Watch This Way
For a year, I wrote a weeklyish opinion column called "Watch This Way" at Christianity Today. Here's the full collection of the essays I wrote for the column.
August 12, 2013: "Our Experiment in Criticism"
What are we trying to do here?
January 24, 2014: "Why We Review R-Rated Films"
You're a neighbor before you're a consumer.
February 27, 2014: "TV Politics and Proximate Justice"
Shows like Scandal, The Americans, and House of Cards give us one picture of politics. Are there any others?
July 17, 2014: "We Miserable Sinners"
Making good "Christian" movies is a matter of being a wretch.
July 24, 2014: "The Good Ministers of the Silver Screen"
Sure, there are badly-written TV and movie clergy. But it's the good ones that teach us something about what it is to be a minister.
July 29, 2014: "Everything's Turning Up Apocalypse"
But in some less-than-obvious ways.
August 6, 2014: "Getting the Romantic Comedy Right"
We forget what comedies are actually about (spoiler alert: it's not humor).
August 28, 2014: "The Oldest Story: Broadchurch and True Detective"
Sometimes I'm not at fault, but I'm still part of the problem.
September 2, 2014: "Bad Preachers and the Hand of God"
Let's stop missing the point.
September 11, 2014: "Is Pop Culture Too Juvenile?"
Throwing off--and chasing after--childish things.
September 24, 2014: "A Tale of Two Political Dramas"
There's something vital about Madam Secretary and Scandal, and we can't afford to miss it.
October 1, 2014: "Lazy Cultural Engagement"
Can we stop proof-texting culture?
October 6, 2014: "Some Final Notes on Left Behind"
Responding to some of the responses, and drawing lines in the sand.
October 9, 2014: "Girls and the Conservatives"
Lena Dunham might be more self-aware than some assume.
October 21, 2014: "Antiheroes and Saints"
Where do we get the impulse to emulate or praise our protagonists?
October 30, 2014: "Toward a Definition of 'Religious' Cinema"
A modest proposal, lowercase and capital.
November 10, 2014: "Lessons from the Church of Satan"
The films they recommend aren't about Satan, for starters.
November 12, 2014: "Absolutely, Interstellar is a (r)eligious Film"
And that's across all its dimensions.
November 15, 2014: "What Rosewater Says About Principled Pluralism"
Religious conviction, untempered by dissent, can harden into oppressive ideology.
November 24, 2014: "Why The Hunger Games is About Racism"
And why it may give us a way to talk about what that means today.
December 17, 2014: "Can Our Art Deal With Our World?"
There's more of it than ever before, and part of the problem is ours.
December 29, 2014: "Pop Culture Gets Religion"
We were captivated by religious questions in 2014.
December 30, 2014: "He Said, She Said"
Memory and its link to justice was a hot topic in 2014's pop culture.
December 31, 2014: "Evil Is a True Thing"
In 2014, the stories we told ourselves often explored the origins of evil, with surprising answers.
January 2, 2015: "Is It God, or Is It Us?"
We talked about God a lot in pop culture in 2014, but not always in the same way.
February 12, 2015: "In Praise of Slow Opinions"
Against the hot take.
March 5, 2015: "The Word, the Flesh, and the Biblical Epic"
What do we do with Biblical epics in light of Scripture?
March 23, 2015: "Asking the Insufficient Questions"
In some ways, Fifty Shades of Grey and God's Not Dead aren't all that different.
April 28, 2015: "Biblical Epics Are Not Documentaries"
And that's a good thing.