Are Concussions the Price We Pay for Manly Men?

 Owen Strachan and I appear to have joined a theological team.  Strachan suggested that Christians must support their claims that “Every square inch of the cosmos is Christ’s!” (a quote from theologian Abraham Kuyper) by thinking more biblically about football.But the views of some critics can be summarized as: “Doesn’t matter. Football makes Manliness™.”On Thursday, Strachan introduced on Twitter his article, Our Shaken Faith in Football. “Gender roles controversy?” (Yes, oc … [Read more...]

Three Reasons Not to Buy Your Kid a Brightly Colored iPhone (Sorry, Kids)

Along with the new iPhone 5s,  Apple released another iPhone, the 5c that will feature plastic backings, which makes them a lot more affordable and accessible to a broader audience. As cool as that is for some of us, a lot of parents who've been playing the "we can't afford it" card with their kids in order to keep them at bay, will be out one more excuse to put off buying their youngsters a smart-phone.So what are parents supposed to do? Do you get the kid an iPhone? You're kind of ap … [Read more...]

Should Churches Be Taxed?

Every election cycle, we hear stories of evangelical pastors admonishing certain unnamed abortion supporters or some other liberal evil du jour. And this past year, during her husband's reelection campaign, Michelle Obama implored African-American churchgoers in Nashville to be politically engaged. She was careful to avoid saying things like "vote" and "Democrats."Both cases, like many others, were met with calls for removing the offending church's tax exemption. Sometimes this argument is … [Read more...]

Doctor Who’s Doctrine, Part 1: Mad Man with a Box

Before “Doctor Who” officially turns 50 this November, Christ and Pop Culture will spend 12 weeks delving deep into the science-fiction series phenomenon.When I was a child, I thought like a child and enjoyed Christian programs for children. Those included the Christian Broadcasting Network’s anime TV series Superbook, in which children travel in a whirling “time vortex,” and Adventures in Odyssey, whose stories often included a time machine-like device shaped (at first) like a phone box. … [Read more...]

Billy Corgan, God, and Rock Music

In a recent interview Billy Corgan was asked what themes he was exploring musically, now that he's done with the whole "Here I am, ripping my heart open"-gestalt, and he quickly answered, "God": CORGAN: God. I once did—a big American magazine was doing a thing called, "The Future of Rock".RAJPAL: Yes.CORGAN: And, you know, they asked 50 artists, "What's the future of rock?" And my answer was, "God." And they said, "What do you mean?" And I said, "Well, God's the third rail of -" What is … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: So You Think You Can Dance, Where Iron Sharpens Iron

The season finale of Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance airs tonight, and I’m as excited for this, the tenth installment of the show, as I was for the first. In a pool of reality television where cutthroat competition reigns supreme (even on shows where no real skill is involved), SYTYCD offers viewers something different—artistic excellence where the best dancers elevate their competitors instead of degrading them. Iron sharpens iron.Throughout the season, the audience does not get glimpses of … [Read more...]

The Precarious Validity of ‘Pastor Fashion’

The Master of Divinity is one of the most work-intensive master's-level degrees out there. Aspiring ministers need to acquaint themselves with formidable amounts of theology, philosophy, and church history; develop competencies in the original languages of Scripture; and exercise their muscles in exegesis, homiletics, management, and counseling—all in preparation for shepherding a future flock. With all this emphasis on substance, is there any time left over for style?Enter Rev. Ed Young, a m … [Read more...]

The High Human Stakes of Movie Destruction

In the wake of several summers' worth of blockbusters featuring massive, opulent displays of property damage, the science fiction site io9 has some excellent takes this month on this recent wave of “disaster porn.”  This year’s Man of Steel and Pacific Rim added to the cataclysms of past blockbusters like The Avengers, the Transformers and G.I. Joe series, Cloverfield, Battleship, and countless others. But is this glut of monumental destruction becoming too pervasive?  There must be some concerns … [Read more...]

Why Syrian Intervention Should Be More Complicated for Christians

If we've learned anything from Iraq and Afghanistan, it's that intervening in the Middle East is never clear or simple. What is clear right now, though, is that the majority of American citizens do not want this country to get militarily involved in Syria, be it via missile strikes, boots on the ground, or some other method.There are a number of reasons why getting involved in Syria may not be the best of ideas for the United States, ranging from doubts concerning the rebels our actions … [Read more...]

God and Country Music: “Sin City,” 40 Years after Gram Parsons

In God and Country Music, Nick Rynerson examines the world of Americana, folk, alt-country, and popular country music.The world of Alternative Country has certain sacred anchors. These “anchors” are songs, people, and places that act as staples of identity for the fluid genre. Places like Bristol (the site of the famous 1927 Bristol Sessions) and Muscle Shoals, Alabama. People like Gram Parsons. And songs like "Sin City."Gram Parsons is particularly important to Alternative Country music. … [Read more...]