Category: Culture

Gotta Trust Somebody

My intention with my last post was to make a very small, but very important point. Discernment is not cynicism, and cynicism is not discernment. What passes for critical thinking is often nothing more than a defense mechanism, wired specifically to...

/ May 18, 2017

Cynicism vs Discernment

Cynicism: “I don’t believe these news reports because they critique or reflect poorly on those in my political tribe.” Discernment: “Of course, I have my convictions and my loyalties, but everyone, including me, is capable of doing wrong.” Cynicism: “The problem is clearly that these...

/ May 16, 2017

Being Eaten By Lions on Facebook

What does Proverbs 22:13 have to do with social media and public discourse? The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside! I shall be killed in the streets!” Now, you don’t have to have a Ph.D. in Old Testament to...

/ May 8, 2017

Does Sex Make Movies “Authentic”?

I have a quick word on this take on movies and culture from Freddie deBoer. I agree with 99% of what he says, and have tried at various times to make the point he makes. But I do have one...

/ May 6, 2017

A Last Word About “13 Reasons Why”

Since registering my deep concerns with the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why,” I’ve been pleased to see more thoughts from others, like Russell Moore and Trevin Wax. Non-Christian therapy and counseling professionals are likewise alarmed, and apparently there’s been enough...

/ May 3, 2017

The Outraged Are Always Right

It’s getting really bad out there. Americans, including very intelligent, thoughtful ones, simply cannot abide the mere presence of someone they don’t agree with. How else to explain the spectacle of allegedly reasonable people scurrying to punish The New York...

/ May 2, 2017

The Problem With Social Media Righteousness

If there’s anybody who is writing more incisively about social media culture right now than Freddie deBoer, I don’t know who it is. There are quite a few valuable points in his latest post, but I want to focus on...

/ April 22, 2017

Putting Down My Inner Polemicist

I’m not a pastor, but this post by Kevin DeYoung hit me where it hurts. For the sake of clarity, “polemics” in the sense that DeYoung is using here refer to a particular mode of engaging ideas critically, with a...

/ April 19, 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