The Kiddy Pool: Andrew Solomon’s ‘Far From the Tree’

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.I started reading Andrew Solomon’s Far From the Tree after seeing the author discuss his work on The Colbert Report. Solomon is an eloquent and compelling interviewee, and I found his concept compelling: that sometimes in parenting or in being parented we feel like we are among strangers in a strange land. Solomon points out that while we take pride in di … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Taking A Slower Family Path

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.Our parenting culture is fraught with anxiety about our children’s future prospects; we worry about technologies and jobs that have not yet been imagined, and we strive to prepare our children for success in spite of a thousand incompatible contingencies. Again and I again I hear about parents who spend most of their time as chauffeurs and who watch family time dw … [Read more...]

Citizenship Confusion: When WORLD Mag Promotes a Radical Anti-Muslim Advocate

In Citizenship Confusion, Alan Noble discusses how we confuse our heavenly citizenship with citizenship to the state, culture, and the world.Although I often disagree with some of their political stances, I appreciate and respect WORLD Magazine and its Editor and Chief, Marvin Olasky. WORLD has long been doing the good work of thoughtful, biblical, culture-building journalism and commentary. So, it was deeply disappointing to see Olasky promoting and recommending the works of a radical anti … [Read more...]

Music Matters: David Bowie, Still Not Quite an Atheist

Each Tuesday in Music Matters, Matthew Linder explores the intersections of music, culture and faith."All clichés are true. The years really do speed by. Life really is as short as they tell you it is. And there really is a God--so do I buy that one? If all the other clichés are true..." David Bowie Last week, Jimi Hendrix reigned in the number two spot on the Billboard 200 and this week that position is filled by David Bowie's new album The Next Day. It is only fitting that one of Bowie's s … [Read more...]

Music Matters: Healing for Two Devastating Sandys

The response of musicians to two recent tragedies and the Christian responsibility to do justice through music.Each Tuesday in Music Matters, Matthew Linder looks at happenings in the music realm and why they matter. Can music do justice? We might think that moments of seeking justice through music are rare but when disaster strikes, music is always the first to respond. In the 1980's, musicians participating in Live Aid and USA for Africa's "We Are the World" raised hundreds of millions … [Read more...]

The Ghosts of Christmas Past

Richard Clark meditates on a recent loss, Christmas miracles, and the real meaning of the season. The meaning of Christmas is a slippery one, an arbitrary assignment doled out by the cultural gatekeepers of every age and generation. It’s been a pagan holiday that celebrates the sun, a heathen winter festival or a religious celebration of Jesus’ birth. These days, if a mass of television shows and films are correct, it’s also about warmth, togetherness, friendship, and family.Last year, I dro … [Read more...]

Live Free or Die Hard? Walter White's Spectacular Imaginative Failure

Editor's Note: Spoiler alert if you're not up to date on Breaking Bad.Breaking Bad has always been about the .111958%.In season one we see a flashback of high school chemistry teacher Walter White at a chalk board discussing the chemical makeup of the human body. He is able to account for 99.888042% of the elements that constitute a human being. Wondering aloud about the remaining .111958%, Walt tells his former love interest that there has “got to be more to a human being than that.” Later i … [Read more...]

Labor of Love: Death of a Salesman & The Problem With Success

America has a love-hate relationship with labor.Labor Day, celebrated first in 1882 and made a national holiday twelve years later, is all about the love: we honor the workers and tradesmen and tradeswomen, whose toils built the country, with cookouts, parades, and a day designated as a holiday from, well, labor.Yet our disdain for labor—at least the kind the holiday was founded to honor—upturns its nose at every corner: from the magical powers universally attributed to the college degree, to … [Read more...]

Paul Ryan: The Man With A Plan

Washington DC has a lot of silly “debate” lines that it uses to provide sound bites that don’t really say much of anything. For example:“I’m sorry if I offended anybody.” (Used to apologize for incredibly bad behavior) “My personal life is my business”  (Used to deflect significant propriety questions) “We have more questions that need to be answered.” (Used to keep a minor issue alive to encourage the public perception that the other side is hiding something) “They are playing party politi … [Read more...]

Higgs Boson and the Goodness of Scientific Discovery

On July 4, 2012, scientists at Switzerland's CERN made an announcement that involved an altogether different kind of fireworks, i.e., the kind of fireworks that one gets when smashing protons into each other at nearly the speed of light. After close to forty years of theorizing, analyzing, and searching -- and yes, smashing protons -- the scientists announced that they were 99.9999% certain that they had discovered the elusive Higgs Boson. Considered by many in the scientific community to be one … [Read more...]