Category : Movies & Television

Tim Challies review of The Shack: ‘the book has a quietly subversive quality to it’

So where does all of this leave us? It is clear to me that The Shack is a mix of good and bad. Young teaches much that is of value and he teaches it in a slick and effective way. Sadly, though, there is much bad mixed in with the good. As we pursue his major theological thrusts we see that many of them wander away, by varying degrees, from what God tells us in Scripture.

Despite the great amount of poor theology, my greatest concern is probably this one: the book has a quietly subversive quality to it. Young seems set on undermining orthodox Christianity. For example, at one point Mack states that,despite years of seminary and years of being a Christian, most of the things taught to him at the shack have never occurred to him before. Later he says, “I understand what you’re saying. I did that for years after seminary. I had the right answers, sometimes, but I didn’t know you. This weekend, sharing life with youhas been far more illuminating than any of those answers.”

Throughout the book there is this kind of subversive strain teaching that new and fresh revelation is much more relevant and important than the kind of knowledge we gain in sermons or seminaries or Scripture.

Read it all.

Posted in Apologetics, Books, Evangelicals, Movies & Television, Religion & Culture, The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Theology

(CT) Terrence Malick’s ‘Song to Song’ Is Cinematic Wisdom Literature

For Malick, family is a foil to the “song to song” aimlessness and misguided rebellion we so often pursue. Family (including the church family) is something we take for granted, a source of stability and unconditional love that we tragically fail to appreciate. Why do we so often forsake the good people in our lives in favor of the bad? Why do we choose forbidden fruit over the fruit that we know gives life?

If there is an overarching theme to Malick’s work—and certainly one that is central to Song—it’s that what we really need is right in front of us, if only we have eyes to see. But like Adam and Eve, we want more. We are ungrateful, unsatisfied, unable to recognize the good of what we’ve been given. The flashy pleasures and forbidden horizons lure our gaze away, but they always disappoint. “It’s a big candy store out there,” says Portman’s character in Song. But the candy only leads to rot.

God’s grace is closer than the candy, closer than the castles and frontiers that tempt us. But we have to be able to see it. We have to be able to recognize and name it.

Read it all.

Posted in Movies & Television, Music, Religion & Culture

NYT: From ‘The Envelope, Please’ to ‘Whoops!’ on Oscars Show

It’s one of Hollywood’s most secretive and unusual jobs: Brian Cullinan, a partner at the accounting firm PwC, and a colleague are tasked with making sure the statuettes at the annual Academy Awards are correctly distributed. He stands in the wings of the Dolby Theater here in a tuxedo and pulls sealed envelopes out of a briefcase, giving the correct one to presenters as they walk onto the stage.

This is the one night a year when the button-down PwC really gets to shine. The firm’s chief executive sits with stars in the audience. Mr. Cullinan walks the red carpet, where reporters often say he resembles Matt Damon. He told one TV crew that he had no nerves. “We’ve done this a few times,” he said before Sunday night’s show, “and we prepare a lot.” He was so at ease, he even found time to tweet from backstage about Emma Stone as the show neared its climax.

Whoops….

Read it all (the title above is from the print edition of the paper).

Posted in Ethics / Moral Theology, Media, Movies & Television

Movie recommendation–"Lion"

We finally went last night for Valentine’s Day–loved it.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Australia / NZ, Children, India, Marriage & Family, Movies & Television

Mary Tyler Moore RIP

Mary Tyler Moore, whose witty and graceful performances on two top-rated television shows in the 1960s and ’70s helped define a new vision of American womanhood, died on Wednesday in Greenwich, Conn. She was 80.

Her family said her death, at Greenwich Hospital, was caused by cardiopulmonary arrest after she had contracted pneumonia.

Ms. Moore faced more than her share of private sorrow, and she went on to more serious fare, including an Oscar-nominated role in the 1980 film “Ordinary People” as a frosty, resentful mother whose son has died. But she was most indelibly known as the incomparably spunky Mary Richards on the CBS hit sitcom “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” Broadcast from 1970 to 1977, it was produced by both Ms. Moore and her second husband, Grant Tinker, who later ran NBC and who died on Nov. 28.

Read it all.


Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Movies & Television, Parish Ministry, Women

We Finally Started The Crown on Netflix–WOW

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, History, Movies & Television, Politics in General

(GR) Terry Mattingly–William Christopher-The real man behind that sympathetic priest on M*A*S*H

To prepare for his signature role, Christopher interviewed priests to “help get the tone right.” Finally, he created a Los Angeles-area panel of priests to help him deal with questions about how a Jesuit would have handled some rites, and tricky war-zone issues, in the era before the Second Vatican Council.

The goal was to show respect for the priesthood, while avoiding what he called “embarrassed priest situations and celibacy jokes.” It was especially sobering to learn how to handle rushed deathbed confessions and Last Rites.

“I tried to humanize Mulcahy as much as possible, although I knew there was a certain danger there since he is a priest. But I felt there was an even greater danger if we let him turn into a stereotype,” he explained.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, History, Ministry of the Ordained, Movies & Television, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

(Crux) Steven Greydanus-2016 delivered a mixed bag for Jesus on the big screen

Which, if any, of these films are actually worth seeing?

Critics weren’t bowled over by any of them. The best reviewed of the lot was “Hail, Caesar!”, the least acclaimed Coen film since 2008’s “Burn After Reading.” Audiences were more negative and box office was disappointing. At any rate, I thoroughly enjoyed it; I might almost be the ideal audience for this film, though it doesn’t seem to play as well for everyone as it does for me.

That goes double for “The Young Messiah,” a film few critics found as compelling and creative as I did.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Movies & Television, Religion & Culture

(NYT) Secular Hollywood Quietly Courts the Faithful

On the surface, Hollywood is a land of loose morals, where materialism rules, sex and drugs are celebrated on screen (and off), and power players can have a distant relationship with the truth. But movie studios and their partners have quietly ”” very quietly, sometimes to the degree of a black ops endeavor ”” been building deep connections to Christian filmgoers who dwell elsewhere on the spectrum of politics and social values. In doing so, they have tapped churches, military groups, right-leaning bloggers and, particularly, a fraternity of marketing specialists who cut their teeth on overtly religious movies but now put their influence behind mainstream works like “Frozen,” “The Conjuring,” “Sully” and “Hidden Figures.”

The marketers are writing bullet points for sermons, providing footage for television screens mounted in sanctuaries and proposing Sunday school lesson plans. In some cases, studios are even flying actors, costume designers and producers to megachurch discussion groups.

Hollywood’s awareness of its need to pay better attention to flyover-state audiences has grown even more urgent of late, as ultraliberal movie executives, shocked to see a celebrity-encircled Hillary Clinton lose the presidential election to Donald J. Trump, have realized the degree to which they are out of touch with a vast pool of Americans. Tens of millions of voters did not care what stars had to say in support of Mrs. Clinton.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Movies & Television, Religion & Culture, Theology

Jeffrey Miller's Christmas Sermon at St Philips Charleston: "It's A Wonderful Life"

You can listen directly here or download it there.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * South Carolina, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Christmas, Christology, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, History, Ministry of the Ordained, Movies & Television, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(BBC) Jedi is not a religion, Charity Commission rules

Jediism, the worship of the mythology of Star Wars, is not a religion, the Charity Commission has ruled.
The commission rejected an application to grant charitable status to The Temple of the Jedi Order.
It said Jediism did not “promote moral or ethical improvement” for charity law purposes in England and Wales.
In the 2011 census, 177,000 people declared themselves Jedi under the religion section, making it the seventh most popular religion.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Movies & Television, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Theology

Time Magazine's Picks for the 10 Best Movies of 2016

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Movies & Television

(NYT) Can Television Be Fair to Muslims?

It has never been easy to put a Muslim character on American screens.

Even in this TV renaissance, most characters are on shows that rely on terrorism ”” or at least, terrorist-adjacent ”” story lines. Other kinds of Muslim characters are woefully absent across the dial. Could that change now, after a divisive presidential campaign that included vows by Donald J. Trump to stop Islamic immigration? Or will it be more difficult than ever?

Less than two weeks after Election Day, five showrunners gathered in New York to discuss the representation of Muslims on TV. Howard Gordon, a creator of “24” and “Homeland,” has faced these issues the longest; after “24” emerged as a lightning rod for its stereotyped depictions, he engaged with Islamic community groups to broaden his understanding. (Mr. Gordon is an executive producer of the rebooted “24: Legacy,” debuting in February.) Joshua Safran is the creator of “Quantico,” an ABC series about F.B.I. operatives.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Islam, Movies & Television, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

Are Chip and Joanna Gaines ”˜Cultural Heretics’ for attending a tradtnl sexual ethic church?

Cosmopolitan and Buzzfeed recently discovered that the church Chip and Joanna Gaines attend, Antioch Community Church, is led by a pastor who does not support same-sex marriage and who believes that homosexual practice is a sin. In other words, Chip and Joanna Gaines attend a historically Christian congregation on the matter of sexual ethics.

Now, not all Christians will agree with some of the statistics cited by the Gaines’ pastor, his linking homosexuality in most cases to abuse, or his portrayal of the “gay lifestyle.” But there is nothing newsworthy about a Christian church teaching that male-female marriage is God’s original design and that newly invented definitions fall short of God’s intention for human flourishing.

What is newsworthy is the religious undertone of the Cosmopolitan article. It reads like a heresy hunt. The magazine has “uncovered something many fans will likely want an explanation for””a startling revelation that has left many wondering where Chip and Jo stand.”

Buzzfeed is seeking clarification from HGTV, hoping (apparently) to hear the Gaines recant their pastor’s heretical beliefs. Until then “their silence speaks volumes.”

Read it all from TGC.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Movies & Television, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology

(Christian Today) Is the BBC in danger of failing to take Religion seriously?

A senior BBC presenter has criticised the corporation’s attitude to religious programming in a rare intervention by an insider.

Roger Bolton of Radio 4’s Feedback says: “Just six months after the Archbishop of Canterbury called in these very pages for broadcasters to take religion seriously, it seems the BBC is doing anything but.”

Bolton spoke out after the BBC decided to drop the post of Head of Religion and place corporate responsiblity for religion and ethics under Factual Scotland “to simplify the existing mangement structure”. James Purnell, the former Labour minister who is head of radio and education at the BBC, is to take responsibility for religion as part of his remit.

Writing in the Radio Times, Bolton says this will threaten the coverage of religion on the BBC.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Media, Movies & Television, Religion & Culture, Theology