Saturday, July 14, 2018

Movie Review: HBO's Fahrenheit 451 (2018)


The critics may not be crazy about this 2018 version of Ray Bradbury's epic, dystopian story, but that shouldn't stop you from enjoying this high tech, darker version of the film version directed by Ramin Bahrani and starring Michael B. Jordan as Montag, the conflicted fireman who starts fires (instead of putting them out) in an official capacity.

The film is set in a futuristic society where deep reading and critical thinking skills are criminal. All books are banned except for emoji versions of the Bible, Moby Dick, and To The Lighthouse.  The job of the Cleveland Fire Department (that's right-Cleveland as in Ohio), is to search and destroy any paper or electronic manifestation of any other book, work of art or sheet music. And the hunt is always broadcast around the world, live on social media and the official news via the global Internet platform called the "9" as in, perhaps, the Temptations classic song, Cloud Nine ? It's not such a far stretch since the theme of the song is escapism through drugs and that's exactly what the 9 offers in this film-constant diversion and the easy ability to offer eyedrops that serve as a vehicle for mood altering drugs. Think YouTube and Amazon on steroids combined and you get the picture.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Happy 509th Birthday, John Calvin!


July 10, 2018 marks the 509th birthday of John Calvin.  But the streamers and balloons are nowhere to be found.  Simply put, we live in a day that is so wrapped up in technology and new inventions that we tend to forget the lessons of the past, especially the lessons of dead guy. Continue to article.

Friday, June 29, 2018

A "Liberated From Islam" History Lesson

Statue of Pelayo in Covadonga, Spain

One holdout, King Pelagius of Asturia, drew supporters and won the  Battle of Covadonga, 1,300 years ago. The Iberian Peninsula was never the same.
Editor’s note: The following account is excerpted and adapted from the author’s new book, Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West
Exactly 1,300 years ago, in the year 718, a little-remembered kingdom was born in Spain. It soon led to the liberation of the Iberian Peninsula from Islamic occupation. To appreciate the significance of that development, we must travel back seven years earlier, to 711, when Arabs and Africans, both under the banner of Islam, “godlessly invaded Spain to destroy it,” to quote from the Chronicle of 754. Once on European soil, they “ruined beautiful cities, burning them with fire; condemned lords and powerful men to the cross; and butchered youths and infants with the sword.”

Jackie Hill Perry and Spiritual Warfare


Monday, June 25, 2018

Review: Martyn Lloyd-Jones:His Life and Relevance for the 21st Century



Who exactly was Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones? The answer will most likely be very different depending upon which source you consult or who you ask.

His Wikipedia page summarizes him as "a Welsh Protestant minister and medical doctor who was influential in the Reformed wing of the British evangelical movement of the 20th century." That is perhaps the safest (and most ecumenical) description of the man that exists. But to his grandson who wrote this splendid portrait of Lloyd-Jones, he seems to transcend any possible pigeonholed definition that so many preachers and theologians like to use as crutches today.

Sign the Nashville Statement on Biblical Sexuality



“Know that the LORD Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves...” -Psalm 100:3 


Preamble
Evangelical Christians at the dawn of the twenty-first century find themselves living in a period of historic transition. As Western culture has become increasingly post-Christian, it has embarked upon a massive revision of what it means to be a human being. By and large the spirit of our age no longer discerns or delights in the beauty of God’s design for human life. Many deny that God created human beings for his glory, and that his good purposes for us include our personal and physical design as male and female. It is common to think that human identity as male and female is not part of God’s beautiful plan, but is, rather, an expression of an individual’s autonomous preferences. The pathway to full and lasting joy through God’s good design for his creatures is thus replaced by the path of shortsighted alternatives that, sooner or later, ruin human life and dishonor God. Read the full statement online here.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Martin Luther's Hidden Yet Lingering Effect in Spain

HEROES OF THE SPANISH REFORMATION

In the first part of the sixteenth century, Luther’s publication of the Ninety-Five Theses started a new movement across Europe which we know as the Reformation. By 1525, not only were Luther’s works translated into Spanish but Illuminist teaching was taking hold and subject to scrutiny and opposition. Read the full article here.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Movie Review: Leap of Faith Revisited


The 1992 comedy drama, Leap of Faith, starring Steve Martin, Debra Winger and Liam Neeson, now available for streaming on Amazon Prime, is worth a revisit amidst the growing number of nauseously made current films that try to pass as faith based. And even though Leap of Faith does not try to pose as a Christian film, it nevertheless makes the grade far better without false marketing pretense that caters to poorly made movies that fluff out the choices found on venues such as PureFlix.com.

In this movie, Steve Martin shows both his comedic and pragmatic side with equal magnitude, starring as Jack Newton a.k.a. Jonas Nightengale as a Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show huckster born in the Bronx and abandoned to a hardscrabble life of con games and crime. Debra Winger plays Jane, his front person behind the scenes who sets up "miracles" and other well known mentalist con artist tricks that let them roam the Deep South making a comfortable living on gullible believers along with his sizable church posse which includes Meat Loaf as bus driver. He packs revival meetings with an impressive array of charismatic black choirs, stunning stage effects and other gimmicks that, as he says to Liam Neeson, the skeptical sheriff of fictional Rustwater, Kansas, "sells hope to his victims more than an expensive Broadway show".

 Because of a truck breakdown in drought stricken and struggling, farm town Rustwater, Martin takes the opportunity to turn a quick dollar even though the population is nearly broke and praying desperately for rain soon for their corn crops which they pin their last economic hopes on. But he ends up getting more than the usual push back and reaction when a boy named Boyd, played by Lukas Haas, looks to Martin for healing after being crippled in a deadly auto accident which also orphaned him. By the end of the story, Jonas Nightengale, after an amazing turn of unexpected events, throws in the towel and leaves Rustwater on his own, hitching a ride from a trucker with one last spectacular miracle for the road.

The reason I call this film more Christian themed than many others is because it is not packed with sloppy sentimentalism and covered in a thinly coated veneer of questionable evangelical doctrine. It shows truth in life as only the cinema and great acting can do, not covering the warts of sinners nor saints. Indeed, Winger smirks at Martin's attempt to hit on Boyd's pretty, older sister, saying that for him she's just the "holy grail of road p**sy".

Ultimately, what compels the viewer is the providential power of surprise that plays out in the film near the end and testifies to the fact that the good Lord can and does use all circumstances for His glory if He chooses to do so in spite of our bad intentions. Let the unveliever beware: miracles are forthcoming.

But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth--Exodus 9:16