Thursday, August 30, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes


 is a book about the historical Christ that every serious disciple should read in order to better understand the communal significance of the Lord's teachings and, especially, his parables.

Bailey, who spent over a half century in the Middle East studying and teaching Scripture and biblical languages, including Arabic, Syriac, Aramaic, Greek and Hebrew, strips away the layers of myth and time that have encased the narratives about Christ with centuries of misconception. He analyzes the parables using, what he calls a "prophetic rhetorical template" based upon Old Testament patterns. Enthusiasts of rhetoric and composition will find this application of chiasmatic structure particularly enlightening.The gospels are nothing if not sheer poetic genius and, as Bailey calls it at one point, filled with "hypertext links" to the Law and the Prophets. Jesus was, if you will, a walking Wikipedia of scriptural truth and he expounded his knowledge in a context that his listeners would have immediately recognized. For us, in the hyperactive world of Western 21st century modernity, much of his references and nuanced teachings are lost and separated from their original context.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: A True Feminist- Gladys Aylward-The Little Woman


A common misconception amongst nonbelievers is that Christianity and (what the world calls) feminism are mutually exclusive social forces. This official autobiography of an early 20th century British woman's solo journey to China as a missionary during the Sino-Japanese war proves the opposite. 

There's nothing clever or gender specific about courage. It's attractiveness lies in the sheer force of its will to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. Aylward simply believed that God would guide her across Europe and Russia via rail alone, and without having practically any formal training and hardly any church support, she left London one day with her Bible, passport, some pocket change and a few traveling items to follow her heart's call to be a missionary in China.

If you're looking for smart poetic writing in a story, Gladys Aylward: The Little Woman is not for you. But, if you want true grit, honest adventure and historic drama verified, than read this British woman's inspiring journey and how she spent a lifetime preaching and teaching the gospel and taking care of thousands of orphans during one of the most brutal eras in recent history.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Newsboys United LIVE Born Again



Michael Tait and Newsboys open up the Newsboys United Tour show in Bemedji MN on July 29 2018. Get tickets NOW while they last for upcoming shows at https://www.premierproductions.com/tour/newsboys-united

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

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.

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