The Common Good

Culture Watch

Ordinary Radicals Film Premieres Sept. 4

On Sept. 4, I'm going to Philadelphia to attend the premiere of The Ordinary Radicals, a documentary directed and produced by Jamie Moffett, co-founder of The Simple Way. The trailer gives a sense of this project.

While I can't speak for the others who were interviewed for this film, I felt my role was to serve as a cheerleader [...]

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The Dark Knight: A Tribute to George W. Bush?

The Dark Knight, unlike many summer blockbusters, is actually an astonishing movie -- a stunning fusion of craft and entertainment, which manages to be both gripping in an edge-of-your seat fashion, and philosophically interesting. It's a violent film in which none of the brutality is played for the audience's pleasure, and although it's a comic book story, it takes place in a [...]

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Rene Marie's National Anthem Controversy (Good Art Gives -- but Doesn't Always Sell; part 2, by Melvin Bray)

[... continued from part one]

Rene MarieAnd that is my back door into discussing the recent exploits of Rene Marie, an artist based in Denver, Colorado. (I wanted you to understand my presuppositions and how I define my terms.) Rene Marie was [...]

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Tina Beattie on The New Atheists (interview by Becky Garrison)

The New Atheists: The Twilight of Reason and the War on ReligionBecky Garrison recently e-mailed Tina Beattie, author of

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The View from 1908

Tony Jones Great GrandfatherThis summer, two friends and I are doing something that seems a bit outlandish (especially for 40-year-old guys). We've borrowed a friend's RV, and we're touring the country to talk about our books. Doug Pagitt (A Christianity Worth Believing), Mark Scandrette (

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Hancock: Promising Premise, Great Talent, but ...

Hancock(Spoiler warning--some major plot details are revealed in this article. Stop reading now if you want to see the movie without knowing the outcome. However by the time you've read this article you may not want to see it anyway.)

"Hancock" (the current vehicle for the biggest star in the world, Will Smith) is a superhero story that, on the surface, seems to [...]

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Low: Struggling but Hopeful

Low: You May Need a MurdererLow is a band that defies easy characterization. Over their 15 years as lauded pioneers of the minimalist brand of indie rock they're so closely identified with (they're not crazy about the oft-applied term "slow-core"), the husband-and-wife team of guitarist Alan Sparhawk and drummer Mimi Parker -- plus a [...]

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Forbidden Revivals and the Birth of Bluegrass

Summer Sundays with Phyllis Tickle

In the days of my childhood, summer was the season of the big-tent revivals. More than any other of the myriad things that summer could be and was, it was the revivals that were for me the major descriptor of what a complete and proper summer was. This rather [...]

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Video: They Will Have Their Reward

Sometimes it's hard to hear justice at first ...Yet we are asked to diligently seek it ...

When you take your big prize home, be sure to tell me
You won it with your bag of tricks, flicks, and candy

And I'll be sure to tell you, you've done a good job
For making yourself [...]

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