Christian Leaders Are Marching, Speaking Up and Protesting Racial Violence | RELEVANT Magazine

Over the weekend, people across the country and all over the world protested the unjust killing of George Floyd, who was the latest black person to be killed by the state for no reason. The unrest has set off many important conversations and actions, as well as plenty of anxiety, unrest and outrage as... Read more

Black Lives Depend on the Church Learning What It Really Means to Love Them | RELEVANT Magazine

I am a Christian African-American man trying to live out Gods will and ways in my life. My deepest desire and it is the thing in which I hope most is to see Gods people reflect the love of God in daily life. A love that manifests and points to the sacrificial, reconciling, and... Read more

Listen to Carl Lentz’s Conversation About Racism and Protest With Bishop T.D. Jakes | RELEVANT Magazine

Over the weekend, Hillsong NYC pastor Carl Lentz virtually sat down with Bishop T.D. Jakes of the Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas for a long, wide-reaching conversation about George Floyd’s death, the history of American racism manifesting as violent oppression and a Christian theology of protest. “Those are triggers,” Jakes says after Lentz reads... Read more

Untamed: The Gospel of Glennon Doyle

Glennon Doyles Untamed has captured the hearts and minds of American women, hovering around the #1 spot on the New York Times bestseller list since its release. From her roots as a Christian mommy blogger to her rise to fame as a successful author, speaker, and activist, Doyle made headlines in 2016 when she announced... Read more

On My Shelf: Life and Books with Jonathan Parnell

On My Shelf helps you get to know various writers through a behind-the-scenes glimpse into their lives as readers. I asked Jonathan Parnelllead pastor of Cities Church in MinneapolisSt. Paul and author of Mercy for Today: A Daily Prayer from Psalm 51 and Never Settle for Normal: The Proven Path to Significance and Happinessabout what’s... Read more

Anne Bradstreet Is a Good Tonic for a Virus-Haunted Age

For many Reformed evangelicals, the Puritans are like old friends. Pastor-writers like John Bunyan, Matthew Henry, and John Owen stare down from our bookshelves. Jeremiah Burroughs and John Flavel are quoted in sermons and on social media. Yet we hear far less about one important Puritan writer: Anne Bradstreet. We need Bradstreet because her works... Read more

Youd Be a Spiritual Orphan without Pentecost

It’s hard to take in even 24 hours of the news cycle without feeling a profound sense of loss. We see loss of life, loss of justice, loss of dignity, and loss of hope all around us. The briefest scan of our own lives and circle of relationship confirms that this loss is not just... Read more

11 Transcendent Moments of Movie Music

Classical music and orchestral scores have long been the soundtrack to cinemas most affecting moments. Unique in their ability to perfectly sync a layer of music to the emotion of the action unfolding on screen, films engage our ears and ears simultaneouslyin ways that pack an emotional punch. Wordless music in a film often speaks... Read more

Canceled: How the Eastern Honor-Shame Mentality Traveled West

Canceled. In the first weeks of the coronavirus lockdown, that word was almost as ubiquitous as the word unprecedented. Movie premieres, concerts, even entire sporting seasonsall have been canceled as we work out a strategy to combat the spread of COVID-19. But that wordcanceledhas carried another connotation in our social lexicon of late. Its used... Read more

Talking Sin to a Culture That Doesnt Believe in It

A psychiatrist friend once described to me the typical problems that drove people to seek her help. Then she stopped and said, with a note of skepticism: Ah, but youre a Christian, so you think the problem is that were all sinners. I asked how she thought the Bible defined sin, and with a wry... Read more

The Gospel Coalition Podcast: Kingdom Impact Through the Arts

The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy. Steve Rooks: Father, thank you again for your goodness, your grace, your mercy and your truth, Lord. We pray that Father, all that’s shared today would just expose that, Father. Thank you for... Read more

Will You Be My Titus 2 Woman?

My hands shook as I entered the kitchen at church. She was in there. After our usual effusive greeting, I said, Theres something Ive been meaning to ask you. The next phrase tumbled out earnest and awkward instead of nonchalant: I was wonderingwould you be my Titus 2 woman? Tears filled her eyes. Id be... Read more

Should I Watch This? 5 Questions for the Discerning Viewer

Theres no shortage of things to watch in our spectacle-driven, over-mediated age. The options are dizzyinghundreds of TV channels, millions of pieces of streamable content, the entire history of film and television in the cloud, waiting to be watched. The glut alone makes the questionShould I watch it?both urgent and also overwhelming. Yet for the... Read more

How the Comfort of Heaven Works Backward

Have you felt it? A discomfort in the middle of the day, a creeping restlessness as you lay awake at night? That feeling may be grief, according to expert David Kessler. Pandemic grief is fed by copious notifications of suffering, like this headline from Italy (We Take the Dead from Morning till Night) and this... Read more

Here’s What Minneapolis-Area Christian Leaders Are Saying As the City Burns | RELEVANT Magazine

Late Thursday, President Donald Trump tweeted his first public statement about the riots in Minneapolis, which started as a result of the murder of George Floyd and the city’s subsequent inaction against the police officers who killed him. Trump tweeted that “these THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I wont let... Read more

Switchfoot Has Dropped a Cover of Frank Ocean’s ‘Swim Good’ and Has an EP of Covers on the Way | RELEVANT Magazine

Switchfoot has been putting quarantine to good use by recordinga new EP of covers called, appropriately enough,Covers. That’s not super surprising, as most bands put out a cover album at some point in their careers. What is a little surprising is the wild mix of artists they’ll be paying tribute to. Vampire Weekends Harmony... Read more

Derek Minor on the Church’s Inaction on Racism: ‘I’m Done Trying to Consult You on How to Be a Human’ | RELEVANT Magazine

On Episode 804 of The RELEVANT Podcast, author and speaker Carlos Whittaker joined our regular podcast crew Cameron Strang, Jamie Ivey and Derek Minor to discuss the murder of George Floyd and the unrest in Minneapolis. Derek’s thoughts stuck out for their vulnerability, power and importance. We’ve transcribed them below. You can listen to... Read more

The COVID-19 Death Toll Has Crossed 100,000 in the U.S. | RELEVANT Magazine

The United States passed a grim milestone on Wednesday, with the COVID-19 death toll passing into six figures and no real end in sight. So far, the U.S. has far and away the highest COVID-19 death toll in the world nearly a third of the global death toll. The number is so big that... Read more

Pastor Rick Warren on Re-Opening: ‘Saddleback Is Going to Be Patient’ | RELEVANT Magazine

While many states are lifting pandemic social distancing guidelines, healthcare professionals remain uncertain about the wisdom of resuming large gatherings. The U.S. continues to weather the most severe COVID-19 outbreak in the world, crossing the grim milestone of 100,000 deaths on Wednesday, and 70 percent of pastors have told the Barna Group that they... Read more

Report: Trump Is Readying an Executive Order to Roll Back Protections for Social Media Companies | RELEVANT Magazine

President Donald Trump was openly furious about Twitter’s fact check of his false tweets about mail-in ballots and promised revenge. Now, according to the New York Times, that revenge will take the form of a new executive order. The order, which is still in the draft phase, would “make it easier for federal regulators... Read more

Kristen Bell and Josh Gad on Celebrating Underdogs and What Makes Central Park So Special | RELEVANT Magazine

On Friday, Apple TVwill debut the streaming platform’s first animated series:Central Park.Created by Bob’s Burgers‘ Loren Bouchard and Nora Smith along with Josh Gad, the show is a musical celebration of one of the world’s most unique and famous public spaces. It follows the adventures of park manager Owen Tillerman (Leslie Odom Jr.), who... Read more

5 Leaders on How the Church Can Get Involved in the Fight Against Racial Injustice | RELEVANT Magazine

Last year, RELEVANT invited some of our favorite people to contribute to a series of roundtables about the state of justice and faith in the American Church. Unsurprisingly, the conversation regularly turned to racism and how many churches have grappled, for better or worse, with addressing the country’s ongoing legacy of marginalizing, devaluing and... Read more

Hippocampus Press, Small Publishers, and the Full Library – Christ and Pop Culture

Anyone perusing my publication history (academic or Christ and Pop Culture) will likely note my love for weird fiction, that sub-genre that occupies the liminal spaces between horror, fantasy, and science fiction. Tracing its first flourishings back to certain Gothic strands and especially to Edgar Allan Poe, weird fictions greatest exponent and devotee in the... Read more

Revisit Toni Morrison’s Must-Watch Speech About the ‘Profound Neurosis’ of Racism | RELEVANT Magazine

In 1993, Charlie Rose sat down with iconic novelist Toni Morrison for a wide-ranging conversation, but one clip, in particular, has been drawing fresh attention in the wake of a horrific week for black people in America. The clip begins immediately after Rose asks Morrison, who passed away last year, how she deals with... Read more

The Justice Roundtable | RELEVANT Magazine

Even as “SJW” has been wielded like an insult, the term itself is useful. The people who find ways to fight for justice in the social sphere have become heroes around the world—not just to those they’re helping, but to those of us who see them in action and are inspired by their stories and... Read more

Friar Richard Rohr on Why Real Faith Requires Surrendering the ‘Idol of Certainty’ | RELEVANT Magazine

You could be forgiven for thinking Friar Richard Rohr was one of those pop theologians who show up every few years to shake up the conference speaker circuit with some hastily rebranded Christian theology that, once you look close, isn’t all that different than what anyone else is saying. But you’d be wrong. As... Read more

Twitter Has Debuted a New Factcheck Feature and You’ll Never Guess Who’s Mad About It | RELEVANT Magazine

Over the last few weeks, the calls for President Donald Trump to face some accountability for the barrage of misleading, false and downright bizarre statements coming from his Twitter account has reached a fever pitch. The cries were drawn into sharp relief on Tuesday, when the New York Times published a letter from Timothy... Read more

Not Going to Church May Be the Best Way to Be the Church Right Now | RELEVANT Magazine

Last Friday, President Donald Trump called a hasty news conference to make an announcement about houses of worship in the U.S. Despite the status of the coronavirus pandemic the U.S. has experienced 100,000 COVID-19 related deaths, and the pandemic is on the increase in certain sections of the country Trump deemed churches, mosques, synagogues... Read more

Middleditch & Schwartz Prove That Life Is Improv – Christ and Pop Culture

John Lennon canonized the axiom Life is what happens while youre busy making other plans. At the risk of quibbling with the Walrus, this might be the one time a Lennon lyric is too conservative, too conventional. Under the weight of scrutiny and experience, Life is what happens while youre busy making other plans proves... Read more

Will Evangelism Change as America Becomes Post-Christian?

The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy. Derek Rishmawy: So people have talked about this before and it’s been in the air, but the idea that America is more and more a truly post-Christian country. We’ve talked about the rise... Read more

Whats So Special About Church?

Throughout the pandemic, Ive refused to wear my pajamas to watch my churchs livestream. Every week, I get dressed in my usual Sunday best. I fix my hair. I even put on makeup. I dont do this out of vanity or pharisaism (I hope), but out of a desire to set apart the activity of... Read more

A Black Man Has Died After Begging a Police Officer to Stop Crushing His Neck | RELEVANT Magazine

Shocking and disturbing cell phone footage has emerged from Minneapolis, Minnesota, showing eight minutes of a white police officer crushing a black man’s neck with his knee, refusing to listen to the man’s pleas that he couldn’t breathe and ignoring the cries of onlookers begging him to stop. The man becomes unresponsive and was later... Read more

How Maverick City Music Is Breaking the Worship Music Mold | RELEVANT Magazine

With all the worship music out there, it can be tempting to lump it all into the same box. But Maverick City Music easily resists any such labels, bursting through expectations and convention with propulsive, dynamic creativity that seems to fuse both the music and the lyrics with a spark that really makes you... Read more

Hawk Nelson Frontman Jon Steingard: ‘I No Longer Believe in God’ | RELEVANT Magazine

  Christians of a certain age are probably familiar with the work of Hawk Nelson, a Christian power pop act that grew to prominence on the strength of fun hooks on albums like Letters to the PresidentandSmile, It’s the End of the World. Now, frontman Jonathan Steingard has taken to Instagram to announce that... Read more

How Each Enneagram Type Is Struggling (and Thriving) During the Pandemic | RELEVANT Magazine

How is your Enneagram type struggling and thriving during this crazy season? How can you continue to grow in grace? What does it look like to become more fully yourself in a season of shelter-in-place and quarantine? Have you formed any unhealthy habits? How can you be kinder yourself during this pandemic? What I... Read more

The Husband of Lori Klausutis Has Asked Twitter to Remove Trump’s Tweets About Her Death | RELEVANT Magazine

In 2001, a 28-year-old woman named Lori Klausutis died in a tragic accident, hitting her head on a desk while working for then-U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough. Since then, her death has fueled baseless conspiracy theories on the most noxious corners of the internet, and no amount of debunking ever seems to satisfy the legions... Read more

Carrot Bacon and the Art of Persuasion – Christ and Pop Culture

What you seecarrots? Or do you see bacon? This is the question Tabitha Brown poses at the beginning of her video in which she instructs her followers in alchemy, or turning carrots into bacon. It seems like a nonsense question. Do you see a pencil or a zebra? Clothespins or the moon? A concrete truck... Read more

How to Turn Repentance Into a Non-Apology Apology

It seems to be an almost daily occurrence on the news. A public figure has done or said something that crosses a significant moral line for many people. They try to make a statement that expresses contrition (to satisfy those feeling aggrieved) while not actually admitting any wrongdoing (thus retaining their public credibility). This solution... Read more

Something New under the Sun: Hyper-Reality and Pornography – Christ and Pop Culture

In a 2018 piece in New York Magazine, Max Read inquired, How much of the internet is fake? He asked this not so much about factual content or so-called fake news, but rather because studies generally suggest that, year after year, less than 60 percent of web traffic is human; some years, according to some... Read more

Church Elders Can Help with Your Family Crisis

Nothing can bring us more pride or more embarrassment than the behavior of our children. In those struggling moments, when we are desperate, we often search blogs, podcasts, and books that promise help. But have you considered how your church leaders might be instruments of Gods grace? Healthy shepherds in a healthy church are a... Read more

Sourdough and the Spiritual Discipline of Pace

Sourdough is on the rise. Though the COVID-19 pandemic has incited fear, panic, and partisan rancor, it has also revived older traditions that take time to cultivate and master, like bread baking. Many of us have decided to use the extra time on our hands in quarantine for baking sourdough bread. Major news outlets have... Read more

Why You Should Read Frederick Buechner

Becoming a Christian is, generally speaking, bad for a novelists career. With some exceptions to this this rule (Marilynne Robinson, for one), a committed Christian in the world of letters faces bewildered misunderstanding from the literary community and, often, a Christian community expecting every story to follow the plotline of Amazing Grace. Someone compelled by... Read more

The 15 Best Films About Faith from the 2010s

What were the best films about faith released in the 2010s decade? Im not talking about faith-based films as the marketing term Hollywood uses for movies like Fireproof and Gods Not Dead. Im not talking about films made for faith audiences so much as films made to explore faith: the struggle and beauty of faith,... Read more

10 Hymns Youth Groups Should Sing

Few things are more awkward than an adult youth worker trying to sound like a teenager. Equally awkward is the adult youth worker flaunting theological astuteness by using words students dont understand. Both, however, illustrate the importance of language in youth ministry. Especially when we are communicating the gospel. This is why the language of... Read more

Frozen: Same Old Disney or Surprisingly Countercultural?

To prepare for Frozen 2, I watched Frozen again with my daughter. I remembered it being a funny, whimsical movie with a catchy soundtrack, but I was surprised by how much the story resonated with me. What it teaches is surprisingly countercultural, calling into question the adequacy of common narratives pushed in pop culture (including... Read more

How The Irishman Prepares for Death

The Irishman (in theaters now and on Netflix November 27) is the culmination of Martin Scorseses career as the foremost auteur of American gangster movies (Goodfellas, Casino, Gangs of New York,The Departed). No one does this genre better than Scorsese, and with a bigger-than-ever canvas (a three-and-a-half-hour runtime and a $160 million budget), the master... Read more

My Top 60 Christian Hip-Hop Songs

As long as I can remember, hip-hop music has been the soundtrack to my life. Being raised in the Southside of St. Petersburg, Florida, hip-hop was the heartbeat of the communityan outlet for artists to express experiences of struggle, joy, and success in urban America. Birthed in the Bronx in the 1970s, hip-hop has grown... Read more

A Hidden Life Is a Faith-Based Masterpiece

The title of Terrence MalicksA Hidden Lifecomes from a line in George EliotsMiddlemarch: The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest... Read more

A Song for Every Psalm, Released Weekly for 150 Weeks

On January 1, Christian folk bandPoor Bishop Hooperwill release a song based on Psalm 1. In November 2022, they will release a song based on Psalm 150. Every week in between, they will release new songs that work through the Psalter. Thats 150 songs, released one per week, for three years. The ambitiousEveryPsalmproject is just... Read more

19 Pieces of Goodness in 2019 Pop Culture

One paradox of the internet age is that popular culture is easier than ever to access but harder than ever to find. We gained convenience but lost clarifying consensus on what might be worth our time. Streaming sites have made access to music, movies, and TV incredibly easy, but they have also bombarded us with... Read more