Mixed Signals: Dying to Self Via Keebler Fudge Stripe Cookies

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.Advertisers often use real-life scenarios in commercials to show how the product is part of everyday living. In this commercial for Keebler Fudge Stripe Original Cookies, the common story of sibling sharing is told over the fate of one last cookie.Touching, isn’t it? I liked the story. I liked seeing the elder sister’s selfless act. It was nice to see her giving rewarded by the m … [Read more...]

Elsewhere: Worship Music, Redeeming Culture, Beck, MMA, etc.

Rich Over at Paste, CaPC writer Luke Larsen put together this list of 10 Indie Games That Matter, and did a pretty great job.This is one of the best things I’ve read about worship music in a long time, and it doubles as an unflinching expose. BONUS: Ronnie Martin from Joy Electric fame provides some intermittent perspective!My pastor, Greg Gilbert, wrote a book about the mission of the church. I’m going to plug it now, because he’s my pastor but also because this book looks kinda awesome. I w … [Read more...]

What Memes Mean: Pascal, LOLcats, And Distraction

Each Wednesday in What Memes Mean, Kirk Bozeman questions the significance, humor, and subtexts of viral videos, memes, and other Internet fads.Any discussion of the spiritual disciplines that I have ever been part of has inevitably emphasized a major problem for the modern spiritual life: distraction. This is fair. Constant noise, media, and anxiety hinder our study, thinking, and prayer, and often just waste our time.But because of this sort of talk, distraction gets a bad rap. I’d argue t … [Read more...]

Making Sense of "Culture Making", Part 8: Searching for "Traces of God"

The previous chapter of Culture Making was, to be honest, a bit of a downer and I think that it's thrown me for a bit of a loop: I've been having some difficulty fully parsing the book's remaining chapters. Crouch had been building a convincing case for our role as culture makers through much of Culture Making, so I'm still trying to make sense of this sudden appearance of pessimism. If I had to boil down what I believe Crouch is saying so far, it's that it is impossible for us to truly affect … [Read more...]

Taking Dr. King Even More Seriously

This summer, the long-awaited memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. opened in Washington, DC. This event renews efforts to venerate the man for his extraordinary accomplishments. King is rightly praised for his fight against segregation in the South, which he did via non-violent means. Furthermore, he is rightly praised for his elegant rhetoric, which is filled with vivid metaphors and soaring prose.But his most thoughtful contribution was not a speech. It was a letter he wrote while in jail … [Read more...]

What Memes Mean: The Novelty Of Baby Preachers

Each Wednesday in What Memes Mean, Kirk Bozeman questions the significance, humor, and subtexts of viral videos, memes, and other Internet fads.http://youtu.be/zALqMWimBbMhttp://youtu.be/om2DX1E8WZEThe baby preacher is back: O evangelicalism, how strange thou art.The proliferation of baby preachers on YouTube really bothers me.  The whole concept taps into the errant notion held by many evangelicals that theological training and ministry experience is subservient to “the shivers”, and tha … [Read more...]

Making Sense of “Culture Making”, Part 7: Why We Can't Change Culture

After reading eleven chapters in a book called Culture Making, I was (unsurprisingly, I think) taken aback when I came began the third and final section of the book, which begins with a chapter bluntly titled "Why We Can't Change The World". It seems a little odd for Andy Crouch to place a chapter highlighting the futile nature of what his book seems to be encouraging us to do, that is, to take up our role as "culture makers" at the end of the book. Crouch has just spent eleven chapters … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: C'mon Irene

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture. My daughter and I are reading and rereading (and rereading…) the toddler versions of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books. These adaptations, charmingly illustrated by Renee Graff, provide glimpses into the frontier tales that have delighted generations of readers. I am no exception. I loved the stories as a girl, and I love the stories now. I marvel at the simp … [Read more...]

Christ and Pop Culture: Already and Not Yet

Christ and Pop Culture began as a pipe dream. It was a way to kill time while David Dunham and I were bored in class. Inspired by a class we had recently taken on theology and the arts and frustrated by the lack deep thinking given to popular culture, we brainstormed about what sort of things we could do to encourage such deep thinking. During that summer class in 2007, David and I came up with an idea for a podcast.That podcast was also called Christ and Pop Culture, and it was simple in … [Read more...]

Alcohol, John MacArthur, and the Growing Pains of Christian Liberty

John MacArthur, pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley California, recently wrote an article titled, "Beer Bohemianism, and True Christian Liberty."  The article was part of a series of articles the veteran pastor wrote to address some of his concerns with the Young, Restless, and Reformed movement. MacArthur wrote the article out of concern for church leaders who feels are overly excited about their Christian freedom to drink alcohol. As often happens in debates about hot-button issues, … [Read more...]