The Common Good

Results for Culture

Sifting Through Religious Debris in ‘Dig,’ What’s Fact and What’s Fiction?
Originally Posted: 04/24/2015 - 1:09pm | Type: Blog

Trapdoors, secret chambers, and mysterious torch-lit beach rituals. The eighth episode of Dig, the Holy Land conspiracy thriller that aired April 23 on the USA Network, serves up all these classic elements of ...

Will the PBS Series ‘Wolf Hall’ Tarnish St. Thomas More’s Halo?
Originally Posted: 04/23/2015 - 4:38pm | Type: Blog

More was formally canonized in 1935, on the 400th anniversary of his execution. Sir Thomas More loses his head in this Sunday’s episode April 26 of the acclaimed PBS historical dr ...

'The Road to Character' Misses Grace
Originally Posted: 04/23/2015 - 3:42pm | Type: Blog

In Brooks' moral universe, there are many pathways all leading to individual development. Morality doesn’t work that way. Virtue is worth thinking about. We should think, car ...

'Ex Machina' is 'Frankenstein' for the Digital Age
Originally Posted: 04/21/2015 - 3:48pm | Type: Blog

Oscar Isaac's genius founder is a hipster, health-nut blend of Victor Frankenstein and Mark Zuckerberg — all arrogance, paranoia, and protein shakes. The question of what ma ...

When 'Saving the World' Hurts
Originally Posted: 04/21/2015 - 9:05am | Type: Blog

What began as Jonathan’s eager and well-intentioned trip slowly and painfully morphed into a constricted and disillusioning journey of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual anguish. ...

'Batman v. Superman' Is Every Christian’s Battle
Originally Posted: 04/20/2015 - 9:25am | Type: Blog

Why is the idea of Superman and Batman beating each other up so compelling? Two of America’s most recognizable heroes are heading for a showdown, and it’s a fight most of us are i ...

Secret Orders and Supposed Traitors — TV’s ‘Dig’ Into Religious History
Originally Posted: 04/17/2015 - 1:43pm | Type: Blog

with a desert hermit — perhaps an Essene — but returned to Jerusalem at age 19 and joined the Pharisees, ...

Kim Kardashian Airbrushed Out of Ultra-Orthodox Website
Originally Posted: 04/16/2015 - 2:07pm | Type: Blog

This has gotta be a first: Kim Kardashian is not in the picture. This has gotta be a first: Kim Kardashian is not in the picture. But it’s happened, in Israel, on an ultra-Ort ...

Confusing Jesus with Daredevil
Originally Posted: 04/15/2015 - 12:06pm | Type: Blog

The huge problem with all this for Christians is that our compliance in such a model of justice is terribly removed from the teachings of Christ. It’s sinful. Jesus was certainly focused on living justly and r ...

5 Takeaways from Tuesday's White House Celebration of Gospel Music
Originally Posted: 04/15/2015 - 10:18am | Type: Blog

First lady Michelle Obama hosted a discussion with musicians and students on gospel music at the White House on April 14, praising gospel’s role as “a ray of hope” in American history. ...

‘Radical Muslims’ Clothing Line Attempts to Shatter Stereotypes
Originally Posted: 04/13/2015 - 12:21pm | Type: Blog

The phrase elicits images of ISIS militants. What about a man in an ankle-length garment and cotton headscarf carving the air with his skateboard? Radical Muslims. The phrase eli ...

Digging Under Mount Moriah with TV’s ‘Dig’
Originally Posted: 04/10/2015 - 4:27pm | Type: Blog

Archaic prayers, hidden keys, and secret religious orders — such are the elements of the latest episode of the USA Network’s biblical conspiracy action series Dig. Archaic prayer ...

The Problem with Creating ‘Christian’ Versions of Things
Originally Posted: 04/13/2015 - 7:21pm | Type: Blog

The problem with Christian-specific events — especially those run under the best of intentions, as Christian Fashion Week appeared to be — is that they hermetically seal off any good intentions from reaching t ...

'The Salt of the Earth:' Gorgeous Photos in Stark Perspective
Originally Posted: 04/08/2015 - 11:21am | Type: Blog

The Salt of the Earth is a film about perspective, and that's what gives it that extra emotional oomph. Why do we engage with art? What is about a poem, painting, film, or ph ...

Hozier's 'Take Me to Church' As a Holy Week Reflection
Originally Posted: 04/02/2015 - 8:11pm | Type: Blog

I don't want to redeem Hozier, to explain his lyrics or attempt to say why he's wrong and church is not dog-like devotion ... Now is not the time or place for a defense or even a confession. Rather i ...

Pulling Yourself Up by Your Bootstraps...
Originally Posted: 04/08/2015 - 1:40pm | Type: Magazine Article

Ed Spivey Jr. ...like the Koch brothers, who have really nice bootstraps.  WITH THE NEXT election still almos ...

Trials and Tribulations
Originally Posted: 04/08/2015 - 1:40pm | Type: Magazine Article

Gareth Higgins The extraordinary film Leviathan takes place in a tiny coastal town on the other side of the world, but it relates to all ...

#blacklivesmatter in Mark Burnett and Roma Downey’s ‘A.D.’
Originally Posted: 04/02/2015 - 12:51pm | Type: Blog

You’ll see a decidedly more multicultural cast, the result of “honest” conversations between black church leaders and the filmmakers, Hollywood power couple Mark Burnett and Roma Downey. ...

Rich Songs of Economic Despair
Originally Posted: 04/08/2015 - 1:40pm | Type: Magazine Article

Danny Duncan Collum Singer-songwriter Angaleena Presley paints a heartbreaking picture of what Appalachia has become.  ...

This is Praying
Originally Posted: 04/08/2015 - 1:40pm | Type: Magazine Article

Lisa Dordal You hear a voice speaking about a bird dragging its dark universe of feathers across your yard, and you realize it must be you telling the boy how you carried it ...

Reclaiming the Prophetic Edge
Originally Posted: 04/08/2015 - 1:40pm | Type: Magazine Article

Ryan Herring The Radical King by Martin Luther King Jr., edited by Cornel West.  “WE ARE AT the moment when o ...

Excerpt: Something Transcendent
Originally Posted: 04/08/2015 - 1:41pm | Type: Magazine Article

Remnants: A Memoir of Spirit, Activism, and Mothering by Rosemarie Freeney Harding  Rosemarie Freeney Harding describes the reaction of her friend—Albany, Georgia-based civil right ...

What Matters Most?
Originally Posted: 04/08/2015 - 1:41pm | Type: Magazine Article

Molly Marsh Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande  EARLY IN Being Mortal , su ...

A Newsfeed of Fear
Originally Posted: 04/08/2015 - 3:43pm | Type: Magazine Article

Gareth Higgins You wouldn't know it from the headlines, but things are getting better.  I GREW UP terrif ...

Jesus Is All Over the Small Screen, and That’s No Accident
Originally Posted: 03/31/2015 - 10:44am | Type: Blog

Need proof that biblical entertainment is Hollywood’s holiest trend? Need proof that biblical entertainment is Hollywood’s holiest trend? Then look no further than Morocco, where ...

'It Follows' Explores the Spirituality of Horror
Originally Posted: 03/20/2015 - 4:47pm | Type: Blog

The film explores the ever-approaching darkness that none of us escape. Pretty impressive in a genre more commonly associated with objectification and cheap thrills. Should Christ ...

'Dig’ TV Series Starts Adding Up: Watch the Numbers
Originally Posted: 03/20/2015 - 11:04am | Type: Blog

at least in terms of its religious content. The third episode, broadcast March 19, advanced plot lines ... be a nod to Jewish numerology. "It’s all about XIX," or the number 19, FBI agent Peter ... chaos, disorder, even impurity. Then there’s that pesky number 19, which is behind much ...

New & Noteworthy
Originally Posted: 04/22/2015 - 6:15pm | Type: Magazine Article

Jenna Barnett Tomorrow Is My Turn by Rhiannon Gidden / Sand Opera by Philip Metres / Tricked by Jane Wells and John-Keith Wasson / Tailin ...

First World Problems...
Originally Posted: 04/01/2015 - 5:11pm | Type: Magazine Article

Ed Spivey Jr. Saints (and sinners) around the water cooler.  WHEN YOU WORK for a Christian justice organizati ...

Shooting in a Moral Vacuum
Originally Posted: 03/11/2015 - 10:50am | Type: Magazine Article

Gareth Higgins If the purpose of art is to help us live better, then to have integrity, storytellers who feature characters who behave ba ...

All Eyes Are Upon Us
Originally Posted: 03/11/2015 - 10:50am | Type: Magazine Article

handcuffed brother David and those cries of 19-month-old      Bounkham Phonesavanh in whose crib ...

Conquering A Great Divide
Originally Posted: 03/11/2015 - 10:50am | Type: Magazine Article

C. Christopher Smith This is My Body: From Obesity to Ironman, My Journey into the True Meaning of Flesh, Spirit, and Deeper Faith. Conve ...

A Rooted Gospel
Originally Posted: 03/11/2015 - 10:50am | Type: Magazine Article

Dave Baker Where the Cross Meets the Street: What Happens to the Neighborhood When God is at the Center. IVP Books.  ...

Parenting and Resistance
Originally Posted: 03/11/2015 - 10:50am | Type: Magazine Article

Rosalie Riegle It Runs in the Family: On Being Raised by Radicals and Growing Into Rebellious Motherhood. OR Books.  ...

Dissecting the 'House of Cards' Church Scene
Originally Posted: 03/06/2015 - 4:53pm | Type: Blog

All presidents beseech God to bless the United States of America. Many pray for divine aid for themselves or their policies. Some can only wonder at the inscrutable ways of the Almighty. Then there’s Frank Und ...

New and Noteworthy
Originally Posted: 02/11/2015 - 3:51pm | Type: Magazine Article

The Editors Black Messiah by D'Angelo / Faith: Essays From Believers, Agnostics, and Atheists edited by Victoria Zackheim / "Wa ...

Like Giant Marshmallows on a String
Originally Posted: 02/11/2015 - 3:51pm | Type: Magazine Article

Ed Spivey Jr. Another great idea from our patriotic defense contractors.  IF YOU’RE TRAVELING by air to Washi ...

Moved, or Moved to Act?
Originally Posted: 02/16/2015 - 10:43am | Type: Magazine Article

Gareth Higgins These films create new benchmarks for the mainstream depiction of black history, black struggle, and wider perceptions.  ...

Time for a Cyberweapons Treaty?
Originally Posted: 02/11/2015 - 3:52pm | Type: Magazine Article

Danny Duncan Collum Cyberwar stories were uninteresting until one involved a threat to our inalienable right to laugh at fart jokes.  ...

How to 'Defy the World:' An Interview with 'Wanted' Author Chris Hoke
Originally Posted: 02/05/2015 - 5:23pm | Type: Blog

This book is imbued with dignity, prayer, and an understanding that relationships require forgiveness, on both sides. Wanted is a beautiful reflection on what the life of faith looks like in action. ...

Saints and Nomads
Originally Posted: 02/11/2015 - 3:52pm | Type: Magazine Article

Jenna Barnett Lila: A Novel. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.  MARILYNNE ROBINSON’S Lila is the love story we t ...

Fueled By Faith, Not Fear
Originally Posted: 02/11/2015 - 3:52pm | Type: Magazine Article

Liuan Huska Doing Good Without Giving Up: Sustaining Social Action in a World That's Hard to Change. IVP Books.  ...

New Hopes and Old Realities in the Catholic Church
Originally Posted: 02/11/2015 - 3:52pm | Type: Magazine Article

Michelle A. Gonzalez Francis of Rome and Francis of Assisi: A New Springtime for the Church. Orbis Book.  LEO ...

Were You There?
Originally Posted: 02/11/2015 - 3:52pm | Type: Magazine Article

Julie Polter How art can help us wrestle with race and brokenness.  THE GRAINY, STUTTERING surveillance foota ...

For the Love of ‘Paddington:’ A Movie Review
Originally Posted: 01/30/2015 - 4:16pm | Type: Blog

Paddington asks us to consider if our fears are legitimate or whether we are frightened of a cuddly bear who will open our shut-up hearts and change our lives for the better. We may never know which it is. But ...

‘American Sniper’ or ‘Selma’ — How Christian Is Your Movie Choice?
Originally Posted: 01/21/2015 - 11:41am | Type: Blog

The latest box office numbers for Selma were also released today following the MLK holiday weekend. The film reportedly brought in $11.5 million through Monday, bringing its domestic total to $29.1 million. Se ...

Here’s the Faith in the ‘American Sniper’ You Won’t See in the Film
Originally Posted: 01/14/2015 - 6:10pm | Type: Blog

Chris Kyle, often described as the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history, wrote in his autobiography that he prioritized his life in the following order: God, country, family. ...

Top 5 Resources for Community Dialogue on 'Selma'
Originally Posted: 01/13/2015 - 2:48pm | Type: Blog

The film Selma is an incredibly helpful dialogue centerpiece at the moment. . When those opportunities surface, I recommend using the format below as a template for similar dialogues moving forward. I’ve colle ...

New and Noteworthy
Originally Posted: 01/12/2015 - 2:05pm | Type: Magazine Article

The Editors Witnessing: Prophecty, Politics, and Wisdom edited by Maria Clara Bingemer and Peter Casarella / Forward Together: A Moral Me ...

Meet the New Boss (looks familiar)
Originally Posted: 01/12/2015 - 1:31pm | Type: Magazine Article

and I’ve been reading 19th-century English literature instead of streaming videos of cute animals. It’s ...