The Unimaginable Atheist: Aleteia Took Down My “Loser Letters” Review; You Can Read It Here

Late last month Aleteia asked me to review "The Loser Letters" at CUA. I ended up giving it a negative review. They have now pulled that review from the website, which they've explained here. (I should say that I like Elizabeth a lot & realize she is trying to manage many conflicting demands and impulses.) I'm posting it largely because CUA chose to highlight the production and required all or most of their freshman class to attend, and I think that's a serious mistake for reasons I tried to … [Read more...]

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Not Peace But a Sword: “The Birth of a Nation” (2016)

The Birth of a Nation, Nate Parker's searing life of Nat Turner, is a brilliant and iconic piece of Christian moviemaking--right up until Turner's slave rebellion begins.Birth has attracted intense controversy in part because of rape charges against both Parker and his co-writer. I'm not going to get into that, largely because you'll have your own beliefs on whether or how those charges should color your ticket-buying decisions, except to say that the portrayal of sexual violence in the film … [Read more...]

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Cinema Paradiso? Some Things to Consider Before You Throw that Movie Reference into Your Homily

Steven Greydanus is the movie critic for Crux and the National Catholic Register, and he's also a newly-ordained deacon. (Woohoo! PARTY AT STEVE'S HOUSE) But he noted, "FWIW, I have now preached two homilies and have not used any movie references or analogies. No one believes I will keep this up.""It's actually kind of important to me that I *not* use movie references in my homilies, or at least try to avoid them as much as possible," he continued. He noted that this was a limited … [Read more...]

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Sad Bible Songs: I review Harrison Lemke’s “Fertile Crescent Blues”

at First Things: "Christian pop is unrelentingly cheerful.” That was Leah Libresco's conclusion when she analyzed the frequency of positive and negative terms (“grace” vs. “sin,” for example, or “love” vs. “fear”) in Billboard's Christian pop top-50. Grace and love and life and light are all great things. But if your soul needs a smoke break from the endless Christian pep rally, a lay-me-down instead of yet another pick-me-up, Harrison Lemke's beautiful new album Fertile Crescent Blues is what y … [Read more...]

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“Gay and Christian: Exploring Vocation, Friendship, And Celibacy”: I’m in this

three talks at the St Benedict Forum of Hope College. Me on "The Radical Challenge of Gay Celibacy," then Joshua Gonnerman on "A Different Conversation: Changing How We Think About Gay Politics," and then Ron Belgau on "Understanding the Bible's Teaching on Homosexuality." … [Read more...]

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The Only “A” You Need Is the “A” in JESUS

Just a quick post about the readings for today.The first reading s really personally meaningful t me. I looked at it every day when I was quittng drinking: I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live[.] And that's what has happened for me in sobriety: I have more life now. More time. I work more; I pray more. I have more friends and more responsibilities. I have a life that is better spiritually--but also bet … [Read more...]

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“Bible Study”: Tony Hoagland

this is really me saying how glad I am that the First Things blog has started linking to poetry all the time: ...Who knows, this might be the last good night of summer. My broken nose is forming an idea of what’s for supper. Hard to believe that death is just around the corner. What kind of idiot would think he even had a destiny? more … [Read more...]

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