16 Jul 2015

Falling Prey to Confirmation Bias

Over the past several days, I’ve been seeing a story pop up in my newsfeed claiming that a man has filed a $70-million lawsuit against two Christian publishing houses over the verses about homosexuality in the Bibles they publish. There’s only one problem: the story isn’t news. Although the Today Christian website presents the story as though it occurred this past week (without any links or references that check out, mind you), a quick Google

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15 Jul 2015

The Gayest Wedding Cake, Reprise

A few months ago, I wrote about why making the biggest, gayest wedding cake for the glory of God might not be the best way to love one’s gay neighbors. At the time, I understood that the gay marriage issue was in the home stretch. The writing was on the wall. Gay marriage was going to happen. I was all set to articulate the ways I believed we ought to respond to the change in

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30 Jun 2015

Blessed are the Lion-Tamers

It used to be the Colosseum That public zoo lion enclosure Where at feeding time people Would watch other people Brought into the lion’s den Brought into the lions And cheer themselves on As they vicariously partook Of the body and the blood Today the lions roam about Seeking someone to devour Whomever will kindly stop To check the lion’s paw But the problem actually Is a flagpole in their petard And their flag-bandaged heart

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16 Jun 2015

How Now Shall We Speak?

One year ago today Conciliar Post launched. My first post as Managing Editor was titled, “How Then Shall We Speak”, a not-so-subtle tribute to the late great Francis Schaeffer’s classic book on Christian engagement with culture, How Should We Then Live. This post laid out – in general terms – the type of dialogue that we wanted to pursue through the Conciliar Post project, namely, civil and informed dialogue that thoughtfully and faithfully listens before

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05 Jun 2015

Life is Deeper than Fiction

What shapes our ideals about what life ought to be like? Frighteningly, I think many individuals are shaped by various forms of banal media more than by their families and mentors, or by historical figures and enriching arts. The up-and-coming generation’s expectations and ideals of high school and college are too often formed by teen fiction a la Twilight and a host of other semi-pornographic novels marketed towards pre-teens and high schoolers. Ideas of what

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14 May 2015

Ex Machina | Movie Review

Artificial intelligence is clearly the menace of the cinematic hour. The old menace posed by the Skynet of the “Terminator” franchise has taken on additional credibility in the era of “big data,” which offers the possibility of algorithmic analysis on a heretofore undreamt-of scale. Alex Garland’s recent thriller “Ex Machina,” however, trades guns for words and explosions for psychological turbulence, raising fundamental questions within a deeply intimate context. “Ex Machina” opens as Caleb Smith (Domhnall

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04 May 2015

Avengers: Age of Ultron | Movie Review

After living through a decade or so of superhero epics, I’m starting to feel a bit fatigued by the whole thing: Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy is done, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man series was unceremoniously truncated, and the prospect of additional Wolverine-centric X-Men films is looking a bit dim. That said, last summer marked the release of my favorite Marvel film to date – “Guardians of the Galaxy” – so clearly there’s still some gas in the

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30 Mar 2015

An Open Letter to Christian Bakers in Indiana

Dear Bakers, You have been getting a lot of attention recently, especially since the new law passed that would likely allow you to refuse to make cakes for gay weddings. It’s certainly worth asking how to interpret the First Amendment on this issue, but perhaps first we should ask what the gospels say. As you may remember, Jesus’s first miracle was at a wedding party. He provided wine for a bunch of people who were

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14 Mar 2015

Weekly Reads (March 14)

Happy weekend, dear readers! Here is a round-up of different religion, theology, and current events articles from our own authors and across the internet. The following articles do not necessarily reflect the views or mission of Conciliar Post. These articles have been selected based on their prevalence across popular blogs and social media and their relevance to current events. We invite you to engage in friendly and positive discussion about these articles. If you read

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11 Feb 2015

Jupiter Ascending | Movie Review

The trailers for “Jupiter Ascending” were works of art. I’ve seen a lot of movie promos, but few have grabbed my attention like the artfully composed teasers for Andy and Lana Wachowski’s latest high-dollar project. Despite disappointing reviews, I figured I’d give it a shot – after all, it looked like a nice distraction in the midst of art-movie season (and bitter New England wintertime). Simply put, “Jupiter Ascending” is a hot mess of a

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05 Feb 2015

The Church According to Paul | Book Review

The Christian church is facing a crisis. It is losing face, hemorrhaging influence in the public sphere of Western civilization, churches decline in membership, and increasing swaths of people are not longer interested in what Christianity has to offer. This apparent decline is not a new trend to be sure—and stems, at least in part, from the ecclesiastical shift which began during the Protestant Reformation—but it is no less concerning. In order to address these

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02 Feb 2015

The Ironic Conservatism of “Transparent”

Most of the reviews I write deal with blockbuster movies, since that’s the type of film I know most readers will be seeing. That said, I also try to make a point of engaging with art that falls outside the domains with which I’m conventionally familiar. Since I happen to already be an Amazon Prime subscriber, I thought I’d give “Transparent” a look (particularly given how much I enjoyed Amazon’s “Mozart In The Jungle,” which

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24 Jan 2015

Weekly Reads (January 24)

Hello, readers, and happy weekend! Here is a round-up of different religion, theology, and current events articles from our own authors and across the internet. The following articles do not necessarily reflect the views or mission of Conciliar Post. These articles have been selected based on their prevalence across popular blogs and social media and their relevance to current events. We invite you to engage in friendly and positive discussion about these articles. If you read

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19 Jan 2015

American Sniper | Movie Review

Clint Eastwood’s biographical study of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle – a sniper credited with over 160 confirmed kills, the most in U.S. military history – will likely be remembered as the “Saving Private Ryan” of the Iraq War. This will undoubtedly seem high praise for a film which just opened in wide release: “American Sniper,” however, not only offers an exceptional character study, but brilliantly captures the conflicted cultural ethos surrounding a war to which

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13 Jan 2015

A (Free) College Education for Everyone?

Is “free” community college education for everyone? Jacob Prahlow reflects on the cost, need, and implications for such a proposal.

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13 Jan 2015

The Interview | Movie Review

Much talked about, “The Interview” is pretty straightforward: TV host Dave Skylark (James Franco) and his producer Aaron Rapaport (Seth Rogen), while planning a trip to Pyongyang to interview dictator Kim Jong Un, are recruited for a covert assassination mission by CIA agent Lacey (Lizzy Caplan). The resulting chaos involves puppies, Katy Perry’s “Firework”, tank battles, fake grapefruits, basketball games (a satisfying potshot in Dennis Rodman’s direction) and giant Siberian tigers, among other things. John Ehrett offers his review.

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25 Dec 2014

Keeping Love in Christmas

I have heard distant rumblings of war. According to my Facebook feed, there are a number of wars going on—the war on women, the war on marijuana, and the war on Christmas. In fact, it would seem that every time an ideological disagreement pops up, it gets couched in terms of war. The problem with this, of course, is that when everything is a war nothing is a war. So when a really big problem

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23 Dec 2014

Why Professor Gushee is Wrong About How to Handle Same-Sex Marriage

Guest Author Deion Kathawa responds to Professor David P. Gushee’s recent article in the Washington Post and offers a critique of evangelical positions in favor of Same-Sex Marriage.

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29 Nov 2014

Weekly Reads (November 29)

Happy Thanksgiving, readers! We hoped you had a blessed and relaxing holiday with your families. While this is not directly relevant to theology, if you haven’t already, watch the newly-released trailers for Jurassic World and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Conciliar Post George Aldhizer, “Lecrae’s Theology of Quality” Chris Casber, “Through the Internet, Darkly” Father Gregory Owen, “Treasure of the Inner Life” Jacob Prahlow, “Book Review: Genesis of the Dead“ (new book from our own Chris Casberg) Benjamin

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31 Oct 2014

Engaging Halloween

Happy Halloween! Or Happy Reformation Day. Or Happy All Hallow’s Eve. Or maybe I should just wish you all a Happy Friday. For many Christians, today seems to be marked with uncertainty. Yes, we all enjoy seeing (and buying, but this isn’t the place for personal confession) the gigantic bags of candy in the grocery store. And most of us enjoy seeing hilariously clever punny costumes (admit it, you chuckled at those). But for many

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