Summer/Fall 2016 Writing Roundup

Been a while since I posted a writing roundup– the craziness of our transition and other things going on kept me from writing at my normal pace, but things are picking up and I have some more big pieces in store for early 2017.

Is Addiction a Disease? Yes, and Much More– My final scheduled contribution for Christianity Today got upgraded from a column to an essay, complementing the cover story on opioid painkiller addiction. There’s often a simplistic binary between viewing addiction as “a disease, just like diabetes” versus a moral failing. I think the biological aspects of addiction are fascinating and help illuminate our understanding of the moral & spiritual aspects of the disease– as well as point us to how we can work together to stop it. I also got to talk about Suboxone and methadone in a Christian publication, which is pretty cool.

The Babadook: Sometimes, Self-Care Just Isn’t Strong Enough– We went through a lot in South Sudan. It doesn’t really compare to the suffering that our East African friends and colleagues went through, but it was enough to shake us. When Maggie got evacuated with the kids to Uganda, I watched The Babadook and found it a very compelling reflection on grief and the scars we bear.

9 Ways to Share the Cost of Cultural Engagement Now That Books & Culture is Gone– Books and Culture was a great magazine, and I’m sad to see it go. So much of our current crisis of discourse relates to the fact that great magazines and compelling, thoughtful discussion just isn’t supported and read widely enough. I provided some suggestions for people who want a better discussion about culture.

There’s Nothing New Under the Black Mirror– On a similar note, I used Black Mirror to talk about how technology and social media dehumanize us– and a few more suggestions for publications that might help us think and talk differently.

Do We Really Need More Breast Cancer ‘Awareness’?– I wrote this column for Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. There’s an overemphasis on awareness in our discussions of health, where I think the concept of attention is far more useful to consider. We don’t need more information about disease (or our sin, for that matter)– we need to attend to our bodies’ needs and discipline ourselves to care for them.

When the Neighborhood Changes– We’re inclined to think of “gentrification” as a dirty word, but everyone wants their neighborhood to get better. How to do so is a bit more complicated. I focused on how we can focus on building and reinforcing neighborhood institutions so that gentrification empowers residents rather than displacing them.

Member Offering: Os Guinness’ Impossible People– When you join Christ and Pop Culture, you get free ebooks and albums every month in addition to access to the Members-Only Facebook group, which is a real breath of fresh air in the social media morass. It’s a great deal! I wrote the blurb for one of these giveaways, Os Guinness’ book Impossible People.

A Pro Life Third Party: The American Solidarity Party– Our agonizing election is over now, but now is a great time to join the American Solidarity Party and call for a holistic pro-life approach to politics.

A Trump Presidency Would Hurt the Pro-Life Cause More Than Hillary– Another election-related piece, all I’ll say about this one is: I hope I was wrong.

 

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