Thursday, 17 October 2013
Tuesday, 15 October 2013
Sunday, 22 September 2013
Monday, 9 September 2013
Wednesday, 14 August 2013
Tuesday, 13 August 2013
"The Wolverine" is many things—another piece of Marvel's big-screen superhero puzzle, a sturdy vehicle for Hugh Jackman's soulful ferocity, a moderately gripping fish-out-of-water story of self-discovery and redemption. Yet just as important, it's an action film helmed by a director who is, by any reasonable measure, not an action director. Although he's staged solid, classically conceived action in "3:10 to Yuma" and "Copland," he's better known as an actor's director, more at home with the intimacy of "Girl, Interrupted" and "Walk the Line."
By employing directors with backgrounds in drama, the studios hope action-heavy films will be infused with greater depth. The catch, however, is that drama directors are usually inexperienced at, and thus incapable of, properly handling their material that is the film's main selling point, or one of them.
Sunday, 11 August 2013
Even the "anti-group" groups feel like a group now.
After all I'm not really sure what my position on most of this is - and that makes it hard to belong to any group or cause.
I really respect Pete Rollins and what he is trying to do with Pyrotheology and Jay Bakker over at Revolution. A big part of me admires someone who can put themselves out there and standing for something.
In one of Shusako Endo's novels there is a character who simply stands by when his fellow Christians are hauled off to be tortured. Shusako voices the character in the first person which makes it achingly confessional. He is one of them, but he finds himself unable to stand for anything when it really matters. He is simply there in the background, throughout the persecution, watching from the sidelines.
That character could have started a modern religion.
Wednesday, 31 July 2013
Tuesday, 30 July 2013
The podcast can be listened to here.
Here is the excerpt from the EconTalk site about the show:
Arnold Kling, author of The Three Languages of Politics, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the ideas in the book. Kling argues that Progressives, Conservatives, and Libertarians each have their own language and way of looking at the world that often doesn't overlap. This makes it easier for each group to demonize the others. The result is ideological intolerance and incivility. By understanding the language and mindset of others, Kling suggests we can do a better job discussing our policy disagreements and understand why each group seems to feel both misunderstand and morally superior to the other two.
Tuesday, 9 July 2013
Sunday, 7 July 2013
Monday, 1 July 2013
After all, Batman is a superhero without superpowers. He is the gritty, flawed, and dark one with a gloomy view of the human condition . Superman is so... 1950s. All American, flawless, the superhero of a simpler time, when good and evil had a clearer dividing line.
Except... it's really a lot more complicated than that.
The power of the Superman story isn't about a man with no weaknesses. Its power is in Superman showing us our own limitations as we contrast ourselves against him. It's in Superman losing his powers and becoming "one of us" and in doing so, showing us what it means to be human.
The Superman projection is a way of figuring out who we are as flawed humans, in a similar way that Star Trek's Spock is mirror that helps us see our own irrationality.
Superman isn't about a Man of Steel. It's about how we don't measure up to our own ideals. So I'm just going go on record and risk losing the little "cool" factor I still might have had.
I actually kind of liked the new Superman. There I said it.
Saturday, 29 June 2013
And so mob boss Tony Soprano had to be one of the working stiffs, getting in line for the bus. And the way we were going to film it, he was going to get on the bus, and the lyric that would've one over that would've been – and we don't have Joan Osborne to sing it:
what would it look like?
And would you want to see
if seeing meant you had to believe?
And yeah, yeah, God is great.
Yeah, yeah, God is good.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Just a slob like one of us?
Just a stranger on the bus
trying to make his way home
Like a holy rollin' stone
Back up to Heaven all alone
Nobody callin' on the phone
'Cept for the Pope, maybe, in Rome.
The full euology is available at Rolling Stone:
Sunday, 23 June 2013
We are the Ambivalents, unable not to see both sides of the argument, frozen in the no-man’s land between armies of true believers. We cannot speak our name, because there is no respectable way to confess that you believe two opposing propositions, no ballot that allows you to vote for competing candidates, no questionnaire in which you can tick the box, “I agree with both of these conflicting views.”So the Ambivalents avoid the question, or check “I don’t know,” or grit their teeth and pick a side. Consequently, our ambivalence doesn’t leave a trace. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.Ambivalence refers to the state of experiencing conflicting beliefs or feelings simultaneously.
Ambivalence is not the same as indifference, with which it is often confused. Someone in an ambivalent state of mind is experiencing an excess of opinion, not an absence of it.An ambivalent person may feel very strongly about the subject at hand without reaching anything like a coherent point of view on it.
Saturday, 22 June 2013
Sunday, 9 June 2013
Saturday, 1 June 2013
Maybe they're called to a lack of faith, or a silence.
They don't get to stand up and share their testimony.
They don't get to be certain.
Maybe their place is on the outside looking in.
Maybe God calls them to doubt and disbelief.
And this is their place.
Wednesday, 29 May 2013
I don't think I've ever been quite as theologically gutted by a show as the Walking Dead.
Whether it is a character praying for a sign from God and being answered by having their child taken from them, or whether it is just the slow gradual extinction of all hope - 21st century theological despair runs deep in this one.
It's what your 16-year old Christian self feared might happen when you open the door of doubt and skepticism: that the floor will disappear beneath you, that you will keep falling and falling... with nothing and no one to catch you.
It's the locked chest many of us decide to leave untested.
What if there is no God?
What if we when we die, that is just it?
What if we just return to the void?
What if all of this... just hinges on chance, on infinite possibility?
All you're left with is a group of people, bound by their loss of what was formerly certain and taken for granted. No more hope of a meaningful life under the old rules and soon enough, even talk of the possibility of hope is dismissed as foolishness before it finally succumbs to silence.
No more return to "before". Just a relentless march forward into an uncertain future - and then extinction.
Heck, it could just as well be Pete Rollins blog, if you didn't know any better.
I think I need some Eastbound and Down to bring me back from the edge.
"The believer continually lies out on the deep - 70,000 fathoms of water beneath him." ~ Kierkegaard
Tuesday, 30 April 2013
Sunday, 28 April 2013
Thursday, 25 April 2013
I see atheists - and I can't relate.
I see agnostics - and I can't relate.
"Whether you put faith away or you don't put faith away, either way, you will regret it."
Saturday, 30 March 2013
"We were worried about your personal salvation... was it heaven or hell that you saw when your eyes closed?
You smiled at us floating high above the question like you knew something we didn't know."*
Tuesday, 5 March 2013
Saturday, 2 March 2013
Wednesday, 20 February 2013
Wednesday, 13 February 2013
Monday, 11 February 2013
Sunday, 3 February 2013
Saturday, 2 February 2013
Sunday, 20 January 2013
Monday, 14 January 2013
"No religion is gonna cure you of your pain
How much have you changed?
No, you're still the same..."
~ Joseph Arthur
Sunday, 6 January 2013
Fatherhood doesn't really begin in the delivery room. What happens in there is more like getting hit between the eyes with a steel hammer with lots of blood and water thrown in the mix (none of it yours). Fatherhood begins a few months later, the moment your baby has their first chuckle with you.
Life before parenthood is just a dream you wake up from that you can't quite remember all the details of.
Saturday, 5 January 2013
Monday, 24 December 2012
Friday, 14 December 2012
But if someone converts to Christianity in order to receive eternal life, we don't seem to mind at all.
Friday, 30 November 2012
Wednesday, 21 November 2012
Wednesday, 14 November 2012
Sunday, 11 November 2012
When I hear people in the church talking about how they really aren't anti-gay people, it's just that they want what is best for them, or that they aren't promoting discrimination towards gays, only they want to keep the institute of marriage "sacred", I can't help but think of the old racist justification "separate but equal'.
Sadly, we still have to keep this conversation alive. The message isn't getting through.
Wednesday, 7 November 2012
This American Life had a great show this week on relationships ruined by political views. While listening to stories of estranged families and ruined friendships because one person voted Romney or Obama I couldn't help thinking how similar this sort of poison is to the way that religious disagreements infect relationships.
It is easier to just cut off those who really disagree with us. We "agree to disagree" but that really means removing them from our lives. We're stuck between either trying to aggressively convert people or simply cutting them off. We don't attempt to understand the position of the "other" and we don't try to see how our own positions can appear to others.
We don't need religion to divide us. We do a pretty good job of that without it. It's just our way.
Here's the show:
Tuesday, 30 October 2012
Country, I was a soldier for you
did what you asked me to
it was wrong and you knew
Country, now I'm just a stranger to you
A number a name it's true
Throw me away when you're through
The home of the brave and the free
The red white and blue
Well I wish it was true
Hat tip to my buddy Jeff for uncovering this gem of a songwriter for me. You can find more of the White Buffalo here.
Monday, 29 October 2012
Friday, 26 October 2012
Saw this while checking out a Brian McLaren book online:
"For God so loved the church that he gave to himself his only Son, as a penal substitutionary sacrifice, so that those elect few who believe in this atoning doctrine would not suffer eternal, conscious torment in hell as a result of original sin (Not John 3:16)"
Thursday, 25 October 2012
"Lead me well, don't clear my way
It's fascinating how the pallor can stay upon your face
When you are light like a little boy
Flying kites and shouting to the world
You're shouting to the world your joy
Don't fade, you're staying here with me
Don't fade, I need to know that someone still believes
Look around, see for yourself
He led us down and at the water's edge we knelt
Petals in the lake and red upon my face
She's crying as we pray
And it all comes down to money, again
How could you forsake the love of God that way
Don't fade, you're staying here with me
Don't fade, I need to know that someone still believes."
You can find more of Toad the Wet Sprocket here.
Monday, 22 October 2012
Saturday, 13 October 2012
Surely at some point your faith has to be dynamic enough to say to yourself, "Oh wait, based on this stuff that has happened to me, or based on what I have just seen, I think I need to re-evaluate my beliefs and whether or not this is still working for me?"
If your faith is unshakeable how do you know if what you believe in is right or not? Is there nothing in this life that would convince you that you need to adjust your beliefs?
Would you wish that kind of faith upon yourself or those you love?