Sin in Syndication: Breaking the ‘Community’ Spirit

NBC’s comedy Community has always survived while on the cusp of cancellation, thanks in large part to a small but vocal and devoted fan base. The series' ostensible plot follows the standard grab-bag of misfits who've ended up at Greendale Community College; they are initially brought together by the conniving of slick former lawyer Jeff Winger (Joel McHale), who contrives a study group as a subterfuge to mask his intentions toward hard-left activist Britta Perry (Gillian Jacobs).  Despite -- or … [Read more...]

The Little Way of Ruthie Leming: A Lesson in Community

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, a French Carmelite nun, died of tuberculosis at the age of 24.  She lived what she called a “little” life. But because of the influence of her memoir, “The Story of a Soul,”  Thérèse quickly became one of the most popular saints of the twentieth century. Canonized in 1925,  Thérèse inspired thousands to follow her “little way” of commitment to love the tasks and people we meet in everyday life. It’s no wonder, then, that Rod Dreher refers obliquely to St. Thérèse in the … [Read more...]

Living in Community is Hard, Beautiful Work

"Community" is one of those words that, when not used in conjunction with a certain TV show that really needs to come back on the air soon, usually causes me to roll my eyes whenever I hear it. And I hear it a lot in Christian circles.It's a lovely concept, this idea of living and sharing life together as a body (to use Christian terminology). But it's often a concept that we only pay lip service to. We extol its virtues... and then we move on to something else. Because real community … [Read more...]

The Televangelist: Community's Advanced Observation and Introduction to Participation

Each Friday in The Televangelists, one of our writers examines the met and missed potential of television.The outlook for Community is not good (one news outlet helpfully called it, “the darkest of all possible timelines”). Despite 13 more episodes, its poor ratings virtually ensure cancellation. Further, creater and executive producer Dan Harmon has been shown the door, and the executives at NBC don’t want to talk about it . . . but they are looking forward to next season.There are three pla … [Read more...]

Why Christians Shouldn't Write Off The Occupy Movement

Though it’s strapped for cash and coming out of hibernation, the Occupy Wall Street movement continues to press on, six months after its fiery start on September 17 of last year. The resurgence of the movement is a chance for Christians to enter into fruitful dialogue about Christian parallels to the movement, as well as the spiritual insights derived from the protests.It seems as though most Christians paid attention to the movement for roughly the first month, made up their mind that the mov … [Read more...]

When Games Matter: My Brother and How SOCOM US Navy Seals Brought Us Closer

When Games Matter is a weekly exploration by Drew Dixon of meaningful moments in games. Operating under the assumption that games do in fact matter, Drew seeks to highlight those moments that have much to say to say about who we are and the world we live in.Growing up my brother and I were always really close. When I was young, I wanted to do everything he did and most of the time he would let me. We played all kinds of games together--cowboys and Indians, ninjas, and of course war (of all … [Read more...]

The Power of Community

“You’ve just stopped being a study group. You’ve become something unstoppable. I hereby pronounce you a community.” Jeff Winger, played by Joel McHale, with that line sets the tone for NBC’s new television show, “Community.” The show focuses on an ethically questionable lawyer, Jeff Winger, who is stripped of his law practice and forced to attend community college with an eclectic staff and student body.The climax of the pilot episode, from which the line above comes, seems to drive home one … [Read more...]