I have loved the story of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables for some time, previous film versions of the story (particularly the 1998 theatrical version starring Liam Neeson and the 2000 made-for-TV version with Gerard Depardieu), and, yes, the popular stage musical. I really wanted to love this new film version as well. There is a redemptive element in the story that pulls on the heart, and it rings especially true, though not exclusively, to the Christian. The perpetual longing for redemption within the human soul has made the story live over and over again in many artistic forms. With many incarnations already under its belt, does the new film version of the musical live up to such rich material? The answer is one of both glory and misery. Continue reading
I’m beginning to think that if I don’t have an identity crisis at least once a month, I’m simply not taking in enough good art. A few weeks ago, I watched a piece of theater that has become a bit of a local staple here in Louisville: Actors Theatre’s production of Dracula. It is really one of the very few pieces of theater I have seen in recent years, but with the performance came a flood of emotions, the degree of which I wasn’t quite expecting. It threw me into a serious identity crisis that, if I were to be quite honest, I’m not entirely over. In fact, I intend not to be. Continue reading
A low-budget independent film by a sophomore director seeks to break every rule for so-called “Christian” films and instead make a compelling, realistic story about faith. Despite a few not-so-glaring flaws, the 2012 film Blue Like Jazz rings true, is superbly engaging, and has opened several doors for future filmmakers in the process. Continue reading
I wanted to take a moment to point you to a couple of my favorite articles to come out this year on a Christian view of Halloween. I think Dr. Mouw and Dr. Jordan have articulated a very refreshing and enlightening view of Halloween that many Christians should open their eyes to. Continue reading
Peter J. Leithart. A House for My Name: A Survey of the Old Testament. Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 2000. 279 pp. $21.00
Most Christians struggle to grasp the relevance of the Old Testament and, all to often, fail to see the gospel kingdom themes present there that point to the salvation and new creation brought by Christ in the New Testament. Into the midst of the confusion has stepped Peter Leithart and his book A House for My Name: A Survey of the Old Testament. With great sensitivity to the text and a wonderful and accessible command of the English language, Leithart present us with a text that draws us into the Old Testament by way of, among other things, a use of analogy he sees as present in the text linking it to the New Creation work God is doing throughout the Scripture, that which ultimately is consummated in the redeeming work of Jesus Christ. Although one may argue its presentation of vast analogies occasionally stumbles, Peter Leithart’s book A House for My Name presents a concise, readable, and enlightening theology of the Old Testament’s major themes that draws clear meaning for the Christian student searching for the Hebrew canon’s contribution in the overarching gospel narrative. Continue reading
A.W. Tozer (The Radical Cross: Living the Passion of Christ):
“Though the cross of Christ has been beautified by the poet and the artist, the avid seeker after God is likely to find it the same savage implement of destruction it was in the days of old. The way of the cross is still the pain-wracked path to spiritual power and fruitfulness.
“So do not seek to hide from it. Do not accept an easy way. Do not allow yourself to be patted to sleep in a comfortable church, void of power and barren of fruit. Do not paint the cross nor deck it with flowers. Take it for what it is, as it is, and you will find it the rugged way to death and life. Let it slay you utterly.”
Christopher Hitchens, the famous (or infamous) atheist and self-proclaimed “anti-theist,” recently articulated quite well what is at stake in Christian belief and why liberal Christianity is, in essence, not Christianity at all, in his interview with the liberal Unitarian minister Marilyn Sewell in Portland Monthly. Here is my favorite and, I believe, most potent part of the conversation. Continue reading
I just want to take this moment at the start of the new year to show a bit of appreciation for a pastor I enjoy from afar. Douglas Wilson is the notably pithy pastor of Christ Church of Moscow, Idaho and is a senior fellow at New Saint Andrews College, a classical Christian college which he helped found and which has been turning heads in academic circles for some time now. Continue reading
It is no secret that I have had a certain enmity with Christmas for quite a few years now. As a child, I embraced Christmas as it was given me: Santa Claus, Christmas presents, television specials, and celebrations galore. Funny, the thing most unimportant about Christmas in those years was the fact that it was a time for celebrating the birth of the Christ. Indeed, this was true into my late teens, as I began to grow in faith.
However, as I grew in faith in those years and certainly into my twenties, my view of Christmas gradually became more troubled. I could not reconcile it. Continue reading