Culture



Hard Conversations and the Power of Belief

By Bailey McGee

These last weeks and months have been exhausting. All of us are experiencing strain from the year that was 2020, with what felt like a new crisis each week. For me, and so many other people of color in America, there has also been the undercurrent of constant racial tension. After one of the high profile racial outrages, a friend remarked to me “Man, I can’t wait for all this race stuff to be over so things can just go back to the way they were.” I couldn’t respond. This has been going on for my entire life, not a new thing that just popped up alongside COVID-19. But that isn’t what my friend wants to hear. She only knows the part that she is currently experiencing, and is just ready to have her evening news back to covering “normal” stuff again. For so many people I know, issues of race and justice are an unwelcome intrusion into their otherwise ordinary lives.

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Arguing with Success

By Rory Groves

It was explained to me early in my career: 100 leads, 10 calls, 1 sale. It is known as The Sales Funnel. Imagine an inverted triangle, with curious tire-kickers spilling out the top, followed by significantly fewer “qualified prospects” in the middle (most having absconded after discovering the price), and finally a few brave “clients” trickling out the bottom. “It’s a numbers game,” I was told. The more leads that were dumped into the top of the funnel, the more sales fell out of the bottom. One astute observer explains it this way: “Marketing is a multifaceted discipline that has one objective: to separate people from their money.” I wholeheartedly adopted the approach when I started my own software firm. After all, who was I to argue with success?

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Beginning a Long Work

By Adam Whipple

I have sympathy for suffering waters.

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Nietzsche & the Promised Land

By J Lind

Let’s go back: it’s the day of my last album release. A year of DIY psychoanalysis, rice-and-beans budgeting, and humiliating sessions with Real Musicians has at long last culminated in these seven beautiful horcruxes being released into the digital aether in a modest attempt to satiate the world’s desperate need for more media. Does this make me a hero? A hero wouldn’t answer the question, so neither will I.

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5&1, Part 14: “If Music Be The Food…?” (Shakespeare: Tragedies)

By Mark Meynell

Without warning, Twelfth Night opens with Duke Orsino’s appearance on stage. He’s not alone, of course, but accompanied by a grand retinue which includes ‘Musicians playing.’

If music be the food of love, play on.
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken and so die.

—Act 1, Scene 1

Orsino feels that the only way to be cured of his lovesick heart is to have too much music, in the same way that appetites are cured by eating too much!

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Trinity Forum Event: Diana Glyer

By The Rabbit Room

On this Friday, February 12th, we are once again delighted to partner with The Trinity Forum to welcome award-winning author and professor Diana Glyer to an online conversation. Glyer is intrigued by the creative process, particularly the way that creativity thrives within small groups and creative clusters. She has written extensively on the lives and work of C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and their beloved community known as The Inklings.

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5&1, Part 13: Famous Last Works

By Mark Meynell

There is no guarantee that one’s last words on planet earth will be weighty, profound or even memorable. None of us know the exact hour of our passing from these shadowlands, so the aspiration to leave a representative grand statement is futile. [Please note my resistance here to that preacher’s rent-a-giggle technique of googling clickbait sites for some famous last words.]

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5&1, Part 12: Daylight Robbery/Rockery

By Mark Meynell

Picasso said (allegedly), ‘Good artists copy; great artists steal.’ Well, knowing a little bit about him, he probably stole it. Or was that Banksy?

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A Liturgy for Embracing Both Joy & Sorrow

By The Rabbit Room

This week, we are grateful to share a liturgy from Douglas McKelvey’s upcoming Every Moment Holy, Vol. II: “A Liturgy for Embracing Both Joy & Sorrow.” And not only is the text of the liturgy now available—Annie F. Downs has shared a special video reading of the liturgy as well.

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Black Cadillacs and Murder Ballads

By Chris Thiessen

I’ve been thinking a lot about a talk given by author and theologian Russell Moore at 2020’s Hutchmoot—the Rabbit Room’s annual conference. The talk was titled “Why We Need Fiction For Moral Formation,” and in it, Moore makes the case (and I’m paraphrasing since it’s been three months since I heard the talk) that so many of us are Biblically illiterate and desperately need a better understanding of storytelling to direct our lives. Moore doesn’t mean that we can’t literally read the words of scripture, rather that we haven’t been sufficiently taught how to see those words as part of a grand picture, a storyline that stretches from the creation of Eden in Genesis 1 to Eden’s ultimate restoration in Revelation 22. We prefer cherry-picked abstractions over overarching plot lines. We treat the Bible like that classic acronym: Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.

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5&1, Part 11: Hidden Messages

By Mark Meynell

Here’s the dilemma: you’re desperate to get a message out, but only to the right people. It’s imperative that the wrong people don’t hear it. So, what options do you have? How do you ensure it gets hidden in plain sight?

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Trinity Forum Event: Makoto Fujimura

By The Rabbit Room

On January 29th we are partnering with The Trinity Forum to host artist and author Mako Fujimura for a conversation around his brand new book, Art + Faith: A Theology of Making. Mako believes that in the act of making we are able to know and experience the depth of God’s being and grace.

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