There Are No Cruel Narnians

What The Horse and His Boy Can Tell Us About Racism, Cultural Superiority, Beauty Standards, and Inclusiveness The Chronicles of Narnia has legions of fans around the world. According to journalist and novelist Lev Grossman, the much-beloved series published in the 1950s split the atom on the modern fantasy novel. But as our society becomes more aware…

Pixar’s SOUL is the Perfect Movie for a World Weary of Living

There’s a scene in Pixar’s latest movie Soul where Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx), a struggling middle school music teacher, steps out of a jazz club after one of the most triumphant moments of his life and realizes he doesn’t feel the way he thought he would. He’s just performed with Dorothea Williams (Angela Bassett), fulfilling his life-long…

The Mouth of Sauron: A Meditation on the Year Past and the Year to Come

In my opinion, a scene cut from The Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King is one of the greatest scenes in what is arguably the world’s greatest-ever film trilogy. The three-minute clip finds Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, Pippin, Merry, and Eomer facing off with Sauron’s spokesperson in a pre-determinedly futile attempt to…

Betraying “America”: Sufjan Stevens Asks Us to Kiss the Country We Know Goodbye

A day before our nation marked its independence from Great Britain for the 244th time, indie folk/rock artist Sufjan Stevens released “America,” the first single off his upcoming album, The Ascension. While listening under the collective mental cloud of a global pandemic and national protests for racial and social justice, it’s impossible to overlook the song’s…

Three Things White People Can Learn from Dan Cathy and ‘The Babylon Bee’

White people who engage in crass, public, performative acts make themselves look foolish — and it’s not what black people want Two weekends ago, I was browsing Facebook — terrible habit; don’t recommend — when I saw a post highlighting The Babylon Bee’s article titled, “Chick-Fil-A Now Open On Sunday But Only For Black People.” I…

The Church Failed Jon Steingard, and It’s Failing Your Kids Too

Last month, Jon Steingard, lead vocalist for the Christian rock band Hawk Nelson, revealed that he no longer believes in God. His revelation is the latest in a long line of well-known individuals who have publicly walked away from the Christian faith. Not to mention the even longer line of those raised in the Church…

Does the Commentary Class Know that Multiple Things Can Be True at the Same Time?

On the strange “either/or”-ism in the wake of George Floyd’s murder It’s been over a week since George Floyd was senselessly killed by (now former) Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Despite the lockdown and social distancing measures invariably enforced around the globe, protests sprang up in Floyd’s community and in over 100 cities worldwide. Riots, looting, and vandalism also…

The Enduring Legacy of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Published in Speculative Faith on May 20, 2020. It’s almost a miracle that Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is returning for a seventh season on May 27. A little over a year after The Avengers brought together “Earth’s mightiest heroes” in 2012, cementing the launch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that had begun in 2008, this little show began…

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