Posts Tagged ‘ Media ’

2 Days to Exegeting A City

I write this from a café in London. I arrived in this amazing city less than 24 hours ago, and am going to be getting on a train out of town in just a couple hours. Not a lot of time for all things touristy, which is fine by me, because I’m a terrible tourist (and proud of that). Good tourists, though, use an array of guidebooks that can take you on a tour of any given city according to their favorite criteria – “London on $5 a Day!” or “Top Ten Restaurant Experiences in New York” or “The Two Day Guide to Copenhagen.” I haven’t ever read those guides, but I’m sure they’re fun ways of learning a city if you on a limited time frame and/or budget. As a blue collar missiologist/theologian, I’m much more interested in the process of “reading” a city than I am in seeing […]



Christians and Mosque Protests

Perhaps against my better judgment, I’m going to wade into some political waters briefly. That’s dangerous business, but to add stupidity to danger, I’m going to offer a perspective on a political debate I haven’t spent very much time researching or trying to get a grip on. It goes a little something like this: there’s a major debate roaring on and on about the building of a mosque near the site where the 9/11 tragedy took place. Lots of politicians and sensationalist talk show hosts have been talking on all sides of the debate, stirring up a frenzy. And the USAmerican viewing audience appears to be convinced of the critical importance of either definitely not building it, or definitely building it. From the number of Facebook links I’ve seen in my News Feed, many Christians are pretty fired up about this issue, too. I’ve talked to several friends who lament […]



Emergency! 2 million people in jeopardy!!

A recent survey revealed a frightening level of lack of preparation.  As a result, more than 2 million USAmerican households are in danger of losing their television signals.  These are people without a digital converter box for their TV, and won’t be able to receive the over-the-air broadcasts from TV stations.  Have you noticed the frenzy that TV channels are going through to make sure everyone is prepared.  It’s like there’s some impending natural disaster or something. It sure does reveal something about the centrality of our idolatry.  I’m completely and totally guilty of this form of idolatry myself, so I don’t mean to make some elitist, moralist stand here. Whatever the case, I hope that they do some follow up surveys with these 2 million households.  Something along the lines of tracking increased levels of literacy, quality of family relationships, community involvement, and physical health among those who got […]



Our church sucks 16% less than the sucky church you go to

<unfair rant warning> I know I’m not alone in having received tons of church marketing pieces in my mailbox over the years.  Sometimes, they’re simple and elegant invitations to their Easter services, sometimes they’re loud and obnoxious and clearly trying too hard to be cool.  There’s a church in my area that sends out full color, 8×10 pieces about once every two months, with a design that looks like a magazine cover.  Pretty predictable stuff, really.  Unfortunately, these marketing pieces are almost always dishonest in some significant ways.  For example, if the marketing piece has pretty people from a number of ethnic backgrounds pictured, you can almost universally guarantee that the church is full of white people, most of whome are not photogenic. The marketing piece I’ve seen a number of times is the one I love to hate the most.  It’s the one that says, “You should check out […]



I am so not cool

Working with a bunch of college students gives me the frequent opportunity to realize that I’m out of touch.  Whether it’s the movies I haven’t seen, or the music I haven’t heard, I know I’m behind the curve.  That’s o.k., though.  I think God gave me a gift of grace when I was in high school, and actually cared a lot about being cool.  At some point, the heavens parted, and I had a rare moment of clarity in which I realized that even in my small, private school, there were several different sub-groups that each had their own distinct version of what it meant to be cool, and they were seemingly only concerned about living up to their own groups’ versions of cool.  The punk kids didn’t try to be cool by surfers’ terms, and the preppies didn’t try to score style points with the band geeks.  In that […]



Movie Review: Slumdog (Untouchable) Millionaire

Note: This isn’t really a movie review per-se.  It’s more of a reflection from a guy who doesn’t watch many movies, and is, therefore, unqualified for such a task. This weekend I followed the masses and went to a theater to watch the recent Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire.  I had heard from a wide variety of people how good the movie was.  I had heard a couple of radio interviews with the director as well.  The fact that the film told the story of extreme poverty in India, which I was able to witness first-hand last summer, was all the motivation I needed to see it. The movie was as good as advertised.  It tells a compelling story of survival, love, and faithfulness.  It does so while giving a glimpse of the complex changes taking place in India – the extreme disparity between the super-wealthy and the slums.  The framing device […]



It's Sunday, so I guess I won't be (fill in the blank)

According to a research study published in an online article in New Scientist, conservatives would appear to be hypocrites when it comes to practicing what they preach (HT: boingboing).  <pause to allow readers to overcome their shock>  The study has to do with online pornography consumption, and finds that states that are the biggest consumers tend to be more conservative and more religious.  8 of the 10 states that consumed the most went for John McCain in last November’s election.  How people voted doesn’t necessarily mean anything, but here’s something that does: Church-goers bought less online porn on Sundays – a 1% increase in a postal code’s religious attendance was associated with a 0.1% drop in subscriptions that day. However, expenditures on other days of the week brought them in line with the rest of the country, Edelman finds. Did you get that?  Church folks consume as much porn as […]



I suppose I should be ashamed to admit this . . .

. . . but I watched this show last night for the first time.  Laughed uncontrollably.  It’s totally not the kind of show I’d normally enjoy – not usually into slapstick humor.  I need to never watch the show again . . . but I just might get suckered in. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeoWIzXDL_I&hl=en&fs=1]



Unwatchable actor/actress meme

I’ve been tagged by Eliacin, and have nothing better to blog about today, so I’ll just suck it up and do it.  I’m supposed to list five actors or actresses that would make me run from any movie they appear in.  As a necessary disclaimer, I frustrate many many people when talking about movies, because, well, I actually don’t see a ton of them.  They’re all, “Hey Steve, so remember in xyz movie, so and so did this and said that?”  And I’m like, “Uh, well, how about no . . . haven’t seen xyz, or its sequel.”  And they go, “What???  Everyone has seen that movie.”  And I usually end up saying something like, “My list of no-brainer-everyone-has-seen-it-except-for-me movies is impressive.”  So, then, here’s my list, in no particular order: Matthew McConaughey – I know, every woman alive thinks he’s so hot that his acting chops don’t matter . […]



Marriage and Born Again Christians

The Barna organization just released some study stats on marriage and divorce.  There are a number of interesting aspects to this thing.  But I’ll pick two to highlight. First, the study notes that of the 3792 adults surveyed, 33% had experienced a divorce.  Of these, “born again Christians” had a 32% likelihood of divorce, atheists or agnostics came in at 30%, and “Evangelical Christians” had a 26% rate.  Great, isn’t it?  All our rallying for the “sanctity of marriage” in the public square, and that’s what we have to show for it.  All those blasted homosexuals are “threatening to undermine the institution of marriage.”  Yep, it’s all on them . . . never mind that we heterosexuals are able to stick together only a little better than band-aids and wet skin.  I mean, what would we do if homosexuals had the same rights to get divorced as straight people? I’m […]