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CultureMusic

On Watching Hamilton Stream on Disney Plus

I confess to mixed emotions. These emotions ping-pong between gratitude and longing.  Let’s start with the gratitude. Like nearly every theatre person in the world with a good internet connection, I eagerly consumed Lin-Manuel Miranda’s epic musical theatre masterpiece, Hamilton, when it ceremoniously dropped on July 3rd on Disney Plus. Although I had listened to the soundtrack, I had still never actually seen the show. Sadly, the $400+ tickets for the touring productions priced this theatre professor out of the…
July 13, 2020
ChurchCulturePodcastPolitics

Justice Walk: Race, Protest, and Faith in a small Iowa Town.

https://youtu.be/pJNkKlHkz5w On Friday, June 5, a Justice Walk took place In Orange City, Iowa. Orange City is a rural Northwest Iowa community that is predominately white, protestant, and politically conservative. How does a conversation about race and justice happen in a town like Orange City? What does protest look like? I talked with Rahn Franklin and Caleb Arnett, two people involved in organizing the event, to find out. Click on the video above to hear the interview.
June 24, 2020
ChurchCultureEssaysTheology

Defense and Discernment: Bearing Witness in Suspicious Times

https://youtu.be/8bFkjb3txFY We live in suspicious times. I wore a mask during my most recent trip to the grocery store. As I was checking out, I noticed an unmasked woman glaring at me. No words were exchanged, and yet I got the distinct feeling that she was saying something like: “oh, so you’re one of them.” It is entirely possible that I misread her body language, or that I was feeling overly sensitive, or that she was the one feeling judged…
June 18, 2020
ChurchCultureEssaysTheology

The Life You Save May Not Be Your Own: Loving Our Distant Neighbors in a Time of Pandemic

https://youtu.be/NtMgj5fZN0A On March 27, the New York Times reported that although in some respects COVID-19 was uniting Americans in a common experience, it was also exposing fractures in our society: “A kind of pandemic caste system is rapidly developing: the rich holed up in vacation properties; the middle class marooned at home with restless children; the working class on the front lines of the economy, stretched to the limit by the demands of work and parenting, if there is even…
CultureScienceTheology

Determinism

by Clayton Carlson “Of course you are smart, your dad is a scientist.” My kids, who tend to do pretty well in school, have heard a comment like that more than once. There are different ways to interpret what they are being told. The teacher, parent, or classmate trying to affirm my son or daughter might mean that as children of a college professor, they live in a world where education is highly valued. They could be recognizing that my…
March 26, 2019
ChurchCultureSexuality

My Time as a Methodist

My family lived in Southern Ohio when I was between the ages of five and ten, and after trying the local Presbyterian Church for a while we joined the Methodists because of a vibrant, vital pastor and congregation. Those were good years for my family. The Methodists were cool. The pastor had a teenage son who came to our house and tried to teach me how to play the guitar. George Harrison I was not. Once when my ancient great-grandfather…
March 13, 2019