Issue 39 | November 5, 2015

Issue 39 | November 5, 2015



What It Is: A $99 device that limits Internet and device usage within a home.

Why It's Good: As their website states, “With Circle, parents can filter content, limit screen time, and set a bedtime for every device in the home. Circle can even pause the Internet.” What a needed device! Not only can it help children develop healthy Internet- and device-usage habits from an early age, it can also help us adults *ahem* set limits for ourselves, too. Chalk one up for family!


What It Is: New music video and song from Justin Bieber with 15.6 million views in 4 days.

Why It's Good: It shows a more vulnerable side of Justin, reminding fans that he’s a real human being with feelings and that “it’s hard to do the right thing when the pressure’s coming down like lightning.”

Why It's Bad: Though he recently claimed that he just wants to live like Jesus, his music still reflects ideas contrary to the Gospel: “I got to learn things, learn them the hard way. Gotta see what it feels like, no matter what they say.” With his album set to release on November 13, great conversations about bad ideas mixed in with good, how no one human should be our model of faith, how fame affects a person, how we grow in our faith, God’s mercy and grace, and more are waiting to be had.


What It Is: A new website (warning: some images are sexual) created by 19-year-old social media star, Essena O’Neill.

Why It's Good: O’Neill started the website as part of her recent campaign to expose the inauthenticity that social media encourages, saying that it left her feeling empty and addicted to “likes.” She took down many of her social media accounts, but left her Instagram account up with re-captioned photos to demonstrate why they didn’t reflect real life. Her website aims to highlight people who are making real change in the world, rather than spending their time online curating their images.

Why It's Bad:Many have criticized her move, saying that it’s just another bid for followers. In fact, she has gained even more publicity as a result of her stance than she had prior. Regardless of her motive, a teen making such a drastic move because she’s realized the error of her ways is definitely worth talking about!


The Bond franchise has never been known to create intricate plot lines, multi-dimensional characters, or even realistic fight scenes. And while Daniel Craig’s rendition offers fans a more complex, dark, and human Bond, fans watch him for one main reason: Adventure. And with a barrel-rolling helicopter and a chase scene through the streets of Rome between an Aston Martin and a Jaguar, Spectre definitely delivers the excitement!

Yet this newest film, like Casino Royale and Skyfall, attempts to become less one-dimensional. Its filmmakers and producers know, as this author puts it, that “it’s no longer sufficient for a movie to have a ‘plot.’ Now it must have an ‘arc’—or rather, multiple arcs both within and spanning sequential films and even interrelated series.” Unfortunately, the Bond franchise has a lot to learn from Marvel.

Despite bad reviews, Bond fans of all ages will still want to see the film. The “why” again goes back to adventure: Bond lives a bold life full of adventure, excitement, and enemies to defeat. His life has singular purpose: protect Queen and Country. It’s attractive on so many levels, especially because most of us lead lives of quiet monotony, devoid of danger, intrigue, and real purpose.

Yet we’ve been called to adventure! As Christians, we’re called to be agents of restoration and good in the battle against evil. It’s the ultimate adventure! But our imaginations have been hijacked into thinking that there is nothing beyond us worth giving our lives for. The films evoke, and in a way satisfy, a longing within all of us to be part of a grand adventure. But the only adventure that will truly satisfy is the one God brought us into when He brought us into His family. Students especially could use a reminder of that.


Last week we mistakenly wrote that the RedZone channel was owned by ESPN. It is in fact owned and operated by the NFL Network.