“Noah” and the Boring Fundamentalism of Hollywood Bible Movies

NOAH

Sometimes evangelical Christians make movies.And usually they are horrible.They are marked by an agenda - to evangelize the viewer - which leads to inane, superficial art. The themes are poorly executed and overwrought. Instead of life imitated in inspiring ways through the medium of film, a sermon is smugly preached at an inferior audience.It all feels very fundamentalist. But recently, the cultural winds have been blowing Hollywood heavyweights toward making movies about the … [Read more...]

Israel, the Internet, and Purging the Scapegoat

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In his new book A Farewell to Mars, my pastor-at-large Brian Zahnd spends some time on the powerful theme of scapegoating. This is not my full review of the book (that's coming soon), but it is a quick riff. Because this theme struck a particular chord, considering the way people so often engage in this destructive social practice. I think we've been seeing an extreme example of scapegoating in the Israel-Gaza conflict. And I think we see it happen in smaller ways all the time - perhaps e … [Read more...]

3 Ways That LGBT Christians are Blessing the Church

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We are a people prone to polarization.Ideologies - opinions mixed with certainty divorced from relationship and reality - help us to create all kinds of "others" and "thems" to justify ourselves and our group and the unhealthy antagonism and aggression we wish to perpetuate.Perhaps no "issue" is more of a lightning rod for polarization - and violent, often dehumnanizing rhetoric - than that of LGBT people in the church. But what if we zoomed out for a moment and detached from the … [Read more...]

How [Not] to Speak of Mark Driscoll

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But if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but to some extent - not to exaggerate it - to all of you. This punishment by the majority is enough for such a person; so now instead you should forgive and console him, so that he may not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. - 2 Corinthians 2:5-11 This week, Mars Hill Church released a video of Mark Driscoll getting real about the current "season" of the church.As one friend remarked, Driscoll appears weathered.Specifically, … [Read more...]

The Grand Budapest Hotel and Gaza: A Barbaric Slaughterhouse

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Looking for prophetic insights in a Wes Anderson film can be a little like looking for physics insights in a Will Ferrell movie.That's not really what Wes and Will are on about.But Wes is on about nostalgia - in a stylish, ironic, and occasionally hilarious sense. And the nostalgia of his latest film (now on Redbox, yay!) is front and center from start to finish. In fact, The Grand Budapest Hotel is basically a nostalgic film about nostalgia.The narrative centers on the hotel's … [Read more...]

#FFFF: Jason DeMeo

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If you want to get into a lively debate with anyone, just ask them a variation of this question: Which _________ was the greatest of all time? Which basketball player, singer, actor, writer, and especially rapper. Let's take a moment to ask the rappers themselves...Jay-Z (Who refers to himself as J-Hova, as in Jehovah): I drop that Black Album then I back out it/As the best rapper alive, ***** ask about me. Nas (Who refers to himself as God's Son) My first album had no famous guest ap … [Read more...]

3 Reasons the Church of England Decision is Right on Time

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On Monday, the Church of England voted to ordain women as bishops of the Church after years of debate and division.And almost immediately, commentators began to complain.The complaints generally came in one of two forms. From the conservative side, this vote represents a tragic capitulation to culture and sacrifice of biblical principles, leading inevitably to eventual ordination of open LGBT people. From the progressive side, this vote is decades too late, proving just how behind the t … [Read more...]

Whirlwinds and Seeking Signs: The Bankruptcy of Science AND Religion

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Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge. Gird up your loins like a man, I will question you, and you shall declare to me."Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding."- Job 38: 1-4 I've been thinking a bit about science and religion, mainly because my church is going through a series on the topic. And it's a sticky wicket because, as you know, the two have often found the … [Read more...]

Beautiful Simplicity or Beguiling Sophistication?

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But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. - 2 Cor. 11:3, KJV Navigating the waters of being a "progressive" Christian can be treacherous business.I put "progressive" in scare quotes because it's darn near impossible to pin down a definition for that adjective, and there is certainly quite a spectrum of Christian practice that claims the title. As I mentioned in my first new post … [Read more...]

#FFFF: Matt Greene

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Is there beauty in the body? No, I'm not talking about tanned skin and trim waist lines. What I am referring to is the body of Christ. Is there beauty in this body?I have an older brother, he's one of my best friends in this life. He's one of my biggest supporters and he's had a huge influence on me as a writer and musician. But, like any siblings, growing up we had our fair share of disagreements.As a kid I didn't realize he was one of my best friends. I knew I wanted to be like him … [Read more...]


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