Ten Years and Thirteen Hundred Feet

Approximately ten and a half years ago, I visited New York City. I was living on the East Coast, where I had been for most of the time that I could remember, but was soon to move to the Mid-West. Since we would be leaving during the summer, my family decided to make the trip to see New York City, while we were still able to drive there. We had taken advantage of living within thirty minutes of Washington D.C.–by “we” here I actually mean “my school district” in the form of field trips–but had not yet ventured as far north as New York. So off we went, driving with my Grandparents in tow, and spending the night in New Jersey. Continue reading Ten Years and Thirteen Hundred Feet

“Christian” Hip-Hop: What Does That Even Mean?

Last week, we talked a bit about the importance of Christian hip-hop/rap as a genre, and then provided numerous examples of theologically-influenced lyrics from within the genre. Hopefully you’ve taken a few minutes to check some of those artists out. What follows today is a discussion of a debate that has long existed within the genre, but has recently taken a front seat. Continue reading “Christian” Hip-Hop: What Does That Even Mean?

Christian Hip-Hop: Some Content May Surprise You

In my undergraduate education, I was a student of Biblical studies. I was also an avid rap fan.

Many people can hardly put those two things together. I’d often find myself writing out a theology paper while listening to the latest rap album I had purchased. While I did listen to some rap (and other genres, for that matter) that at times felt at odds with the content of what I was writing, that simply wasn’t the case with the rap music I was listening to. In fact, there were times when the lyrics would help provide me with a picture of something from the Biblical text. Continue reading Christian Hip-Hop: Some Content May Surprise You

A Primer: Why Christian Hip-Hop is Here to Stay

If you haven’t been following the Christian music scene for awhile, I can’t really say that I blame you. Much of the music we label as “Christian” is, frankly, boring. If a particular band or album is beautifully done, it is usually either considered a step away from the “Christian music” scene (i.e., they did not mention Jesus’ name explicitly in that last album, and so are no longer being Christian in their music) or it is a fluke. There are, of course, exceptions to this. Some artists and bands have created beautiful music that Christians can embrace, but with the sheer number of artists out there, the contemporary Christian music scene is stale. Continue reading A Primer: Why Christian Hip-Hop is Here to Stay

Pornography, PETA Style

I would have thought that anyone arguing for a connection between PETA and pornography would have to suggest that objectification of women expressed via pornography was comparable to the objectification of animals in the meat industry production lines. Treating women like pieces of meat and then treating animals like only objects made of meat, as opposed to living creatures, would be a connection that, I think, could be made without too much of a stretch. Continue reading Pornography, PETA Style

Convenience and Reducing a Pregnancy

I stand resolute on my position on abortion: I do not believe abortion is a viable option. The sanctity of the life of the child is tantamount to making any health-related decision. There may be extreme cases where there is a certainty that a pregnancy will lead to the death of both the child and the mother (though I express my reservations about the possibility of ‘certainty’ in this situation). But the primary push ought to be for life itself. Continue reading Convenience and Reducing a Pregnancy

Tim Tebow, Faith and Blasphemy

I won’t pretend to be an expert in the world of sports. I can tell you if a given team is at the professional or college level for most sports, and at one point I followed both baseball and basketball well enough to name specific players on my favorite teams, but aside from that I am not what anyone could rightfully call a sports buff. It isn’t that I don’t find sports interesting or entertaining, I just have not invested my time and effort into knowledge about players or in-depth strategies usually associated with those who are considered ‘fans.’ Continue reading Tim Tebow, Faith and Blasphemy

Scholarship, Roman Catholics, Evangelicals, and the Use of Doubt

Before beginning, yes, that is an Oxford comma in the title. While some have done away with it, I find it still has merit. So sue me.

Today, a friend of mine brought this article to my attention. The title told me that I would likely disagree with the article. While I land decidedly not Roman Catholic (*cough Evangelical Outpost cough*), I instantly had a predisposition against what I was about to read. For starters, I am relatively certain that Roman Catholic scholarship is something that I am glad exists, even if I ultimately do not agree with a large portion of it. But aside from that, the definition of scholarship that the author takes strikes me as empty. For his definition, I find it best to quote rather than attempt to paraphrase: Continue reading Scholarship, Roman Catholics, Evangelicals, and the Use of Doubt

The End of Jonathan’s Card

Last Friday, the world lost Jonathan’s Card. If you are unfamiliar with Jonathan’s social experiment, the idea was that he bought a gift card, uploaded an image that could be scanned on any smartphone to the web, and encouraged people to use it and add money to it at their whim and desire. You could follow the card’s balance via twitter, or just take a gamble at your local Starbucks by ordering and scanning it. People would add money either via the web or in person, and the card fluctuated in value rather rapidly. Continue reading The End of Jonathan’s Card