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  1. Link to our thread on The Sacredness of Questioning Everything Another one from David Dark. The title is calculated to make two kinds of people uncomfortable: religious folks for whom disavowing the term “religious” has become a kind of tic (“It’s not religion; it’s relationship”) and atheist folks who are far too used to being told that they “really” believe in God. To the first group, Dark offers the insight that religion is relationship; to the second, he suggests that religion is something you do, it’s something you can’t help doing—it isn’t about believing or not believing, it’s about living. Which is, to be honest, an attempt to stretch the word a bit farther than anyone would be happy with. But Dark is so relentlessly charming in his approach and generous in his references that it’s hard not to be won over. Most of the themes touched on here have been covered in his other books; in this way, Dark reminds me of Faulkner, endlessly writing the “same” story in an attempt to get it right. The result is—as always with Dark—soul-stirring, but there’s also a [small] feeling of repetition that is difficult to shake. Still—at 189 pages, the book goes down well and Dark’s authorial voice is as challenging and captivating as ever. When I read a book by David Dark, I start seeing the world differently—if only while I’m under the book’s spell—and I feel as if I’m being offered precious insights that are just outside my ken. I may never read another book by Dark that’s as soul-changing as Everyday Apocalypse, but I am grateful that he keeps writing.
  2. Hey all. A couple of you asked that I share this here when I was finished. Ted Turnau, teaching fellow at the International Institute for Christian Studies and teacher of cultural and religious studies at Anglo-American University, has written a book called Popologetics: Popular Culture in Christian Perspective. I've finally finished a lengthy, featured review of Ted's book that's long been brewing. In short, I like the book quite a bit in that, on the whole, I think it's a helpful offering for evangelicals, in particular (that's the target audience). I think it's fairly nuanced, and well-researched. But I also offer some pushback. Namely, I focus on 1. his use of worldview criticism as his guiding foundation, which is a double-edged sword given his audience, I think and 2. the fact that I don't think he's quite fair in his chapter in which he critiques Mars Hill Audio critic Ken Myers (the focus is on his book All God's Children and Blue Suede Shoes). I could say more about both of these things, and perhaps we might all continue the conversation here, but for now, I'll leave you all to check out my review. Oh, and I wish I'd had more time to offer more of my own critique of the worldview model, but I didn't have the space in what was already a lengthy review. And frankly, it's a pursuit of the topic that deserves its own piece at some point. For now, I'm more suggestive than personally specific. Lastly, I'm thankful for Ted's measured, generous response to my review in the comment thread. Though he says that he's not quite convinced, I think I've given him a couple of things to think about, and, given what he's offered thus far as his own pushback, I'm still content with where I landed.
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