Velvet Elvis

Review of Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith by Rob Bell By ALEXIS NEAL Allow me to start by saying that I have a low tolerance for vaguely deep-sounding statements that don’t actually mean anything.  The word ‘journey’ gives me hives.  I get queasy when I read sentences like ‘Somewhere in you is the you whom you were meant to be.’  (And not just because I can’t help feeling like it should be ‘who’, not ‘whom.’) I suspect this means I… Read more

The Banality of Angst

Review of Faith and Other Flat Tires by Andrea Palpant Dilley By COYLE NEAL Another entry into the ever-growing “memoir” category, Andrea Palpant Dilley’s Faith and Other Flat Tires chronicles her journey from being a missionary kid to being a sort-of agnostic back to being some kind of theist. Using Pilgrim’s Progress as a (very) loose outline for her own journey, Dilley walks through the various stages of her own spiritual and intellectual travels and existential crises. And that is… Read more

Odd Parenting in a Crooked World

Review of The Odd Life of Timothy Green, Directed by Peter Hedges By KENDRICK KUO The odd life of Timothy Green is not the odd part, but rather how he is parented. Odd not in a bad way, but in the way it contrasts with the broad goals of worldly parenting. Cindy and Jim Green are a married couple who are told, after an extensive line of attempted solutions, that they are not going to conceive a child. As they… Read more

Where’s Mom? Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Nobody Knows

Reivew of Nobody Knows, Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda By CHRISTIAN HAMAKER There are four of them, plus mom—for a while. She’s just moved the family into a new apartment. The kids love mom, even when she implies they might be to blame for the family’s wanderings. One young child made too much noise at their previous residence, or so mom says. It’s the child’s fault that the family has been uprooted. Or is it? Nobody Knows, the acclaimed 2004 film… Read more

Wuthering Heights

Review of Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë By PAUL D. MILLER Wuthering Heights was voted Britain’s favorite love story in 2007, according to the Guardian—which is what I hated so intensely about the book. Wuthering Heights is not primarily a love story. The love story is the pretext for a story about addiction, slavery, and revenge. That story is well told, gripping, and completely without hope. It put me in a bad mood reading it. I hated all the characters. I… Read more

Review of Wrath of the Titans

Review of Wrath of the Titans, Directed by Jonathan Liebesman By ALEXIS NEAL Demigod Perseus wants nothing more than to raise his young son in the idyllic quiet of his simple fishing village–just as he promised his late wife Io.  An unexpected visit from his father Zeus reveals that the increased lack of belief among mortals has severely weakened the gods, and that the Titan Kronos (father of the gods) is on the verge of breaking out of Tartarus, the… Read more

Good News for Anxious Christians: 10 Practical things You Don’t Have to Do

Review of Good News for Anxious Christians by Phillip Cary By COYLE NEAL There are at least two reasons to read Phillip Cary’s Good News for Anxious Christians: to help you think about what being “guided” by the Holy Spirit means, and to think about the problem of pain in greater depth. Written for his students, Cary’s goal is to remind us that Christianity is a message of Good News about Jesus Christ rather than a requirement that we experience… Read more

Robinson Crusoe

Review of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe By PAUL D. MILLER I love this book. The practical parts were fun. I loved seeing Crusoe’s inventiveness and industry. I would certainly have perished. After the part about Crusoe domesticating the goats and getting milk, butter, and cheese out of them, I asked Google how to make cheese: I am tempted to try to make homemade cheese just to see if I could. It was fascinating seeing what use he could make… Read more

What does power reveal? Caro answers.

Review of The Years of Lyndon Johnson (Vol. 1, 2, 3) by Robert A. Caro NOTE: The fourth volume will be reviewed in a future post. By KENDRICK KUO When The Passage of Power hit the shelves in May this year, every major literary magazine, political blog, and newspaper with an opinion column, felt obligated to comment. Everyone anticipated this fourth installation to be the grand finale of Robert A. Caro’s The Years of Lyndon Johnson, but Alfred Knopf surprised… Read more

Where is Dad?

Review of King on the Hill, Directed by  Steven Soderbergh By CHRISTIAN HAMAKER Recently, director Steven Soderbergh announced his intention to retire from filmmaking. The auteur burst onto the scene with Sex, Lies and Videotape at the Cannes Film Festival in 1989, and quickly followed that success with Kafka, which was considered a failure. Soderbergh dabbled in other small, personal films before deciding to take on bigger, commercial projects like Traffic and the Oceans series. The success of those films… Read more

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