‘Where Is Your God Now?’ (Or, That Brief Horrible Moment We All Thought Bieber Was Robin)

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"Where is your God now?" accused one of my friends. "I'd have to rethink the problem of evil and God's goodness, if it were true" said another. I—who usually am not thrown off in situations of theological doubt in the face of pain—stood there, silent, unable to muster up a response in the face of such pointless evil. What horror could throw my friends and I into such deep, existential and theological instability? This: In case you weren't aware, over the weekend Justin Bieber threw up … [Read more...]

The Dark Dualism of Fox’s ‘Sleepy Hollow’

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Warning: This article contains spoilers for the pilot episode of Sleepy Hollow. On Monday, September 16, Fox premiered its new horror/mystery series Sleepy Hollow, which is co-produced by J. J. Abrams’ old scribes, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. Only loosely based on Washington Irving’s sketch “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” the show follows Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison), an 18th century soldier in the Revolutionary Army who wakes up in contemporary Sleepy Hollow after having decapitated a … [Read more...]

Actually, People Say Really Nice Things About Miss America on Twitter!

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I don't watch the Miss America pageant. There are two good reasons for this. First, I don't watch much television, and second, I think it's the weirdest thing. I know folks complain that the pageant tends to objectify women more than empower them, but I could easily be convinced that this isn't the case. Instead, the pageant reminds me of my old high school prom. All of these beautiful women are there in their beautiful gowns, but no one has a date. (I've always thought it'd be awesome to show … [Read more...]

Doctor Who’s Doctrine, Part 2: Genre Roots

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Before “Doctor Who” officially turns 50 this November, Christ and Pop Culture will spend 12 weeks delving deep into the science-fiction series phenomenon. You can find part 1 in our series here. by Royce Hunt The British sci-fi series Doctor Who returned to television in 2005, finding thousands of new fans. But my love for the Doctor’s stories goes further back in time. In the 1970s I enjoyed a host of new and syndicated science-fiction programs, cheering on the feats of The Six … [Read more...]

How The Psalms Made Folk Music

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Traditional country and blues music is a far cry from most contemporary country and blues music. Some music purists (or snobs, if you will) find FM radio country and blues unlistenable replicas that bear more resemblance to the Eagles than to their early folk heroes. And to an extent, they are right. American folk music from the early twentieth century captured a powerful, bizarre, beautiful landscape on their newfangled recording devices. The question is: Can this really be replicated … [Read more...]

Why I Won’t Encourage My Kids to Play Football

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On August 29, 2013, the N.F.L. announced that it had agreed to pay $765 million to settle a lawsuit brought by thousands of players and their families. The lawsuit claimed the N.F.L. had actively concealed information about the dangers of repeated hits to the head, which have been discovered to include increased risk for dementia, depression, and degenerative brain disease. More: The money would be used for medical exams, concussion-related compensation and a program of medical research for … [Read more...]

Three Things to Think About Before Using Headphones in Public

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In today’s world, new innovations come along so often that we hardly have time to keep track of them, much less integrate them thoughtfully into our lives. New devices, and our changing perceptions of them, are part and parcel to modern life. I remember feeling a little bit silly as a college student walking around wearing headphones. I still did it sometimes, because listening to music while I walked to class was nice, and because even then it was a perfectly acceptable thing to do. Since … [Read more...]

Saving the Redshirts in ‘Star Trek into Darkness’

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Warning: This article contains spoilers about key details of the plot of Star Trek into Darkness. September 10, 2013 marks the DVD/Blu-ray release of Star Trek into Darkness, the second installment in J. J. Abrams’s reboot of the Star Trek franchise. When the movie appeared in May, Christ and Pop Culture's Derek Rishmawy observed some of the movie's troubling misogynistic overtones, particularly in its use of Alice Eve as the character of Dr. Carol Marcus. That said, however, Star Trek into … [Read more...]

“Most Dudes Are Weird and I Pity Them”: Dating Advice for Actual Christian Guys

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I noticed today that Paul Maxwell over at The Gospel Coalition broached the subject of dating, asking the question, "What Does 'Intentional' Mean in Dating?" I must confess that I am at a loss as to why such a question is necessary because 'unintentional' dating is not something I am familiar with. I have never in my life encountered a couple who, after having dinner together, found out that they had accidentally and unintentionally been on a date with one another. But perhaps I am sadly behind … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: Abused Goddesses Expose Violence in India

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In Mixed Signals, Erin Straza muses about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging. As a freelance writer, I often work from coffee shops to get out of my home office and be among the living. Mostly I find it helpful. Sometimes it just reminds me why it’s often nice to work alone—as an incident last week proved. I was at a coffee shop, concentrating on my work. A fellow patron did what he could to garner my attention. As I looked up, he was holding a handwritten … [Read more...]