July 9, 2018

A few weeks ago, I attended my niece’s dance recital. I can’t say I expected much more than to sit and smile for my niece and the other 5 year olds in her group. I didn’t expect to be moved by the elegance, particularly of the older dancers, and awed by their precision and energy. I certainly didn’t expect to walk away with a refreshed soul. I don’t know what it was that moved me so deeply. These weren’t professional… Read more

July 6, 2018

When I started the CROSS.CULTURE.CRITIC. podcast a little over a year ago, my original plan was to do a show of interviews with people who had been instrumental in the Christian culture scene and in my life. The show changed for the better when Joe came aboard, but interviews were still a priority for me. I had a list of people I really wanted to talk to, and I’m still humbled that I was able to talk with the likes… Read more

July 6, 2018

I was not a Mr. Rogers kid. I’ve made no secret of my love and borderline obsession for Jim Henson, both as a child and an adult. Growing up, “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood” was too subdued for my tastes, and it was just the show I sat through to get to “Sesame Street.” I wanted the raucous imagination Henson brought to the table. The truth is, I probably thought that Mr. Rogers was bland, too goody-goody. Even as I grew to… Read more

July 3, 2018

It takes a lot to turn off the new album by your favorite artist one song in, but that’s what happened the first time I heard Derek Webb’s “Fingers Crossed.” The album, released last fall, chronicles the singer’s recent turmoils, including the dissolution of his marriage and the loss of the faith that once fueled his albums. He’s described it as “a tale of two divorces,” and it’s a wrenching listen, often sad, sometimes angry, at times defensive. Webb seemed… Read more

June 29, 2018

I know, I know. Writing has been sparse the past few weeks. I’m sorry and I think that we’re about to turn a corner on that. I wish I had a better explanation for the sporadic nature of posts than “life,” but really that’s what it’s been. We’ve been balancing twice-a-week T-ball, summer break, a major project in my master’s class, and a busy writing load at my day job that makes it a bit less appealing to sit and… Read more

June 18, 2018

I am not a fan of President Donald Trump. I was annoyed when he was just another blowhard trying to stay in the news by playing politics. I was worried when he became a viable candidate. I’m deeply troubled by him as president. I’m obviously not alone. Every week, there’s a new scandal. He possibly colluded with Russia. He paid a porn star to keep an affair quiet. His administration is ripping children from their parents’ arms at the border…. Read more

June 14, 2018

When my wife was pregnant with our son, people looked at my busy schedule and told me it would soon all change. At the time, I was working a full-time job and doing film reviews on the side each week. “Enjoy all those movies now,” they said. “Once that baby arrives, you’re going nowhere.” It’s the half-in-jest, half-serious warning that comes whenever someone has a kid. Get ready to give up your dreams, they say. It’s all worth it, because… Read more

June 11, 2018

I write a lot about my beliefs, to the point where I sometimes cringe at how assured and confident I seem when I look in old posts. But the truth is that the writer of these words doesn’t always feel as solid as he sounds, and mountain-moving faith is quickly replaced by that which aspires to being mustard seed-sized. I’ve called myself an “Occasional Atheist” for how quickly my faith can turn to doubt and unbelief. Doubt has been a… Read more

June 9, 2018

When I walked out of the theater after seeing “Saved!” 14 years ago, I was conflicted. I’d laughed quite a bit during Brian Dannelly’s satire of evangelical life, but it was often uncomfortable. Was Dannelly a Christian laughing at the extremes of his faith? Or were his attempts to find humor in American religion cynical and mean-spirited? As a rabidly Reformed twentysomething, could I be onboard with a movie that preached loving others without the disclaimer, “but, you know, sin… Read more

June 7, 2018

You will never be perfect. Stop clinging to that goal, because it’s not going to happen. Stop waiting for the perfect time, because it will never arrive. Stop beating yourself up for every mistake, thinking you’re above them, because you’re not. Perfection is unattainable. It will always slip through your fingers. When you meet one goal, another lies beyond it. The more light that shines on you, the more you’ll be aware how much you still need a bath. You… Read more

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