Posts Tagged ‘Larry Shallenberger’

Why Evangelicals Struggle to Bring the Funny

Why Evangelicals Struggle to Bring the Funny
While many of us held our breath for the Blue Like Jazz movie to release on April 13, I found myself wondering why its so darned hard for Evangelicals to express a sense of humor in our art. I’ve sat through one or two Christian comedy acts. Enough to know that I wouldn’t willingly do it...
May 21st, 2012 | Essays, Featured | Read More

Jonah: Prophet, Anti-Hero, and the Surprising Face of Evil

Jonah: Prophet, Anti-Hero, and the Surprising Face of Evil
  I’m hard pressed to think of a more complex anti-hero in scripture. The Bible has its villains: Goliath, Judas, and Pharisees come to mind. But these antagonists are, by and large, two dimensional.  The narrators don’t give us a window into their thoughts and motivations. They’re each...
May 20th, 2012 | Meditations | Read More

Christianity Today’s Odd Straight Jacket for Christian Art

Christianity Today’s Odd Straight Jacket for Christian Art
This morning I read Christianity Today’s review of Blue Like Jazz and was baffled by Josh’s Hurst criteria to evaluate the film. After discussing the strengths of the film, Hurst dives into the movie’s shortcomings: “The downside? Separating “Christian spirituality”...
April 24th, 2012 | Arts, Film | Read More

They Teach You a Secret Handshake When You Leave Hell

They Teach You a Secret Handshake When You Leave Hell
Whenever someone is fortunate enough to be pardoned from Hell, the demon working the front lobby teaches that rare individual a secret handshake. Least that’s what the stranger in the diner said. The stranger sat at my table uninvited and spilt coffee over my half-read newspaper and launched into...
February 16th, 2012 | Blog, Essays, Featured | Read More

Five Books to Help You Skip the Culture Wars This Election

Five Books to Help You Skip the Culture Wars This Election
                    We’re sixteen Republican debates into the election season. By November, we’ll have all whipped ourselves into a vitriolic froth and will have convinced ourselves that the very survival of the planet hinged on the result of the...
January 25th, 2012 | Blog, Books, Democracy | Read More

The Problem with Spotting Pharisees…

The Problem with Spotting Pharisees…
Leonard Sweet (author/futurist/theologian) recently tweeted that when Jesus walked the earth, 6000 Pharisees were employed to support and enforce Judaism’s proper expression. The first Biblical mention of the Pharisees was in the book of Ezra. The original Pharisees consisted of scribes and sages...
January 22nd, 2012 | Meditations | Read More

Beware of the White Knight

I’m doing some character research for an upcoming book and have been looking a quartet of characters in Revelation we commonly refer to as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Interpreters generally see the four horsemen as personifications of “conquest”, “war”, “pestilence/...
September 27th, 2011 | Blog, Featured | Read More

Why True Believers Need Skeptics

Why True Believers Need Skeptics
I’ve been through some seasons of doubt and wondering, but at the end of the day I can’t call myself a skeptic. Personality-wise, I’m more of a Don Quixote, a true believer, evidence-be-damned. I know this isn’t fashionable in some circles.  But, if I’m honest with myself,...
August 14th, 2011 | Featured, Meditations | Read More

A Poem: The Wrong Field

A Poem: The Wrong Field
Illustration by Jeff Gill Death is a farmer who rises before dawn and eats the same plate of eggs and bacon And drinks bitter coffee from the same ceramic mug that his son bought him when he was in the first grade, just before he joined the Army. The farmer grabs his faded cap and ambles to the...
March 18th, 2011 | Featured, Poetry | Read More

Missing the Point of Fruit

Missing the Point of Fruit
I was recently up late with some musicians and was helping them tear down their equipment after a gig. Up to this point, it had been a good night filled with food, laughter and dance. The band sounded great. Perfect night. Then, without warning, I found myself in a bad outtake from Almost Famous. One...
February 13th, 2011 | Featured, Meditations | Read More