A Cinematic Theology of the Cross: Despair and Hope in Paul Schrader’s First Reformed

At its core, First Reformed is about the perennial challenge of maintaining faith and hope in the midst of doubt and despair.

Christ and Pop Culture Summer 2018 Reading Guide

Here are some books we love and think you might, too.

Anthony Bourdain Taught Us about Breaking Bread in a Broken World

By turning the cameras onto his guests, Bourdain revealed to his audience a world at once vastly diverse, painfully complex, and beautifully human.

Solo: Gambling on an Origin Story

Solo: A Star Wars Story edifies not only the existing Star Wars canon, but it injects new meaning into the life and storyline of Han Solo.

Arrested Development‘s #MeToo Moment

Not only did these men fail to do the right thing in the moment; they failed to recognize the part they played in perpetuating their female colleague’s pain.

“This is America”: Childish Gambino’s Warning to Evangelicals

So as we nod our heads, bounce our shoulders, and rap with Childish Gambino in “This is America,” we need not disregard the America he and many others perceive, nor dilute it down to sensationalized art.

Waiting for the Light to Come On: Scott Hutchison and Frightened Rabbit

Scott Hutchison didn’t believe in anything beyond this life, but when I talk about light that emanates from his songs, I call it spiritual. He saw a daunting, cold world and set about doing what he could to breathe warmth into it, to strive against his pride to love unselfishly, to rage against the idea that we must accept the earth in its broken state.

Finding the Church in the Horror Masterpiece A Quiet Place

Instead of viewing each other as only possessing weaknesses to be overcome, in A Quiet Place the Abbott family reminds us that our weaknesses can make each other stronger, and the strength of community is only possible because of its vulnerability.

Kendrick Lamar’s Pulitzer and the Making of a New Tradition

With DAMN. and its accompanying Pulitzer, Kendrick Lamar has crossed a milestone, has set a precedent—has established a fresh tradition; hip-hop has entered a new phase.

Roseanne Is Back, and She’s Not Sorry

In Roseanne, the Conners’ current state of fragmentation, political and social, is like holding a mirror up to our society. It ain’t pretty, but it’s us.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine and the Unrelenting Optimism of Jake Peralta

Better to live life as a heroic optimist, desiring and expecting good, flourishing, and well-being in and for others.

William Hope Hodgson: A Light in the Night Land

William Hope Hodgson’s dark works are not without glimmers of something like light.

A Tale of Two Tomb Raiders: Sex and Objectification in the Action Franchise

Like in this year’s Tomb Raider, we deserve portrayals of female heroes who stand on equal ground with the best male action heroes—not tethered to objectifications of our sexual prowess.

Kill Bill, #MeToo, and the Violence of Justice

It’s a far cry from the “redeeming blood” spoken about in scriptures, but the crimson founts in ‘Kill Bill’ are redemptive in the way they represent purifying the world of misogyny, which is still one of our undeniable dominant cultural attitudes.

Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One and the Escape from Reality

In Ready Player One, humanity longs for the inner self to be unshackled from captivity to a meaningless and confining real world.

America’s Evangelical Leaders Could Learn a Lot From Rachael Denhollander

Our congregations would benefit from future pastors who’ve been influenced by women like Rachael Denhollander.