The Power of Privileged Words

Over at Christ and Pop Culture, Drew Dixon writes some powerful words about, well, words, in the wake of the Redskins kerfuffle: A gospel-centered perspective on words calls us to speak in such a way that prioritizes the impact of our words on our neighbors over our personal perception of them. Perhaps the greatest lie we have convinced ourselves of concerning our words is that they are not very powerful. James, however said that the tongue is like the rudder of a massive ship; we don’t think ab … [Read More...]

Bearing New Images: Miyazaki

Hayao Miyazaki has brought joy to people all over the world with his movies, like Castle in the Sky, Princess Mononoke, and Howl's Moving Castle.But he's retiring, and his studio is shutting down. So now's the time to read a bit more - including some surprising truths about Miyazaki - here in The Curator: Through their triumphs, Miyazaki’s heroes are liberated. They soar—literally. All but two of his ten written and directed films feature an extended scene in which our heroes take flight, we … [Read More...]

Is It “Goodbye Evangelicalism” or “We Join You In Your Suffering”?

Thabiti Anyabwile wrote a remarkable post about Ferguson and the failure of movement evangelicalism: When James Cone wrote A Black Theology of Liberation in the late 1960s, he was attempting to provide a theological framework for understanding and guiding the feelings and actions of African-American protestors. He wrote in the wake of a deadly riot in Detroit. He felt a burden, a heavy weight to say something meaningful as a Christian. He felt, as many had before him, that if Christianity had n … [Read More...]

Grieving in a Social Media World

Over at Christianity Today, Ken Morefield writes about how to grieve in a social media world: As I advanced in years, my peers began catching up to me in terms of being initiated with grief, but my head start always seemed to give me an advantage at avoiding the really big mistakes we all make when others look to us for comfort. If I didn’t always know how to help, I had read Job enough times to know what gestures and sayings had the greatest capacity to make things worse. Catch up my peers ev … [Read More...]

Helping Churches Helping Ferguson

It's definitely been difficult to watch what's happening in Ferguson over the past few weeks, and if you're like me, you don't know what to do. At OnFaith, they're writing about ways you can help the churches that are helping Ferguson. It's worth a look. … [Read More...]

Christians’ Unbiblical Approach to “Biblical” Movies

Over at Christ & Pop Culture, E. Stephen Burnett has some good reminders for Christians as we anticipate the release of Exodus: Gods and Kings: I can still recall when evangelicals feared that The Prince of Egypt would show the liberal mainline theologians’ perversion of the scene: a ragtag band of slaves slopping through a decidedly non-miraculously-parted “sea of reeds.” Now there is no chance of films forsaking the opportunity to show epic million-dollar-visual-effected miracles. For that … [Read More...]

A Life of Prayer Amidst News of Death

Every week there's a tragedy for someone, just as every week brings some joy, too. But the last few weeks have seemed especially difficult, with strife, chaos, and unspeakable horrors being visited on people all over the world.So this piece from Art House America is apt: For me, the news about Iraq is a particularly deep ache. Amidst the worldwide horrors that deserve to be grieved, this news hits me closer to home somehow. I am a priest. If these Iraqi children who are being murdered were … [Read More...]

‘The Giver’ Keeps Giving

Over at my blog at Christianity Today, I published a guest post from my colleague Elissa Cooper, who is an assistant editor at CT. She saw an advance screening of The Giver and wrote about how the film's story keeps giving, and the danger of not facing truth as children: Four and a half years ago, as an intern for CT, I visited a home that provided aftercare for trafficked teenage girls. Between interviews, I participated in their daily lives: We ate meals together, went shopping, and just sat a … [Read More...]

The Beauty-Happiness Connection

Over at The Atlantic, Cody C. Delistrady is examining the connection between happiness and beauty: But what about beauty links it to happiness? In The Architecture of Happiness, Alain de Botton weighs the feeling of walking into an “ugly” McDonalds in the Westminster area of London compared to the feeling of entering the “beautiful” Westminster Cathedral across the street. He says that because of the harsh lighting, the plastic furniture, and the cacophonous color scheme (all those bright yello … [Read More...]

The Ladies on the Bench

You might have seen this famous photograph from 1964, by Gary Winogrand:In the New Yorker, Emma Allen talks to two of the ladies on that bench and hears their (fascinating) stories. Read it here. … [Read More...]

Thin Places

Last week, the lovely web magazine In Earnest published an essay of mine (accompanied by lovely watercolors!) that I originally wrote in graduate school, about a trip to Dublin and the interstitial spaces where salvation happens: A few summers ago, my husband Tom and I were in Dublin for a week, and one day, we took a tour bus to two ancient holy places—thin places, the Celts would have called them: spots where heaven and earth are very close to one another, where the ordinary distance between t … [Read More...]

“Calvary” and the High Risks of Pursuing a Vocation

The film Calvary, which features Brendan Gleeson as a good priest staring down the end of a gun barrel, has been in theaters for a few weeks. The High Calling writes about the film and vocation: There is a cost to vocational calling, not just to the called, but also, and perhaps more so, to their loved ones. This applies to vocational callings to serve in the structure of the institutional church as Christians have traditionally understood the notion, but it also applies to any vocation in … [Read More...]

On Adventure

In In Earnest, Denton Josey writes about how he learned to love adventure on a missions trip to Honduras, and how that's shaped his life: My life has become a lot less predictable. I see that as a direct result of choosing to seek out adventure. Part of adventure is not knowing how things will turn out or even what all will happen; you have ideas of what you might risk or gain, but a lot of times you end up risking more than you realized or being rewarded better than you could have hoped … [Read More...]

Loving the Faceless Portrait

Faceless portraits seem like they're all the rage these days - and at Art House America, Lindsay Crandall talks about why she loves them, and includes a number of hers: Last year, as more people began asking me to take their picture, I sort of stumbled into portrait photography. I started a small photography business and began accepting clients this spring. And for a while, I gave up the faceless portrait. I was sure no one wanted that. A photographer should capture smiles, I thought. It never … [Read More...]

Philosophy, PB & J’s, and Bogotá

Over at Fieldnotes, Jamaica Abare reflects on what changed when her vocation grew to include motherhood: Although she admits that in the past she dreaded the child-raising stage of life, one of her friends in graduate school used to talk to her toddlers as if they were philosophers, breaking down profound truths about life into bite sized nuggets in the car between bites of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Jamaica was fascinated every time she carpooled with them. She knows that her role as … [Read More...]

Your Work Matters, Even When It Feels Like It Doesn’t

A welcome reminder from The High Calling for this Monday: your work matters (even when it feels like it doesn't). Blogger and Chief Creative Officer at iDoneThis Janet Choi quotes authors Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer from their book The Progress Principle, “What matters is whether you perceive your work as contributing value to something or someone who matters (even your team, yourself, or your family).”“Meaning isn’t necessarily lofty,” Choi goes on to say. “As in some unattainable, fairy t … [Read More...]


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