I Don’t Want to Lose My Landline

I grew up before the invention of the cell phone. Indeed, I still vividly remember the day my father brought home a "cordless" phone. It was like magic! A walkie-talkie with no boundaries! We walked around the house with it talking to friends going, "Can you hear me now? There's no cord, I swear! Can you still hear me?! I'm at least twenty feet from the wall!" This really did happen, and it wasn't that long ago.But now, because of cell phones and competition and telemarketers, it seems that t … [Read more...]

This Is the End: A Crass but Surprisingly Sober-minded Film about the Final Judgment

This Is the End, a Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg comedy and yet another recent film depicting the apocalypse, is both a ridiculous and hilarious portrayal of the end that cameos demon-like beasts, natural disasters, the extremes of human depravity, and interestingly enough, a dispensational depiction of the rapture. This sparked my curiosity. Were they just out to poke fun at Christianity, or did they actually have something to say? Moreover, why the cultural fascination with apocalyptic … [Read more...]

Oprah Puts Rob Bell on Her Spiritual A-Team

Eckhart Tolle.Rhonda Byrne.Elizabeth Gilbert....Rob Bell?Yes, the moment has arrived. After encouraging us to learn from Tolle about 'The Power of Now', pushing us to unlock 'The Secret' with Byrne, and exhorting us to let Gilbert teach us to 'Eat, Pray, Love,' Oprah has added Rob Bell to her list of must-read spiritual gurus. This month the media mogul picked Bell's recent offering What We Talk About When We Talk About God as her 'Super Soulful Book of the M … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Parental Ambition and ‘The White Queen’

My current reading obsession is Philippa Gregory; I watched the first episode of the STARZ show The White Queen as a free online premiere, but since I don’t actually subscribe to the channel, I can’t keep current with the series. No matter. Until the show becomes available on DVD, I am content to plow through the entire Philippa Gregory corpus, beginning with the “Cousins’ War” quintet. Beginning with The White Queen, the series chronicles the lives of women navigating the ever-changing political … [Read more...]

Four Ways Voyager Reminds Us We’re Human

The Voyager-1 spacecraft recently made history by becoming the first man-made object to officially leave the solar system. Originally launched in 1977 with the intention of studying the outer planets, Voyager has lasted far longer than NASA engineers ever expected. It kept going, feeding data to scientists all the while, and has finally broken through into interstellar space. Throughout its journey, Voyager has given us an unprecedented view of the solar system and the universe beyond. This … [Read more...]

God and Country: Echoes of the Church in American Music

Church history is a vital subject for any serious student of theology. Without church history, we don’t have a historical framework for the development of liturgical styles, church music, culture, and doctrine. Church history is not confined to pews and hymnals, though; because of the seeping nature of Christianity, Church history interacts with and affects everything around it. When the dots are connected, sacred and secular prove to be moot terms in the scope of history. Culture and s … [Read more...]

How to Enjoy Jen Hatmaker’s Upcoming Reality Show

When I heard the news last week that Christian author Jen Hatmaker would be the subject of a new HGTV reality show, I was conflicted.Certainly, I am curious how Jen and her family will translate through reality TV. From what I've read from Jen’s blog and her social media commentary, she and her family have plenty of humor and clumsy situations to offer. I mean, it’s a rare gal who goes commando on the Today show and later admits it. But that’s part of her charm—she shares what the typical per … [Read more...]

In The Mind of a Chef, Innovation Keeps Tradition Alive

In New York City, one of the oldest cities in the United States and the one I call home, there is often the civic debate of whether to preserve old buildings or just knock them down and build new ones. Since real estate goes for a premium here, we tend to opt toward knocking them down and replacing them with stunning new edifices. This city thrives on consumers who expect to live and work in luxury and convenience. That is one extreme compared to other old cities such as Boston that lean toward … [Read more...]

You Can Keep Walter White. I’ll Take Inspector Foyle

Perhaps you, like me, have grown weary of rooting for the anti-heroes crowding our cable networks.  Dexter, Don, and Walter (et al.) murder, lie, cheat, and steal, trying all the while to convince us of their depth and complexity, like teenagers who have just discovered existentialism.  We praise their creators for their willingness to engage with the moral ambiguity of the modern world. But isn’t it possible to acknowledge the complex issues surrounding morality without giving up on morality al … [Read more...]

Why My Wife and I Walked away from Infertility Treatments

Many people know that infertility treatments can be fantastically expensive and often aren't covered by health insurance, but what isn't as well known is the emotional and psychological cost that those treatments can have. Miriam Zoll and Pamela Tsigdinos, both authors of books on infertility, published an op-ed in The New York Times last week called "Selling the Fantasy of Fertility," in which they offer a peek inside the world of the assisted reproduction industry. Some $4 billion a year is … [Read more...]