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Is Christian Music Too Happy?

Credit: aradaphotography via Fotolia

It's often said that art imitates life. If that's true, then it seems like most Christian musicians must live a pretty carefree and pleasant existence. As Leah Libresco writes for FiveThirtyEight, positive words are far more common than their negative counterpart in today's Christian music. For example, over the last five years of Billboard's year-end top fifty Christian songs, grace appeared two and a half times more often than sin, life eight times more than death, and love seven times more than fear.

Of course, those positive notions have their rightful place in our worship as God is certainly the author of grace, life, and love. But is it really a good thing that they're so much more common in our songs than sin, death, and fear—also very real aspects of the Christian life but ones that are overlooked and underestimated far too often?

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Hermione to steal the show in new Potter play?

Noma Dumezweni at the Oliver Awards

J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter franchise is easily one of the most popular and beloved series to come out in quite some time. Since most millennials grew up with the books and movies, the story's characters occupy a special place in the hearts of many. So when news broke that they would return for another iteration, set when Potter and his friends are adults, fans were understandably enthused. Unlike previous books, however, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will not be coming to the big screen any time soon. Instead, the two-part play will premiere on the stage at London's Palace Theatre for a preview performance on June 7th with opening night officially set for July 30th.

While Harry and his family are again at the center of the action, another character is predicted by some to play the most memorable part. As The Telegraph's Alice Vincent speculates, "The Cursed Child will belong to Hermione." For some, that process started when Swaziland-born actress Noma Dumezweni was cast for the part. The idea that Hermione will be played by a black woman did not sit well with some fans that grew up with Emma Watson's version in the films. However, as Rowling pointed out on Twitter, "brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified. Rowling loves black Hermione."

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Young Adult Version of The Da Vinci Code?

A woman walks past an advertisement of film Penguin Random House announced Wednesday that it will release an abridged young adult version of The Da Vinci Code for teenage audiences. The controversial book has already sold 82 million copies since its release in 2003. It has been translated into over forty languages. But now, this newest translation will bridge over into one of the more nebulous dialects known to parents: teenager.

Author Dan Brown said in response to the news: "It is my sincere hope that this adaptation of The Da Vinci Code sparks in young adults the same thrill of discovery that I feel while exploring hidden history and the mysteries of the world we live in." Though Brown is thrilled, others are less so.

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Kylie Jenner and biblical femininity

Kylie Jenner attends the Marie Claire's Fresh Faces Party held at Sunset Tower Hotel on Monday, April 11, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP) While Kylie Jenner is probably best known for her role on the various Kardashian reality television shows, she hopes to be known for much more in the near future. As she told Glamour UK in a recent interview, "In time, I think I'll just slowly start moving behind the scenes. The show has to end eventually, and I'm not going to leave until we're done with it, but by 20 I want to have the whole of my cosmetics line out because that's my primary focus. I definitely won't want to be doing anything else that would make me more public."

That cosmetics line is only part of the eighteen-year-old's growing empire that also consists of a clothing line she started with her sister Kendall, as well as her own website, app, and social media channels. While other Kardashians have made similar leaps, Kylie seems perhaps a bit more focused on the entrepreneurship opportunities her family fame has generated than on the fame itself.

That focus is a large part of why she considers herself both a feminist and "an inspiration for a lot of young girls who want to stand on their own." As she told Glamour, "I'm a young woman, for one thing, and I don't depend on a man or anybody else. I make my own money and start my own businesses." She would go on to describe how she has been cut off from her mom, Kris Jenner, for years and has been purchasing her own cars, houses, and clothes since she was thirteen.

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Lil' Kim Draws Criticism Over Her Selfies

Lil Kim performs at HOT 97's Chances are you have not heard of Lil' Kim. You may have heard of Little Debbie, the delicious snack treats that bring abounding joy and bulging waistlines to the world. But Lil' Kim, no relation to Debbie, is a hip hop artist who has performed audibly delectable and somewhat raunchy sounds to her audience for years. Though, as of the late, she is in the news for other reasons.

The forty-one-year-old rapper, also known as Kimberly Denise Jones, posted a collage of selfies on Instagram and Facebook over the weekend. She simply captioned the images: "Miami heat," and later shared a video of her hanging with friends at a hotel in Miami, Florida. Not long after the pictures were posted, fans started accusing Lil' Kim of bleaching her skin and getting more plastic surgery.

"It's really so sad that Lil Kim didn't realize how beautiful she was without all of the surgery & bleaching," one Twitter user commented. "Dark skinned Lil' Kim was perfection . . . I don't know who this woman is anymore," added another. But perhaps the most stinging: "You destroyed you natural beauty Black Is Beautiful . . .you made yourself to a doll. Shame you didn't love yourself enough but I won't judge just pray for you," wrote one user."

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