And Then She Wrote Things on the Internet

blackpanther

 

Thankful for the opportunity to write about the intersection of faith and pop culture. Here are some essays I’ve written on in the last couple of months, but failed to share here.

The Role of Black Women in the Church: A Wakandan View of Flourishing

It is worth considering if the church has created extra biblical standards in determining what makes someone a compelling speaker, teacher, or expert mentor. If the only way for a woman to achieve even marginal success or platform is to conform herself into a version of a white American middle-class Christian womanhood, then the qualifications need to be reconsidered.

The root of the problem is with the idealized version of biblical womanhood: It’s too narrow.

Finish reading here. 

Tambourine: Chris Rock’s Theology of Suffering 

Some of the lessons Rock has learned are wrong, as when he jokes that men are never loved unconditionally, but only for what they can provide for others. Christians would affirm men as created in the image of God and worthy of love simply because they are God’s creation. But ultimately Rock sees suffering as a valuable teacher. Theologian Dorothee Soelle describes suffering as an exercise, not an activity. If we allow suffering to do its work, we can emerge stronger, wiser, and freer—and use those experiences to help others.

Even as we learn through suffering, sometimes the biggest and best lesson is that in our deepest pain, we are not alone. We have a Father who comforts those who mourn, who empathizes with our hardships, and who through it all is molding us into his image. Even when the necessary tool is suffering, we can trust that our lives are in the hands of the Master Potter.

Finish reading here. 

 

“This Is America” and Nehemiah

From the outset, “This Is America” is disorienting—a lighthearted dance party in the front, destruction and death in the back. Since its premiere earlier this month, the new video from rapper Childish Gambino (the stage name for actor-producer-writer-director Donald Glover) has had everyone talking about its commentary on the American fascination with guns and violence. But Glover is not just focused on American culture generally—he’s specifically concerned with how this fascination affects the lives of African-Americans. “This is America” asks us to take a long hard look at things many of us would prefer to ignore, including those of us in the church.

“This Is America” provides an opportunity for the church to examine our own hypocrisy in this matter.

Finish reading here. 

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