The World Together blog : Arts and media
Ron Sider’s newest publication, The Early Church on Killing, is, as the subtitle suggests, a fairly comprehensive source book for anyone who is investigating what early Christians had to say about war, abortion and capital punishment. This book should be of great interest to Red Letter Christians because it deals with these three hot-button subjects that inevitably emerge whenever Red Letter Christians get together and discuss social issues.
I grew up in the contemporary evangelical church. Many people in my life have noted that rather than completely cut myself off from my roots, I have a tendency to integrate what I perceive to be the good. Although that may have to be the topic of another post, today I want to reflect on one thing that I still appreciate about evangelicalism in its contemporary form: worship music.
Rachel DeMara Sensenig
Last week I saw Ben Stiller’s fine portrayal of how a dutiful and timid man becomes the adventurous, brave and creative man that he and his crush are looking for. What he thinks is his “secret life” — the daydreams of heroism that distract him — becomes not-so-secret as he gains courage to show up in the moment and do what he wants to do. I’d argue that his “secret life” was never really so secret in the first place: his lack of presence and attention to those around him (and to himself!) while he was locked in fantasy was hard to hide.
All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.
— Blaise Pascal, Pensées
The first eight months of 2013 filmmaking were so pathetic, I despaired of finding enough films for a top 10 list, but the fall made up for it. It was so good, in fact, that I need to have a top 12 list so I can accommodate two films starring Matthew McConaughey, the best actor of 2013 (who’d have thought?). My list also includes two films starring Robert Redford and who could possibly have predicted that? I can’t recall a year in which I was more impressed with actors (men). I think I can list at least a dozen performances I think are Oscar worthy .
Disney just released a trailer for Maleficent, a retelling of Sleeping Beauty from the wicked fairy’s point of view starring Angelina Jolie.
In a recent episode of The Mindy Project, the main character Mindy Lahiri is struggling with her relationship to her fiancé, Pastor Casey. The show’s take on Casey is a snarky riff on all of the stereotypes I/we might have about some megachurch Christian pastors: he makes up Christian raps, he talks in cool lingo (like referring to his heart as “Sir Thumps-a-Lot”), and his congregation loves it. In his Christian community, he is a rock star.
A week or so ago, I challenged a troubadour friend of mine in passing to write a social-political Protest Song, in the vein of songs styled in the Vietnam era. That friend was Sammy Horner, an actively traveling troubadour who is known for his lyrics and musical abilities, especially in the musical groups The Electrics and The Sweet Sorrows. It was just a few weeks ago that we hosted Kylie and Sammy Horner as they played for us at Cafe One Eight, in downtown Lancaster, Pa.
For the last few years, my favorite description of the work of theology has been Catherine Keller’s evocative “incantations on the edge of uncertainty.” For unlike the strong theologies of ages past that all too often mirrored the monarchical power structures of their day, I am drawn to the idea of theology as the process of responding as best one can into the uncertainty of the world, not knowing if one’s response will serve on the side of good or ill, but nevertheless responding anyway.
Every third weekend of September, the crowds converge on tiny Winfield, Kan. Some bring their motor homes, some tarps and tents, and some come just for the day. But all come to hear some of the best acoustic music in the country.