It calls men to something better than misogyny, bullying, sexual harassment, and the objectifying of women. It encourages men to use their strength and influence to protect the weak, to treat other human beings with dignity and value, and to hold one another accountable. It admits that not all men are bullies and misogynists, and it praises the virtuous acts of those doing the right things.
Nevertheless, the ad has generated a conflicted response from the public.
I hadn’t seen the ad. I wouldn’t have except the social media uproar prodding me to what all the to-do was about. I watched it. I loved it. (I love it with one exception: Gillette products are used to prevent beard growth, which is an abomination.)
I understand there are various reasons that people take issue with it: It attacks masculinity in general. It conflates “toxic masculinity” with all masculinity. It stereotypes all men.
I don’t see those things in the ad. I won’t address them.
There is one criticism that I want to address—namely, that Gilette is being opportunistic, seeking to build a customer base and make a quick buck by pandering to the social issues of the day. In other words, they are acting with insincere motives.
I’m not a voluminous reader, mostly because I’m a slow reader. I plod through books. I’m not a great book reviewer by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t know that I’ve ever posted a “favorite book of the year” before. But this year, a late arrival emerged as a clear favorite. Continue reading “My 2018 Book of the Year”
Some Christian leaders refuse to sing “Away in a Manger,” citing the lyrics (namely, “the little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes”) as “odd or misleading,” saying, “This lyric misses a key aspect of the Incarnation: Jesus entered into our suffering.” I disagree.
On Christmas Eve 1818, at Saint Nicholas parish church in Orbendorf (a village in the Austrian Empire), the carol “Silent Night” was first performed. The parish priest, Joseph Mohr, had composed the words the year before. River flooding had damaged the church organ, so Mohr asked Franz Xaver Gruber—an organist in a nearby village—to compose an accompaniment for guitar. And so, 200 years ago tonight, the Christmas Carol “Silent Night” was born.* Continue reading “Peace on Earth — The 200th Anniversary of “Silent Night””
In this second post in a two-part series, guest author Holly Stallcup offers practical advice for practicing hospitality with those who battle eating disorders. Read Part 1 here.
Part 2 — Welcoming to the Table
Most days my relationship with food is contentious at best, and similarly, there are more than a few days a month that contentious would be an appropriate word to describe my relationship with God. Yet the intersection of food and God, food and faith, has in recent years become a place of hope, excitement, peace, and solace.
The solution to my complicated relationship with food is not to avoid the table but rather to be welcomed to it over and over again, letting the healing come one bite, one smile, one story at a time. To offer the gift of hospitality to your friends with eating disorders is to offer healing and redemption. In fact, the eating disorder community may be one of the most important groups of people to which you will ever offer hospitality.
Holly’s thread of advice struck me as inciteful, well-informed, and gracious. I wanted to hear more. So, I invited her to write a guest piece for my blog. She agreed. I am happy to publish her thoughts in this two-part series.
Part 1 — The Church and the Table
When we read the Gospels, it seems impossible to ignore the presence of the table. The breaking of bread, the drinking of wine, and gathering in homes is central to the rhythm of Jesus’s life, a rhythm that we as Christians are called to emulate. But somewhere over the centuries, we have decentered, if not completely forgotten, the table, the home, and the hospitality of our faith practice. Today in Christian culture we are almost always more likely to listen to a sermon, do a Bible study, participate in a service project, attend a conference—and on and on—before we ever make it to the table if we ever make it there at all.
I love Handel’s Messiah. In my opinion, it is one of the best works of biblical theology across all genres of art and literature. I make it an annual tradition to listen to it straight through. I wanted a great version. So, being no music critic, I went searching for the answer to the question: What is the best recording of Handel’s Messiah?