About five minutes into “Camp Manna,” it’s clear that the filmmakers are in on the joke. The film, available on digital platforms June 5, follows a young boy, Ian (Luke Klein), during a summer at a Christian camp. Ian has gone to live with his pious aunt and uncle following a family tragedy, and he’s in no mood for a summer of Bible drills and the ultra-competitive “God Games,” lorded over by the unstable camp director Jack “Cujo” Parrish (Gary… Read more

Last week, a young man walked into his Texas high school armed with a gun, killing 10 of his classmates and wounding 13 others. It’s alleged that one of his victims was a young woman who rejected his advances. In April, Alex Minassian drove his car into a Toronto crowd, killing 10. Shortly before his attack, Minassian posted on Facebook ‘The Incel Rebellion Has Already Begun” and applauded another angry young man who killed six in California in 2014, leaving… Read more

This is the time of year when I am normally at my movie-geekiest. Usually by mid-April, I’ve already purchased Entertainment Weekly’s Summer Movie Preview and am plotting how to make it to all the big releases each week. This summer, I could barely tell you what’s coming out. Like everyone else, I saw “Avengers: Infinity War” opening weekend, and I’m reasonably excited for “Incredibles 2” and “”Mission Impossible: Fallout.” But other than that? I have rarely given it much thought…. Read more

Awhile back, I participated in a challenge to go a day without complaining. It was a spectacular failure. I could say that I just chose the wrong day to partake in such an experiment. After all, I had no clue that would be the day I had to dig my car out of a snowbank, then watch it die at work, then get it home, only to have it blocked back in and die again. But letting my circumstances provide… Read more

Awhile back, when I was in my mid-twenties, I became so frustrated with single life that I found myself in the lobby of a dating service, ready for them to help me find a spouse. This was the mid-00s, well before online dating had become one of the more accepted ways of meeting people. Match.com and Eharmony were around, but meeting a stranger online seemed sketchy and dangerous. Apparently, I would rather have had a corporation control my romantic destiny…. Read more

About 10 years ago, when I was living back at my parents’ house for a stint, I was awakened early one morning by the sound of murmuring down the hall. As I lay in the darkness, trying to will myself back to sleep for another hour or so, the sound continued, and I realized that my parents were talking  in the other room. More than that, I heard my name mentioned. I crept to the door and heard my parents… Read more

Hey everyone! This week’s been a bit crazy, so there’s no Five for Friday this weekend. I’ll try to make it up to you all with a Mother’s Day related post tomorrow. But for right now, let’s talk some CROSS.CULTURE.CRITIC. It’s a jam-packed episode that, I think leads into some of our best discussion in awhile. First off, Joe and I start talking about some pop culture we’re catching up on. That includes a discussion of “Avengers: Infinity War,” a… Read more

My grandmother passed away last week at the age of 85. She was one of the best people I knew. I was asked to speak at her funeral, an honor I’m still not sure I deserved. But I felt extremely humbled to be able to say a few words remembering this great woman God gave me the pleasure of knowing. Below is the eulogy I read, because I believe everyone deserved to know how great a person my Nana was. … Read more

Are you all up for a little bit more Amy Grant talk? Earlier this week, I wrote about my recent experience at a concert fronted by the queen of CCM. I attended that concert and meet-and-greet with CROSS.CULTURE.CRITIC. co-host Joe Yerke. That’s right: The same weekend that moviegoers were watching the most ambitious crossover in history with “Avengers: Infinity War,” I was living it out by seeing Amy Grant with the lead singer of The Insyderz. There’s a whole story… Read more

I don’t get starstruck easily. When I was a reporter, I had the opportunity to interview filmmakers and actors I greatly respected. Although I was nervous sitting across a table from Rainn Wilson or chatting with Danny Boyle, I was a professional who did my job and didn’t let my fondness for their work get in my way. This weekend, I had the chance to briefly meet Amy Grant, possibly the epitome of the ‘80s and ‘90s Christian music scene…. Read more

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