Friday, August 10, 2012

Pop Culture Roundup

The other week I read If The Church Were Christian by Philip Gulley. Gulley lays out a vision of church that is focused on helping the poor, inviting diversity, and following Jesus rather than only believing things about Jesus. I found it to be much in the vein of Marcus Borg's The Heart of Christianity or pretty much anything by Brian McLaren. For me, it was a lot of familiar terrain and thus not very challenging; another "What if we lived Jesus' values rather than what we've concocted as a church institution" sort of book. It's an important message and one that I value. This just isn't the first time I've heard it. All the same, this is a very accessible book to use in a church study of some kind in order to help others work through some of these themes. I might consider using it for that, although Borg and McLaren would also be good.

True Blood continues to roll along. By this point in the season, the vampire Authority has been taken over by purist zealots seeking to make vampires superior to humans rather than coexist with them. Bill has been swept up in what they're doing, although he seems to have little moments of doubt along the way. At first I thought he was faking in order to spring a trap on the others, but it is clear that he's more conflicted than that. So now the TruBlood factories have all been destroyed in an effort to get vampires to feed on humans. I'll be interested to see how they resolve this, especially with only three episodes left for the season.

A lot of my pastor friends on Facebook have been enjoying a Tumblr page called Ev'ry Day I'm Pastorin', which features .gif images used to illustrate what various ministry-related tasks are like from a pastor's perspective. I find it hilarious and often true.

Mumford and Sons released the first single off their upcoming album, entitled "I Will Wait:"

I've also been enjoying listening to Kelly Hogan this week. Hogan has collaborated with many artists over the years including Neko Case, Mavis Staples, and The Drive By Truckers. Many of the artists with whom she's worked over the years wrote songs for her to sing, and her latest album "I Like to Keep Myself in Pain" is the result. Here's "We Can't Have Nice Things:"