In Which Arius Receives a Stocking Full of Coal and a Knuckle Sandwich

Review of The Saint Who Would Be Santa Claus by Adam C. English By ALEXIS NEAL My idea of Santa Claus is based on an amalgamation of Disney specials, Norman Rockwell paintings, and the famous poem by Clement Clarke Moore. I know what every kid knows—that Santa looks vaguely like Edmund Gwenn. But I didn’t know [Read More...]

Patience is a Virtue

Review of All Creatures Great and Small, by James Herriot By ALEXIS NEAL First things first: If you have never read this book, read it. I’m not kidding. You can watch the television series, if you like—it’s quite good—but please read it as well. I’m sure they have copies at your local library, and at [Read More...]

Skyfall; or Why Some Old Dogs Don’t Need to Learn New Tricks

Review of Skyfall, Directed by Sam Mendes By ALEXIS NEAL M has a problem. Someone has stolen MI6’s list of all NATO agents embedded in terrorist cells around the world. (Obviously this someone was a big fan of Mission: Impossible.) And it would appear the same someone has a personal vendetta against her—someone with a [Read More...]

Intentional Christian Community: Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing (Pt 2)

Review of The Intentional Christian Community Handbook: For Idealists, Hypocrites, and Wannabe Disciples of Jesus, by David Janzen and a Community of Friends (Part 2 of 2) By ALEXIS NEAL And now for my biggest issue with this book. I said in Part 1 that I think Janzen’s idea of community lacks a solid gospel [Read More...]

Intentional Christian Community: Vocation, Community, and the Local Church (Pt 1)

Review of The Intentional Christian Community Handbook: For Idealists, Hypocrites, and Wannabe Disciples of Jesus, by David Janzen and a Community of Friends (Part 1 of 2) By ALEXIS NEAL The Christian church has ceased to be a body and has become instead a disconnected assortment of individuals. We no longer care for one another, [Read More...]

Why We Fight: Searching for Justice in an Unjust World

 A Review of Cloud Atlas, directed by Tom Tykwer and Wachowski Starship By ALEXIS NEAL Every once in a while, you see movies advertised as offering ‘something for everyone,’ and it’s usually just so much marketing malarkey. Cloud Atlas is an exception. This deeply strange film includes: a period adventure on the high seas (complete [Read More...]

The Source of Sanctification: Human or Divine?

Review of The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett By ALEXIS NEAL Mistress Mary, quite contrary, How does your garden grow? With silver bells and cockle shells And marigolds all in a row! So goes the nursery rhyme taunt sung to the central character in Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic children’s novel, The Secret Garden. And [Read More...]

Good News/Bad News

Review of The Cabin in the Woods, Directed by Drew Goddard By ALEXIS NEAL Five college students—a stoner, a jock, a nerd, a (bottle) blonde, and a girl-next-door—head off to spend the weekend at a remote cabin (which, of course, always ends well). Meanwhile, technicians in some sort of high-tech facility prepare for an important [Read More...]

The Call of Cthulhu

Review of The Call of Cthulhu, Directed by Andrew Leman By ALEXIS NEAL Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn …  In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming … That is not dead which can eternal lie,  And with strange aeons even death may die … These cryptic phrases appear in a manuscript found among the [Read More...]

Looper

Review of Looper, Directed by Rian Johnson By ALEXIS NEAL It’s 2042, thirty years before time travel is finally invented (or do I mean discovered?) and immediately outlawed. But as with most illegal technologies, prohibition does not equal eradication, and the crooks of the future still make use of time travel—most notably in the disposal [Read More...]


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