God’s Not Dead … but His people have terrible taste in movies

Review of God's Not Dead, Directed by Harold CronkAs someone who has been involved in higher education either as a student or as a professor for the last thirteen years, I can tell you that the plot of God's Not Dead is ridiculous. Seriously, no legitimate college would allow a professor to treat a student that way, and no legitimate philosophy program would hire a professor who basically said "I hate talking about ideas that I clearly have passionate feelings about, so what I'll do instead … [Read more...]

Release your inner ‘Hercules’

Review of Hercules, Directed by Brett RatnerCan we just get this out there now? This movie is awesome. It has absolutely everything that a good Hercules movie should have: fighting, good guys, bad guys, monsters, and the Rock chucking dudes through walls. It takes everything that was truly spectacular about Kevin Sorbo's definitive artistic interpretation of the Hercules myth and puts it on the big screen. (I realize there may be a few of you out there who cannot appreciate the wonderfulness … [Read more...]

An Amateur Parent Reviews an Obscure Parenting Tract

Review of Duties of Parents by J.C. RyleTwo necessary precautionary disclaimers:As of this writing, I am the parent of a one-month-old. Which means I have exactly zero real-world experience when it comes to raising children who can do more than eat and scream and poop.When you say "Duty" out loud, it sounds like "Doody." Be prepared to giggle. This little tract by J.C. Ryle (available for free here and here) is short, well-written, and full of excellent advice. Specifically, he … [Read more...]

An Amateur Parent Reviews a Parenting Classic

Review of Shepherding a Child's Heart by Ted Tripp Two necessary precautionary disclaimers:As of this writing, I am the parent of a one-month-old. Which means I have exactly zero real-world experience when it comes to raising children who can do more than eat and scream and poop.There is little about shepherds and nothing about sheep in this book. You'll have to look elsewhere if you want to learn more about Biblical ovine care.With those disclaimers in mind, Shepherding a … [Read more...]

‘Death at the Movies’ is a lively read

Review of Death at the Movies by Lyn and Tom Davis GenelliA confession: I know little about Buddhism. Other than Death at the Movies, the only other Buddhist texts I've read are the Dhammapada (reviewed here) and a number of decidedly non-religious books by Buddhist scholar Irving Babbitt. So if I miss anything, get something wrong, or fail to do proper justice to a tenet of Buddhism, kindly drop me a note in the comments section—I'm happy to be corrected.With that caveat out of the way, … [Read more...]

This Week on Sleepy Hollow: It’s the End of the World as We Know It!

Review of Sleepy Hollow Season Finale (Episodes 12 & 13)The Apocalypse is one step nearer as Moloch prepares to break the second seal and release the Second Horseman upon humanity. Only a secret message hidden in the pages of George Washington's Bible (written by Zombie George Washington himself!), combined with magic sin-filled prayer beads and the ancient Masonic art of finding hidden tombs, can reveal the map to Purgatory. With the map, Ichabod and Abbie can free Ichabod's trapped … [Read more...]

How to Survive the End of the World According to Sleepy Hollow

Review of Sleepy Hollow Episode 11George Washington's Bible is the key to victory over the forces of evil.And if that isn't the set up to a great blog post on religion and American culture, I don't know what is! (Alas, that's not what I'm going to write about; I just thought I should point out what a good post it would have been.)This week on Sleepy Hollow, a demon has been sent to capture the Washington Bible so that Moloch can harvest its secrets and bring about the Apocalypse. The … [Read more...]

Coyle’s Best of 2013

As with last year's list, I do not claim that these are the best books you could have read in 2013. They are, however, the ones that stand out from my Goodreads page.FictionWarlock, by Oakley Hall. Generally considered one of the best westerns ever written, this book is on the surface a fictionalized account of the showdown at the O.K. Corral. But it is also much, much more than that—Warlock explores the development of the American west and the religious and moral issues that attended t … [Read more...]

This Week on Sleepy Hollow: Family Matters

Review of Sleepy Hollow, Episode 10Did Ichabod Crane have a son? If so, why did his wife Katrina keep it secret? Can Denethor help him answer these questions? Will Ichabod survive the trip to Purgatory (or Limbo, I forget which) to confront his wife and ask for answers? And that's just the first five minutes of the episode!This week's 'Christmas' episode was, appropriately enough, all about families. Ichabod's family, Orlando Jones's family, Abbie Mills's family, and even the Sin Eater's … [Read more...]

What’s past is prologue, and it’s probably better too! Reflections on a classic horror flick.

Review of The House of the Long Shadows, Directed by Pete WalkerSure, Wuthering Heights was fine for its day, but the modern novel has progressed beyond that. In fact, these days anyone with even a tiny bit of talent could sit down and crank out that sort of gothic tripe in less than a day! At least, so claims modernist writer Kenneth McGee—an author interested only in telling the truth and making money (not necessarily in that order). But when his publisher bets McGee that he can't write s … [Read more...]