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Culture Matters Roundup 11.18.16

Author: The Village Church Category: Culture

1. Rescuing Arwa and Brice

CNN producer Hamdi Alkhshali shares this harrowing story of being the one left behind while two of his colleagues were trapped by ISIS. Alkhshali did everything he could to ensure their safe return.  

To see my colleagues walking towards me in one piece fills me with indescribable joy.

2. Comedians as Activists

According to these articles in The Atlantic, there is a vanishing line between politics and comedy. Megan Garber focuses on John Oliver’s plea for activism on last weekend’s episode of Last Week Tonight, while David Sims writes about the cold-open of Saturday Night Live and the absence of Trump’s character throughout the episode.

It was a striking moment—not just in American politics, but in American comedy. It was comedy that insisted, on moral grounds, that there are things more important than being funny.

3. In Light of the Election

Russell Moore’s response to the presidential election was published last week in The Washington Post. He calls Christians to pray and remember that we belong to Christ first.

The most important lesson we should learn is that the church must stand against the way politics has become a religion, and religion has become politics.

4. The Surprising Theological Possibilities of Virtual Reality

Writing for Christianity Today, C.T. Casberg asks these questions: Why should believers care about this new wave of virtual reality (VR) technology? And what are we to think of it? VR is becoming ubiquitous, so we should be aware of its potential.

It’s important for Christians to be prepared with a thoughtful, positive vision of what VR can do as a medium rather than be caught unaware and forced into a reactive and defensive position where we have nothing to offer but criticism.

5. Remembering Leonard Cohen

After the musician Leonard Cohen’s death last week, Cameron McAllister wrote this article for Christ and Pop Culture, remembering the artist for much more than “Hallelujah,” which is, perhaps, his most well-known song.

In the midst of this tumultuous season, Cohen’s voice may be the one thing we need to hear, an elegant reminder that we need not stoop to the level of so many around us, that pain can be endured with dignity as well as grace, and that beauty can intrude, even in the most dire of circumstances.