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Tag: Arts and Culture

Seven Stanzas and a Stone at Easter

Seven Stanzas and a Stone at Easter

There are some who say that today, Easter, is a celebration of an excess of imagination. John Updike, never short on imagination himself, says no: the Easter reports were about what happened. Make no mistake: if he rose at all It was as His body; If the cell’s dissolution did not reverse, the molecule reknit, The amino acids rekindle, The Church will fall. It was not as the flowers, Each soft spring recurrent; It was not as His Spirit in…

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Why Professor Fincke’s Analysis of “God’s Not Dead” Didn’t Actually Care About What the Movie Was About

Why Professor Fincke’s Analysis of “God’s Not Dead” Didn’t Actually Care About What the Movie Was About

Professor (of sorts) Daniel Fincke set out to write an analysis of the movie God’s Not Dead. What he accomplished with it ended up being something else entirely. He admitted early on that the topic had gotten away from him, and that this had turned into much more than a review. It seems to me that it also turned into less than a review. We’ll take his points in turn. I must warn you: his post was lo-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-ong. Many of his subpoints…

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Why Do So Many Of Us Want To See the Movie God’s Not Dead?

Why Do So Many Of Us Want To See the Movie God’s Not Dead?

The Pure Flix film God’s Not Dead opened in 784 jam-packed theaters last night, averaging $10,400 per screen. For comparison, no film showing in more than five hundred theaters the previous weekend took in more than $5730 per screen, and last weekend’s top ten, on average, took in only one-third of God’s Not Dead’s first-night revenues.* This film taps into something in the Christian psyche. What is it? While there were reviews that came out before opening night, including mine,…

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Scott Hamilton: “I Am Second”

Scott Hamilton: “I Am Second”

I’ve been listening to Scott Hamilton’s NBC Olympic ice skating commentary all week. He’s one of the best: personal, honest, gracious. Turns out there’s a side to his life I never knew. Olympic Gold Medalist and figure skating commentator Scott Hamilton knows a thing or two about preparation and dedication. His sport demands that a competitor come as close to perfect as possible. No break or fault goes unpunished by the judges. Scott mastered the sport and its nuances to…

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Re Phil Robertson: Beyond Anger To Grief

Re Phil Robertson: Beyond Anger To Grief

I learned an important lesson several years ago about a way to move beyond anger, to a more godly and healthy response to upsetting events. I’ve thought about it again in light of A&E’s dismissal of Phil Robertson. In short, it’s about moving beyond anger to grief. A Life Lesson Learned I can explain it best by the story of how I learned it. I was a director of Human Resources at Campus Crusade for Christ (now “Cru”). One of…

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On Phil Robertson’s Suspension: So It Begins

On Phil Robertson’s Suspension: So It Begins

My initial response to Phil Robertson’s suspension by A&E is best expressed by Theoden, at the beginning of the battle of Helm’s Deep, in The Two Towers, Lord of the Rings Trilogy. They, too, were fighting to defend their families against powerful aggressors. The “it” that I sense beginning (accelerating, actually) now is not some new culture war. It is the culturally- and legally-mandated suppression of Christian religious liberty, with people losing jobs and being faced with fines and jail…

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Causes in Christian History, From Stark’s “The Triumph of Christianity”

Causes in Christian History, From Stark’s “The Triumph of Christianity”

Book Review, Part 1 The Triumph of Christianity: How the Jesus Movement Became the World’s Largest Religion by Rodney Stark. I’m about one-third of my way through Rodney Stark’s 2012 book, The Triumph of Christianity. an historical survey of sociological causes and effects in Christian history. Stark is an historical sociologist; and in this work he speaks with that voice, and that voice only. When he speaks of the Christian movement’s effects, that focused sociological approach works well: he’s well within his…

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Bach: The Voice of God In Music

Bach: The Voice of God In Music

I’m working from memory, but it seems to me that Pablo Casals, once widely considered the world’s greatest cellist, said that he began each day playing Bach on the piano. It was like praying, he said. Since I have recently moved my place of work into a home office, with enough acoustic separation from the rest of the world, I’ve taken to playing Bach on the trombone during breaks from work. Some of his solo music, particularly his d minor…

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