The Grammy’s at home, the inventor of the AK-47, Christians and beards: what caught our eye this week
Here’s some of the stuff across the internet that caught our eye this week…
While Daft Punk, Lorde, Macklemore and Bruno Mars glammed up to collect their Grammy’s, gospel singer Mandisa was home in her trackies watching a live stream when her two Grammy Awards were announced. Mandisa’s song and album of the same name, ‘Overcomer’ won ‘Best Contemporary Christian Music Song’ and ‘Best Contemporary Christian Music Album’ last week, but despite her nominations, she decided not to attend the awards ceremony.
On her official Facebook page, Mandisa told fans she had been struggling recently with the “alluring pull of flesh, pride and selfish desires”, and she didn’t feel it was a good idea to “submerge myself into an environment that celebrates those things…at this time.” Her struggle is surely one many other Christian musicians and creatives can relate to. You can read more about Mandisa’s explanation on ditching the Grammy’s, here.
Perhaps less relatable is the distress of Mikhail Kalashnikov, a Russian Orthodox Christian using his own form of creativity and struggling with the moral ramifications of his craft. Kalashnikov, who recently passed away at age 94, invented the AK-47 assault rifle, and is described by OneSittingDuck in this piece as experiencing “inner turmoil” over the consequences of his invention, particularly in the Vietnam War and later as the AK-47 found its way into terrorist hands. You can read some of Kalashnikov’s comments about that struggle, here.
Speaking of Orthodox Christians: they like beards, right? So does Simon Jenkins, author of this article in the UK’s Reform Magazine bemoaning the demise of the beard in church life and chewing on the relationship between hairiness and holiness. The article’s worth it just to find out what a ‘Jesus Shaves Mug’ actually is, but beards have played an interesting role in church history, and given there’s been so much talk about them, this article may just set you up to answer random trivia questions at your next church event. Can you name three biblical characters who have referenced beards in the Bible?
If you wanted to answer ‘Paul’ for that last question, you may be right – the iconography around Paul depicts him with a beard (a goatee, to be exact), though there is debate about whether that’s accurate (so maybe we’d stick with an answer like Esau). One thing we know for certain about Paul, through his biblical letters, is his travel itinerary. And now, you can see it in ‘Tube’ form, thanks to Theologygrams.
We love infographics that give us a new way of looking at passages of the Bible. We also spotted this one over at Visual Unit, by Mark Barry (who’s also a Bible Society Australia staff member down in Tasmania). He’s carved out the 11 ‘heroes of faith’ listed in Hebrews 11-12, and made them available for download as a PDF (and there’s loads of beards there too!). Here’s three of them. To see them all, click here.