Coptic Christians in Egypt are Suffering; But What Is Coptic Christianity Anyway?

The growing civil unrest in Egypt has resulted in tension among the factions of the country’s Muslim population, but it has also resulted in increased threats and violence against the nation’s Christian minority, most of which is Coptic. When American Protestants hear about such violence, our natural and appropriate response is outrage, but it also leads to a question many Evangelicals are no doubt asking: What, exactly, is a Coptic Christian?Understanding the origins of Coptic Christianity r … [Read more...]

Not A Fan of Fan Fiction? Some Things To Consider

Last week’s release of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones marked, for many, a new low in the burgeoning world of fan fiction. The film, the first in a projected series based on Cassandra Clare's novels, is a mash-up of popular fantasy worlds that barely bothers to cover its tracks, and it’s duly suffering at the hands of the critics. “Methadone for Twi-Hards,” quipped one, repeating a common sentiment.Clare’s original stories were fan fiction of Harry Potter villain Draco Malfoy, but her d … [Read more...]

Wedding Photography, Sacrifice, and the ‘Price’ of Citizenship

"The Huguenins are free to think, to say, to believe, as they wish; they may pray to the God of their choice and follow those commandments in their personal lives wherever they lead. The Constitution protects the Huguenins in that respect and much more. But there is a price, one that we all have to pay somewhere in our civic life.In the smaller, more focused world of the marketplace, of commerce, of public accommodation, the Huguenins have to channel their conduct, not their beliefs, so as … [Read more...]

Is Duck Dynasty a Good Example of Christianity?

A&E's hit show "Duck Dynasty," a semi-reality comedy show following the antics of the Robertson family in Louisiana, has quickly become the biggest hit in reality TV history, according to the New York Times' profile this week.  The show has sparked a good bit of discussion among Christians not only because of its popularity and entertainment value, but also because the Robertsons are fairly vocal about their own faith.I say "fairly," of course, because the extent to which the family's … [Read more...]

Miley Cyrus and Exchanging Virgin Icons for Sex Icons

What! Another formerly wholesome teen celebrity strips on television? Yes, Miley Cyrus’s nasty performance on Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards show was outrageous, an example of cultural decay and decadence, etc. But it’s not new.Neither are the indignant replies we’ve been hearing from some.Christian pastor Trevin Wax’s popular blog reaction invokes one image Christians often reference (it was even in the film Courageous): a sweet little girl twirling like a princess. Wax is thoughtful an … [Read more...]

Nicolas Cage Misses the Rapture because He Doesn’t Get Left Behind

Not too far in the distant past, I saw a little internet buzz that Nicolas Cage was cast to play the lead in a cinematic reboot of Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins' "Left Behind" book series. If you are unfamiliar with that series, they are action adventure books that follow the outline of a dispensationalist, pre-millienial, pre-tribulation rapture understanding of Revelation. (If you just said "Whaaaat?" check out this wikipedia page under "eschatology"). But I dismissed the buzz rather quickly as … [Read more...]

Breaking Bad Broken Down: “Confessions”

Alan Is Walt going to kill Jesse in the next episode? My hunch is that Vince Gilligan will keep the suspense going for another episode or two, but after the end of "Confessions" I can't foresee the show going much longer with both of them alive. Jesse is finished with Walt and doesn't seem to care what happens to himself. One of the most painful scenes in the entire series was when Jesse breaks down crying, telling Walt that he knows that the older man doesn't actually care about him. I don't … [Read more...]

The “Blurred Lines” of Summer

The summer is about innocent, feel-good fun. Well, at least it was, just last year in fact. The song of the summer for 2012 was almost indisputably "Call Me Maybe," Carly Rae Jepson's upbeat pop-ballad that revels in restraint rather than indulgence. Things can change a lot in a year. Of course, summer doesn't "mean" anything in any objective sense, besides the obvious weather-related implications. All of the other things we associate with the summer are cultural in nature, the results of our … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Will You Still Love Me?

I’m not really a music person in that I have little formal knowledge or training. My vocal range is limited and works best in a belting, show tunes style; my little daughter claps when I sing, and my older daughter asks me to stop. I rarely run with music or listen to it in the car, but I have lately started trying to be more intentional about incorporating music into my life. I listened to the entire Gatsby soundtrack while painting my kitchen, the intense and painful tunes contrasting with the … [Read more...]

“In the Center of the Bullseye”: CaPC Interviews Derek Webb

For years, Derek Webb has been a mysterious figure in the world of Christian music. While other Christian artists went out of their way to make their fundamental religious beliefs known, Derek Webb followed up his debut solo album, She Must and Shall Go Free  with a series of albums that gave conservative evangelicals whiplash. He was more ambiguous than many would like about core theological concepts, and more vocal than people were used to about controversial social issues. Also, one time he … [Read more...]