Fresh Prince Blues

Fresh Prince BluesIn the neo-beatnik classic Blue Like Jazz, Donald Miller extols the virtues of the titular great American music (I’m referring to jazz itself, for those who don’t know what titular means) by saying that it, like life, doesn’t resolve.

I’m curious, then, about what he would feel about the latest Will Smith vehicle, Seven Pounds, for many of its qualities share a commonality with jazz. It’s mysterious, beautiful, enigmatic. And it, too, refuses to resolve.
(more…)

Belonging Before Believing

Belonging Before BelievingI started reading Stephen Mansfield’s The Faith of Barack Obama mostly out of curiosity. I knew Mansfield had previously written The Faith of George W. Bush, a sympathetic religious biography of the 43rd president, so I wasn’t sure what his approach would be to a political figure who lands decidedly on the other end of the ideological spectrum. However, I must confess, though I started the book out of curiosity, I continued with it out of necessity.
(more…)

Surprised by ‘Conception’

Surprised by 'Conception'My discovery of the startling book Conception was one of those events that seemed random but actually proved to be a “God thing.” I found it while visiting the library with my sons. I did not even intend to pick up a book for myself, but as I halfheartedly browsed the stacks, there it was. As someone who works to preserve the lives of children, women, and families, I was naturally intrigued by the title. But God knew that more than simple intrigue awaited me inside the covers of this book.
(more…)

Neither Christ Nor Antichrist

During the long presidential campaign, and especially on that triumphant evening of November 4, it appeared millions of Americans believed they had found a savior. The spirit in the air suggested that President-elect Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress would soon rally the economy, end wars, and set the captives free. And even now, with every brilliant Cabinet appointment the president-elect makes (at what seem to be daily press conferences), there’s agreement among most pundits that this man is inspired in his choices and that salvation is on the way.
(more…)

Lord, Have Mercy

It’s not a great time to be from Illinois. Yesterday a friend of mine, a native Chicagoan who now lives in New Jersey, IM’d me with this: “Geez, what’s wrong with your politicians out there?” She seemed to happily forget that she, too, is from the Land of Lincoln (and Blagojevich).
(more…)