A Defense of Online Dating

Much of what I have heard about online dating in Christian-circles has ranged from skeptical to fearful.  Why is it that evangelicals default to fear when it comes to so many aspects of culture?  Fear of God is a wonderful thing, but fear of the world around us is paralyzing--perfect love casts out such fear (1 John 4:18; c.f. Chase's recent post on this subject).Online dating is not evil, its not even necessarily full of creepy people, weirdos, and losers who can't find a date otherwise.  The … [Read more...]

Podcast #75: The Coming Farmville Apocalypse

Farmville may not seem like a big deal now, but that's because you hid it from your Facebook news feed a year ago. Since then, Farmville has amassed 80 million users, and a surprising amount of those users actually, you know, use Farmville. Scared yet? Well, you should be. Social/casual game phenomenons like Farmville and Foursquare involve themselves in our actual lives and relationships in a way that's unprecedented, and they rely almost solely on psychological tricks in order to get us to p … [Read more...]

Your Status Update Is A Fire!

The Apostle James had great concern for the Jewish Christians to whom he wrote, primarily that they would not be hearers of the Word of God only. Faith without action is dead, he writes. And so it is that if we only hear the Word of God but don't then apply it to our lives then we evidence a pathetic, dare I say, disingenuous faith. Of course that is a primary concern for us here at Christ and Pop Culture as well. We don't want to confess Christ is Lord of most of our lives but then when it … [Read more...]

Podcast #72: Two Speeches and the Fall of the U.S.A.

This week, Ben and Rich discuss two huge cultural events that happened on the same day: the iPad unveiling and the State of the Union. And of course, these discussions inevitably resulted in a discussion of how the United States is in the midst of a downfall (?!). Sorry about the downer.Every week, Richard Clark and Ben Bartlett acknowledge and respond to the big issues in popular culture. We love feedback! If you’d like to respond you can comment on the website, send an email to c … [Read more...]

Podcast #60: The Pop Culture 180

The Pop Culture 180 experiment was a week devoted to giving up our most loved media activities (reading/playing video games) for less appreciated activities (social networking/reading). In our last chapter of the Pop Culture 180, Ben and I Rich commiserate and debate the experiment, touching on what we learned, the ways the experiment changed us, and things we love and hate about the mediums we devoted ourselves to for a week. (program note: please forgive Ben's low volume and quality. We'll … [Read more...]

Pop Culture 180, Part 6: Twitter Vs. Books… No Contest

This is the sixth (and final) post of the Pop Culture 180 experiment, in which I gave up reading books and other print media and replaced them with social networking for more than one week. For more information, read this introduction post. Then, read parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.Maybe I approached this a little different from Rich.Experiments are great, but the simple fact is that they are hard to control. This one was no exception. Rich is right that it imperfectly measures our responses to a … [Read more...]

Pop Culture 180, Part 4: I Can't Quit! And Do Meanlingless Comments Represent Real Relationships?

I am absolutely addicted to reading.The withdrawal symptoms are clear. Within 6 hours of our Pop Culture 180 start time, I was wandering the shelves at Barnes and Noble, looking at titles I could not allow myself to open. I think about books at least twenty times per day. I keep looking at my hands, whenever I have a spare 5-20 minutes, thinking, "shouldn't they be holding something?" I sit down in my work break room, then stand up again- I have no reason to sit there if I cannot read. I … [Read more...]

Pop Culture 180, Part 2: Giving up The Great Conversation to tell you what I had for lunch.

My relationship with books is an old one. I’m told that I learned to read at age four.  Somehow the world of words captured me and I never looked back.  Once I asked my father whether my siblings and I were hard to control, and he said, “Well, you were normal kids, except that if we wanted you to be quiet we would just pull out a book.  You would immediately sit down and become completely absorbed in the story.” This continued as I grew older.  One of my earliest and clearest memories is finishin … [Read more...]

Podcast #54: Revolutionary Road and Your Online Identity

This Week: This week we talk about Revolutionary Road and the all-to-common (especially in Hollywood films) suburban existential crisis. Then, we discuss our online identities, whether it's okay to put pictures of your baby online, and more. Good fun! Every week, Richard Clark and Ben Bartlett sit back and discuss the posts of the previous week on Christ and Pop Culture, acknowledge and respond to the big issues in popular culture, and give a sneak peak at the week ahead. We love feedback! If … [Read more...]

Podcast #52: How Twitter Changed Iran and the SBC

This Week: Rich and Ben discuss the ways the use of Twitter affected the Iran revolution, and apply the same principles to something more close to home (literally). It was hard for them to ignore the Southern Baptist Convention this past week, since they both went to the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Rich works there, and they both go to a Southern Baptist Church. Did I mention it was held in Louisville, KY this year? That's where they live! But even if you don't know much about the … [Read more...]