Tell the Wolves I’m Home: A Deep, Deep Love Story

"God tames us, drawing us into an embrace that asserts at once our uniqueness and our place in a grand cosmic scheme." “Tell me about God,” my daughter says as she wraps her arms around my neck.“Tell me about how you and daddy asked for me and then for baby sister.”This liturgy has become our twilight ritual. A prayer and the “Moon Song,” and the request to “Snuggle me ALL NIGHT LONG!” So I settle in, wrapping her in my arms and her hungry caterpillar quilt, knowing I will head downstair … [Read more...]

Good Ok Bad presents “Great Graphic Novels for Kids”

By now, you've probably noticed the awesome illustrations that accompany our features, such as this one or this one. They're the work of one Seth T. Hahne, a master illustrator who also happens to run his own excellent site, Good Ok Bad, where he regularly reviews comics, graphic novels, and manga. He's recently published "Great Graphic Novels for Kids", which, as the title implies, contains recommendations from pre-kindergarden all the way through junior high: More than any other request, I ha … [Read more...]

As Biblical as Apple Pie: Rachel Held Evans’s A Year of Biblical Womanhood

Carissa Smith read Rachel Held Evans's new book, and found it heavy on the stunts and light on thoughtful wrestling with Scripture.  As part of her exploration of "biblical" standards of modesty for women, blogger and writer Rachel Held Evans dons a full-length skirt, a slouchy sweater, and a knit beret for a month. This stunt, as you might expect (and as Held herself expects from the beginning) teaches her little about the Bible; she does claim, however, that it teaches her empathy with those … [Read more...]

All Hallow’s Read: Why We Should Read Scary Stories for Halloween

Erin Newcomb makes a case for the virtue, humanness, and theological richness of scary stories, and urges us to follow Neil Gaiman's advice to give a scary book to someone on Halloween. “The night was cold and dark. ‘Listen to the wind howling in the trees,’ said Frog. ‘What a fine time for a ghost story.’ Toad moved deeper into his chair. ‘Toad,’ asked Frog, ‘don’t you like to be scared? Don’t you like to feel the shivers?’”Whether Toad likes to feel the shivers or not, I shall leave … [Read more...]

Science Fiction and Theology: A Match Made in Heaven?

Science fiction can be more than just stories about big-headed aliens, evil robots, and laser guns. It can probe complex and provocative theological ideas, or so claim the theologians interviewed in a recent io9 article titled "Big Theological Questions that Science Fiction Should Answer".The article's author, Charlie Jane Anders, interviewed several theologians who also happen to be sci-fi nerds, including Lorenzo DiTommaso, Robert Geraci, and James McGrath. The reason for this interest in s … [Read more...]

Cosmic Horror vs. Holy Terror: Christians Can Find Value and Meaning in Scary Movies

The nights are getting longer, darker, and colder these days, making it the perfect time to pull out your favorite horror novel or scary movie and get the heebie-jeebies before bedtime. Probably not, though, if you're a Christian. I would suspect that the "horror" genre is one of the most unpopular genres -- literary, cinematic, or otherwise -- for Christians, and understandably so. Many entries in the genre seem to do little else but revel in cruelty, sadism, and gore, e.g., the recent wave of … [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...]

Not Fit for Dinner: Rand's Influence on Ryan

Each Friday in Not Fit for Dinner, C. Ryan Knight explores political issues and the preconceptions guiding our understanding of and responses to them.The national spotlight is on Congressman Paul Ryan more than ever before, now that Mitt Romney chose him as his running mate. This week has been a crash course in which we’ve glimpsed Ryan’s childhood pictures, learned about his voting record, and heard about his position on nearly every election issue.One area of particular interest—or concer … [Read more...]

Called to Account by David Foster Wallace: The Pale King Wins the (CaPC) Pulitzer!

When the 2012 Pulitzer Prizes were announced on April 16, many readers, writers, and publishers were shocked to learn that there would be no winner in Fiction for the first time since 1977. Here's how the process works: the jury of three read over 300 entries and make a recommendation of three finalists to the board, who then vote on the winner. This year, the board could not achieve a majority in favor of any one of the three finalists: Karen Russell's Swamplandia!, Denis Johnson's Western n … [Read more...]

The Female Gaze: Summer Reading for Jr. Princesses

Each week in The Female Gaze, Faith Newport engages the trends, events, and issues that affect women—and the men who care about them.I've been noticing lately that "princess culture" has been getting a bad rap, and I'll admit it's mostly well-deserved. However, some of my favorite fictional heroines as a girl were, in fact, princesses—girls with sass, class, and some pretty hardcore fighting skills! So, just in case you know any little girls about to outgrow the two-dimensional characters fav … [Read more...]