Rethinking the Stumbling Block: Christian Culture as a Barrier

As Christians discern how to navigate through popular culture in a way that is edifying to themselves and their neighbors and glorifying to God, one concern that commonly arises is whether or not a particular cultural pursuit will cause a brother or sister in Christ to stumble. We might personally have the freedom in Christ to watch a mature movie, but, for the sake of a weaker brother who might sin against his conscience if he sees this film, we might abstain from watching it for a time. … [Read more...]

The Dangers of Dumb Movies

The onslaught of summer movies, most notably the critically reviled but blockbusting Transformers 2, has renewed the argument over whether or not a movie can be just good fun and still be fun. Our own Charles Jones has already weighed in on this debate, defending Transformers 2 and its' lack of any incredibly thought-provoking plot points or moral messages. He makes some excellent points in the process, and it's worth reading over his article if you haven't already.I'm one of those people that … [Read more...]

Going Beyond New Releases: Appreciating Culture as Tradition, Part 2

If you haven't already, read part 1 here.Aside from consumer culture, society's increasing dependence on and trust in technology has contributed to the belief that what is newer is always better and more worth our time. Technology has always had an affect on how works are made and what gets made, but the rapid changes in technology that we have seen in the last 30 or so years have had a more dramatic effect and have given rise to the belief that cultural artifacts can become obsolete, just … [Read more...]

Beyond New Releases: Appreciating Culture as Tradition, Part 1

A few years ago, when I taught Freshman Composition at a community college, I went searching for information online about WWI. My students were reading The Great Gatsby and I felt that they would benefit from understanding the horrors of trench warfare as part of the context of the novel. The first result that Google gave me when I searched for "WWI" was a spelling correction: "Did you mean 'WWII'"?I thought it a striking sign of our culture's knowledge about World War One that when I went to … [Read more...]

Letters from a Layman: Geek TV

Dear TV Producers,I’m a Christian, and a busy guy. I work, spend time with my family and friends, read, and attend three or four church events per week. I should exercise, but I confess that has yet to happen in 2009.The thing is, I need to be wiser with time. See, I believe God put me on earth for a purpose: to be redeemed and to participate in building his kingdom by proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. There are lots of things to go along with that, but at least one i … [Read more...]