Reads of the Week
1) The Ethics of Leaving Fundamentalism by Hannah Ettinger
"Fundamentalism isn’t an ideology, it’s a habit of thought patterns. Fundamentalism is based in fear. Fear of not being heard, fear of being invalidated, fear of attack, of erasure, of silencing."
2) Widows and Orphans: On Evolution, Election and Love by Richard Beck
"The most altruistic act you can see in the world today, from an evolutionary perspective, is the step-parent, gay couple, or heterosexual couple raising an adopted child. All that love, all that care and all that sacrifice for the child. And none of it conferring any adaptive, genetic or evolutionary advantage. From a Darwinian perspective, that is pure gratuitous love."
3) A City Not Forsaken by D.L. Mayfield
"the pageant is chaotic, a gentle fiasco, my daughter refuses to sing and stands with her back to the congregation. i, like the other mothers of the young, have to stand on stage too, am in this pageant myself. we get through it, all mumbles and grins. the children race down the aisle so they can go to the nursery room and play with toys. they are only pretending to be gentle little lambs. was it a disaster? i don’t really know. but i can’t help but think that it is exactly how jesus would have wanted it to be: defiant three year olds, scared two year olds, exuberant babies, awkward middle schoolers, tired and grateful mothers. let the little children come to me, he said, and this morning my church embodied that."
4) The Fall of Christmas by Jamie Wright
"When my Christmas tree fell, it was like Christmas fell with it. The surviving ornaments stayed in a pile on the floor, and the tree, now wrenched upright and properly secured, sat untouched with bare spots and bushy places and branches all tweaked out of order. Ugly. It was ugly and sad, and it felt just like Christmas to me... it felt right."
5) Of Santa and Jesus by Ashleigh Baker
"I’ve never met an adult who told me the reason he has a hard time believing Christ is because his parents told him about a red suited gift-giver who turned out to be as real as pixie dust. Instead, I talk to adults every single day who struggle with the Truth of Jesus because they spent their young years listening to Christians cut His body to pieces over trees and ornaments and brightly wrapped packages."
Hobby Lobby is Fine With Forced Abortions and Contraception in China, But Balks at Voluntary Contraception for American Women by Fred Clark
The Boy at the Door by Jennifer Lutwieler
Nelson Mandela and the Mimetics of Forgiveness by Adam Ericksen
Tweets of the Week
"I'm not sure which I would love more: full communism or just a country where people don't get fired for accidentally saying 'fuck' on TV." - David Sessions (@davidsess)
"'God bless us, every one. Or don’t or whatever.' –Indifferent Tim" - Tyler Clark (@TylerLClark)
"The pernicious influence of My Little Pony which teaches kids that 'ponies' are cute and lovable, not the slaves of bloodlust that they are." - Alan Noble (@TheAlanNoble)
On Pop Theology Week in Review
Survival of the Guiltiest by Lane Severson
"God has blessed me with a wife and five children. But when the zombie apocalypse happens, they are out of luck because this guy could never make a fire, or build shelter, or fashion a weapon to fight off zombies – much less figure out how to wipe our seven butts without glorious Charmin Ultra Soft."
Christianity Needs Celebrities by Ben Howard
"A celebrity is not so much a person as it is the persona, the mediated representation and distillation of the person who inhabits the role."
I Like Christmas Without the "Christ" by Ben Howard
"I have a lot of nostalgia for Christmas. I vaguely remember going to see Santa at the mall when I was little and squinting at him, cocking my head to the side, trying to contemplate how he got into our house since we didn’t have a chimney. I was very worried about our lack of a chimney."
The Best of On Pop Theology 2013
"It's almost the end of the year and if I've learned anything from the internet it's that lists are the best-est thing in the whole wide world. With that in mind we wanted to take this time to highlight the best of what has been written and recorded here at On Pop Theology."
A Series of Outright Lies About Christmas by Ben Howard and Sebastian Faust
"So with the fundamental ethos of the internet in mind, we bring you A Series of Outright Lies About Christmas."
Song of the Week
"No Rest" by Dry the River
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