How Comic Books Can Help You Think

I suppose you could say that I was an amateur comic book fan when I was a kid. I had a small collection (over one hundred) and, though I didn't read all of the comics I owned, I enjoyed reading specific ones regularly. It was a sort of guilty pleasure then, something I was slightly embarrassed of and something I rarely tell people that I did even now. In the circles I ran in comic books were for nerdy kids. If you could describe how the Green Lantern became the Green Lantern no body wanted to … [Read more...]

Questioning Matthew Paul Turner: Part 2

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 now available in stores.My copy was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.You can download the first chapter here then go here to purchase it.Read Part 1 of this interview.I talked with Matthew recently about the book, as well as, his thoughts on honesty, humor, and a whole host of other hot and/or holy topics. … [Read more...]

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 t … [Read more...]

Podcast #71: How "Chuck" "Lost" the "Assassin's Creed" While Emerging from Church

This week, Ben and Rich address subjects that were suggested by listeners like you! We asked for some subjects via Twitter, Facebook and the website, and tried to address as many as possible. Some subjects discussed: Assassin's Creed 2, Chuck, Lost, Haiti charity, the emergent church and more!Every week, Richard Clark and Ben Bartlett acknowledge and respond to the big issues in popular culture. We love feedback! If you’d like to respond you can comment on the website, send an email to c … [Read more...]

Assassin's Creed 2: Shot Through the Heart

Note: If you haven't played through AC2, you may want to finish first before you read this. There's some acknowledgement of end-game revelations.Assassin's Creed 2 opens with a telling disclaimer: "Inspired by historical events and characters, this work of fiction was designed, developed and produced by a multicultural team of various religious faiths and beliefs." It's the first in a series of signals that what we are about to play is in fact a very different type of game.In an industry … [Read more...]

Footnotes in the Sand

Let's be honest for a moment: the only thing I know about Willard Quine, the 20th century Harvard philosopher, is a tacit understanding of his idea of recalcitrant experiences. And, having picked it up in a casual conversation at a Thanksgiving party more than a decade ago, I may not even have that right.The idea is 1) that each person has created a complex web of beliefs that fit together in such a way as to support their perception of the world and 2) as new pieces of information are … [Read more...]

Looking Back: Five 2009 Video Game Moments That Give Me Hope for the Medium

While devotion to the mediums of film, books, and music are often acceptable and even encouraged, it's harder to justify a devotion to video games. While those who appreciate these more respected mediums are often thought of as smart, perceptive, and thoughtful, video game devotees are often thought of as simple-minded fanboys simply out for another challenge or mindless fun.I am well aware that this perception is based on a certain reality: when it comes to artistic seriousness, video games … [Read more...]

How Reading Disturbing Novels can make you a Better Reader of the Bible

As a PhD student in Literature, a typical question I get asked when I meet someone is what my field is. My answer, Modern American literature, has seldom been received well, as it is also known as a dreadfully depressing period in American fiction. Usually the follow up question goes something like: "Do you read those books because they are assigned or because you enjoy reading them?" The implied question is why anyone, particularly a Christian, would choose to read a book like As I Lay Dying or … [Read more...]

Looking Back: Books and Music in 2009

In January of 2009, I stated that I was looking forward to two new publications: Jonathan Stroud’s Heroes of the Valley and J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun. Stroud’s book was something of a disappointment, and I’ve barely started reading the Tolkien volume (perhaps I’ll finish it before 2009 is over, but not before writing this post). Among the 2008 books I was planning to catch up on in 2009, I had a similar track record: Sarah Vowell’s The Wordy Shipmates was okay, but I have … [Read more...]

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: Blue Like Jazz, All Grown Up

I had never heard of Donald Miller that day in 2003 when at a Christian book fair I found Blue Like Jazz for 4 dollars.  A quick survey of the book and I knew I held a true find.  With book open in hand I navigated around the room hardly looking up at all.  Thirty pages in, having confirmed its greatness I returned and retrieved the other few copies knowing I'd give them away.I liked the book because Miller was authentic in a way that I had not yet found in a Christian writer, that it seemed Ch … [Read more...]