This Is Not Goodbye. But It is… See You Elsewhere!

Attention, Looking Closer readers: This blog is moving! Thanks for three years of community here at Patheos. To find the new and improved Looking Closer, follow these instructions… [Read more...]


Inside Out (2015)

Take a deep dive into your own head. Do an archaeological dig. Work your way all the way to the center. What do you find? Core memories. Foundational impressions. The moments that made you. Me? Mine are almost all related to creativity: – Reading books — fairy tales and fantasy, mostly. – Writing and illustrating [Read More...]


Mourn With Those Who Mourn

In memory of Clementa Carlos Pinckney (1973-2015), Democrat, South Carolina Senate; senior pastor of Mother Emanuel A.M.E. [African Methodist Episcopal] Church; martyred with eight of his congregation. [Read more...]


What Specialists Are Saying About Jurassic World

Since I haven’t had a chance to see Jurassic World yet, I asked the Looking Closer Specialists for their first impressions. Here’s what they’re saying… [Read more...]


Torres and the Influence of David Bazan and Terrence Malick

It’s June again: The end of another academic year. We’ve come to Graduation Weekend, and I’m driving to a special ceremony, where this year’s crop of honors society students — the Seattle Pacific University Scholars (or “UScholars”) — will gather with families and friends to celebrate their achievement. And on the way, my car doors [Read More...]

Bracing for Jurassic World: My Personal History with the Raptors

Just like every other moviegoer on the planet, I had a blast attending the theatrical opening of Jurassic Park in 1993. I remember laughing for joy at the blissful terror of the T-Rex’s entrance, and laughing even harder when I saw my friends Eric and Matt crawling under their seats. But I was having fun [Read More...]

A New Conversation with Pete Horner, Sound Designer for Jurassic World

Here he is, interviewed for Filmback, talking about the art of sound design. Well worth listening to. [Read more...]

Halfway Through 2015: What’s Your Favorite Music So Far?

So far, 2015 has been an impressive non-stop parade of great albums. I could easily turn in a Top 10 of the year today if I was asked.  But we’re only halfway there. Dr. Jeff Keuss of Seattle Pacific University hosted this live podcast discussion of some of 2015′s most exciting music. We listened to [Read More...]

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

It’s explosive fun. It’s even more fun the second time. And I think it’ll be justly celebrated as one of the all-time great achievements in action moviemaking. [Read more...]

Moments of Violence, Then — A Year of Grace and Love

One year ago today, my friends and colleagues at Seattle Pacific University responded to gunshots with courage, selflessness, faith, generosity, and grace. [Read more...]

Do You Ever Dream a Movie?

This morning, my friend Bob Denst — a gifted poet who is studying in Seattle Pacific University’s MFA in Creative Writing program — sent me this note: “Had a dream that I was watching a new Terrence Malick movie this morning.” But as Malick movies go… this one gets pretty weird. [Read more...]

Music Rising from the Ruins of Mars Hill: Listening Closer to Dustin Kensrue

“If you know anything about the story of Mars Hill,” says Bryan, “if you know the story of the downfall and disintegration of Mars Hill Church, the story of [the pastor’s] resignation, and the relationship between him and Dustin, then you’ll know what Dustin is singing about when you listen to ‘Gallows.’” [Read more...]

Looking Elsewhere: Mad Max, Slow West, Lawsuit Antics, Sam Phillips, Favorite 2015 Songs, Tara Owens, Sara Zarr, and Lauren Winner

Looking Closer Intern Joe Allen here. And it’s time to catch you up on Overstreet’s recommended links for this week. (If you’re following Jeffrey on Facebook or Twitter, you may have already seen some of these.) [Read more...]

From the Writer Who Brought You “Amazing Grace”…

“Our pleasure and our duty,
Though opposite before,
Since we have seen his beauty,
Are joined to part no more…” [Read more...]

Tomorrowland? Or Tomorrow-bland?

I hoped that Brad Bird would experience a much more positive response to his own passion project — the long-anticipated Tomorrowland — than Andrew Stanton did for his passion project, “John Carter.” [Read more...]

Josh Garrels Goes “Home”

I admire Garrels’ willingness to sing honestly about the complicated journey of faith—that is, a journey of doubt, questions, and struggle, as well as hope and joy and gratitude. [Read more...]

Get Your Free Copy of NoiseTrade’s Memorial Day Favorite

Hey, it’s a holiday weekend. How about celebrating with a free ebook? [Read more...]

The Empire Strikes 35

“Anger, fear, aggression. The dark side are they. Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.” [Read more...]

How to Hear the New 2015 Looking Closer “Playlist in Progress”

I’ll let you in on a little project in progress. In my deep dive into the music of 2015, I’m adding tracks to a Spotify playlist of the tracks that get my attention, compel me to listen closer, and end up in frequent rotation. This is where I’ll put the songs that I’m considering writing [Read More...]

Looking Elsewhere: Of Milk Carton Kids, Muppets, Vampires, and Gothic Fairy Tales

New music from The Milk Carton Kids is streaming. The year’s funniest comedy so far is now available for rent. The Muppets have a new TV-series trailer. And more… [Read more...]

Turn-It-Up Tracks of the Week: Giddens, TMBG, Marling

During my commute to and from my daily responsibilities at Seattle Pacific University, I often listen to audiobooks, podcasts, and new releases. But most of the time, I just hit “Shuffle” to see what pops out of my lifelong music library. When it’s a happy surprise, I turn it up… and often I’ll play it [Read More...]