Which Films Show the “10 Obscure Gospel Moments Most Jesus Films Miss”: Peter Chattaway

with some excellent service journalism at Christianity Today:Ten years ago, I compiled a list of my ten favorite Jesus movies for CT. Several new Jesus films have released since then, with more coming out this year: Risen (February 19), The Young Messiah (March 11), and a new version of Ben-Hur (August 12). But I've never felt a need to update the list. The original still holds up pretty well, I believe. That said, while none of the newer films have nudged their way into my all-time top … [Read more...]

“Out in the Fields with God”: I vvatch “The VVitch”

for AmCon: “What went we out into this wilderness to find?”With that resounding, iconic opening line, The Witch announces that it may not be what you were expecting. Writer/director Robert Eggers’s “New-England folktale” may have been marketed as a horror movie, but horror is only one of its genres–and not the most prominent. The Witch is a family tragedy and a religious drama, and these elements are even more successful than the horror-show aspect. more (and here is a... probably-drunk pos … [Read more...]

If You Don’t Honor Celibacy…

This is a more tentative section of my "three false gods" presentation. It's about what we lose when marriage crowds out the practice of celibacy.Catholics have marriage as an image of Heaven--the wedding feast of the Lamb. But we also have celibacy as an image of the life of Heaven, where there is neither marrying nor giving in marriage. Putting marriage in its proper place means not only renewing other forms of "horizontal" love, but also a rediscovery of the beauty and passion of … [Read more...]

Amy Welborn on Church Art, Devotions, And Sacramentals as Works of Mercy

with a powerful story of grief and the Stations of the Cross: ...So, yes, mercy. How does it happen? How does God communicate his mercy and love to this hurting world? Through us, and in many ways, first and most importantly through one person’s outreach to another.But also, this:To construct churches that tell the story of Jesus through their design, art and even just their very presence among us, standing firm in the midst of the city or as a quiet faithful herald on a country road; t … [Read more...]

“Stephen King’s Doubt”: I review “Revival”

for AmCon: There’s a cheap rhetorical move you see a lot in religious debate, where the God-pusher retorts, “But don’t you ever doubt your doubt?” The hero of Revival, Stephen King’s 2014 novel of loss and obsession, could reply in tones of trembling horror: “All the time. God help me, I doubt my doubt all the time.”King has always loved to wring horror from Americana: the bad hot dog, the classic car, the prom. In Revival he takes on the Methodist Youth Fellowship, where, back in the mid-’6 … [Read more...]

Christie in Greeneland: From “Funerals Are Fatal”

"Because there's the most wonderful chance of a play. Michael's got an option on it. It's a most wonderful part for him and even a small part for me, too. It's about one of these young criminals, you know, that are really saints--it's absolutely full of the latest modern ideas.""So it would seem," said Mr Entwhistle stiffly."He robs, you know, and he kills, and he's hounded by the police and by society--and then in the end, he does a miracle."Mr Entwhistle sat in outraged silence. … [Read more...]

Kissing Covens: I watch “The Sisterhood of Night”

Despite the title, spooky cover, and synopsis (ARE OUR TEENS IN A WITCH SEX CULT? HAVE GAYS BURGLED BRITAIN'S SWANS?) this is not a horror film. It isn't an update of The Craft, although in some ways its atmosphere is reminiscent of that movie. It's a modern riff on The Crucible--the Deadly Doll called it "The Teencible"--based on a short story by notable male mammal and odd duck Stephen Millhauser.And it's also the closest fictional depiction I can think of to what it was like to be in Riot … [Read more...]