Weekend Reading: Holy Week, the NFL on Religious Liberty, and the Value of Criticism

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What can we learn from the transactions in Jesus’ final week? How did the NFL address an issue of religious liberty? What is the role of the art critic? And what’s the best way for us to interact with culture that looks more and more like Babylon?

To answer these questions, we’ve collected four challenging posts for your Easter weekend reading.

Wrestling with the Troubling Transactions of Holy Week

Jesus’ final week included multiple issues that dealt with transactions: Jesus clearing the temple, Mary pouring perfume on Jesus’ feet, Jesus’ betrayal and more. What can we learn from these transactions? Greg Ayers interviews leading Christian economists to give us an answer.

Some [of these transactions] are thrilling: I can’t help but cheer a little on the inside when Jesus clears the Temple. Others are troubling. My heart sinks into my stomach when I read about Judas betraying Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. How can Christians think about these and other Holy Week events? Read More>>

NFL Fumbles on Religious Liberty

The NFL has threatened the city of Atlanta with losing its potential bid to host a Super Bowl if Georgia passes a religious freedom bill. Samuel James at The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission finds this move deeply troubling.

As a football fan, I enjoy the league, even while I have criticized its flaws and hypocrisy. If the NFL wants to learn from its past failures, I am happy to hear it. What I am not happy to hear are lectures from an organization that profits from people with a conscience and taxpayers who let it skate. If the league wants to make leftist culture warring its newest offseason activity, count me out. Read More>>

The Critic’s Job and Why It Matters

When you think of a critic, perhaps you think of Anton Ego — the grumpy, dour food critic from Ratatouille. But is criticism always a negative, finger-wagging affair? Does art criticism serve some greater purpose? Alissa Wilkinson, a film critic at Christianity Today, dives into these questions with a persuasive defense of criticism.

Criticism is at once an act of creation and cultivation. That is, the critic creates some new work that has as its goal to cultivate what already exists: to make orderly rows of the wildly overgrown garden of cultural production. It may clear the weeds around an overlooked flower that’s being crowded out of the sun; it may point out how several varieties of tomatoes are related to one another and how they differ from one another; it may pluck out the thistles and prune the bushes in order to give vitality to the better fruits. Criticism is hard work, but important to the health of a culture. Read More>>

Baptists and the Benedict Option in American Babylon

How should Christians interact with an American culture that looks more and more like Babylon? Nathan Finn has a suggestion:

I want to offer my own friendly alternative to the Benedict Option. It’s covenantal, congregational, counter-cultural, catholic, and commissioned—all for the common good. Read More>>

What are you reading this weekend?

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Center for Faith and Culture

The L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture seeks to engage culture as salt and light, presenting the Christian faith and demonstrating its implications for all areas of human existence.

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