Category: Pop culture

The Death of Expertise

Remember that famous scene in Peter Weir’s “Dead Poets Society,” in which professor Keating (played by Robin Williams) orders his English literature students to tear out the introductory pages of their poetry textbook? Those pages, Keating explains, are the soulless...

/ April 20, 2017

Sympathy and Suicide

Netflix’s newest original miniseries, 13 Reasons Why, is compelling TV. It’s well-acted and hauntingly written. But while watching it, something bothered me, and it took me a while to figure out what it was. I fear that 13 Reasons Why...

/ April 11, 2017

Brett McCracken (and Me) on Movies, Nostalgia, and Criticism

For the last few weeks I’ve been chatting via email with pastor, writer, and Christian film critic Brett McCracken. Brett is one of the most articulate, and consistently helpful evangelical culture writers that I know. I was eager to get...

/ April 6, 2017

The Pagans Who Will Save Christian Publishing

I was reminded recently of one of my favorite anecdotes from Russell Moore. It’s about the day that Dr. Carl F.H. Henry told him that the next great Christian leaders were probably pagans right now: Several of us were lamenting the...

/ March 27, 2017

Review: “Beauty and the Beast” (2017)

When the history of Hollywood’s current creative stagnation is written, we very well might regard the new live action version of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” as the quintessential movie of the era. It is a remarkably efficient summation both of...

/ March 21, 2017

The Shack and the Problem of Christian Entertainment

Look at this headline from a movie review in The Metro: The evangelical entertainment ‘The Shack’ is almost a real movie I’m not entirely sure why, but what struck me most about this headline was not the clever zinger, but...

/ March 3, 2017

Why Do Liberals Love Harry Potter?

My favorite read of the day is this article on understanding why progressives, especially millennials in the Obama to post-Obama era, are so in love with using the Harry Potter stories as metaphors for America’s current cultural moment. The author...

/ February 6, 2017

4 Reasons to Skip the Super Bowl Half-Time Show

Unless you’re living under a rock–in which case, well done on getting wi-fi reception–you know the Super Bowl is tomorrow. The odds are good that you are either throwing a Super Bowl party or attending one. For readers in the...

/ February 4, 2017

Dreams Can Break Your Heart

My wife and I saw La La Land last night. I found it dazzlingly entertaining, and even more than a bit moving. Emma Stone fully deserves her Oscar nomination (Ryan Gosling was fine, but his performance has been overrated). I think...

/ February 1, 2017

The Thrill Is Gone

Some scattered thoughts about that Sherlock finale….[warning: possible spoilers ahead] To me, the whole of season 4 has been a scattered, hokey, delight-scarce mess. “The Final Problem” epitomized that characterization. Yes, it was interesting, in the same way that lots...

/ January 17, 2017