Avatar: A Reflection (James Cameron, 2009) BY: Steven Garber Why has evangelical theology allowed itself to be identified with a political vision that is so horribly “un-green,” so unresponsive and irresponsible about our place in the world?
Glimmers of Light BY: Denis Haack Most often Light comes not as people would like—such as pure light spread sky-wide in bright neon dazzle— but refracted though an altogether different prism, one simultaneously more ambiguous and more personal, by means of touch or embrace, image or sign, glimpse or gaze, sound or music, beauty or horror, meeting or coincidence, forgiveness or blessing.
Questions for Lost People BY: Denis Haack Often, Walker Percy says in Lost in the Cosmos, the sense of our predicament arrives in pangs of disappointment that stretch across our entire existence. That is, if we stop being distracted long enough to notice.
A Serious Man (Coen Brothers, 2009) BY: R. Greg Grooms A Serious Man is loosely based on the book of Job, but instead of three friends, Larry seeks advice from three rabbis: Rabbi Scott offers him a monologue about seeing God in a parking lot; Rabbi Nachtner, a story about a dentist who finds the words “Help me” engraved in Hebrew on the back of a patient’s lower incisors. Rabbi Marshak quotes Jefferson Airplane’s Grace Slick: “When the truth is found to be lies, and all the joy within you dies.”
Drive By Truckers, The Dirty South (2004) BY: David John Seel, Jr. This album puts a human face on a social stereotype. Like William Faulkner’s depiction of the Bundrens and Snopes, the band uses Southern regionalism as a window on the universal longings of the human heart.
A Guided Walk through The Institutes BY: Denis Haack Last year a friend heard that I was re-reading John Calvin’s Institutes, and wondered why I would take the time. He said it was a “very confusing” book.
There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2008) BY: Denis Haack There Will be Blood is a brutally honest, brutally violent film. Greedy souls are dissected in plain view on the screen, hard souls for whom truth is a weapon, wealth is a god, and power is embraced in an unrelenting push to win, regardless of the cost.
Everything Is Broken BY: Denis Haack Sometimes the simplest songs are best. I'm not
thinking of simplistic music, the sort of mindless jingles
that assault us in service of consumerist and religious propaganda. Quite the opposite--I'm thinking of music so finely crafted that it captures a richly nuanced slice of reality without wasting a word or a note.
Hidden Worldviews: Eight Cultural Stories That Shape Our Lives (Steve Wilkins & Mark L. Sanford, 2009) BY: Denis Haack In a fallen and pluralistic world we are surrounded by beliefs, values, and presuppositions that we hardly ever notice. But noticed or not, they exert a subtle pressure for acceptance.
I love my neighbor as myself but only because I don’t much care for myself.
- Garrison Keillor
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