Showing posts from April, 2006

Hollywood and 9/11

This weekend marks the release of the first major motion picture about September 11, 2001. I remember talking with my film score friends from different parts of the world during that terrible day. One person mentioned that Jerry Bruckheimer was probably already planning a summer blockbuster to cash in on the attacks. Even the thought was sickening. Thankfully, United 93 is something out of a completely different ballpark. I’ve read a lot of reviews of the movie (many can be found here , and another one here ), and the general consensus is that this is an excellent film, a proper tribute to those who were the first and last line of defense America had on September 11th. Because we are a mere five years past the tragedy, a lot of people are asking if this movie is “too soon.” Several individuals are saying (rightly so, in my opinion), “It’s not soon enough.” I happened to be in the car coming back from lunch today when NPR did an excellent review of the movie. You can listen to it here

The Practical Source of Repentance

Thank God for grace. Otherwise, my hard, stubborn heart would have no hope. As I have recently stated, God has been making me more aware of certain areas of idolatry in my life. Lately, though, my response has been one of callous indifference. In an effort to fight this spiritual apathy, I’ve been meditating on the doctrine of repentance. And since it is sorely lacking in my life at the moment, I need more grace to help me better understand repentance so that I might be better equipped to pursue it. How does repentance come about? It certainly isn’t something I can just conjure up. Scripture informs me that repentance is a gift God grants us (Ephesians 2:8, 2 Timothy 2:25). This stands true for initial repentance (salvation) and the lifestyle of repentance to which a believer is called. So how does the gift of God’s grace affect repentance in a person’s heart? Well, a precursor to genuine repentance is sorrow. We cannot truly repent for sin if we are not sorrowful because of our sin. P


On Wednesday, Danny took Mom, Chloe, and me to see Ice Age 2: The Meltdown . I had liked the first Ice Age , so I was looking forward to what this movie had to offer. I’m pleased to announce that we all found it quite enjoyable. True, the animation (while vastly superior to the original) falls far below Pixar’s achievements. True, there was only a bare bones plot holding the story together. True, there were a few instances of profanity (a few uses of “ass” in reference to a donkey and one out-of-nowhere “damn”—all for comical effect) and disrespectful behavior. Even so, the film thrives on slapstick humor and funny one-liners. I love slapstick humor. Nothing gets me laughing harder than seeing someone take a spill. Needless to say, we were all laughing throughout the duration of the movie. One snippet of funny dialogue from the movie: Sid : Manny, who do you like better, me or Diego? Manfred : Diego. No contest. Ellie : Manny, you can’t pick favorites with your kids! Manfred : He’s not

Reading for Pleasure (updated)

Joanna’s response to my post on House got me all fired up about good fiction writing. So, I have decided to compile a list of my favorite fiction books. Just to be clear: I am not saying these are all stellar examples of literature. Nevertheless, the following are the ten novels I have most enjoyed reading. Note: After reviewing my reading history last weekend, I realized that my original list needed some serious editing. Now the order and number of books are a more accurate representation of my favorite novels. (Dis)honorable Mention: The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown) Several of my friends loved this book and I decided to read it because I wanted to be culturally informed. Yes, the worldview/theology behind the story is atrocious. The plot also happens to be one of the most interesting I have ever read. It just goes to show the power of storytelling—for good or evil. I have more problems with how the book has been praised (i.e., being called impeccably researched, when it presumptuously di

House: good foundation, flawed floor plan

I haven’t had the chance to sit down and read a good novel for quite some time. Well, one book hot off the presses is House , a collaborative effort by Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker, Christian fiction’s two most popular authors (Peretti much more deservedly so). Affected by all the hype, I purchased the book and read it last Saturday. Here’s a description of the plot: In rural Alabama, two couples find themselves in a fight for survival. Running from a maniac bent on killing them, they flee deep into the woods and seek refuge in a house. They soon realize the killer has purposely lured them to this house and that they are now trapped. As they huddle around an old fireplace, a tin can falls through the chimney. Scrawled on its side is a message from the killer, establishing his House Rules. He claims he has killed God and will also murder them as well, unless they kill at least one of themselves. They have less than 12 hours to find a way to survive. At sunrise the game is over a

Food: the Dangerous Duty of Delight

Those who know me well know I love food. If I had been cast in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, I probably would have gotten the part of Pippin. Why? Consider the following snippet of dialogue from The Fellowship of the Ring : Strider : “Gentlemen, we do not stop until nightfall.” Pippin : “What about breakfast?” Strider : “You’ve already had it.” Pippin : “We’ve had one, yes. What about second breakfast?” [Strider continues to walk.] Merry : “Don’t think he knows about second breakfast, Pip.” Pippin : “What about elevensies? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesn’t he?” It should come as no surprise that I’m referred to as The Hobbit at Love 89. Yes, I love food for the glory of God. Well, yesterday evening my brother brought home some food from Ali Baba’s. I’ve eaten Ali Baba’s before and it has been wonderful. Last night, it was not. The food smelled like puke. Literally. Nevertheless, because Danny offered me some of the rice and chicken, I tried them. (