To (help) ease the randomness, I’m just gonna start grouping my weekly roundup tidbits into categories. It’ll kill two birds with one stone by making it look like I have more to say than I really do while simultaneously making it a bit easier to find what you’re interested in and ignore everything else.
On the faith and culture front:
*David French’s open letter to “post-partisan” evangelicals has been quite heavily circulated this past week, and it is a must-must-read. Hat tip to Justin Taylor through Denny Burk. French is frank, honest, insightful and to the point. The message is simple: Culture warriors, stay the course. In the course of his letter, he uses popular post-partisan speaker/author Jonathan Merritt as a foil. I’d never heard of Merritt, and after reading his truly pathetic response, I don’t feel as though I’ve missed much. Denny Burk has offered a brief but on-point rebuttal of Merritt’s response here. I also encourage you to read some of the debate underneath Denny’s initial post on the letter here. A regular reader named Joe Blackmon makes some deft comments in response to certain stock Christian left arguments.
*Speaking of culture wars, sometimes I think that maybe with the (right and proper) focus on the abortion issue, other urgent life issues don’t get quite as much attention as they should. But conservatives of all stripes should be aware that the elderly and severely disabled are in grave danger as well. See this chilling article by a son who wishes he could kill his mother as an example.
On the entertainment front:
*Jessica Sanchez lost the Idol crown to Phillip Phillips. ‘K so, I pretty much lost interest in this season around the top ten, but at least Jessica could actually, um… sing? Here’s Jessica. Here’s Phillip. You decide.
*Oh dear. Battleship was so mercilessly Hulk-smashed by The Avengers at the box office this weekend it’s not even funny. Speaking of, James Cameron should be checking his rear-view mirror on the all-time top-grossing chart, ‘cuz Earth’s mightiest heroes are catching up. Frankly, I could count on the fingers of one hand the number of films that deserve to be in the top fifty, let alone the top ten, but if it’s a choice between Hulk and Leonard DiCaprio, or a giant blue smurf… Hulk aaaaall the way. And Joss Whedon versus Cameron on the writing front? Don’t even get me started.
On the southern gospel front:
*The Mark Trammell Quartet webcast had technical difficulties, so it was cancelled. I encourage you to keep ASGM in your prayers, since this isn’t the first time this kind of thing has happened. We’ll continue to cheer them on as they work through their difficulties.
*Union Street is on track to raise the money they need for their debut album. There’s just under a week to go if you’d still like to donate. [Update: Unless my eyes are playing tricks on me, they raised about $6000 between this morning and the time I put this post together. Now they're over their goal. Way to go!]
*Here’s a new trio you should check out: Barry Rowland & Deliverance. Southern Gospel fans should all recognize the name of Kyla Rowland, one of the most respected songwriters in the genre. This trio is composed of her son, his wife, and a friend named Shawn Rupert on baritone. They’re already among the best-sounding trios on the road today. Read Brian Crout’s take on their latest project here and listen to samples here.
*Speaking of trios, check out Aaron Swain’s concert review of new young trio Promise.
*Here’s a taste of what the new Kingsmen sound like. In a word… glooooory! This lineup is going places:
The thread is yours. Surely you can find something to talk about.