Archives For culture

PSA: I’m still on a half-sabbatical from the blog, and it is doing me a lot of good.  I’m giving my mind space to refill with good thoughts, and I thank you all for hanging with me each Wednesday for a weekly conversation.  I hope this summer is a restful time for you as well.

Tim-Tebow-New-England-PatriotsI thought we were on the verge of learning a lesson, us Christians.

Tim Tebow had a meteoric rise to fame. Sure, he had some detractors.   But for a few fleeting moments, he was our golden boy.

And then…life happened.  Tebow’s challenges wouldn’t normally have been noticed much.  But the popularity and expectations he had been bestowed with were wildly disproportionate to his accomplishments.

It became clear to me, and I know I’m not alone, that we had made an idol out of poor Tim Tebow.  Perhaps we had expected too much out of a mere man.

But perhaps just as that lesson was about to sink in, the Patriots decided to take him on.  Immediately, my Facebook and Twitter feeds filled up with righteous vindication from Christians everywhere.  God had come through – not just for Tim, but for all of us.

I can’t help but think that the relief Tim feels of signing a new contract must be somewhat canceled out by the knowledge that the expectations on him have only grown again.  So before we prop our favorite idol back onto his pedestal, let’s remember a few things about all of our other heroes.

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Hey friends, it’s good to be back after a long break to visit Moody Publishers in Chicago!  I had a blast touring the campus and doing radio interviews.  I’m so proud to be a part of what they are doing.  

PSA: I’ve decided that for the next few weeks, I’m going to reduce my posts to just Wednesdays.  It’s not forever.  But for over four years, I’ve posted three times a week, and after Life After Art’s first incredibly busy couple of months, I need to recharge my batteries a bit.  I don’t want to get completely out of the groove, so I’ll still see you here once a week.

Now, let’s get into it.

1368072010483_842_21xFDin7ambf1_0_0I’ve been watching the controversy surrounding Abercrombie and Fitch the last couple of weeks.

First, CEO Mike Jeffries made some comments which confirmed what everyone knows: that they don’t actually want most of us wearing their clothes.  That backfired.

Then, Greg Karber tried to make a clever statement by giving used A&F clothes to homeless people.  A lot of us (including me, I admit) thought at first glance that it was a cool idea, until we looked closer and realized it wasn’t.  That backfired too.

No one appreciated Jeffries’ bold honesty about his company’s vision.  So, what does a clothing store for the coolest kids in school have to say to churches?  Maybe more than we might think.

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Screen shot 2013-04-29 at 4.54.50 PM.png.CROP.rectangle3-large.54.50 PMThe apostle Paul called the cross “offensive.”

He said it was a “stumbling block.”

It’s easy to see what he meant.  No one had contemplated the idea of worshipping a man who died disgracefully.  A slave’s death.  A notorious death.  The cross was a symbol of “Pax Romana,” the peace that Rome enforced by executing enemies of the state.

But I wonder…are people really still offended by the cross?  (Not just because we are inundated with violent entertainment.)

Are people really stumbling over the gospel?  Are they tripping over Jesus’ words?

Jesus said that people would hate us, his followers, on account of him.

I’m not sure Jesus’ words are all that true anymore.  People aren’t offended by the cross or stumbling over the gospel or hating us on account of Jesus.  The fact is most people can’t get close enough to Jesus to be offended by him…

…They’re too offended by us. Continue Reading…

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Life After Art is available next Monday! Remember, when you order your copy, forward your receipt to LifeAfterArtBook.com for three other freebies from me and Moody Publishers.

The customer is always right.

That’s the saying.  Even though it’s not true.  Customers are usually wrong.  But we say that the customer is right and set out to satisfy them so we’ll keep their business.  It’s really a mantra of capitalism.  Give the customer what they want so they’ll keep giving us their money.  Whatever it takes.

But the smartest businesses don’t give customers what they want.

And neither should churches…especially this weekend.

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In addition to today’s post, I’m guest posting for my buddy, Ken Hagerman today about avoiding spiritual abuse.  He has a blog and a beard, both of which are impressive.  Go check that out.

Last Friday, I made the little statement that I don’t believe in equality.  In fact, I listed six reasons I don’t believe in equality.  If you missed it, you should go read that one first.

As I predicted, people were divided.  A lot of people seemed to understand what I was getting at.  But through some perhaps ambiguous language, I was misunderstood by many others.

So it just seems like a good chance to flesh out and clarify some thoughts.  I stand by everything I said on Friday.  I’m not taking anything back.

But today, we’re going to talk equality, the gospel, throw in some feminism, and hopefully come out the other side in one piece.

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I hear the war cry, the drums being beaten, the trumpets sounding…

It is the nearly deafening cacophony of noise and disparate voices.  And what is the noise all about?

Equality.

It has become an almost daily stream in my blog reader.  Every day, someone is marching on, demanding equality where some perceived inequality exists: between the sexes, the races, the classes, whomever.  And the people who feel slighted or abused cheer them on, anxious to finally feel that their injustice has been righted.

I have a confession to make.

I don’t believe in equality.

I know, this is going to be tough to explain.  You might be already readying your pitchforks.  Hear me out.

Six Reasons I Don’t Believe in Equality

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