far as I can remember, completely unaware that there were Hip Hop Churches, Heavy Metal Churches, and other such sub-culture specific churches. I asked him what Cowboy Church was about, and he said that the intent was to reach cowboys for Jesus. I  like the idea of reaching cowboys for Jesus, but something about having a "Cowboy Church" unsettled me. It … [Read more...]