David Copperfield

Review of David Copperfield by Charles Dickens By PAUL D. MILLER “Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anyone else, these pages must show.” I immediately liked the tenor of the book from the first sentence. Dickens is very funny—I loved the witty asides—and some of the writing, in particular that chapter about the storm in which Ham is killed near the end of the book,… Read more

The Imitation of Christ

Review of The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis By ALEXIS NEAL A devotional classic, dating from the 1400s, this book has been published into almost every language, and some argue that it is the most widely read devotional work next to the bible.  The author (generally accepted to be Thomas à Kempis, a 15th Century German monk), takes the reader through the various spheres of life and admonishes and encourages the reader to, well, imitate Christ in each of these areas. In one sense,… Read more

Dark Knight Rex

Review of The Dark Knight Rises, Directed by Christopher Nolan By PAUL D. MILLER What do you get when someone rewrites A Tale of Two Cities, sets it in modern-day New York with Fritz Lang’s Metropolis underneath, turns Robespierre into a drug-addled terrorist warlord modeled on Darth Vader, and ends it with an apotheosis copied straight from Sophocles’ Oedipus at Colonus?   You get The Dark Knight Rises (2012). Christopher Nolan’s Batman finale is one of the most ambitious, sophisticated, and… Read more

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

Review of Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, Directed by Alison Klayman By KENDRICK KUO Ai Weiwei is an unknown, strange sounding name to most Americans, but Americans are nonetheless becoming more aware of the plight of Chinese dissidents. Earlier this year the blind activist Chen Guangcheng, known for protesting against forced abortions, escaped from house arrest and fled to the U.S. Consulate.  He eventually struck a deal with the Chinese government, allowing him to pursue academic interests atNew YorkUniversityunder the patronage… Read more

Allison Hewitt is Trapped

Review of Allison Hewitt is Trapped by Madeline Roux By COYLE NEAL “Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them.” Revelation 20:13 The last zombie book I read left me thinking, “this was great, but what it really needed was a good dose of feminist angst.” Fortunately, I stumbled across Allison Hewitt is Trapped. In this book, the title character blogs her way through the zombie apocalypse. Beginning at the bookstore where she worked, she and a… Read more

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

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