About Nick Lannon

Nick Lannon is a 2000 graduate of the University of Arizona and a 2007 graduate of Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry, having studied Communications and Religious Studies while at Arizona and Systematic Theology and Ethics at Trinity. An avid movie-watcher, NBA fan and all-around couch potato, Nick is fascinated by the intersection of the Gospel and culture. Nick grew up in northern Virginia and lived there until going to Arizona in 1996, harboring naïve fantasies about playing on the basketball team. Nick is currently Editor-in-Chief of LIBERATE (www.liberatenet.org), the resource ministry of Tullian Tchividjian.

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    George Lucas is Darth Vader is Your Father

    George Lucas is Darth Vader is Your Father

    For children of the 70s and 80s, the phrase “cautiously optimistic” perfectly fits our feelings about the first teaser trailer for J.J. Abrams’s Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. We love “the original trilogy” (Episodes IV through VI) almost as much as we regret having ever heard of the prequels (Episodes I through III). Most of us, though I can’t speak for the true die-hard Star Trek fans, like what Abrams did with his Star Trek reboot and are hopeful that he can bring back some of this series’ luster—a shine that was lost in Jar Jar Binks’s…

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    NYC Preview: The Terrible Parables of Christ

    NYC Preview: The Terrible Parables of Christ

    I can’t believe Jesus. He said some things that just can’t be true. In fact, almost everything he said can’t be true. Now, that doesn’t mean that I don’t like some it: He said that he came to fulfill the law. I like that. He said to love others and to love God. That’s tough (and maybe impossible) but it at least sounds good. It sounds right. But some of the patently untrue things he said also just sound wrong to my Christian ears. He told stories that seemed to say if you didn’t have your act together, you’d get…

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    Just Tell Me What I Want to Hear

    Just Tell Me What I Want to Hear

    I noticed an interesting phenomenon the other day: I only want to be told what I already know to be true. More specifically, I only want to hear the things I already think. It’s been a long time since I read a book that I didn’t know for sure I would like (a theology book anyway…I’m a little more forgiving of pop fiction) or ordered something from a menu that I hadn’t had (and liked) before. It’s a long-understood truism that the politically interested tend to watch and listen to the “news” programs that affirm their pre-existing beliefs.  What I…

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    We All Love Grace…Now Shape Up!

    We All Love Grace…Now Shape Up!

    I’ve written about my travails in community softball before, and here’s another dispatch from the front lines.

    This year, I’ve been playing on church-league softball team (not my church…I’m a scab, a ringer, brought in for my ability to ensure that they have enough people to field a team), which is a different experience than the “town” league I played in last year. This league has prayers before and after the games and its players keep our anger and competitiveness jailed beneath our surfaces. So, you know, Christian.

    The other day, as we all gathered at home plate…

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    This Team is Terrible…And Awesome

    This Team is Terrible…And Awesome

    The Carroll Academy Lady Jags have lost 213 straight high school basketball games. They’ve won six games in fourteen years. Let that sink in for a second. Now watch this touching piece on their story:

    As you can see, Carroll Academy is no ordinary school, and this is no ordinary basketball team. It’s almost as if the coaches have been reading Mockingbird! There are, to be sure, a few of the usual ESPN tug-the-heartstrings triumph-in-the-face-of-adversity moments, but some of the things that the coaches say are wonderfully profound.

    This is nothing compared to what you’re gonna face in your life. 20, 25,…

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    Who Runs Toward an Injury?

    Who Runs Toward an Injury?

    During Louisville’s Elite Eight win over Duke, on their way to a National Championship, Kevin Ware experienced what is probably the most gruesome injury ever broadcast on live television. If you were watching, you’ll know what I’m talking about, and if you weren’t…there’s really no way to describe it. It will suffice to say that broken bone was visible through skin, and men young and old were immediately moved to tears at the sight. Everyone, coaches, players, and referees, instinctively moved away from Ware, horrified by his injury. Only one person, Ware’s Louisville teammate Luke Hancock, went the other way….

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    Grace From the Very Top

    Grace From the Very Top

    1993 is, I’m sure, notable for many things.  But for some, it was most notable as the year of the second straight “Fab Five” appearance in the NCAA National Championship game.  The year before, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King, Ray Jackson, and Chris Webber had become famous for being an all-freshman starting five at the University of Michigan, introducing what has been referred to as “a hip-hop element” into the game, and getting all the way to the championship game before losing to Duke. The next year, as sophomores, the Fab Five was even better. Again, they went all…

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    Thank You For Not Coaching

    Thank You For Not Coaching

    People are selfish. Christians are people. That’s an interpretation of something Aaron Zimmerman said at last year’s Mockingbird Conference (Have you registered for this year’s yet?). He said that people are bad, and that’s true…selfishness is just one of the myriad ways in which we’re bad. That’s why it’s noteworthy when someone does something legitimately unselfish; when someone does something for someone else with no regard for themselves, they usually end up on magazine covers and talk shows. Such behavior runs counter to our nature, and so it stands out.

    Professionals in the athletic arena are people…

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    Tiger Woods: Theologian of Glory

    Tiger Woods: Theologian of Glory

    Tiger Woods’ new ad campaign (or, more accurately, Nike’s new ad campaign featuring Tiger Woods) is making the rounds. Featuring Woods staring down a put, the tagline is “Winning Takes Care of Everything,” a quote attributed to “Tiger Woods, World #1.” There has been much debate about the taste level of this ad, seeing as how Tiger Woods remains a divorcee with less than full custody of his children. Has “everything” really been taken care of? Is this an appropriate message to be sending to children?

    The great Gerhard Forde (via the greater Martin Luther) talked about…

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    Why Can’t We Just Celebrate?

    Why Can’t We Just Celebrate?

    The Miami Heat have won 27 consecutive basketball games. For regular readers of this space, you’ll know that I take great pleasure in this. What I don’t take great pleasure in, however, is our collective inability to celebrate an unassailably great accomplishment.

    The all-time NBA record for consecutive victories is 33, by the Los Angeles Lakers (of Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West) during the 1971-72 season. Naturally, there is great interest to see whether or not Miami can break this record. But the interest doesn’t stop there. No. We must know, for instance, if this Miami team…

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    Even Jim Valvano Died

    Even Jim Valvano Died

    Jim Valvano (most likely known to non-sports fans as the namesake of the Jimmy V Foundation, a cancer research supporter which has given away hundreds of millions of dollars to fight the disease) was the subject of the latest ESPN 30-for-30 documentary, “Survive and Advance,” which premiered on Sunday night. The doc is about the unlikely path-to-a-championship of the 1983 North Carolina State Wolfpack, coached by Valvano, which included nine consecutive must-win games, many of which came down to the final seconds. The team’s run (the final basket in the championship game was recognized by Sports…

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    Don’t Hate Mike Piazza, You Are Mike Piazza

    Don’t Hate Mike Piazza, You Are Mike Piazza

    Mike Piazza’s autobiography is called Long Shot, and reviewer Rob Neyer thinks it’s a long shot that anyone will really like the book. Neyer does admit that the book “semi-obsessed” him for a week. He claims to be unsure of the reason, despite the well-written nature of the piece, but suspects that it has something to do with the book being “a case study in narcissism.”

    Neyer writes of Piazza’s book, before saying that he “can’t really recommend [it] to readers”:

    He really wants you to think he was a great hitter. Piazza hit 427 home runs in his career,…

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