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Posts tagged "Apocalypse"

It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

A blogpost went viral last year with an explosive headline: “If it doesn’t stem its decline, mainline Protestantism has just 23 Easters left.” The article, written by Ed Stetzer, first appeared on the Washington Post’s blog and quickly made the rounds in the echo-chamber of church social media. Some dismissed the article as over-the-top, while others accepted it as gospel and began packing their church offices.

This blogpost came to mind recently as I began looking ahead to the sermons I will preach during Holy Week and Easter. I thought to myself, “What am I called to say on the 23rd…

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It’s the End of the World as We Know It:  The Apocalypse in Popular Culture

It’s the End of the World as We Know It: The Apocalypse in Popular Culture

Part 1

The end is near, and it’s coming to a theater near you, or right into your own living room. I first started paying close attention to the regularity of end-of-the-world scenarios in popular culture—especially in film and television—with the 1998 movies Deep Impact and Armageddon. Both involved the threat of a history-ending meteorite strike (a comet or an asteroid, respectively). Deep Impact attempted a serious dramatic look at the political repercussions and human pathos of an impending world-ending disaster; Armageddon (whose title betrays a serious lack of familiarity with the biblical book of Revelation) was one of those cinematic…

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Apocalyptic Box Offices and Sanctified Darwinism

Apocalyptic Box Offices and Sanctified Darwinism

A thought-provoking if fairly depressing essay from Steve Almond appeared in the NY Times Magazine last week, “The Apocalypse Market Is Booming.” As anyone with a television will tell you, in the years since we last checked in on this trend in any substantial way, the amount of eschatalogical fantasies being peddled by Hollywood has only ballooned. In fact, this past summer it almost seemed as if there were more apocalypse-themed movies at the multiplex than non-apocalypse-themed ones (World War Z, Oblivion, After Earth, This Is The End, The World’s End, etc). But Almond goes beyond the usual analyses, theorizing…

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Religion and Zombifixation: In Need of Flesh and Blood

Religion and Zombifixation: In Need of Flesh and Blood

Today’s fantastic post on the living dead (spoiler: everyone) comes from Andrew Byers with Ben DeSpain:

Zombies. They are everywhere, and coming to a theater near you.

Pop culture today seems fascinated with the living dead. But it’s not necessarily the voodoo version of the zombie that so excites our imaginations. The 21st century zombie is more sophisticated, a product of some biological disaster, a viral scourge that turns normal folks into plastic-eyed, flesh-eating monstrosities. And in our populist eschatology there looms on the horizon a forthcoming “Zombie Apocalypse.” The dead will rise, and it will not be pretty.

Zombies are trending… so…

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The End Is the Beginning Is the End, Part II: Writing Backwards

The End Is the Beginning Is the End, Part II: Writing Backwards

Where the Imperfections of Memory Meet the Inadequacies of Documentation

Julian Barnes

The story of Adrian’s suicide begins with a girl.  In college, Tony dates a sharp and judgmental girl named Veronica, who will not allow Tony to “go all the way.”  The relationship includes a weekend trip home to Veronica’s condescending family, where Tony hears, and then sloughs off, a mysterious comment from Veronica’s mother about her daughter.  Soon enough, Veronica begins dating Adrian.  The ever-dutiful Adrian writes Tony asking for “permission” to date Veronica.  Tony tries to be, well, flippant, but he writes a nasty, vengeful letter accusing Veronica…

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Green Day: Prophets of Despair... and Hope? A "21st Century Breakdown" Review

Green Day: Prophets of Despair… and Hope? A "21st Century Breakdown" Review

It’s been five years since Green Day’s American Idiot took the world by storm, capitalizing on anti-Bush, anti-American sentiment to sell over 5 million records. Their newest effort, 21st Century Breakdown, follows American Idiot both in form and content. It is a concept album of massive proportions (18 songs!) preaching a Marxist gospel of despair and revolution. But instead of directing his anger at America, Billie Joe Armstrong has set his sights upon modern Western culture in general.

Musically, 21st Century Breakdown generally covers territory previously explored in their past albums: echoes of Dookie, Insomniac, Nimrod, and Warning can all be…

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