How the Grinch Graced Christmas

This Christmas my daughter saw How The Grinch Stole Christmas! for the first time. We'd read the book to her several times in the months leading up to Christmas, but I knew that however evocatively I read Dr. Seuss's classic holiday tale to Nora, it would pale in comparison to Boris Karloff's masterful narration over the animation of the legendary Chuck Jones. When we watched it together at my parents house this week, I'm not sure she was as enamored with it as I was. I came away from the … [Read more...]

The Ancients are Coming: Medieval Texts at Your Fingertips

As a church historian, I am not ashamed to bring my Bible to church. Usually it’s one of those compact ones (my favorite one that’s traveled around the world with me), but more recently—I’ll admit it—the Bible app on my cell phone. Nevertheless, I’m always cognizant that there was a time in history when holding a Bible in church, and reading the text for oneself, was not a possibility for most people, even the clergy. It was not until the Reformation, and then also the breakthrough technology of … [Read more...]

God and Country Music: 5 Christmas Country Songs That Aren’t Awful

As much as I love Country music—even the bad stuff—when Christmas comes around, Country music seems to spit out some really bad tracks (it’s not that I don’t think Alan Jackon’s Christmas album isn’t very good it’s just… okay, it’s exactly that). But I want you know that it doesn’t have to be this way! There is some wonderful Christmas music that has that high and lonesome sound—you’ve just got to look for it.Christmas albums are by nature somewhat stale. It takes real talent to make a beauti … [Read more...]

Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson on Homosexuality: Abusing the Yuck Factor

Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson has recently come under fire for some comments he made about homosexuality in an interview reported by GQ. In all honesty, I'm surprised it took quite this long for controversy to arise from the strong opinions of a conservative gun-toting and bible-thumping family watched weekly by 14 million Americans. In the interview, Phil says many things about his Christian faith, but there are some particulars from the conversation that have stirred up groups like GLAAD which … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: White Santa and White Jesus at Home

Last week, Slate’s Aisha Harris called for a new image of Santa, asserting “That this genial, jolly man can only be seen as white—and consequently, that a Santa of any other hue is merely a  ‘joke’ or a chance to trudge out racist stereotypes—helps perpetuate the whole ‘white-as-default’ notion endemic to American culture (and, of course, not just American culture).” Instead, Harris asked for a penguin, but that point seems largely missed in the media maelstrom that followed Harris’s foundational … [Read more...]

The Undeniable Childhood Appeal of Father Christmas

I love this article on Father Christmas, whom Americans refer to as Santa, and the fact that children around the globe still write letters to him addressed to the North Pole (which land in a post office in Rovaniemi, Finland).  Around this time of year, this post office receives as many as 30,000 letters a day, and as the articles states, it is the responsibility of the elves "to sort and reply to some of the 550,000 letters that arrive each year.”As I read of this operation, it brought back … [Read more...]

Facebook “Likes” Aren’t Enough, But Would a “Sympathize” Button Make it Worse?

Poke, Like...Sympathize?Facebook engineers discussed a previously developed “Sympathize” button to add to the ubiquitous “Like” button with which we’re all familiar. Isn’t it about time we have an option other than “Like” for maintaining our social relationships? For years Facebook’s Like button has performed much more for our online lives than its simple name implies. For example, I Like funny posts because I share in the humor. I may Like a friend's article because I agree with what's been … [Read more...]

A Call for Writers

Want to write for Christ and Pop Culture?We’re looking for new staff writers who feel confident and excited about writing about the intersection of the Christian faith and popular culture. Here are some of the things we’re looking for in prospective writers:Perspectives or interests that are currently underrepresented at CaPC. The ability to consistently produce one 600-1000 word feature every other week or one 200-600 word "Of the Moment" piece every week. A commitment to what is co … [Read more...]

I Want to Give You a Snopes Detector for Christmas

I have a gift. It isn't really a supernatural gift so much as a talent I've learned after many years of internet surfing. It's the ability to spot nonsense when it's posted on Facebook or sent to me in an email. I'd assumed that this was a talent that everyone with any amount of internet experience would have, but I've recently realized that this really is a gift that not everyone, or even a majority of people possesses. The lack of this gift of discernment is the only thing that explains why … [Read more...]

Page CXVI’s Christmas Album Helped Me Channel the Spirit of Advent

Just as I have for the last few years on Black Friday, as others flitted about catching deals (and still others Jesus-juked them online), I began my spiritual discipline for Advent: listening to Christmas music. It started one year when I noticed that Christmas came and went without much of a fuss in my life. Of course I knew it was important. I probably understood it better on a spiritual level than I ever had. Still, the real experience of the season—preparing my heart, slowing down, and dwe … [Read more...]