…by the Bell: Two Friends Debate the Rob Bell Controversy

A Note from the Editor, Richard Clark The debate about Rob Bell's upcoming book is reaching critical mass. Meanwhile, several other outlets have published their own opinions about the books validity or heresy. There's a good chance you've already made up your mind about the author, the book, and the primary issues it brings to the forefront. Still, there's benefit in hearing one another out, even if we do have established theological lines that one cannot cross. We wanted to speak to the Rob … [Read more...]

Japan, Pearl Harbor, and the Wrath of God

On Friday, March 11, 2011, Japan was hit by the biggest earthquake in the country's recorded history, followed by a series of tsunamis. As I type this, the country is still experiencing aftershocks, dealing with potential meltdowns at nuclear power plants that were damaged by the earthquake, and facing the possibility of another large earthquake. Thankfully, it appears as if Japan's earthquake preparedness strategies -- e.g., strict building codes, sea walls, school drills -- may have spared the … [Read more...]

Charlie Sheen's Wild Ride

When Charlie Sheen speaks, people listen. In this case, that's not really a good thing. In one day, it was as if a year-supply of Sheen interviews had been unleashed on an unsuspecting public, and it was nearly impossible to avoid them. No matter what morning show you watched, who you followed on Twitter, who you were friends with on Facebook, or what Late Night talk show you preferred, you were about to be overwhelmed with Charlie Sheen. It's hard to listen to Charlie Sheen talk and keep a … [Read more...]

Marketing Our Families

If you're feeling somewhat cynical, you could probably argue that -- in this day and age of unceasing attempts by corporations to make their branding as ubiquitous as possible -- we are all walking billboards. As such, it shouldn't be all that surprising for people to try and make some money doing so. No doubt you've heard of individuals who have allowed themselves to be tattooed, permanently or otherwise, by corporations. And so enter the Billboard Family, a family that -- you guessed it … [Read more...]

Leaning Forward: How Updating Your Apps Reflects Who You Are

Before I had to give up video games because of a problem with my hands, perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of being a "gamer" was reading gaming news and following several podcasts that gave previews of new games and technology. I probably spent on average twice the amount of time reading and listening to news and rumors about games than I did actually playing them. After I had to stop playing games, I eventually stopped following gaming news, and it began to dawn on me that I'd never really … [Read more...]

Six Pop Culture Resolutions

February is the perfect time to get serious about your new year. In January people are sad that the old year died. By February we've had time to work through our feelings and collect our thoughts. Now we can get down to the hard work of making this new year sparkle. For your edification and enjoyment, I have compiled this list of pop culture resolutions. These are based on my own reflections of how to use pop culture to my benefit this year. After reviewing the list, please print, sign, … [Read more...]

The Most Popular Posts of 2010: #2 – Questioning Matthew Paul Turner: Part 1

Matthew Paul Turner is a popular Christian writer and speaker. His newest book, Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music, and the Holy Ghost, is available in stores today. My copy was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group. I enjoyed Hear No Evil but I expected I would. I will say I think my mom would like it and I’d even recommend it to my non-believing music snob friends. Will it change your life? Only The Secret can do that but this will make you laugh and … [Read more...]

Most Popular Posts of 2010: #4 – Is "The One" Worth Searching For?

The idea of "the one" or a "soul-mate" is quite common in popular culture today.  The Twilight series based 4 rather lengthy books on this concept (I am not sure how, but its an impressive feat nonetheless).  I will never forget Serendipity, whose plot is based on two people who met briefly in the past who later in life attempt to reconnect because each simply feels that the other is "the one."  Even some of the most popular romantic comedies play off this idea on some level--Sleepless in … [Read more...]

The Most Popular Posts of 2010: #5 – $#*! My Favorite Christian Band Says

What do John Piper, Derek Webb, Mark Driscoll, and British folk band, Mumford & Sons have in common? A lot more than they would probably all admit, but at the very least each of them has used a curse word in a public setting (to be fair to Piper--he is merely quoting someone). If you are a music fan, you are probably familiar with the controversy (albeit somewhat self-inflicted) surrounding Webb's song "What Matters More" in which he uses two four letter words in an effort to expose what … [Read more...]

The Most Popular Posts of 2010: #6 – Hipster Christianity: Did You Know That You're a Hipster?

Currently, as I type this article, I am sitting in a dimly lit coffee shop with books next to me sipping on my mocha, listening to Sufjan Stevens play over the house stereo. I am wearing a slightly tight fitting retro 8Os tee, Dickies shorts, and black chucks. Tomorrow night I will be going out with friends to drink imported beer and talk about the plausibility of theistic evolution. The church I preached at on Sunday morning was full of people with tattoos (including the guy behind the … [Read more...]