Listening to Critics: When Musicians Raise Questions About Faith (II) BY: Denis Haack Really good music, of every genre, is always about more than mere entertainment. The musician expresses realities that are best communicated through metaphor, sound, poetry, and the allusive beauty of art. When we truly receive the music rather than just casually listen, we end up seeing more deeply into life, in part or in whole, for blessing or for curse.
Postville II: Discernment Exercise BY: Ruth DeFoster Many Christians (and non-Christians) argue that the word “illegal” before the word “immigrant” tells us all we need to know. They are, by definition, criminals.
Youth In Revolt (Miguel Arteta, 2010) BY: Wesley Hill Based on the irreverent coming-of-age novel by C. D. Payne and directed by Miguel Arteta, Youth in Revolt, doesn’t begin there—with the revolt. Instead it starts benignly, in the bedroom retreat of a teen who knows he’s a misfit.
Bored By Life, By God BY: Denis Haack I’ve been thinking about what we Christians experience when we read Scripture. On the one hand, we believe it to be God’s revelation of himself, the Story of redemption in Christ that is unfolding in space and time. It is the telling of a gospel, Kevin Vanhoozer says, that “displays a goodness than which nothing greater can be dramatized.” On this creedal level, it’s dramatic.
Learning Evangelism from Jesus (Jerram Barrs, 2009) BY: Denis Haack In Learning Evangelism from Jesus long-time L’Abri Worker and now Covenant Seminary professor Jerram Barrs walks through the Gospels to let us watch Jesus interact with people, some devout, some questioning, and all lost. His expositions are simple, direct, careful to honor the text, and always with an eye to letting us see Jesus more clearly so we can know what following him actually looks like.
Souls in Transition (Christian Smith, 2009) BY: Denis Haack Scholarly, carefully researched, and clearly written, Souls in Transition should be read and discussed by Christians who are concerned for the spiritual welfare of the postmodern generation. If I had my way I’d make it required reading for parents, church elders, pastors, teachers, and youth workers.
The Radical Disciple (John Stott, 2010) BY: Denis Haack Over the years, John Stott’s writings have nourished my soul. His faithful exposition of Scripture, always beguilingly simple, never fails to engage my heart and mind, and always spurs me on to greater obedience and fuller adoration. Now he comes to old age, and he ends his life as he lived it, namely, well.
None Other Lamb, None Other Name: In a Broken World, a Quiet Confidence BY: Denis Haack It might seem paradoxical, especially today, that a hymn of such gentle sensitivity can be evoked by a vision of the unleashing of God’s final judgment. “None Other Lamb” contains no hint of pride or smirking triumph, neither the elation of one satisfied they are on the right side, or the glee of someone perversely anticipating the writhing of the damned. Instead Rossetti finds comfort in this One who can open the scroll, finding confidence not in her ability to believe but in the Lamb in whom her confidence rests, quietly certain that her Lord, not her suffering and the brokenness of the world, will have the final word.
Avatar: A Review (James Cameron, 2009) BY: R. Greg Grooms Avatar’s unabashed nature-worship has already been round the block a few times in Hollywood in films from Star Wars to The Lion King. While pantheism’s box-office appeal has been proven, philosophically it’s still lite beer.
I love my neighbor as myself but only because I don’t much care for myself.
- Garrison Keillor
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