Essay / Culture

Stop Using the F-Word

As we careen at breakneck speed towards the legalization of gay marriage, as people yell and stamp and scream and justify and demonize, consider this moving, quiet, patient, eloquent plea (with a follow-up) by an anonymous writer to just stop using words that freeze, reduce, diminish

Essay / Culture

What Rob Bells Talks About When He Talks About God

Rob Bell’s new book just came out. In its title, borrowed from one of Raymond Carver’s short story collections, Bell promises to lay bare What We Talk About When We Talk About God. Carver’s quietly aching scenes of love, or perhaps more of the reality of

Essay / Culture

Getting Back to the (Dating) Basics

I spend most of my time working with undergraduate students, directing them academically through the Torrey Honors Institute or offering life and/or pastoral advice as they learn to navigate the oftentimes difficult and uncertain terrain of adulthood. I love what I do and I would

Essay / Culture

In Defense of Cinderella: The Dress

                    I have a near-three-year-old girl who lives within a mile of both sets of grandparents. This means that some aspect of the Disney princess world will infiltrate our lives (yes, ours, not just hers) with

Essay / Culture

Progress for the Sake of…

As I was driving around LA the other day listening to NPR, two stories run back-to-back caught my attention. The first was a story about the recent Nobel-prize winners John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka, who have uncovered a means for turning any cell into

Essay / Culture

Some Poetry with Your Haircut, Sir?

I like vintage barber shops. Ever since I was a boy, they have been part of my life (of course, in those days, they were simply known as regular, run-of-the-mill barber shops). My father would take me to a Cuban barber who had a faint

Essay / Culture

Something of My Very Own

  Caution: This post contains spoilers.   How far would you go to protect those closest to you, the things you hold most dear? The tiresome rhetoric of Hollywood is very often to go “as far as it takes”, but Rian Johnson’s new film Looper

Essay / Culture

Rally and Radiate

Here’s a diagram (click through it to view a larger version) that the founders of Biola kept close at hand when they needed to explain the variety of activities the early Bible Institute was engaged in. It’s a scratchy copy, and the graphic design isn’t

Essay / Culture

Remembering the Samwise’s of the World

As you certainly know, Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, recently died. Unfortunately, Ride died at too young an age (61) from pancreatic cancer. In the days that followed, there was news coverage of her passing and obituaries extolling her intellectual chops, her

Essay / Culture

New Year's Resolutions and Biblical Renewal

I stood in church and watched two baptisms on the first day of 2012. Just a few hours before, a couple of friends and I had raised glasses and toasted the new year. Then, there in the sanctuary, two heads were lowered and splashed in that old reenactment of Christ’s new life.

Essay / Culture

Twelve Days of Christmas Jollification

For many, the famous English carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is lost on them. This became clear to me one rather cold evening on January 2 of last year, when I was at the checkout stand at a CVS drug store. After I made

Essay / Art

Thanks, Franky. Addicted to Mediocrity, Thirty Years Later

Does it make sense to thank someone for something they may have disowned? A lot has happened since Frank Schaeffer published Addicted to Mediocrity thirty years ago. He was going by the more diminutive “Franky” then, signifying, maybe, how staunchly he stood in his dad’s