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Archive for the ‘Pop Culture’ Category

I had the privilege of being the guest poster on Stuff Christians Like on Friday. This is my second time to guest post, and I think there are few less people mad at me about this one.

Click here to read my first guest post: Secretly Believing the Prosperity Gospel

Click here to read Friday’s post: Having Job Titles No One Understands

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Fine idea, but I’m not sure if I can get behind this:

Read about the “movement” here.

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Thinking About Santa

Some interesting comments from Noel Piper:

Over the years, we have chosen not to include Santa Claus in our Christmas stories and decorations. There are several reasons.

First, fairy tales are fun and we enjoy them, but we don’t ask our children to believe them.

Second, we want our children to understand God as fully as they’re able at whatever age they are. So we try to avoid anything that would delay or distort that understanding. It seems to us that celebrating with a mixture of Santa and manger will postpone a child’s clear understanding of what the real truth of God is. It’s very difficult for a young child to pick through a marble cake of part-truth and part-imagination to find the crumbs of reality.

Third, we think about how confusing it must be to a straight-thinking, uncritically-minded preschooler because Santa is so much like what we’re trying all year to teach our children about God. Look, for example, at the “attributes” of Santa.

  • He’s omniscient—he sees everything you do.
  • He rewards you if you’re good.
  • He’s omnipresent—at least, he can be everywhere in one night.
  • He gives you good gifts.
  • He’s the most famous “old man in the sky” figure.

But at the deeper level that young children haven’t reached yet in their understanding, he is not like God at all.

For example, does Santa really care if we’re bad or good? Think of the most awful kid you can remember. Did he or she ever not get gifts from Santa?

What about Santa’s spying and then rewarding you if you’re good enough? That’s not the way God operates. He gave us his gift—his Son—even though we weren’t good at all. “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). He gave his gift to us to make us good, not because we had proved ourselves good enough.

Helping our children understand God as much as they’re able at whatever age they are is our primary goal. But we’ve also seen some other encouraging effects of not including Santa in our celebration.

Read the rest of the article here.

What about you? How do you do Santa?

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Steven Seagal: Lawman

I thought this was a joke until I heard Steven say: “It’s not a joke.”

Apparently, it’s not a joke. And according to Seagal, it’s not a job either: “It’s an adventure.”

I present to you the depths to which reality tv has fallen: Steven Seagal: Lawman.

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Mass We Pray

Seriously? I mean, seriously?

I don’t know whether to laugh, cry, or scream. I’ve got a pretty good idea which one Jesus is doing though.

Somebody tell me this is a joke.

(HT: Challies)

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Russell Moore has a great post about what David Letterman can teach us about the gospel. In case you missed it, Letterman admitted on his show last Thursday that he was the victim of extortion, that he had numerous affairs with people on staff of the Late Show, and someone had found him out. That person was blackmailing Letterman in order to keep quiet.

Here’s a part of what Russell pointed out:

The power the blackmailer had over the comedian was in the truthfulness of his accusations, and in the cold, rational evidence he had for each of his charges.

You and I once felt a deeper, more primal blackmail, and it scared us to the core. In fact, we often still do. Now, for most of us, it’s not the same kind of transgression or the same type of discovery. But we’re blackmailed just as surely, in fact even more so.

The scripture says that Satan’s reign over this present order is by holding us captive through the slavery of the “fear of death” (Heb. 2:15). And why are all humans afraid of death? Because, like Letterman’s letter in the back of the car, our conscience is pointing us to judgment, with a “black box” of evidence of our guilt (Rom. 2:15-16).

That’s why the gospel is such good news for blackmailed creepy people like us…

Read the rest here.

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Practical Television Advice

This is a tough one for me, cause I love TV. Alot. Nevertheless, here’s some great, thought-provoking suggestions from Randy Alcorn. You do not have to agree with all of it to benefit from his advice. Here are his points (but click through to read his reasons):

  1. Keep track of how much time you spend watching.
  2. Decide in advance how much TV to watch per week.
  3. Use a schedule to choose programs for the week–then stick to your choices.
  4. Keep your television unplugged, store it in a closet, and/or put it in a remote part of the house (prevents mindless flip-on).
  5. Periodically “fast” from television for a week or a month. Notice the “cold turkey” effects. (Avoids addiction, reminds you of all that can be done when TV off).
  6. Choose programs that uplift rather than undermine biblical values.
  7. Use the “off” switch freely. If it’s wrong and you keep watching, you’re saying “I approve.” (Unless it doesn’t present temptation and you’re critically analyzing it).
  8. Use the channel changer frequently.
  9. Watch and discuss programs together as a family–to avoid passivity and develop active moral discernment through interaction. (Avoid the second TV set that splits the family and leaves children unsupervised).
  10. Don’t allow young children to choose their own programs–that’s the parent’s responsibility.
  11. Don’t use television as a baby sitter.
  12. Spend an hour reading Scripture, a Christian book or magazine, or doing a ministry for each hour you watch TV.
  13. Consider dropping cable, Showtime, HBO, or any other service that you determine is importing ungodliness or temptation into your home.
  14. If you find you can’t control it–or you’re tired of the battle–get rid of your television.

(HT: JT)

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