The Aeneid

Review of the Aeneid by Virgil By PAUL D. MILLER Reading Homer feels like spending time with a rustic, patched-together story. Homer matches odds and ends of an oral tradition that weaves various memories into a grand story about the olden times of courage and sacrifice. Virgil, by contrast, is a dictator’s propagandist. The Aeneid is much more coherent and smooth than the Iliad or Odyssey, but it is also told for a very different reason. Homer pointed back to… Read more

The Rocks Cry Out: Finding the Gospel in (Very) Unexpected Places

Review of Die Hard, Directed by John McTiernan By ALEXIS NEAL Once upon a time, a man and a woman were married.  Then one day, the woman left her husband.  She moved far away and started a new life without him.  She even abandoned his name. Then this woman was captured by evil men who threatened to harm her.  Despite everything, the man still loved his estranged wife, so he risked everything to save her from the evil men who… Read more

The Gospel According to Nemo

Review of Finding Nemo, Directed by Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich By PAUL D. MILLER Finding Nemo (2003) ages well.  It is the best Pixar film, among the best films of the past decade, one of the finest family movies ever made, and, on my list, one of the greatest movies ever.  WALL-E (2008) is usually ranked as the best of Pixar—it ranks higher on IMDB.com and Metacritic—but compared to the simple sincerity of Nemo, WALL-E’s insistent romance is mawkish…. Read more

Dostoevsky and Sandusky: The Christian Anthropology of The Brothers Karamazov

Review of The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky By JUSTIN HAWKINS “See, this alone I found, that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes.” – Ecclesiastes 7:29  “Two extremes, gentlemen of the jury, remember that Karamazov can contemplate two extremes and both at once.” –Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov Reinhold Niebuhr begins his masterful Nature and Destiny of Man with the concise and penetrating observation that “man has always been his own most vexing problem.” As befits a… Read more

The Serpent in Eden in Crossing to Safety

Review of Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner By JULIA POLESE Crossing to Safety is Pulitzer Prize-winning author Wallace Stegner’s final novel.  It is a story of two couples coping with the loss of Eden. Told from the perspective of Larry Morgan, the novel begins with he and his wife, Sally, as a young couple living in a basement apartment in Madison, Wisconsin, during the Great Depression. Larry, a self-made man from a lower class family in New Mexico and a… Read more

Christian Cinema at Your Local Art House

Review of The Kid With a Bike by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardennes By CHRISTIAN HAMAKER You know the situation in the first few minutes of the film. It’s all there, etched on the face of a young boy. If you’re a parent, you might pick up on his determination bordering on desperation. The young boy is Cyril (Thomas Doret), and he wants to talk to his father. He wants his bike. He’s in a group home, but he’s determined to… Read more

The Humanity of Christ

Review of The Jesus We Missed: The Surprising Truth About the Humanity of Christ by Patrick Henry Reardon By ALEXIS NEAL This is, or wants to be, a biography of Jesus.  Or at any rate, a biography of his humanity, as it’s far from an exhaustive account of all his activities. Reardon walks through the life of Jesus from birth through his youth and pre-ministry adult years, on into his earthly ministry, to the cross, the resurrection, and beyond, explaining how he thinks… Read more

The Amazing Spider-Man

Review of The Amazing Spider-Man, Directed by Marc Webb By COYLE NEAL I went into The Amazing Spider-Man with two things in mind: the question of whether or not Martin Sheen’s still got it (he does); and a sense of entitlement. And as an American I know the feeling of entitlement like the back of my hand. Frankly, after Spider-Man 3: Peter Parker pansy-walks to awful disco music, Marvel owed me a good Spiderman movie. Fortunately, they delivered. Not that it’s a… Read more

The Brothers Karamazov

By PAUL D. MILLER There are some books that, when you finish, you think, “How did I go through life so long without reading this book?” These are the books that strike you, often in a way you cannot immediately articulate, but remain with you for years. I found The Brothers Karamazov to be such a book. After I finished this book I could barely speak a coherent sentence—I had so many things to say but could hardly get a… Read more

Introducing “Mind Over Media”

Welcome to “Mind Over Media,” a blog on books and film by a group of evangelical Christians.  We are not artists, do not pretend to be professional critics, and have no pretension to Critical or any other kind of Theory.  Among our contributors are an attorney, a professor of international relations, and a student at Yale Divinity.  We have no methodology, no school of thought, and no official hermeneutic.  We’re a group of over-educated Christians who love 1) Jesus, 2)… Read more

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