Did You See Blue Like Jazz?

So, I’m wondering if any of you saw Blue Like Jazz over it’s opening weekend. As expected, I saw many posts like this on Facebook:

That’s right, it’s a Christian’s duty to buy tickets for this movie, even if you can’t go, in order to send the message to the fat cats in Hollywood that we want more movies like this.

It seems the “crucial” opening weekend didn’t go so well. BLJ came in 20th at the box office, according to Variety, behind even John Carter. It did make more per theater than John Carter, because BLJ was only in 136 theaters. This weekend, BLJ made 1% of the number one movie, Hunger Games.

The comments left on my earlier post and the FB posts and tweets I read about the movie ranged from “Meh” to “Everyone seemed like a sophomoric cartoon of real people.”

On Rotten Tomatoes, there seems to be a split between critics and fans:

So, I’m wondering if you saw it. And, if so, what did you think?

Watch Sarah Pulliam Bailey Destroy The Atlantic

Sarah Pulliam Bailey

Sarah Pulliam Bailey, writer for Christianity Today, is one of my more favorite writers in the evangelical-journalist community. Like me, she was emailed a downright absurd article posted on the Atlantic‘s website last week, linking KONY2012 to the emergent church movement.

In our world, the Atlantic is supposed to represent good, serious reporting. And Christianity Today is supposed to represent slanted, non-objective reporting.

Well, read Sarah’s piece if you’re ready for your categories to be upended. She completely pwns the Atlantic at Get Religion:

Earlier this week, a reader sent us a “slightly alarmist” piece from The Atlantic on a Christian sect driving Africa. Can you guess what might be “The Upstart Christian Sect Driving Invisible Children”? Wait for it: the emerging church. That’s right. The movement that no one is talking about anymore.

I asked Tony Jones what he thought of the piece, given that he has been one of the leaders of the Emergent Church Village, and he had some strong words.

I read the Atlantic piece on KONY and the emerging church, and I was dumbfounded. Firstly, I found the article nearly indecipherable. But even more troubling was the supposed connection between Invisible Children and the emergent church movement is ludicrous. But then, when the reporter referred to Mark Driscoll as a liberal, we all knew that he had no idea what he was writing about. That should be enough for the Atlantic to take the article off their website, and fire the editor who greenlighted it.

Why does Jones feel so strongly about this piece? Walk with me through bits and pieces to find out why it’s such bad journalism.

Please read the rest of Sarah’s paragraph-by-paragraph deconstruction of the Atlantic article here: Correction please on The Atlantic’s lol Kony report » GetReligion.

Evangelical Colleges and Their Gay Students

In my neck-o-the-woods, Bethel University‘s provost recently held an open conversation with gay students and allies, where they were able to talk openly about their experiences at a college that officially discriminates against them.

At one of my alma maters, Fuller Theological Seminary, a campus-wide conversation about sexuality was recently held. Heteronormativity was ultimately upheld at each of these institutions, but here’s what I think: As soon as you give LGBT persons a voice, they are humanized. And when that happens, it’s only a matter of time before discriminatory policies begin to collapse.

At HuffPo, Ron Davis writes about a similar debate being held at his alma mater, George Fox University:

Like many evangelical colleges, the school requires students and staff to sign a lifestyle agreement which, among other things, requires them to refrain from nonmarital sexual activity and proscribes homosexual relationships. A group of LGBTQ and allied alumni called OneGeorgeFox presented the administration with an open letter. The letter challenges the University’s policy, and disputes LGBTQ stereotypes, invoking gay student’s desire to have families and demanding their Christian community’s support.

The University responded to the letter with characteristic civility, affirming everyone’s dignity, and acknowledging the need for improved communication, but ultimately reiterating its heteronormative theological position. Less characteristically, the administration has told its faculty that, although they can facilitate discussions among students, signing the letter or otherwise publicly advocating for a position at odds with the University’s policy violates their employment contracts.

Consequently, a passionate, ideologically diverse faculty’s signatures are notably absent. This is egregious. Universities exist, in large part, to encourage truth-seeking, and the faculty form the backbone of this pursuit. That a Quaker university could display such gross epistemic hubris strongly suggests the administration has lost sight of these guiding principles. (Read the rest: Ron Davis: Evangelical Universities, Gay Students and Faculty Freedom.)

I am an adjunct professor at Fuller, and I can say that, to Fuller’s credit (most notably, Kurt Frederickson‘s and Rich Mouw‘s credit), they have never attempted to silence me. They have simply asked that while I’m teaching a Fuller class, I respect their Statement of Community Standards. That seems completely reasonable, and I happy to comply with that request.

Is the Emergent Church Dead?

Brian McLaren thinks not:

If we use Phyllis Tickle’s term “Christian Emergence” or “Emergence Christianity” to describe a broad phenomenon that is occurring across the spectrum of Christian communities (Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant …), I think the movement is stronger than ever.

In Evangelical and Charismatic circles, many Evangelical/Charismatic gatekeepers have successfully driven the emergent conversation underground. They don’t talk much about emergent figures – except negatively. And people who “come out of the theological closet” are pressured and often nudged out. But there are so many people like you – who are rethinking and going through a deep awakening spiritually, and are just circumspect about it in their ecclesial circles. And surprising numbers of Evangelical/Charismatic leaders are far more sympathetic than you would expect.

In Mainline circles, there is broadening and deepening engagement at all levels.

In Catholic circles, there are growing pockets of engagement on a grass-roots level, and there are small pockets in Orthodox circles too.

Read the rest: Q & R: Is the Emerging Church mo – Brian McLaren.


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