The Future as Myth: Celebrating 100 Years of Cordwainer Smith

Many fans of science fiction literature will be noting that today (July 11th) marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger, better known by his pen name Cordwainer Smith. I first discovered his work when, as a middle school student, I found a copy of The Best of Cordwainer Smith on a shelf at my local haunt, Annie’s Used Book Stop. Remembering that David Pringle’s Ultimate Guide to Science Fiction had given that book its highest rating, I spent a dollar or so to purc … [Read more...]

Virgin Tales and the Romance Prosperity Gospel

A new evangelical “documentary” movie’s trailer starts out typical. Young women pledge to stay virgins until marriage. An evangelical song plays. Younger girls dance in lacy white.Then we see a woman kneeling for her fatherly/priestly blessing. Later we hear another woman say, “I’ve just always known that I wanted to be a wife and a mother. I would hate to go off and spend thousands of dollars on an education that I wouldn’t use.”Wait — wasn’t this presentation about staying pure before m … [Read more...]

Reclaiming Questions in an Age of Skepticism: The End of Our Exploring

Humans question things all the time, but why? What's a question and how does it work? Beyond that, makes a question good? Are there bad questions? Should I question everything? Who says? Is there ever a time to stop questioning? When do you know you have an answer? Where is God in our questions? Is he prosecutor, witness, defendant? Are all questions 'doubts'? Are all doubts bad? Where does faith come into our questions? What would it look like to make questioning a habit, a lifestyle, a disp … [Read more...]

You Keep Your Concealer and I’ll Keep My Freckles

Walking through the grocery store, I pass the magazine aisle. Glancing at the super-shiny covers, I'm reminded that summer is here and in full swing. Headlines tell me that within the pages I'd find tips to get that radiant summer glow and how to find the maxi dress that's perfect for my body shape. The women on the covers have both—the ideal summer dress and the glow. The thing is, they look perfect, flawless. Especially their complexion. My summer glow is nothing of the sort, honestly. It's ma … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Andrew Solomon’s ‘Far From the Tree’

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.I started reading Andrew Solomon’s Far From the Tree after seeing the author discuss his work on The Colbert Report. Solomon is an eloquent and compelling interviewee, and I found his concept compelling: that sometimes in parenting or in being parented we feel like we are among strangers in a strange land. Solomon points out that while we take pride in di … [Read more...]

Proverbs for Facebook, Twitter, and Blogs

I've been working through the Proverbs with my college students this summer and our pursuit of wisdom this last week led us to a discussion of how we use our words. As a practical matter, the sages had plenty to say about our language: when to keep quiet, speak up, address authority, and dozens of other observations about our everyday use of language.Looking at it theologically, this shouldn't surprise us. The doctrine of creation teaches us that we are made in the Image of a God who speaks … [Read more...]

The Day the Pastor Went Berserk

“Son, don’t go to sleep while I’m talking. Hey! Hey! … Don’t you lay your head back. I’m important. I’m somebody.” With those words on Sunday, May 19, Pastor Jim Standridge of Immanuel Baptist Church in Oklahoma became an unwitting internet star.And he wasn’t finished.On a roll, Standbridge blasted the male half of a couple whom the pastor said wanted him to marry them, then chastised others’ supposed personal sins — including a church video staff member. “He’s a grown man,” Standridg … [Read more...]

How to Respond to the Gay Pride Mob Video

A YouTube video [be advised, it contains some violence and profanity] showing some Christian street preachers being assaulted at a LGBT Pride Fest in Seattle has been spreading rapidly on social media in the past day or two. One article from has been shared and Liked on Twitter and Facebook several thousand times. Many of the comments appear to be from Christians outraged at this "reverse hate crime" and the "intolerance" displayed by the festival-goers antagonizing the pre … [Read more...]

CaPC Playlist: Icona Pop, Gentlemen Hall, Postal Service, San Cisco, and Kanye West

Brief thoughts on songs that are on CaPC writers’ playlists. You can check out this week’s playlist on Spotify here."I Love It" by Icona Pop feat. Charlie XCXThis song expresses a love for youthful reckless abandon with no sense of mortality. One who cannot see beyond the fleeting emotions of the moment and connect to the infinite through a God who promises eternity. I got this feeling on the summer day when you were gone. I crashed my car into the bridg … [Read more...]

Submitted for Your Approval: “The Twilight Zone”’s Defense of Human Dignity

For Americans, the Fourth of July means many things: American history, national pride, family cookouts, brilliant fireworks, and -- for nerds like me -- an all-day marathon of The Twilight Zone on the SyFy Channel. Rod Serling’s 1960s anthology series has, for many years, been a favorite of mine, though it did not start out that way. As a kid, I knew The Twilight Zone by reputation only. It was that weird black-and-white horror or science fiction show, and there always seemed to be something m … [Read more...]