Culture

Category Archives: Culture

Thinking (Christianly) About Politics

It’s that season again. I don’t mean winter. I mean the political season. Last night, Iowa kicked off the long primary/caucus gauntlet (grueling for both candidates and voters?), which will culminate several months from now in a national election. And if we aren’t already thinking along these lines, it’s a good reminder that we as Christians have a responsibility to think through how our faith should inform our understanding of and involvement with politics.

That’s not inventing a link that isn’t there, it’s just being biblical. Consider just one passage of many we could use to make the point:

Do I Have to Carve Jesus into a Pumpkin to be a Christian at Halloween?

Halloween is met with mixed reactions from Christians. Some say that participating in Halloween gives sanction to a holiday that promotes witches, divination, and other occult practices. Others participate in the drunkenness and debauchery that accompany the holiday. And still others create “hell housesjesus-pumpkin4” at their church, attempting to shock young people and scare them into becoming Christians.

We’ve all heard reasons why Christians shouldn’t celebrate Halloween, and there’s no doubt that the origin of this holiday was pagan in nature. But what if, as Christians, we used Halloween well, not celebrating its pagan roots but redeeming it for Christ’s purposes? You don’t have to carve Jesus into a pumpkin to glorify God this year (but props to you if you can do it). Here’s a few ways to think about Halloween: 

How to Talk to Your Kids About Sex

Talking to our kids about sex can be one of the more daunting and awkward things we do as parents. But if we don’t, who will?

As it turns out, lots of people. And that’s the problem.

Movies, music, and magazines, TV shows and their commercials, online images and everyday conversations with friends—they’re all regularly communicating ideas about sex to our kids. And those ideas are often a significant distortion of the good and powerful gift that God has given us in sex.

Consider a few illuminating stats:

Not At All Surprising: Western Christians Meets the Heirs of ‘Arthur Jensen’

This past week, the Irvine Company, managers of the Fashion Island Mall in Orange County, California, made the decision to take down all ads for Pastor Greg Laurie’s annual Harvest outreach, to be held Aug. 17-19 at Angel Stadium. The Harvest ads had been contracted and paid for but, apparently, just the sight of a

7 Tips to Help Your Kids Engage with Media/Entertainment

Apart from throwing our kids into solitary confinement and shoving them meals through a slot in the door, every parent eventually has to make decisions about how to guide their consumption of TV shows, movies, music, YouTube videos, websites, and other media and entertainment options. Even failing to adopt a strategy is, by default, adopting a strategy. But if we’re wanting to take a wise, biblically-shaped approach, we need to do think through some principles that will help us guide our kids as they navigate the sea of popular culture.

We should acknowledge that there’s no flow chart or set of “if/then” statements that we could list that could cover every situation, but the following points should at least steer us in the right direction.

A Modern Day Parable

It shouldn’t be surprising that some of the most popular parts of the Bible are Jesus’ parables. After all the stories are interesting and the spiritual truth they convey profound. In Sunday’s New York Times, Sam Polk, a former Wall Street trader, shared part of his personal history. It’s a story that I would classify

Abusers, Hucksters and the Protection of Wronged Parties

The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him. Proverbs 18:17 (ESV) Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured

‘Jesus, could we put this whole crucifixion thing to a vote?’

Recently, yet another congregation of Christians took a vote and decided “overwhelmingly” to agree amongst themselves to overturn centuries of orthodoxy with regard to human sin and the singular rescue plan we all freely have been offered in Jesus. Unsurprisingly, the driving issue at hand was God’s revelation as it relates to His created order,

A Prayer for Charlottesville (And Us)

Jesus, When we look at the images of hatred, division, evil, violence, and chaos that took place this weekend in Virginia, our hearts are grieved. In moments like this, it’s difficult to know what to say and do. As those who follow you, help our first response to be prayer that turns into action fueled

Some Thoughts for Politely Declining One-Third of a Barbecued Gopher

Since June of last year, I have been progressivly convicted by the sinful patterns of eating that are more-or-less “the air we breathe” in modern American culture. The ride has been rather bumpy. While we should all be deeply grateful that our country no longer suffers from the sort of widespread starvation that characterized the