Friday, December 23, 2005

Pop Culture Roundup

I have finished both McLaren's A Generous Orthodoxy and Devil in the White City. One thing I appreciate most about McLaren's book is that he is chiefly missional. His concern for the church's interaction with the world is of great importance and it is as if the question 'How should we live?' permeates every chapter. At the same time, I find it fascinating how quickly 'Emergent' is becoming a name brand. 'White City' was a good book. It wasn't always a good read, but it was a good book. At times I felt bogged down by the historical information. I understand that he had to include it, but at points I was looking for the story he was trying to tell beyond the dimensions of the Ferris Wheel or the finer points of the Midway's design. So now I'm on to The Color Purple, which I'm already over halfway through. This is a much quicker read. Most chapters are 2-3 pages in length. In the book we meet Celie, a young black woman who struggles with her home life growing up, then her marriage to Mr. _______. She discovers a close friendship in Shug and her hope is renewed through reading her sister's letters.

The other day we watched Taking Lives, which is a pretty good murder mystery starring Angelina Jolie as an FBI profiler who is helping to track down someone killing people and stealing their identities. There are two plot twists, only one of which you might really see coming.

This close to Christmas, I've been enjoying Barenaked for the Holidays from the Barenaked Ladies. Songs range from semi-serious to outright silly. Two you might recognize are their rendition of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (with Sarah McLachlan) and Green Christmas (included in the Jim Carrey version of The Grinch). I wasn't a big fan of the Casio keyboard renditions of familiar songs, but some of their originals and new takes of familiars were really good ('Gentlemen' being one).

Around the web, Katherine at Any Day a Beautiful Change has some good thoughts on preaching and story.