Culture

066 As The Shack Hits Cinemas, Here’s My Chat with its Author, William Paul Young [Video]

Image from The Shack of Mack (Sam Worthington) and Papa (Octavia Spencer)

When William Paul Young sat down to write a story for his children about a man who meets God in a forest shack, little did he know it would become a publishing phenomenon—and now a movie. In 2008 Paul dropped by the Open House show, to chat about the book’s meaning, the personal story behind it, and to answer his critics. More…

Is Spock a Christ Figure? After 50 Years of Star Trek, Some Think So

Picture by Gage Skidmore

It was fifty years ago this week when the sci-fi pop culture phenomenon Star Trek, first hit TV screens. While it’s mostly largely secular humanist in outlook, that hasn’t stopped religious themes slipping into Star Trek’s storylines, sometimes quite overtly. In fact, its most beloved character has done some very Christ-like things. More…

Can You Be Born Again Through a Pair of Jeans? Plenty Of Us Think So

Stack of jeans in store

I saw an ad the other day. The headline read, ‘Be born again.’ It was for a plastic surgeon. It’s not the first time advertisers have promised eternal life. Levi’s jeans once did the same. And yet, science has proven what Jesus taught centuries ago: material things will never satisfy spiritual needs… More…

Watch This Brilliant Conversation Between Bono & Eugene Peterson on Art, Faith & Being Honest with God

What happens when U2’s Bono pays a visit to his favourite Christian author, Eugene Peterson? This wonderful conversation results: two creative minds talking about art, music, the Bible, and emotional honesty. Bono and Peterson couldn’t live in more different worlds, but their shared love of the Psalms has brought them together. This is a delightful few minutes about the importance of being honest with God – as honest as the Psalms are – and why Bono believes Christian music needs to ditch its ‘dishonesty’. More…

062 How Your Words and Art Can Create Hope In A Broken World [Video]

In a world where there is brokenness and decay at every turn, how can Christians be a voice of hope? How can we ensure our words, messages, conversations and art bring hope that is inspiring yet practical at the same time? At the 2015 Premier Digital Conference, I spoke on the topic of creating hope, by comparing the works of three different artists: one who focusses on overt sentimentality, one who specialises in despair, and a third who uses redemption to turn the ugly into the beautiful. More…

15 Things I Learnt from a Month in America

America is a nation under threat, I have family in Colorado I never knew about, you haven’t lived until you’ve ridden a horse at sunset, and God has a soft spot for Pennsylvania. These are just a few of the lessons I learnt during my four weeks in the United States. Here are the rest. More…

Listening to the Soul of Your Community [Video]

What does your community’s culture—its stories, songs and advertisements—reveal about its soul: its beliefs, values and longings? In this video I share the framework behind my writing, speaking and broadcasting, giving you tools to ‘read’ social trends so you can communicate better. More…

037 Recovering Your Creative Calling with Andy Crouch

Culture isn’t a word reserved for artists. If you plant gardens, plan towns, cook, sew, play sport or do business, you are also involved in culture-making. In this interview with Andy Crouch you’ll learn how to recover your creative calling as someone who shapes the world for good, whatever gifts and interests you have. More…

036 The Problem with Kitsch Jesus

You’ll find him in Christian bookstores, on ‘Christian art’ sites and all over Facebook. He may hang on your friend’s lounge room wall, or even on your own. He is kitsch Jesus. But while he may remind us of how sweet and gentle he is, kitsch Jesus has a problem. Here he is in pictorial form. More…

The Meaning of Life? 4 Options in 4 Video Clips

Each month around 550,000 of us search the phrase ‘meaning of life’ on Google. And we’re not all looking for the Monty Python film. Does my life have any meaning? we ask. Our culture offers four main answers to the question, as reflected in our books, stories and films. More…