“What To Do About Embarrassingly Bad Christian Music”

MyCatholicBlog came across this amusing article on Christ and Pop Culture from a couple years back.  In it, author Alan Noble gives us some helpful hints about how to react to, and improve, “embarrassingly bad Christian music.”  One of the hints Mr. Noble gives that MyCatholicBlog loves in particular is: Consider whether or not the music you buy is really worth the praise.

Noble warns that just like its secular counter-part, Christian music is often praised simply on its consumer merits alone; that is to say, one assumes that if it’s sold in a specific place (let’s say, a Christian bookstore for example), then that music must be good automatically.  Not necessarily the case of course, and thus Noble urges for us to use caution when listening or recommending Christian music, in order to not perpetuate music that, although it may have a good message, is ultimately just bad.

The entire article is filled with wit and insight, and was a pleasure to read.

The Positives of Gaming

MyCatholicBlog came across this interesting article on Christ and Pop Culture which discusses the subtle benefits of the new gaming system, Xbox 360’s Kinect.  It claims:

Should Christians be excited about Kinect?  I think they should. In my short experience with Dance Central, I have found it to be the most immediately accessible game I have ever experienced in groups.  The Kinect has tons of potential to provide memorable shared experiences for all kinds of people.  Additionally, it is certainly the most physically demanding gaming peripheral I have ever used and I think the care of our physical bodies is all too often neglected Christian discipline.  So the short answer is yes–Christians should be excited about Kinect.  Kinect certainly has its own unique value already, however, I am drawn to video games that not only raise my heart rate but stir my soul.

Author Drew Dixon admits that any significant life experiences are yet to emerge from playing Kinect, but in an atmosphere where games are often criticized for violence, poor morals, etc, it’s nice to see the positive that can come from the ever-progressing technology.

Beyond intertwining Christian morals, this article makes interesting point about current gaming systems in general, looking at technology and (as Dixon labels it) an art form through a sociological view.

Loving the Madness at Christmastime

Sick of the Christmas music yet?  Annoyed by the crowds, the commercials, the lawn ornaments? Can’t wait for it all to be over?  Well, with two days left to go we found this article on ChristandPopCulture.com entitled “Why I Hate The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”  that takes a whole new perspective on dealing with Christmas, and finding the beauty of the holiday despite the often materialistic (and even sometimes secular) modern celebrations.

If you’re feeling a bit daunted by all of the Christmas madness, give this article a read.

“God-Clause” — A Parallel Between God and Santa?

Mycatholicblog loves the blog Christ and Pop Culture.  The recently re-posted an article they wrote which analyzes the role Santa plays in Christian faith.  The article, entitled “God-Clause: Reflections on Santa and Theology Proper”  can be found here, and is unfortunately too long to be re-posted in its entirety.  The excerpt below is the article’s opening sparagraphs:

He is the all-seeing, all-knowing, omnipresent being, who rewards the good and punishes the bad. He is mysterious and beyond our comprehension. He is both transcendent and immanent, and we feel His presence in special ways around this time of year. Wait…I’ve lost myself in my own introduction. Are we talking about God or Santa?

The two seem not so dissimilar if you pause and reflect for a moment. And for the most part Christians don’t often pause and reflect on this Santa figure. Is his similarity to the Almighty an acceptable myth or does it have implications for Christian theology and life?

The article stresses two main points: first, Santa is not the enemy and secondly, the tension between secular and religious perspectives of Christmas will lessen if people simply remember the distinction.  In other words, if one can achieve a higher awareness of Jesus than the perceived threat of Santa nullifying the Christian aspect of the holiday will automatically dissipate.

Mycatholicblog agrees with the article’s sentiment; we understand the importance of “keeping Christ in Christmas,”  but don’t see the harm in small children believing in Santa.  After all, Santa teaches faith and goodwill, two very important aspects of Christianity.  And in all fairness, it’s much easier for kids to grasp the concept of Santa, the jolly old man whose lap they can physically sit on at the local mall, than an all-knowing, pervasive and highly undefined God.  So we say yes, keep Christ in Christmas…but keep Santa in there too.