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.

Subtweeting Our Righteousness before Men

We pull quotes out of context to justify or support any argument, often with little care to how the larger narrative (of Scripture or of Dr. King’s life and work) would help us interpret the one little snippet we want to use.

Black Panther or King T’Challa: The Search for Identity in Marvel’s Groundbreaking New Film

Black Panther offers a powerful lesson for us today: our fully realized identities are not found in responsibilities that can be relinquished, but in the sacrifices made when most seemingly unnecessary.

Mbue’s Behold the Dreamers, an Invitation to Empathetic Discomfort

Perhaps Mbue’s purpose was to evoke in me just a tiny bit of the frantic sense of what it is to be an immigrant, to be fixated on a version of a dream that will never come true.

Timeline and the God in Time

Timeline is easy to learn, quick to play, and satisfies the human love of trivia.

What the Academy Award Best Picture Nominees Say about God, Faith, and Religion

This year’s Academy Awards best picture nominees each possess a particular way of understanding what it means to be human. They answer inquiries of vast religious significance. “Where are we going?” “How might human joy be obtained?” and “What does the nature of sacrifice entail for the world around us?”

In Hostiles, Our Worst Enemies Are Also Our Neighbors

Perhaps we don’t have arch-nemeses like Joe Blocker, or a “war bag full of reasons” to hate an entire people group, as he says he does in the film, but just by virtue of being human, our natural state toward each other is hostility.

Crying in Public: The Cost of Gawking at Tonya and Tammy Faye

We are the audience, with our endless appetite for scandal, standing around the woman at the well (or in this case the two women at the well), ready to throw stones.

No Laughing Matter: Funny Games and the Moral Implications of Our Entertainment

People can be, are, and indeed always have been entertaining, but people are never entertainment.