More Art from the Speed Gallery

This painting is entitled ‘the Sermon of the Apostle’ but clearly he hasn’t much of an audience in this case. The artist is Giovanni Panini and this was painted in about 1758. You can tell that while the official subject of the painting is St. Paul’s preaching, perhaps in Athens, that what the artist was really interested in painting was the landscape and ruins. This is in fact typical of a good deal of religious art done on commission by… Read more

Joke of the Day– A Minister’s Mishaps

A minister was driving too fast going down a slippery road on a rainy day when his car slid off the highway and rolled down an embankment coming to a stop after rolling over some six times. The pastor however escaped without a scratch and was dusting himself off when a drunk, who was trailing the pastor’s car pulled over to the shoulder and ran down the embankment to see if the minister was alright. “You o.k.” slurred the drunk…. Read more

The Hobbit– The Desolation of Smaug

While the general tenor of the reviews of the first Hobbit movie was that there was disappointment, not with the new technology, but with the way the story was presented, especially the over-emphasis on running and chasing and fighting. It looked like Peter Jackson, in lieu of more substantive material, had simply elongated the fighting sequences, especially the one underground. We now have the official trailer for the second film, which deals with the dragon Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch… Read more

Religion and Super Bowl Commercials

In any given year, the most money spent on TV commercials comes with the most watched TV event of the year— the Super Bowl. And believe it or not there have been commercials made that deal with religion, such as the recent pro-faith and pro-life commercial involving Tim Tebow which aired during the last Super Bowl. But there have been other crassly commercial attempts to lure the faithful to more use of certain junk food products. Here’s an example of… Read more

‘Gossip is the Devil’s Radio’– Gospel is the Savior’s Radio

In a particularly revealing moment in the movie ‘Get Low’ a Robert Duvall classic (and Bill Murray is in rare form as the undertaker as well) a minister says ‘gossip is the Devil’s radio’. He is of course right about that. Gossip is by definition spreading a rumor about some absent person, which may or may not be true. It is hearsay, not eyewitness testimony. And there are some pretty serious moral problems with being a gossip. Pamela Rose Williams… Read more

R.E.D. 2– ‘What Happens in the Kremlin Stays in the Kremlin’

It’s hard to pull off a good spoof or satire or parody without the comical becoming too over the top, or better said for a spy spoof, too much overkill. Here to start with is the official explanation of the story in Red 2. “In RED 2, the high-octane action-comedy sequel to the worldwide sleeper hit, retired black-ops CIA agent Frank Moses reunites his unlikely team of elite operatives for a global quest to track down a missing portable nuclear… Read more

Religious Art from the Speed Gallery at Singletary

The Speed Art Museum of Louisville boasts a very fine collection of European religious, landscape, and portrait art. Some of the collection has been loaned to Singletary Art Museum in the Singletary Center at U.K. here in Lexington, and my Mom and I went to peruse the exhibit, and came away impressed. Above, for example is a very fine portrait of St. Jerome at his writing desk. This rendering was done by Hendrick von Somer, a Flemish painter, and it… Read more

Doors Open— A Different Kind of Rankin

What does one do for an encore when one has been a best-selling crime novelist, with novels translated into 22 languages? Answer—- change the point of view. The novel ‘Doors Open’ does not involve John Rebus, though it does involve one of his colleagues— Detective Ransome. But this novel is not seen through the eyes of the detective, the story unfolds through the mind and point of view of Mike McKenzie… a computer software millionaire who is bored out of… Read more

The Well Assured Results of Scholarship?—- Not So Much

Not infrequently you will hear scholars talk about the ‘well assured results of critical scholarship’. Any time you hear that phrase you should pay very close attention to what follows it, and the claims that are being made. For example, some scholars have argued that we have no real evidence of literacy or more specifically of Hebrew literacy from as early as the time of King David (10 century B.C.). I think we do have such evidence, for example, from… Read more

Roma Aeterna— the Wait is Over!

I am very pleased to announce that the Fifth (of seven) Art West novels is now available via Amazon, it will also be available very soon on Kindle. If you want to order it directly and at a cheaper price usually than Amazon check out the Wipf and Stock website here is the link—- It’s on sale for $20 just now at that locale. This particular novel deals with a crucial, and viable, historical question. What if archaeological evidence… Read more

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