Pulling Off the New Vulgarity

I am cautiously optimistic for Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of The Great Gatsby, though, like pretty much everyone, I have some hugely unsettled and queasy feelings each time I watch the trailer below:The modern music is jarring, and the dancing looks lewd.  But I think that might be all to the good.  It's hard to manage vulgarity when it occurs in a period piece.  Flapper dresses are so much prettier and more embellished than my jeans and a t-shirt that it's hard to remember that, in their … [Read more...]

An Outward-Oriented Marriage

The Sacred Search Cover_thumb[2]

I received a free review copy of The Sacred Search by Gary Thomas as part of the Patheos Book Club.At a recent lecture, the speaker explained the difference between apologetics and theology.  In apologetics, you are writing for the unconverted, so you have to make sure to explain your reasoning and make an aggressive case.  In theology, you're writing for people who share the basic tenets of your faith, so you can skip over the background and just plunge deeply into your tradition.  Although … [Read more...]

But Aren’t Saints Dreadfully Dull?

colm valjean

Tonight I'm seeing Les Miserables for the third time (there have been various outings as people have straggled back into DC after the holidays) and, a day or so after my second viewing, I ran across David Denby's pan of the movie for The New Yorker.  Some of the criticisms are fair (the camerawork draws attention to itself in a bad way, Jackman's voice isn't as well suited to Valjean as it was to Curly, etc), but there was one plot-related criticism that I disagreed with big time.  Denby wri … [Read more...]

Let’s have a Math-Theology Bookclub!

naming infinity

Guys, my life is really really wonderful right now.  I just found out about the existence of Naming Infinity: A True Story of Religious Mysticism and Mathematical Creativity, and my cup runneth over.  Here's an excerpt from the review in The New Republic. The Name Worshippers of Mount Athos had been shut down. What mattered most were the defiant interruptions to the angry sermon of Archbishop Nikon of Vologda, who had marched into the monastery courtyard behind the troops. “You mistakenly believ … [Read more...]

Mormon Enthusiasm for the Self-Made Man

god who weeps

I received a free review copy of The God Who Weeps: How Mormonism Makes Sense of Life as part of the Patheos Book Club.I'm glad to have read The God Who Weeps, since, even in the midst of all the Romney controversy, there's been very little discussion of Mormon theology.  Reporters prefer to cover the Temple rituals because they're secret, and therefore must be interesting.  The Book of Mormon musical prompted some error-checking, but not very many details about what would have been the co … [Read more...]

How do you finish being angry?

bruce banner hulk

This review of Lawrence Cunningham's The Seven Deadly Sins: A Visitor's Guide is part of the Patheos Book Club, and my copy was free.My college debate group had many aphorisms, one of which was, "All sins are pride."  So I read The Seven Deadly Sins: A Visitor's Guide waiting to see what Cunningham had to say about my sin.  I didn't expect to be caught by his meditation on anger/wrath, which I've always thought of as the most boring sin.Coming from a background of stoicism, I just see ang … [Read more...]

The Inspector Javert Medley [Sequence Index]

Isn't moral conviction dreamy?

I may not have drawn little hearts in my middle school notebooks labelled "Leah + Inspector Javert" but I've loved him far too much since the first time I saw Les Miserables.  (And, this year, I immediately dibsed his part when organizing a Les Mis flashmob).  But some of the things I've loved most about the adamant Inspector are the things I've had to set aside in order to be a Christian.  So, to mark the occasion of the movie's release, I wrote three meditations on the  … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X