Two nuggets of interestingness followed by a note about next week:
1. Stephen King. I’ve always been a bit of a controversialist, particularly when it comes to Christian culture and its connection to the horror genre. That’s why, several years ago, I annoyed people by saying things like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the most Christian show on TV right now.” Primarily this was because all the family and faith groups were getting upset about Buffy because it featured witchcraft and demonic activity and a hot teenage girl whose true love wasn’t about to wait, because he was a centuries-old vampire. (Sidebar: Read this book. I’m quoted in it.)
Anyway, something else I used to say was also along those lines: “Stephen King is one of the most popular Christian writers in the world.” (This was even before pastors started using King’s film adaptations like Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile as sermon illustrations. Perhaps I’m prophetic.) King has always struck me as someone who took the redemptive power of religion seriously, who trafficked in good-versus-evil apocalyptic stories, and who treated the notion of God with respect even if he didn’t fit within the normal margins of Christian faith. Turns out I was mostly right. Read this interview with King from Salon yesterday (“Stephen King’s God Trip“), where he talks about politics, religion, and how The Stand was a work of “dark Christianity.”
2. Bible Illuminated. A Swedish publisher is putting out a version of the New Testament called Bible Illuminated: The Book New Testament. It’s illustrated with provocative, symbolic photos relating the stories and teachings to the present culture. For instance: in Mark, the Gospel which portrays Jesus as a person of action who opens his disciples’ eyes to sacrificial love and the kingdom of God, there are photos of other people taking action in today’s world — including famous humanitarians like Bono, Angelina Jolie, and Bill Gates. I know what you’re thinking: I would sure read the Bible a lot more if they put pictures of hot celebrities in it. Like Bill Gates.
Same here. If you’re intrigued, preorder a copy at Amazon.
[H/T: Cool Hunting]
Special Note. Starting today, I am stepping away from the Internets. I will be offline this weekend and all next week. All week! Not until Sunday, November 2, will I be back in the saddle. (Yes, I have a saddle at my home computer, where I compose these blog posts. I am also wearing chaps and spurs.) Due to the wonders of technology, by which I mean Blogger’s future-posting option, there will be blog posts just about every day next week despite my absence. So keep coming back and commenting and whatnot. I’ll eventually read it. But if you ask me a direct question or try to get in touch with me by other means, like carrier pigeon, I may be unresponsive. Don’t hate me because I seem to be ignoring you. I am ignoring you, of course, but I have a good reason.
See you in a week!