A Long Overdue Miracle…

It is certainly unthinkable that precious few, if any, Hollywood films have yet to focus on the African American soldiers who fought and died in World War II.  In a way, it is also surprising that Spike Lee has not taken up the topic until now.  While it is also unfortunate that critics have generally slammed Lee's latest film, I certainly do not expect a much deserved and long overdue subject to excuse poor filmmaking.  I had been wanting to see Miracle at St. Anna for quite some time, but all t … [Read more...]

Before the Giants…

Before the surprising success of Facing the Giants, Alex and Stephen Kendrick, produced their first feature film, Flywheel.  With a budget of only $20,000, these relatively new filmmakers cast community and church members to tell a morally uplifting story about the power of prayer and the necessity of placing God first in your life. … [Read more...]

Shock me, shock me, shock me with that deviant behavior

Over the next year, I will be co-directing the sociology of religion movie night along with Pop Theology contributor Wendy Arce under the supervision of Jerome Baggett, Dean of the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley.  A monthly film screening that started over a year ago, the series features documentaries about religious subject matter, as Jerome argues that, and I agree, we are experiencing a heyday of religious documentaries.  This year, while we have convinced Jerome to include narrative f … [Read more...]


I am no anime or manga expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I recognize the artistic value, beauty, and potential for these art forms.  They, or animation in general, can image the limitless possibilities of our imagination.  Theology and film scholars are starting to catch on to the implications of great works like Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away.  Unlike much mainstream animation, great anime often blends truly fantastic animation with deep storytelling.  Flipping through some past BFI … [Read more...]

Do You Believe In…

In college, I read a book that began to drastically change the way I thought about God and the ways in which God worked in the world.  For a young person from a conservative Southern Baptist background, Leslie D. Weatherhead's The Will of God was a radical reading experience.  Faced with theological inconsistencies during World War II, Weatherhead began re-thinking his concept of the will of God.  His text, a series of sermons to victims of the war and their families, resonates decades later wi … [Read more...]

New Leader…

Congratulations to Dr. Brad Braxton, former homiletics and New Testament professor at Wake Forest University Divinity School, on his election as the sixth senior pastor at Riverside Church in New York City.  Follow the link after the jump for more. … [Read more...]

The Flip Side of the Coin

Occasional Pop Theology contributor Daniel Skidmore provides a quick review of the Coen brothers' latest film, Burn After Reading. … [Read more...]

The Audacity of Despair

During the Olympics, President Bush sat down for a rather lengthy interview with Bob Costas.  Costas began a question about China's problems by saying, "I know America has its share of problems, but...."  Almost before Costas could finish his question, Bush rushed and said, "America doesn't have problems."  Clearly President Bush and David Simon are not looking at the same America.  Simon, former journalist for The Baltimore Sun, acclaimed author of Homicide and The Corner, and the writer and pro … [Read more...]