A Man Called Ove: Neighbors Are Our Lifeblood

The best way I can describe the Swedish film, A Man Called Ove, is this: it is essentially the book of Ruth meets It's a Wonderful Life. Just like the classic film about George Bailey, our protagonist is trying to kill himself. In Bailey's case, he is rescued by the angel Clarence who is trying desperately to get his wings and pulls him out of the icy river in which Bailey tries to kill himself.In Ove's case, every time he attempts to end his weary, sad life without his beloved wife Sonja, … [Read more...]

Biblically, Is There Such a Thing as Communal Sin?

There is scarcely anything a Western Christian will resist more than the pointing out of communal sin. To acknowledge communal sin cuts against the fierce individualism of Western cultural thought; to think that I am tied up in sins of my society that I may have never consciously chosen or that I may be unconsciously committing suggests I do not direct my own destiny. This is a terrifying thought, for the rugged individuality of the self is core to a Westerner's very identity. But we must ask … [Read more...]

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Do Not Be Conformed: Talk Radio and Spiritual Formation

A steady diet of talk radio, angry blogs, and aggressive pundits has finally borne its fruit in the American Christian's heart.The issue isn't conservatism or liberalism as there have always been Christians who followed Christ faithfully in both political camps. The issue is attitude of the heart and how what we feed our minds over and over again forms us spiritually, one way or another.While I was growing up, one of my family members would have Rush Limbaugh on in the car for hours each … [Read more...]

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I Am a Christian. Should I Protest the Authority?

I consider myself a peaceful Trump resistor; I have not yet attended a protest but would be open to joining in. While I'm more than willing to give the administration due credit when something life-giving happens (the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch was something I was happy about), I stand opposed to so many of the values of the Trump administration: the blaming of "foreigners" for all our problems, the corruption, the casual disregard for the Bill of Rights, the embrace of conspiracy … [Read more...]

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Dispatch from the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival: Empathy at the Movies

The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival is currently being held in Missoula, Montana. This year, it features 210 films, being shown over the course of ten days, February 17-26. I had a chance to visit this past Saturday. With limited time at the festival, I focused my attention on films that would guide me to greater knowledge and empathy on important social issues that matter to me as a Christian, particularly that of racial justice.In this dispatch from the festival, first, I'll offer quick … [Read more...]

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The Plight of Refugees–the Risk and the Call of Christ

How should Christians respond to the Trump administration executive order relevant to refugees? In the flurry of activity since the new President took office last month, it has been difficult to stay on top of happenings in the news, obtain clear facts about them, and then think clearly about a biblical, Christian response. I work from home and have more time to devote to following the news than many do. But even so, I have been overwhelmed with the amount of information to digest and check. I … [Read more...]