Category Archives: Culture

Jesus in The Beatitudes, and the tension of today’s Christian


Biblical justice seeks righteousness, often times at the expense of what we determine is fair in a democratic society governed by man. Only through God’s mercy are we justified and made righteous before Him.

Contrarily, democratic justice seeks fairness, often times at the expense of the Biblical righteousness God commands of us. Only through man-made laws are we able to live ‘justly’ with one another.

They will know us by our love for one another


By Chris Quimby (Guest Contributor)

My conclusion from observing social networking posts from professing Christians (including myself), sharing the company of other believers, and reading online blogs from those that desire to represent the faith, is that there is a ton of negativity, dissatisfaction and disillusionment.

Much of the discussion is focused upon what God is against, what we are against (at least in our public proclamations), and how unChristian non-Christians are (as if we should expect otherwise).

In fact, if I’m being honest, this post is also a critique, but one hopefully with redeeming value.

Have smart phones become enemy number 1 to having real relationships and productive lives?


There is a recurring trend in recent online videos to demonstrate how attached we have grown to our mobile devices, specifically smart phones. If we consider the old saying ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, then videos like the ones that follow are worth so much more.

One in particular, called ‘Look Up’ has over 27 million views (as of this writing) since it was first posted on April 25th.

The basic premise is that we’re missing out on much of life — and possible relationships — by failing to ‘look up’ from our phones.

A new baby, a new direction for ‘Counter Culture’, and a desire for simplicity


My second son was born last week. What a wonderful blessing. However, with such a life change comes a time to re-evaluate priorities and goals. So often we get caught up in the day-to-day that we forget what direction we’re even going in life.

It is because of this reflective attitude that I’ve decided to change directions in what I write about here on Counter Culture. I’ve already updated the header graphic and the About page, so you probably have an idea of the direction I will be going.

Selfishness, pride, and the Richard Sherman in all of us

Photo: USA Today

First, let’s make something clear: Richard Sherman is not a thug (ie., ‘a cruel or vicious ruffian, robber, or murderer’).

By now, even if you’re a nominal sports fan, you’ve probably seen the interview heard ’round the world in which Richard Sherman, who is a defensive back for the Super Bowl-bound Seattle Seahawks, proclaimed himself ‘the best corner in the game’ (which is true), calling San Francisco 49ers Wide Receiver Michael Crabtree a ‘sorry receiver.’ You can see the short interview below.

Hunger Games ‘catching fire’ from some, but redemption shines amid human depravity, cultural excess


This past weekend my wife and I had a toddler-free evening out for my birthday, and we checked out ‘Catching Fire’, the latest installment in the Hunger Games movies. While some Christians may choose to pass on viewing this saga, I’m prepared to say that with the right perspective it should be required viewing for everyone that is a young adult or older.

Undoubtedly, viewing the Hunger Games movies is not for the faint of heart or young child. Furthermore, teens and adults alike must be mature enough to separate reality from the story portrayed, and parents should take an active role in explaining ‘who the real enemy is’ in parsing out the good from the evil.

Living vicariously through Pope Francis, Time Magazine Person of the Year

The Humble Pope?

Whether Pope Francis is kissing a disfigured man with boils, washing the feet of a young muslim woman, driving his own car while refusing to live in the papal apartment, or simply denouncing excessive consumerism in typical ‘counter culture’ fashion, he has been doing some noteworthy things since assuming the papacy earlier this year. Even from an evangelical perspective, there are a lot of positive aspects to be gleaned from the change in tone at The Vatican.

However, as cheerleaders of The Pope have seemingly come out of the woodwork this year, it has not been to share how Jesus is working in their lives or how their personal Christian walk is going. On the contrary, most often it has been to rave about all the great things Pope Francis is doing.

Seriously, why Santa? Re-thinking the purpose of this jolly old Christmas ‘fairy tale’


Seriously, why Santa? I concede it’s all probably harmless, and “all in good fun” — but why? Wouldn’t kids be more grateful if they knew from day one their gifts came mommy, daddy, grammy, grandpa, or better yet — are blessings from God? Why base their formative years on a fairy tale? Because “everyone else is doing it” and you don’t want your kid to be left out? Is that really a good enough reason? These are genuine questions I’m asking as a new parent who hasn’t had to deal with it yet, and I’m honestly looking for feedback from parents.

The reason I hear the most is that “doing Santa” is a family tradition with many wonderful childhood memories, and parent’s want to re-live these memories with their own children. I don’t have a problem with that, and I respect how people choose to celebrate the Christmas season with their families. The purpose of this blog, however, is to think ‘counter culturally.’ And with that goal in mind, I try to step back and simply evaluate why our culture is so set on carrying on the ruse of jolly old St. Nick with kids, some well into their school-age years.

Happy Thanksgiving from The Puritans


In my previous blog post I shared a sentiment that there’s nothing inherently bad about Black Friday. And I stand by my conclusions for families that bond over shopping experiences, and are financially responsible in finding the best deals for which they can use to bless their loved ones with holiday gifts. However, for those of us who are grateful we don’t have to leave the comfort of our homes on Thanksgiving and bargain hunt until tomorrow, it’s the Puritans to which we should be thankful.

Maine is one of just 3 states that have preserved Thanksgiving Day from the onslaught of Black Friday consumerism. It’s no coincidence that the other 2 states, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, are both also New England states. “Why”, you ask? Because the reason major retail and grocery stores remain closed on Thanksgiving is a remnant from the New England-based Puritan-inspired “Blue Laws”.

Black Friday is no more anti-family than conflict at the Thanksgiving table


There’s nothing inherently bad about Black Friday, and now large national retailers have decided to open on Thanksgiving. However, Maine is one of just 3 states that have state laws in place that say “no so fast” to this intrusion on the sanctity of post-turkey, supposedly family-strengthening activities such as afternoon napping and uninterrupted football watching.

As if the irony wasn’t already bad enough that we had to wait until the next day to forget everything we were thankful for, and immediately run out to worship at the altar of “spend now, worry about paying later”. Now in 47 states the turkey isn’t even cold before we can hit the stores and buy things we don’t even want for people we don’t really like.

However, I’m not anti-Black Friday…