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22 Jan 2018

Ears to Hear: The Books

This is the first article in a series of articles on music with artistic or spiritual significance. A few months ago, I received a $50 iTunes gift card. Choosing a track or album to purchase on the iTunes store is always a daunting experience. With millions of options available, selecting what to buy can be overwhelming. As a musician, I tire of listening to more and more of the same. With this in mind, I

Jarrett Dickey 0
19 Jan 2018

“Making Nothing Into Words”: Perelandra’s Rebuttal of Progressive Theology

C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was used a few months ago to defend Eugene Peterson’s recent public discussion of openness to performing LGBT weddings (which has subsequently been retracted). Given Lewis’ stature as  a giant of the faith, it is unsurprising that both liberal and conservative Christians claim him as a champion of their ideals. This raises an interesting question: would Lewis’ underlying philosophy and theology lead him onto the same

Wesley Walker 2
17 Jan 2018

Sermon-less Church: A Thought Experiment

“If you took away the sermon from your worship service, what sort of theology could you construct from what remains?” Sometime back, a Facebook friend shared this quote from Pastor Mark Jones and it got me thinking. What would a sermon-less church service look like? What messages and theology would it convey? Would we attend? Just how central is the sermon to Christian worship? In order to really consider this question, consider the state of

Jacob Prahlow 0
15 Jan 2018

“Mother!” Of God?

As far as I’m concerned, Darren Aronofsky is the best film director working today. The auteur behind movies as diverse as “Pi,” “Requiem for a Dream,” “The Fountain,” “The Wrestler,” “Black Swan,” and “Noah,” Aronofsky creates works that blend surreal imagery, wrenching performances, and complex spiritual motifs. “Mother!,” his latest, is no exception—as Ben Winter recently noted. Indeed, it might be Aronofsky’s most ambitious work yet—and will undoubtedly be the most controversial. It’s impossible to

John Ehrett 0
12 Jan 2018

Unmerited

Kindness flowing out in wine and chocolate chip cookies, in smiles and eyes, in words and hidden acts   Grace flowing down in water and wine and blood over dark soul nights, to unworthy us   Love flowing over from hearts and hands, eyes and lips in forgiveness again, and again—every time   Gifts ever flowing that we cannot earn, cannot repay, we humbly receive with open, empty hands   Full over flowing hands and

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08 Jan 2018

Review: Big Little Lies (HBO)

From director Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club), HBO’s Big Little Lies is a slow burn drama that rewards careful viewing. Set in idyllic Monterey, California, the story centers on the world of wealthy wives and their children. Yet unlike many star-studded portrayals of Hollywood glamour, the opulence of Big Little Lies unveils, rather than obscures, the common humanity of its protagonists. [Spoilers Ahead] Jane Chapman (Shailene Woodley) is an outsider to the Monterey community. The

Benjamin Winter 0
24 Dec 2017

Remembering Christmas: How You Can Incarnate Christ For The Holidays

Inevitably, come each December, Christians experience the “war” on Christmas. An ostensible form of oppression seemingly pushing us ever so precariously toward the edge of a slippery slope—leading directly toward the extinction of religious freedom, as we currently know it. Donald Trump and the conservative media flood our ears with a call-to-arms, “Proclaim Merry Christmas!” And many are only too happy to oblige. The utterance “Happy Holidays” becomes pejorative, a proverbial four-letter word. “Christ is

AJ Maynard 0
22 Dec 2017

Advent Euphemisms and the Assault on Language

The commercialization of Christmas is hardly news. Proclaiming a so-called “War on Christmas” is not enough for some, who ante up their virtue-signaling and cultural critique into announcing a “War on Advent.” In 2012, theologian Diana Butler Bass argued, specifically against Fox News, that the shopping frenzy before Christmas degraded Christ’s Nativity more than a cultural shift away from well-wishing “Merry Christmas” toward a more general “Happy Holidays.”  Father Bill Olnhausen, a retired Orthodox pastor,

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