I’m Feeling Ambivalent about Blue Like Jazz: The Movie

If you travel in the same online circles as me, you are being inundated with urgings to support and see Blue Like Jazz, the movie based on Don Miller’s best-selling memoir. Friends on Facebook who once begged me to send money to the Kickstarter campaign for the film are now pleading with me to buy tickets in advance, an effort to show theater owners how great this film is.

But these efforts give me the willies. It reminds me of when Christianity Today literally wrapped itself in a promotion for Evan Almighty, a sophomoric and poorly made movie (23% on Rotten Tomatoes) — editor David Neff called it a “bold symbol of the new cooperative spirit” between Hollywood and the evangelical church.

Hollywood must have forgotten about that cooperative spirit, because Steve Taylor couldn’t find investors to make the BLJ movie. Supporters of the film decided to crowdsource it, raising over $345,000 on Kickstarter, the second-largest Kickstarter campaign of 2010. As you can imagine, I’m a fan of crowdsourcing and of making end-runs around traditional media (hence my ebook publishing), but I was a little put-off by the often panicky appeals during the fundraising campaign.

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Kirk Cameron: Christian Reconstructionist

Kirk Cameron is off his nut.

I’m unfamiliar with the filmography of Kirk Cameron — haven’t seen a-one of them.

I’m similarly unfamiliar with Christian Reconstructionism. But it seems that I should be afraid of both, especially when they’re put together.

Julie Ingersoll provides a helpful primer on Christian Reconstructionism, using Cameron’s new documentary about…HIMSELF…as a foil. Good reading:

Christian Reconstruction promotes a “biblical worldview” with three interlocking theological notions that, while framed in technical language, have been popularized for over half a century in simple terms and slogans that are now familiar to watchers of the religious right.

Presuppositionalism stipulates that all knowledge is understood to begin with the acceptance of unprovable assumptions. For Reconstructionists only two, mutually exclusive, starting points are possible: the true sovereignty and authority of the god of the Bible or the false claim of the supremacy of human reason. This point has found a voice in the ubiquitous critique of “secular humanism” and the argument that religious neutrality is impossible.

Postmillennialism, an end-times theology that challenges contemporary rapture theology, claims that the kingdom of God was established at the resurrection and is being realized as Christianity spreads across the world through the exercise of dominion. Its popularized versions are “dominion theology” and the effort to “restore America’s foundation” as a “Christian nation.”

Theonomy is the view that all law must be based in God’s law, which is to say biblical law. Reconstructionists look to ancient Israel as the model for society and to the Puritans as an exemplar of the modern application of biblical law. They argue for a distinction between theonomy and the more commonly used theocracy on the basis of what they claim is a biblical division of earthly authority set forth by God.

Read the rest: Kirk Cameron’s Monumental Reveals Subtle Influence of Christian Reconstructionism | (A)theologies | Religion Dispatches.

My Black Brother

That headline is not metaphorical. My parents, in their retirement, have taken in a young African American man, and he has lived with them for the past several years. Cavonte has become a part of our family, and a brother to me. His mother is in prison, and he does not know his father. We have become his family.

My parents have performed a profound act of Christian charity.

Last night, the local news aired a story on Cavonte and my parents:

Youth Pastors Agree: Church Is So Whack

HT: Christian Nightmares


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