“Why Survivor’s ‘Broadway Boyfriends’ Will Keep Singing with Hillsong Church”: Jonathan Merritt

reports: The only thing worse than a false story is a partial one.That was the real lesson behind an article published on a conservative Christian website last week claiming that the Hillsong Church was allowing an “openly homosexual couple” to lead worship. The article, about the New York City campus of the Australia-based super-church where tens of thousands worship weekly, drew from a seven-month-old article about two Survivor contestants and Broadway actors, Josh Canfield and Reed Kelly … [Read more...]

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A Survey of “Missionary Kids”–Fascinating Even if You’re NOT a Parent

but maybe especially interesting for parents seeking to raise their kids as disciples. Missionaries' children aren't the only ones facing some of these pressures. Just some really powerful words here about faith and its challenges: You may wonder why I ran this survey. I am an adult MK and, like so many others, “wouldn’t give it up for the world.” In my full-time work, I teach and mentor MKs of all ages and, perhaps most importantly, advocate for them with the missions that send them … [Read more...]

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“Indie Music’s Christ-Haunted Women”: I’m at AmCon

with some answers to a question I asked here recently: I listen to a lot of what you could call “Christ-haunted” music. Your Mountain Goats, your Weakerthans. Not music made by believers necessarily (although sometimes, unexpectedly, yes), but music made by people who can’t quite escape the stories of Scripture and the language of Christian faith. Cain, resurrection, David, sorrow for sin; a desperate rosary or a hospital vespers. You could add to this list stuff I don’t personally quite grok, b … [Read more...]

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Where Are the Lady Mountain Goats?

A cri de coeur! Where are the women who write weird, metaphor-laden personal songs about their fraught relationship with the Lord? Are there Sufjanes out there? I would really like music by women, in just about any genre, with lots of Christian stuff (they don't have to be actual believers, just people with really intense relationships with God and the Church) and not prettified but raw. Not Avengers-type stuff about anger at the Church, or anyway not only that, but about complex longings in … [Read more...]

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“Tom Stoppard Plays With God”: I’m in AmCon

reviewing a new play: “The Hard Problem” is Tom Stoppard’s first work for the stage since 2006′s fantastic “Rock ‘n’ Roll,” and like “Rock ‘n’ Roll,” it asks whether there’s such a thing as a soul, or whether a human being is just “a pinball machine which thinks it’s in love.”But where the earlier play offered a clash between Marxist materialism and the pagan ecstasy of rock music, “The Hard Problem” is a more blunt and programmatic conflict between evolutionary biology and a sort of heavily … [Read more...]

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“Bible Study”: Tony Hoagland

this is really me saying how glad I am that the First Things blog has started linking to poetry all the time: ...Who knows, this might be the last good night of summer. My broken nose is forming an idea of what’s for supper. Hard to believe that death is just around the corner. What kind of idiot would think he even had a destiny? more … [Read more...]

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“How Should Secular People Approach Sacred Art?”: The Best Essay of Its Kind

I've read a ton of these and Pelagia Horgan's appreciation of Fra Angelico is the best by far. Give it time to build: The loveliest image I know is Fra Angelico’s ‘Entry of the Blessed into Paradise’, a scene from his painting The Last Judgment of 1431. In it, the blessed, just risen from their graves, gather together in a flowering garden to join hands with angels and dance into the light of heaven. There’s a scene in D H Lawrence’s novel The Rainbow (1915) when Anna Brangwen sees a copy of the … [Read more...]

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