Issue 32

the RUMINATE blog

On Teaching, Learning, and the Insidious Nature of Bad Christian Art

On Teaching, Learning, and the Insidious Nature of Bad Christian Art

“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.” —1 Corinthians 13:11

In the wake of another laughable movie version of one of the worst examples of Christian kitsch in recent decades, I am mostly smiling at the uniformly horrible reviews (which I hope discourage future similar works) and spending my time and money on good art, which always abounds.

Yet, because I’m a person of faith and a writer and reader, I fear that someone might associate me with the kitsch. It’s important to me to both distance myself from it and articulate why: not because it’s merely tacky or lowbrow, but because it’s far more insidious.

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An Apology and an Affirmation; or, In Praise of Yoga Pants

An Apology and an Affirmation; or, In Praise of Yoga Pants

I wore yoga pants all day today. I admit that I put them on because I was feeling a little puffy, a little bloated perhaps. After returning from a week away from home, I recognized that my eating and exercise habits while on vacation were lacking. It’s possible that those habits had been lacking, in fact, even before the vacation. Stress does that to me. Stress does that to a lot of people. I know I’m in good company.

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Writing Towards the Messy

Writing Towards the Messy

Last semester, the writer Bret Lott visited my crew of undergraduate creative writers at a small, private, religious university in the South. He fielded questions—“What’s your writing process like? How do you get ideas for stories? Do your characters haunt your dreams?”—and then I let loose the question I most wanted them to hear answered:

How do you feel about the term Christian writer?’”

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Flame against Flame: Reflections on North Korea & Wiesel’s Night

Flame against Flame: Reflections on North Korea & Wiesel’s Night

Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? –James 3:11

A month ago, I traveled deep into a valley of the Southern Tier in New York State. It was nearly a two-hour trip on a day that I had other things to do. In my fifth of six semesters of seminary, things are picking up. I made the long drive in the rain because I believe it is a writer’s responsibility to make the time necessary to create a work for which we are convicted. Read More »

Satiety, Tree Beauty, and the Precious Pause

Satiety, Tree Beauty, and the Precious Pause

Xerxes was war-hungry and on the move, the great Persian Shāhanshāh, king of kings, surrounded by a million, let’s say two million soldiers marching west to crush Greece, washing like a murderous wave across the river Maeander. Herodotus said their numbers were so vast that the soldiers not only crossed rivers, but drained them with their thirst.

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Meet the artists: Judith Deem Dupree and Casey Underwood

Meet the artists: Judith Deem Dupree and Casey Underwood

Thank you to all who came out to support the AIR series event this past weekend. For those of you who missed out, below are introductions to our two artists–Judith Deem Dupree and Casey Underwood. Read More »