Blogging · Books · ebooks · Facebook · Movies · social media · The Gospel Coalition · Tullian Tchividjian · Twitter

Owl Post 4-20-2012

Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?

Social media—from Facebook to Twitter—have made us more densely networked than ever. Yet for all this connectivity, new research suggests that we have never been lonelier (or more narcissistic)—and that this loneliness is making us mentally and physically ill. A report on what the epidemic of loneliness is doing to our souls and our society.

Piper, Ryken, Reynolds, and Nielson Commend the Classics:

This week The Gospel Coalition welcomes you to join us in an exciting new series called Commending the Classics. We’re thrilled to welcome Wheaton College professor Leland Ryken as a sort of literature scholar in residence to guide us as we read classic books together. Every week he’ll lend us his decades of learning to help us understand why these works have come to be regarded as timeless treasures. Have you ever thought, I’ve heard that book is great, but I’m intimidated to read it myself without any help? Then we’ve designed this series precisely with you in mind. You get the benefits of a reading community who will help you along and a gifted professor who will answer your questions.

The Kindle Index: What City Buys the Most E-Readers?

Recently, a new form of reading elitism has come about: judgement against people who haven’t yet switched from paper books to digital ones. Even I will confess to patronizingly acting surprised when encountering someone who still reads using the “dead tree format.”

Why ‘Blue Like Jazz’ Won’t Save Christian Cinema:

What happens when you water down the message? “Religious people rarely get a fair shake at the movies. Mainstream films usually seem bent on portraying faithful people as joyless hypocrites: Think of the shrill Hilary Faye in Saved or the stern principal/nun inDoubt. Movies produced by overtly Christian companies are no more nuanced. Films like Courageous andFireproof show firemen and police officers in straightforward moral dilemmas with straightforward Biblical solutions, while the pro-life subgenre is filled with stories that distort and oversimplify the way a woman decides whether or not to keep an unwanted baby.”

Chase a dream, not a number:

There’s a bed they sell that let’s you set a “sleep number.” You get to determine the stiffness or softness you want with a dial and then enjoy a restful night of customized comfort. I forget the name of the manufacturer, but if they want to sponsor my blog, I would Google that on the quick and write it in bold. (The kids need new shoes! Keens specifically, because wow, those things stink after a season of backyard romping.)

Not Quite a Teen, Yet Sold for Sex:

If you think sex trafficking only happens in faraway places like Nepal or Thailand, then you should listen to an expert on American sex trafficking I interviewed the other day.

“Ifs” Kill!

One of the problems in the current conversation regarding the relationship between law and gospel is that the term “law” is not always used to mean the same thing. This is understandable since in the Bible “law” does not always mean the same thing.

Church · Mad Men · Movies

Owl Post 3-21-2012

A few links, sorry there are not more; just got back from Italy.

Hungry for Love: Dystopia, Genesis 4, and The Hunger Games:

Will I be at the midnight showing of The Hunger Games this Thursday? I hope so! Back in 2009, Mockingjay- er, Mockingbird- contributor JDK wrote a fantastic piece onGeorge Orwell and Law/Gospel, noting an important link between dystopian literature and life after the fall. The genre has proven to be a fairly bankable one in Hollywood (from Total Recall and The Matrix to I Am Legend and The Walking Dead and everywhere in between), a trend which shows no sign of slowing anytime soon. Indeed, the latest high-profile dystopian fantasy to hit the silver screen is the most hyped movie of the year thus far. I am talking, of course, about The Hunger Games, the adaptation of the first book in Suzanne Collins’ young adult trilogy, and heir to Twilight/Harry Potter teen sensation throne. With the first book devoured in one sleepless night, and parts two and three on order from Amazon, I thought it might be timely to revisit the dystopia genre in relation to the gospel. Link

Unseen Titanic: New images of wreck reveal entire ship for first time:

If you are a Titanic enthusiast like me then check this out. “New images of the wreck of the RMS Titanic reveal for the first time ever the full stretch of the “unsinkable” boat — sprawled silently 12,500 feet beneath the Atlantic Ocean.” Link

The Christian Movie Establishment vs. Blue Like Jazz:

This is a great look at the politics of “Christian” films and a sad reflection of how Christians can be their own worst enemies. “The website BoxOfficeMojo.com is full of useless statistics that I check regularly. One of its most fascinating and terrifying features happens when you click on ‘Genres.'” Link

The Foreign Language of ‘Mad Men’:

With Mad Men’s return on Sunday comes the return of the paeans to the show’s attention to period detail. By various reports, Matthew Weiner devours half-century old letters, dresses actors in period undergarments, and even throws out suspiciously attractive fruit to ensure that nothing dispels the perfect illusion of the 1960s. Link

When the Good Do Bad:

It’s always interesting to read the quotations of people who knew a mass murderer before he killed. They usually express complete bafflement that a person who seemed so kind and normal could do something so horrific. Link

A Call to Humility for Megachurch Pastors:

It is an amazing privilege to lead a large and growing community of faith. We love the church, have given our lives to its expansion, and now find ourselves in one of the vanguards of its expression. Link