Monday, March 13, 2017

Annual Blog Hiatus: March 13-April 17


For the next few weeks, I'll be resting my little grey cells and gearing up for another year of spirited blogging. In addition, I'll be working on some non-blogging projects and focusing on long-range development.

Which brings us to an announcement.

Within the next few months, I plan to start dropping regular installments in an actual audio series aimed to help listeners become better readers, writers, and ignorance fighters. Monthly episodes will be short, punchy, geared toward analysis and practical application, and studded with classic and contemporary literary examples. If you love truth, value language, and enjoy investigating what turns good writing to great prose, you'll want to tune in. (Also, if these recordings turn out to be anything like my live talks, they'll be riddled with inadvertent spoonerisms. So we have that to look forward to.)

That doesn't mean this blog is going anywhere! While I'm not looking forward to the nuts and bolts of getting my technological act together, I am excited about the possibilities.

I hope you are, too.

Considering how many informational streams we have vying for our attention, I appreciate that you take time every week to engage with these posts. Thank you for not rewarding me with silence but instead offering a flurry of comments on Facebook and Twitter. Your input is valued and appreciated.

If you're lonely over the next few weeks, feel free to scroll to the bottom of this post and check out some of my favorite blogs from the past twelve months.

I wish you a wonderful spring and a blessed celebration of our Savior's resurrection.

See you on April 17!

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Ten Favorite Posts from the Last Twelve Months:











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Monday, March 6, 2017

Give It Silence



I want to be clear. We should not always keep silent.

As Christians, we have a responsibility to bring Scripture to bear on the human experience. The Gospel forever changes the heart, producing a natural resistance to injustice, hatred, crime, lies, deceit, and theological error.

However, in some areas, I suspect that silence is more effective than speech.

An example of this would be public boycotts.

While I don't willingly throw my money at companies and causes I can't in good faith support, I don't jump on public boycotting bandwagons.

Here's why.

There's actually good evidence that loud, social-media-fueled boycotts don't work; in fact, they often prove counterproductive. This is true especially in the entertainment industry. 

As Andy Crouch points out in his book Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling, prominent protests merely fuel the box office by increasing visibility for the project. Boycotts generate headlines, drive publicity, and dominate the news cycle of a culture that doesn't care about the Christian critique of its values and merely wants to rub it in our faces when the project inevitably does well without us.

That's why instead of a boycott, I give these projects silence.

Silence is the death knell of creative endeavor. I speak from experience. I'd rather have one of my works met with hearty debate than the awkward chirping of crickets. Silence means it wasn't even important enough for someone to form an opinion one way or the other.

Ouch.

For these reasons, I encourage you to redirect your energy.

Move from boycotting to boosting. 

Shine a light on what matters.

When a truly good film comes out, go see it ("That's your way of casting your vote, the only vote Hollywood recognizes," says Barbara Nicolosi, who terms this sort of resistance an othercott). Write online reviews of good books to help boost their visibility. Go to quality live shows when they're in town. Play good music, and play it loudly with the windows down, yodeling along as best you can. Recommend your favorites left and right. 

Celebrate local art, writers, artists, and theatre, lending your support to worthy projects at the grass-roots level. That's the beauty of art and culture: everyone can be involved. We don't have to wait for Hollywood to speak ex cathedra and hand down their finished projects to us, the sorry masses huddling helpless and cultureless at their feet.

Instead, we can build culture together--culture that celebrates life, light, and truth.

Let's shine a light on works that are worth celebrating.

Let's give the rest our silence. 

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Photo Credit:

By LoMit (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons