BeReal: Connecting with Culture

If you’re curious what a ‘geriatric millennial’ makes of a social media app much loved by Gen-Z, then you’re in luck! This week I had the privilege of writing the London Institute of Contemporary Christianity’s Connecting with Culture, and I chose to offer a few thoughts on BeReal. The concept is simple. Users receive a…

Covenant-making and context collapse

A few weeks ago I made a joke that took on a life of its own. Sorry if it’s taken you all that time to erase it from your memory, only for me to remind you again. I tweeted a picture from the Bible of Jean de Sy, which depicts Abraham’s circumcision in Genesis 17:…

Gaia: Has the church silenced the sermon of creation?

‘The heavens declare the glory of God;    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.Day after day they pour forth speech;    night after night they reveal knowledge…Their voice goes out into all the earth,    their words to the ends of the world.’ (Psalm 19.1-2, 4) ‘Since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen,…

What’s wrong? A conversation starter from David Foster Wallace

I was recently reminded of this paragraph from David Foster Wallace’s novel The Pale King: ‘The next suitable person you’re in light conversation with, you stop suddenly in the middle of the conversation and look at the person closely and say, “What’s wrong?” You say it in a concerned way. He’ll say, “What do you…

Complexity, Coherence, and Comic Book Movies

Martin Scorsese famously said that Marvel films are closer to theme parks than movies, lacking revelation or depth of characterisation. Whilst they’re hardly high culture I’d argue that there’s a remarkable complexity to them. Perhaps not so much as standalone films, but when held together as a whole. Yesterday I wrote a piece for the…

Don’t Look at Yourself: Polarisation and the ‘Problem’ with Parables

I left social media for Christmas and returned to find everybody talking about a film about why nobody is talking about the climate crisis.  Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up is a piece of satirical sci-fi about two astronomers (played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence) who attempt to warn humanity about a comet that’s set…

Reading Roundup 2021

‘Of making many [lists of] books, there is no end.’ (Ecclesiastes-ish 12:12) It’s the end of the year, so every Christian with a blog is posting a list of the things they read over the past twelve months. I figured I might as well follow suit.  I started plenty of books this year, and finished…

Tithing: Enjoying the Benefits and meeting the Benefactor

I used to work for the insolvency service, processing bankruptcy and liquidation cases. I remember one day being called into my boss’ office because he had been going through a client’s outgoings and didn’t understand one of the items: “He’s listed a monthly ‘tithe’. What is that? I think it’s a religious word, but I’m…