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From Comment

"I first encountered Books & Culture in graduate school. As a regular reader and occasional contributor, I am sad to see it go. As a scholar of North American religion, I wonder what its demise means for the future of evangelical intellectual life."

Read more: John Schmalzbauer, Comment
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From The Huffington Post

"It’s hardly a secret that I was adopted as a baby and quite frankly, there’s absolutely no reason it should be. As I’ve grown, I’ve watched the conversation and perceptions about adopted kids and families shift, but nothing has quite captured the truth, both the good and the ugly, of adoption like the film 'LION.' It’s an honest look at adoption and the not uncommon feelings surrounding identity that come up for many people. Without getting on a soapbox, the film stands up to some commonly held misperceptions about adoption, the stigma many families deal with and supports the often life changing impact it can have."

Read more: Kristin Chenoweth, The Blog, The Huffington Post
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From AP/The Los Angeles Times

"'When I was writing the novel, I thought of it as a super-natural detective story, and to this day, I cannot recall having a conscious intention to terrifying [sic] anybody, which you may take, I suppose, as an admission of failure on an almost stupefying scale,' Blatty told the Huffington Post in 2011."

Read more: AP/The Los Angeles Times
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From The Local Church

“I think there is a literary way of approaching not just literature, but culture and the church—a way of analyzing a little bit more deeply, evaluating, interpreting with a broader perspective…. We do not have to abandon a single biblical principle or conviction in order to interact with the world and the culture in a way that is more circumspect, more literary, and more understanding of differences in language and layers of meaning.”

Read more: Karen Swallow Prior, interviewed by Richard Clark, The Local Church, Christianity Today
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From Slate

"That internal battle between piety and hunger, between heaven and earth, echoes throughout the next 1,000 pages. Reading Kristin Lavransdatter made me realize how rarely I’ve encountered a serious 20th- or 21st-century novel that recognizes that 'following your heart' might not be the key to happiness or goodness. The annals of historical fiction are filled with headstrong heroines who struggle between their own desires and the strictures of their fuddy-duddy communities, of course. But the revelatory thing about Undset’s approach is that it does not presume the community is wrong."

Read more: Ruth Gram, Slate
Comments: 1

From Image

"There is no doubt that Silence is fundamentally about putting the faith of Fr. Rodrigues on trial, but what the story suggests is not the meaninglessness of faith—the notion that silence betokens a non-existent or uncaring God—but a faith that is fully willing to accept that God works in and through human weakness, corruption, and need—not in spite of them."

Read more: Gregory Wolfe, Good Letters, Image
Comments: 0

From CNN

"Before the jury deliberated his fate for three hours, Roof told the jury he still feels he had no choice.

"'In my confession to the FBI I told them that I had to do it, and obviously that's not really true. ... I didn't have to do anything,' Roof said as he made his own five-minute closing argument in the penalty phase of his federal trial. "But what I meant when I said that was, I felt like I had to do it, and I still do feel like I had to do it.'"

Read more: Khushbuh Shah, Jason Hanna, and Catherine E Shoichet, CNN
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From Live Action News

"First things first: Planned Parenthood doesn’t offer mammograms -- a fact CEO Cecile Richards had to admit during a congressional hearing in 2015. Despite the fact that she admitted to this and Live Action proved Planned Parenthood doesn’t offer mammograms with its Mammosham investigation, much of the pro-abortion population of the United States still believes that the organization provides mammograms. They don’t, and Power and Light Press had to own up to this by altering the tote to read: 'a breast exam' instead."

Read more: Nancy Flanders, Live Action News
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From Think Christian

"Within a day, we lost both Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds; two film icons, a daughter and mother. Many people took to social media afterwards to vent about 2016 in general, saddened by the number of prominent cultural figures who had died during the year. I also noticed a few pastoral and ministry friends who posted about the cult of celebrity in our culture, how we make a bigger deal about the losses of David Bowie, Prince, or George Michael than we might about the crisis in Syria, various terrorist attacks, or our own neighbors. Internet outrage quickly manifested as people policed others’ grief, or lack thereof."

Read more: Joel Mayward, Think Christian
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"Political unions, milestones related to deceased authors and the commemoration of one major religious event highlight the 2017 anniversary calendar."

Read more: Elaine Glusac, The New York Times
Comments: 1

From GetReligion

"I remain convinced that the real story here -- when we talk about religious liberty issues -- is whether it's possible for cultural leaders on the left (that would include editors at most elite newsrooms) to consider that it's possible, or even acceptable, to seek compromises."

Read more: Terry Mattingly, GetReligion
Comments: 0

From The Los Angeles Times

"Yet an apparent change of faith does not always extend to changing minds, as many former cadres still favor the former regime’s ideology and refuse to acknowledge the responsibility that its senior leaders bear for perpetrating torture and mass killings."

Read more: Dene-Hern Chen, The Los Angeles Times
Comments: 1

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