“He’s Just Not That Into You”–Postmodern Secular Romance

Sex and romance remain big issues in popular culture–and for good reason. In a fallen world, issues of sexuality and romantic love are prime candidates for corruption and confusion. HBO’s Emmy-winning Sex and the City may serve as the most potent symbol of the secular distortion of romance and the postmodern confusion of sexuality that is now taken for granted in many sectors of American society.

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A Christian Vision of Beauty, Part Three

The Christian vision of beauty not only tells us why the world is beautiful–but not quite. Secondly, the Christian worldview explains why the face of a child with Down’s syndrome is more beautiful than the cover girl in the fashion magazine. The unity of the good, the beautiful, the true, and the real calls us to look below the surface and to understand that the ontological reality of every single human being is that we are made in the image of God. The imago Dei is the beauty in each of us, and the rest is but of cosmetic irrelevance.

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A Christian Vision of Beauty, Part Two

The Christian vision of beauty explains why the world is beautiful, but not quite. We are often struck by the beauty of the created order, and this feeling is validated for us in Genesis chapter 1, where the Creator’s own verdict is that the creation is good. The goodness of creation is therefore nonnegotiable, and again the unity of the transcendentals reminds us that if it is good, then it is also necessarily true, and real, and beautiful. Thus our metaphysic and our aesthetic, our understanding of truth and our evaluation of ethics, all come together in creation. The creation as God made it was good and beautiful and true and real.

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A Christian Vision of Beauty, Part One

There is something intrinsic to humanity that is drawn to beauty.
There is something of an aesthetic desire in us–an aesthetic appetite.
And yet beauty is in crisis; it is a contested category. In the
reigning confusion of the popular culture, the artificial is often
confused for the real, the pretty for the beautiful, and the untrue for
the true–all of which, as we shall see, are essentially one root
confusion.

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The Baby Boomers and Their Times

“I hate the Baby Boomers. They’re the most self-centered, self-seeking, self-interested, self-absorbed, self-indulgent, self-aggrandizing generation in American history . . .” Those words represent the assessment of Paul Begala, a former advisor to President Bill Clinton, himself the first Baby Boomer president. Evidently, it takes one to know one–Begala is a boomer himself. The Baby Boomers represent the largest generation in American history, and their full impact is yet to be fully realized. After all, the first Baby Boomer will turn sixty years of age in just a few weeks. In one sense, the generation is just hitting its stride.

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Christianity and the Dark Side: What About Halloween?

The issue of Halloween presses itself annually upon the Christian conscience. Acutely aware of dangers new and old, many Christian parents choose to withdraw their children from the holiday altogether. Others choose to follow a strategic battle plan for engagement with the holiday. Still others have gone further, seeking to convert Halloween into an evangelistic opportunity. Is Halloween really that significant?

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Gay Culture and the Riddle of Andrew Sullivan

Andrew Sullivan is a man of ideas. In recent years, Sullivan has emerged as one of the most influential intellectuals in American public life. Furthermore, he has been identified with some of the most controversial issues of our times–a fact that is hardly surprising given his libertarian view of morality, conservative views of politics, Roman Catholic views of Christianity, and the fact that he is a prominent homosexual advocate.

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Why Isn’t “Spirituality” Enough?

Hypermodern America has become a collectivity of “spiritualities” even as the contours of American culture become increasingly secularized. How is this possible? The emergence of spirituality as an alternative to historic Christianity is itself a product of secularism–offering universal “meaning” without doctrine, truth, or specific content.

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The New Fertility Divide–What’s Happening in Canada?

The nation of Canada is something of a mystery to most Americans. The U.S. and Canada share many dimensions of culture, language, heritage, and history. Nevertheless, the two cultures are also significantly different–as any visitor across the border will quickly notice. In addition to the obvious cultural and political differences, demographers now point to another significant distinction–a divide in fertility rates.

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America Should Be Ashamed of SHAM

Steve Salerno is a reporter with wide experience. As a freelance feature writer, Salerno has written for magazines including Harper’s, Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and many others. He has contributed articles to the Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal. Many of his articles have focused upon “money stories,” that deal with financial scandals and controversies in the business world. Now, he is ready to report on the biggest scandal he has ever encountered–America’s self-help movement.

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Newsweek’s Search for Spirituality

This week’s issue of Newsweek magazine features an extensive series of reports on American spirituality. Taken together, these articles demonstrate something of the eclecticism, superficiality, and diversity of the American spiritual scene. For evangelical Christians, the article should serve an important purpose by helping us to understand the current contours of our mission field right at home.

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