Why Are We Still Surprised When “Entertainment” Does More Than Entertain Us?

bruce-springsteen

Bruce Springsteen is an icon of rock n' roll, a modern day troubadour who has spent the last four decades singing about the lives and struggles of the working class, the down and out, and the dispossessed. And now, thanks to Rutgers professor Azzan Yadin-Israel, he's the subject of a college course. More specifically, a college course titled "Bruce Springsteen's Theology" that, as the title implies, examines the spiritual and theological undercurrents in The Boss' music.In a recent … [Read more...]

Oprah Puts Rob Bell on Her Spiritual A-Team

oprah and rob bell are hanging out

Eckhart Tolle.Rhonda Byrne.Elizabeth Gilbert....Rob Bell?Yes, the moment has arrived. After encouraging us to learn from Tolle about 'The Power of Now', pushing us to unlock 'The Secret' with Byrne, and exhorting us to let Gilbert teach us to 'Eat, Pray, Love,' Oprah has added Rob Bell to her list of must-read spiritual gurus. This month the media mogul picked Bell's recent offering What We Talk About When We Talk About God as her 'Super Soulful Book of the M … [Read more...]

Corporate Culture and Christian Thought

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I have heard the term "Christian Business Principles" as sort of a catch-all for moral goings-on in the free market. But that is simply understating how orthodox Christian theology can affect, and is affecting, corporate culture in 2013. Christians in the business world have access to much more ideological wealth than they may think. Christian business principles are not limited to morality and ethics, but can affect the culture of an organization in a profound way. While Christians in the … [Read more...]

Listening to Doubt: What Music Can Teach Us about Apostasy

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Doubt is the shadow to the light of faith and repentance. Doubt in the Christian life has been around since Eve wondered whether God really didn’t want her to eat the fruit; it showed up when Abraham didn’t believe that God would give him a son and again when Thomas just couldn’t believe that Jesus had risen from the dead. And although orthodoxy reminds us that God defeats doubt and will eventually remove all remnants of it, there are cases where it looks like doubt wins the day.Watching a fr … [Read more...]

What Rob Bell Talks About At the Areopagus

Rob Bell at the Areopagus Illustration

Is God still relevant for the modern world? Rob Bell thinks so, and we do too. But the real question is: how? Paul’s debate with the philosophers at the Areopagus remains a favorite story of mine. The Areopagus, or Mars Hill, in Athens was the cultural and intellectual center of the ancient world, so when the apostle Paul was asked to speak there on this strange new teaching about “Jesus” and “the Resurrection,” he spoke with great erudition and made an appeal for the Gospel tailored to his ‘reli … [Read more...]

So Rob Bell Wrote Another Book about God—Some Thoughts before Actually Reading It

Article originally posted at Derek Rishmawy's Reformedish blog, derekzrishmawy.com. A couple of years ago, Rob Bell wrote a little book about Heaven, Hell, and all that God stuff. You might have heard of it. If you haven't, don't worry about it—he didn't say anything new. (Or necessarily very good. I'll be honest, even though I was a Bell fan in college, I was pretty disappointed with that last book.) In any case, it kicked off a little bit of a crap-storm in the Evangelical world. Well, actu … [Read more...]

Problematic Poetry about Precious Puritans

  “Forgive these wild & wandering criesConfusions of a wasted youthForgive me where I fail in truthAnd in Thy Wisdom make me wise” The great Alfred ‘Lord’ Tennyson had the good sense to preface his triumphant work   In Memoriam with a humble caution. Tennyson must’ve known that words, especially when written about the weakness of man, will just rub some people the wrong way. And often, the more poignant the words, the crazier the reactions tend to be.For example, Propaganda’s ‘Prec … [Read more...]

Pride & Gender Roles: Demythologizing Marital Income Disparity

Getting a job in a competitive, capitalist society is a lot like playing dodge ball in grade school- it involves praying you aren’t picked last and getting your buddies who have already made the team to vouch for you. But unlike a game of dodge ball, the career world can affect every aspect of your life indefinitely. So what happens when Christian men, convinced that they need to be the predominant fiscal provider, get out-earned by their wives?There seems to be an innate, archetypal desire i … [Read more...]

Navigating a Complex Middle East Situation in the Midst of Assassination

Today, Israel forces assassinated Hamas military chief Ahmed al-Jaabari in Gaza City, the first assassination attempt by Israel of top-level Hamas personnel in almost four years. An act that has thrown the Middle East into a frenzy today, with eight confirmed casualties in Gaza from Hamas and Israeli bombings, Egypt formally withdrawing their ambassador and the United States officially (however unsurprisingly) casting their lot with Israel in what could possibly escalate into all-out war sooner … [Read more...]

Science Fiction and Theology: A Match Made in Heaven?

Space

Science fiction can be more than just stories about big-headed aliens, evil robots, and laser guns. It can probe complex and provocative theological ideas, or so claim the theologians interviewed in a recent io9 article titled "Big Theological Questions that Science Fiction Should Answer".The article's author, Charlie Jane Anders, interviewed several theologians who also happen to be sci-fi nerds, including Lorenzo DiTommaso, Robert Geraci, and James McGrath. The reason for this interest in s … [Read more...]


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