December (Web-only) 2009

'Health Care King Herod Would Love!'
Advocacy groups wrap up an unusually busy Christmas season and prepare for 2010.
LaVonne's Top 40 Books of the Decade
A good list to take the next time you go to the library.
Matchmaker, Matchmaker, I Don't Want a Match
Most 'yentas' mean well, but their meddling only adds unnecessary pressure to a single's life.
The White Ribbon
Michael Haneke's latest film is a deeply unsettling but purposely obscuring look at the cruelty embedded within the human heart.
The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond
Based on a long-lost screenplay by Tennessee Williams, this Southern tale of the 1920s fails to sparkle.
Sacred Road
My Top Ten Theology Stories of 2009
Counting down the events, debates, and books that shaped evangelical theology over the past year.
The Top 10 Her.meneutics Posts of the Year
2009 was the year of viral dance videos, Christians mired in pageant scandals, reality TV marriages, and church burnout thrown in for good measure.
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Terry Gilliam's latest—and Heath Ledger's last—is a manic, confusing roller-coaster ride through guilt, imagination, and a battle for stories and souls.
It's Complicated
Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin do a decent job with a script that mostly glorifies and glosses over indecency.
Sherlock Holmes
Though this adaptation is sometimes incoherent, it’s nonetheless quirky, intelligent, action-packed, and lots of fun, thanks in large part to Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal.
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel
The live-action/animation follow-up to the 2007 hit doesn’t bother much with plot and characterization, but squeaks by successfully on gags and chipmunk charm.
Under Discussion
What was the most significant change in Christianity over the past decade?
How to Have a Merry Christmas
And it doesn't require you doing another blessed thing.
Consider the Vampire
Why the 'Twilight' novels deserve our attention—and why they should raise concern.
Voyage: Journey of Prayer
Sex, Drugs and Self-Control
Big Tour for Casting Crowns
Lead singer also adapting book for youth audiences. Plus: Matthew West earns top tune of 2009; Mercy Me's decade milestone; Hanson album by album and more.
Working It Out
With his latest CD, rapper John Reuben wears his heart—and his struggles with faith and doubt—on his sleeve.
When Stem Cell Research Isn't Embryonic
Christians have reason to celebrate miracles of adult stem cell research.
Who Owns Your Christmas Carols?
No, Kim Hill didn't write 'O Holy Night.' But she holds a copyright for it.
Broken Embraces
Pedro Almodóvar, an impeccable director of emotionally sincere films, stumbles here with a muddled, largely uninteresting story of a blind filmmaker with a painful past.
Nine
So much beauty and talent—not to mention the lush Italian countryside—grace the screen here. Too bad it's also so much wasted potential.
Did You Hear About the Morgans?
This mostly funny fish-out-of-water tale touches on ideas about what makes a marriage work.
The Real Problem with Mary's Baby Bump
Jesus' mother likely didn't face the public shame associated with unwed mothers.
Ugandan Bishop Pleads With American Christians on Anti-Homosexuality Bill
David Zac Niringiye, the Church of Uganda's assistant bishop of Kampala, says that American Christians should cultivate relationships before condemning the proposed legislation.
Avatar
In his first movie since Titanic, James Cameron has made it worth the wait with a stunning milestone in filmmaking—and a storyline surprisingly rich in political and spiritual undertones.
God's Man in Tulsa: The Life and Ministry of the Original Televangelist
Oral Roberts was a larger-than-life figure in American Christianity.
Q+A: Mark Rutland on Oral Roberts's Legacy
The Oral Roberts University president reflects on a man who had a big vision.
Fund Raising: Did Oral Roberts Go Too Far?
The television evangelist links receiving $8 million to the extension of his earthly life.
Night Castle
Rocks into Rivers
TobyMac Is Back
Artist readies fourth solo CD. Plus: Flyleaf No. 1 at Yahoo; Dylan's royalties distributed to charities; Furler switches from singer to painter; and more.
Wilderness Songs
Jeromy and Jennifer Deibler of FFH have seen difficult times—including his MS diagnosis—since disbanding a couple years ago. But now they’re back.
The Trouble with Depicting Jesus
Is a Bible showing the Holy Family in traditional Indian clothes any worse than one depicting them as doe-eyed Caucasians in pastels?
When the Pastor Suffers
Matt Chandler comforts an anxious church following his Thanksgiving seizure.
Gimme that Christian Side Hug
The viral video has received some negative attention over the past few weeks. But the joke's on whom?
Top Five News Stories: The Theology of Obama's Nobel Peace Prize Speech
Plus: American-style syncretism, public view of clergy takes a hit, and other stories from online sources around the world.
The Lovely Bones
Style wins out over substance in this story of a murdered girl and the heavenly vantage point from which she continues to observe her killer on earth.
Up in the Air
A trio of strong performances, witty dialogue, and a deft blend of snark and heart make this dramedy soar.
Invictus
Morgan Freeman makes a magisterial Nelson Mandela in this inspiring, remarkable tale of politics meets rugby.
'Love Thy Neighbor' Shows Up at Copenhagen
Many Christians who support climate-change protocols have the least of these in mind.
Waiting for Jesus to Show Up
Moving from loving the idea of loving God to loving God.
Christmas Cooking with Nigella (or Jesus)
Christmas activities are not the meaning of the season, but they can make the season more meaningful.
Baby Dies Aboard United Airways Flight: A Response
In our eagerness to assign blame, mothers usually bear the brunt of tragedies like this.
A Statement On Prosperity Teaching
From the Lausanne Theology Working Group, Africa chapter at its consultations in Akropong, Ghana, 8-9 October, 2008 and 1-4 September 2009
3 Grammy Noms for 3D; BeBe Cleared
Band earns three nominations. Plus: BeBe Winans cleared of assault charges against ex-wife; Family Force 5 member falls ill; Switchfoot on TV twice; and more.
Catching Up With ... Phil Keaggy
Inspired by family and friends, Phil Keaggy talks about his first vocal holiday recording, Welcome Inn, an acoustic musical treat recorded entirely at home.
The Best Albums of 2009
Fireflies & Songs runaway No. 1 choice in CT's Top 12 Albums of the Year.
The Joys of a False Positive
What the apostle Paul has to do with the new mammogram guidelines.
Armored
A team of guards plans to rob the armored trucks they're sworn to protect, until one of them has a crisis of conscience in this so-so action thriller.
The Upside of Never-Empty Nests
Why having our adult daughter and son-in-law move in is not 'enabling' them.
Brothers
When one brother is presumed dead in the war in Afghanistan, the other steps in to help his family in this impressively acted American remake of a Danish film.
Everybody's Fine
The acting and poignancy are much more than fine; unfortunately the film gets marred by a heavy-handed message. (Plus: Interview with director Kirk Jones.)
Dave Ramsey, Megan McArdle, and Jesus
'The Atlantic' blogger's new-found appreciation for the evangelical finance guru forgets his inspiration.
Should Christians See 'Precious'?
What is the spiritual benefit of watching hard-to-watch films?
Is Everybody Really Fine?
Kirk Jones, writer/director of Everybody's Fine, hopes his new film will inspire families to have more realistic expectations of one another.
Holiday Generosity: Now a Click Away
Why I'm thankful for Amazon's new 'Add to Wish List' button.
Q & A: Mike Huckabee
The 2008 Republican presidential candidate talks about his Christmas book, Sarah Palin, and who should be welcomed in the Republican Party.
Should the Supreme Court Rule that Memorial Crosses are Secular?
Church leaders and observers weigh in on a current debate.
Casting Crowns Sets Sales Record
Band sells almost 170,000 for highest street week stats in Christian music history. Plus: Patty Griffin's gospel debut; Pillar frontman pens book; and more.
I Dreamed a Dream

Top Story September 19, 2020

God Knew What He Was Doing When He Gave Jesus Two Family Trees
God Knew What He Was Doing When He Gave Jesus Two Family Trees
How to sort out the many disparities between the genealogies of Matthew and Luke.
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