Becoming a Slave Again to Edifying Habits

Enslaving Habits

Evangelicals are beginning to care less about discerning good cultural objects and care more about discerning good cultural practices. But is this trend, despite its signaling a cultural maturation, still susceptible to legalism? The American evangelical church has done a lot of growing up in the past few decades with regard to how we participate in culture, but our attraction to rule-keeping has been hard to shake. Even as we've become, in general, less defined by our cultural asceticism and … [Read more...]

What Can You Learn From A 250 Year Old Drink?

Writing about alcohol on a Christian web site is like mentioning fire in a crowded theatre: it is bound to create quite a panic. But something is happening this week that I felt I could not ignore. September 24th will mark the 250th anniversary of Guinness. What makes this an interesting event is not simply that it marks 250 years of brewing for Ireland's national beer, but rather that the man behind the beer is so remarkable. Many Christians will find it surprising to know that Arthur Guinness … [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 5: Video Games Vs. Books… a Fight to the Death?

This is the fifth (and my final) post of the Pop Culture 180 experiment, in which I will gave up video games and replace them with reading for more than one week. For more information, read this introduction post. Then, read parts 1, 2, 3, and 4. Let's be honest about this: our little experiment didn't really prove anything. It was rife with flaws. Going without video games and replacing them with reading confuses the question of whether the lack of video games or the binge reading is what is … [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 3: I Told You I Could Quit… But Now I Dislike People.

This is the third post of the Pop Culture 180 experiment, in which I will give up video games and replace them with reading for more than one week. For more information, read this introduction post. I am pleased to announce that as far as I can tell, in the midst of my endeavor I have not found myself to be a video game addict. Though many anticipated typical withdrawal symptoms, I have suffered nothing of the sort. I haven't even found myself beginning to pick up the controller out of habit. 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 … [Read more...]

Pop Culture 180, Part 1: Giving up Halo for E.M. Forster

This is the first post of the Pop Culture 180 experiment, in which I will give up video games and replace them with reading for more than one week. For more information, read this introduction post. My renewed relationship with video games has been a fairly recent one. It began at the same time my relationship with books broke down. I guess you could call video games a rebound relationship. I have always had an appreciation for books. I grew up reading them, and have a few novels of which I am … [Read more...]

Introducing: The Pop Culture 180

In our last podcast, Ben and I unveiled and discussed our participation in The Pop Culture 180, a special feature that will begin Monday (or now if you count this post) in which Ben and I write 3 articles in relatively real time about an experiment we are in the midst of. What's the experiment? To give up the medium we most enjoy for a medium we have neglected for a week. For me, it means giving up video games for reading. For Ben, it means giving up reading for social media. This began midnight … [Read more...]

Giving: the Beauty of Christian Hospitality

A few weeks ago, my wife and I took a houseboat trip with her extended family on Lake Powell in Utah. Building up to the trip, I knew there wasn't going to be a lot of room on the boat since her aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and grandma and grandpa would be on board with us. Frankly, my ideal vacation is a nice hotel in Europe, not a hot, cramped houseboat in Utah shared with people I hardly knew. I enjoy privacy, quiet, and comfort. I prefer to control when I eat, and what I eat, to be … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X