Reads of the Week
1) The Box Under the Tree That You're Allowed to Open by Kenny Pierce
"You never knew me, really. And I never knew you.
We were hidden boxes wrapped tightly, in gold and ribbon,
never to be touched or unwrapped."
2) Kanye West, Evangelist of the 21st Century by Erin S. Rodenbiker
"Kanye’s depiction of Jesus may seem, at first, like farce or mockery—a caricature with the aims of postmodern indulgence or a racialized political statement. But, while iconoclasm and activism may be present, they do not dominate."
3) Just Be Kind by Gregory Stevens
"But once again, after all those many pages and hours of reading, the message I can relate through big-fancy words and theoretical concepts boils down to one thing: Be kind."
4) Advent is for the Magnificat by Benjamin Moberg
"They sang Mary’s song, the Magnificat, loud and painfully, and the government felt at its’ throat. They plastered her words on posters on street corners and in office windows, and the despots drew back like a tiger, thrashed forward, slammed a fist, banned the song from being sung outright."
5) Jesus Really is the Reason by Nate Pyle
"Christmas changes when you begin to see it through the eyes of a child. All the wonder and magic is resurrected when a child eyes widen at the sight of a lit tree. Their ability to easily believe and accept the mystery of God incarnate moves us to, not only want to accept it with the same ease, but begin to as we recount the story."
Here's The Thing About That Bakery That Won't Serve a Gay Couple... by Zack Hunt
Can a Jesus Feminist Wear High Heels?: Evolutionary and Incarnational Reflections on the Male Gaze by Richard Beck
A Herod of My Own Making: An Advent Reflection by Natalie Trust
Tweets of the Week
"Can't wait for the director's cut of the Hobbit trilogy, which will show us Bilbo's life in real time, from birth until death." - Peter Suderman (@petersuderman)
"NSA snooped on online fantasy gamers is one way to put it. NSA paid a bunch of people to play online fantasy games is another way to put it." - Matt Stoller (@matthewstoller)
"Unrelated: I just discovered that if you sing 'I Will Survive' to yourself in a robot voice, it takes on a new, more threatening meaning." - Maureen Johnson (@maureenjohnson)
On Pop Theology Week in Review
Jesus Looks Like Me: A Story of Narcissism and Imagination by Ben Howard
"For a few months during my sophomore year in college I went to a stereotypical evangelical megachurch complete with pseudo-hipster praise band, husband and wife “teaching” pastors, and a vaguely spiritual abstract noun in place of a church name or affiliation."
Nostalgia: The Christmas Addiction by Charity Erickson
"When I was in my early teens, I spent many December evenings lying on the floor with my head beneath our fake Christmas tree, looking up through the papery-plastic branches at the colored lights we’d woven through the ever-ever-evergreen."
Christmas Magic, Miracles, and Doctor Who by Ben Howard
"I don’t believe in miracles. As a matter of faith I confess to believing in a few, the virgin birth, the resurrection, even the occasional healing, but they aren’t the cornerstones of my faith."
The World Needs More Unironic Glitter Glue (Or, I Can't Help Loving Christmas) by Lyndsey Graves
"I can’t help loving Christmas. Sometimes I think it’s not very cool to love Christmas."
Your Favorite Movie Needs More Pandas by Lane Severson
"What would make every movie from Citizen Kane to China Town better? Pandas."
Song of the Week
"Young Fathers" by Typhoon
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