The Springfield Reformation: A Review

Despite a decline in the overall quality of the past several seasons, The Simpsons still manages to turn out a few funny episodes each season.  Over the past decade or so, there have been a variety of texts that take a scholarly approach to the long-running series from philosophical or theological perspectives.  The latest, Jamey Heit’s The Springfield Reformation:  The Simpsons, Christianity, and American Culture, offers insights into some of the series’ episodes that give a rather prophetic look at… Read more

Bad Even for Hollywood

In a recent review of The Book of Eli, I referenced Owen Glieberman’s review of the film in which he bemoaned the release of another post-apocalyptic film, a viewpoint of which I was critical.  Well, I spoke too soon.  The recent release of Legion represents just the type of (post)apocalyptic film we could do without. (more…) Read more

A New Way to Dialogue…

I recently highlighted a list of significant religious documentaries released in the past decade.  Well…it looks like I missed one, but perhaps so did many of you.  Thankfully, Lord Save Us From Your Followers will re-release in theaters on February 26.  I had the opportunity to host two screenings of it as part of the Pacific School of Religion’s Earl Lecture Series.  (more…) Read more

The Bubble: A Review

Check out Richard Lindsay’s review of the Israeli film, The Bubble (2006), after the jump. (more…) Read more

What the Church Can Learn from Facebook

In their book, Transforming Christian Theology for Church and Society, Tripp Fuller and Philip Clayton argue for the necessity of local congregations to connect the work they do with deep, sustained theological reflection.  I have been thinking about other areas of life that should be linked with deep theological reflection, and for me one of these areas is popular culture.  Another aspect is the changing nature of technology and communication in the culture in which we live.  In Thy Kingdom… Read more

A Post-Apocalyptic Bible

In 2009, there were two (post)apocalyptic films…that I am aware of, The Road and 2012.  Both took drastically different approaches to an age old theme, though neither of them were particularly fresh approaches.  2010 starts off with its own post-apocalyptic film in The Book of Eli.  There’s much here that is similar to its predecessors, but it does provide a new character…the bible. (more…) Read more

The Hurt Locker

Many of the films that focus on the war in Iraq look at the effects of the war on soldiers returning from battle, think In the Valley of Elah, Brothers, Stop-Loss, etc.  Few films have yet to consistently place audiences in the heat of battle.  One of the most recent films to do so is Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker, a film being touted by many critics as one of the best films of the year. (more…) Read more

The Earthquake in Haiti, God, and the Arbitrariness of Life

By now, most people are just as familiar with Pat Robertson’s interpretation of the Haitian earthquake as they are with the natural disaster itself.  Yesterday, I came across two other theological responses to the quake, one by Al Mohler that is almost as offensive as Robertson’s and another by Paul Raushenbush that is somewhat more appealing to me.  The responses to Raushenbush’s response are just as compelling as the article itself, as many non-religious readers responded with vitriol, asking where… Read more

On Monsters: A Review

Although it might not sound like it, Stephen T. Asma’s latest book, On Monsters:  An Unnatural History of Our Worst Fears, is one of the most theologically compelling texts I have read in quite a while.  It lends a certain credence to my advisor’s frequent assertions that the genres of horror and the supernatural are the last pop-culture strong holds for spirituality and religion. (more…) Read more

LIFE.SUPPORT.MUSIC. A Review

At the first Transforming Theology Conference last year, Tripp Fuller and I videoed the participants answering a select group of theological questions from a pool submitted online.  These questions included, “Who is God,” “Does God Do Anything,” “What Did God Do in Jesus That We Couldn’t Do for Ourselves,” “What is Truth?”  By far, one of the most complex (if the limited amount of people who answered it is any indication) was “Is God as Arbitrary as Life?”  While each… Read more

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