Things That Go Bump in the Night and the Faith that Sends Them Fleeing

Review of What Are You Afraid Of? Facing Down Your Fears with Faith by Dr. David JeremiahI confess, I know next to nothing about Dr. David Jeremiah. I’ve heard the name, sure, and am vaguely aware of a radio program and possibly a televised sermon. But, well, televangelism and religious radio programming being what they are, I was more than a little skeptical when I first cracked open his latest work, What Are You Afraid Of? Imagine my delight when I discovered that Dr. Jeremiah’s analysis of … [Read more...]

Everything you ever needed to know about gender roles, you learned in Sex Ed.

Review of Fully Alive: A Biblical Vision of Gender That Frees Men and Women to Live Beyond Stereotypes by Dr. Larry Crab[DISCLAIMER/WARNING: This review includes some sexual content.]If you move in Christian circles, there’s a decent chance you’ve heard of the egalitarian/complementarian divide. The topic, of course, is gender roles (and the Bible’s teaching thereon). Whether in the context of marriage or the church, the issue is whether or not there is a difference between men and women … [Read more...]

Does God Care What Size Jeans I Wear?

Review of Every Body Matters: Strengthening Your Body to Strengthen Your Soul by Gary ThomasIt comes as no surprise to anyone, ever, that Americans as a whole have what Tommy Boy would call ‘a little bit of a weight problem.’ We are, by and large, fatty-fat-fat-fats. And those of us who don’t tip the scales at ridiculously high numbers, well, if we’re honest, we still probably don’t have a 100% holy and righteous relationship with food. Whether we’re obsessed with shaving off every possible c … [Read more...]

Matt Chandler’s ‘To Live Is Christ’ and the Value of Spiritual Maturity

 Review of To Live Is Christ, To Die Is Gain by Matt ChandlerWe’ve all met people who self-identify as Christians for no reason other than a hazily remembered response to an altar call from their youth. If these individuals did not self-identify as Christians, no one who knows them would have the slightest reason to suspect the ‘heart change’ that took place years back. If they are Christians at all (a matter up for debate, to be sure), they are far from mature believers.However, even amo … [Read more...]

‘UP’ brings down generational barriers

Review of UP, Directed by Pete DoctorBefore Toy Story 3 opened floodgates of slightly guilty tears (but after Toy Story 2 triggered … other, even guiltier tears), the geniuses at Pixar figured out another way to bring forth the waterworks [serious profanity warning for that article, folks]—this time in the opening montage of UP. In the first ten minutes of the film, a young Carl Fredrickson meets, marries, and builds a life with the spirited Ellie. By the end of the montage, decades have pas … [Read more...]

Ella Enchanted/Ella Transformed

Review of Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson LevineAs a kid, I always thought Cinderella was kind of a lame fairy tale. The leading lady lets everyone run roughshod over her, the leading man is dull as toast, and, well, none of it really rang true to my enlightened, empowered child-of-the-80’s sensibilities. ‘Spineless, docile maiden weds boring Ken-doll’ didn’t exactly make for thrilling reading (or viewing), you know?That is, until author Gail Carson Levine decided to change all that. In her … [Read more...]

American Gods: Made in the U.S.A.

Review of American Gods by Neil GaimanLike pretty much everyone on the internet, I count myself something of a Neil Gaiman fan. His comics are excellent, his short stories are consistently good, and two of his novels—Neverwhere (1996) and The Graveyard Book (2008)—are easily among the best books I have ever read. The man is clearly a gifted public speaker, and brilliantly narrates the audiobook versions of many of his works. So it came as something of a shock to me that I didn’t love his most … [Read more...]

The Once and Future (Totally Depraved) King

Review of The Once and Future King by T.H. WhiteI think it’s safe to say that the story of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table is pretty universally known. However, the story varies some from book to book and film to film. T.H. White’s fantasy classic, The Once and Future King, is quite possibly one of the best known versions of the tale—and with good reason. Told in four parts, it chronicles Arthur’s rise from lowly squire to King of England, the noble experiment of the Round Tabl … [Read more...]

‘Just One More Thing’ We Can Learn from Columbo

Review of the television series Columbo, created by William Link and Richard LevinsonRecently, I found myself in (temporary) possession of Columbo: The Complete Series on DVD, and I confess it’s consumed more of my time than is probably optimal. If you’re anything like me, you have fond memories of watching Peter Falk pester murderers with a never-ending stream of ‘just one more’ question. I’m happy to report that the series is, in fact, just as good as I remembered it to be. And apparently I … [Read more...]

The Woman in White and the Sassy Single Sister

A Review of The Woman in White, by Wilkie CollinsBy ALEXIS NEALIn 1859, British novelist and playwright Wilkie Collins penned The Woman in White, arguably the first detective novel (Poe’s ‘The Murders in the Rue Morgue’, published some 18 years earlier, was not a full-length novel) and an excellent example of the sensational literature popular at the time. It has since earned a spot on several lists of Great Novels, and has been adapted for stage and screen something like a dozen times … [Read more...]