Category: The Bible

Why I’m OK with the boy Yahweh in Exodus: Gods and Kings

If you’re making a big-budget Moses movie, with all of Hollywood’s resources at your disposal, you can do better than a burning bush. And so, although the bush of the Bible does make an appearance, Exodus: Gods and Kings offers an additional visual representation of God. And that choice has already resulted in some grumbling. When Moses (Christian Bale) encounters God on Horeb, He appears in the form of…  [more]

Discussing Kieslowski’s Decalogue III

This is part of a joint series with Elijah Davidson of Reel Spirituality, in which we’re considering each installment of The Decalogue. Krzysztof Kieslowski's landmark collection of short films was first released on Polish television in 1989 and is based on each of the Ten Commandments. Links to our other posts can be found here. Something we’ve been talking about, Elijah – particularly in the…  [more]

Remembering 9/11, and the Bible’s take on fear

These remarks were given at a recent chapel for employees of the Christian Reformed Church, TC’s parent denomination. Where were you on Sept. 11, 2001? I suspect each of us remembers the moment that we heard about what had happened. I remember where I was. I was a young mother at the time, fumbling my way through life as a stay-at-home mom. I had driven to my parents’ house that morning, eager for adult…  [more]

Reconsidering relatability

An off-handed Twitter comment from radio personality Ira Glass about Shakespeare has set forth an interesting discussion about what it means to find a story “relatable” and whether or not we should prefer to engage media that is relatable for us. Rebecca Mead of the New Yorker, for instance, is concerned that the use of the word reduces our interest in art to only how it reflects ourselves as we would…  [more]

Bibliotheca and the real reason we call the Bible boring

“The Bible is boring.” As a pastor and professor, I have heard this lament countless times. I have heard it from college students, church members, the lips of my three children and my own mouth. Recognizing this as a growing trend in America, book designer Adam Lewis Greene has set about the task of conducting a new public relations campaign for the “the Good Book” that he’s calling…  [more]

Ida and Galatians 3:28

The new Polish film Ida begins in reverence and ends somewhere less obsequious, if still truthful. It’s the story of a novitiate nun in 1960s Poland who must reconcile with her past before making the vow that will decide her future. Among other things, her struggle allows for a reconsideration of what Paul’s letter to the Galatians might mean in our modern age. Anna, the nun, is played by Agata…  [more]

Theological trigger warnings

Rape, incest, genocide, adultery and murder are just a handful of topics addressed in Scripture that might cause us to wonder if the Bible itself should contain “trigger warnings” for its readers.   According to a recent New York Times article, students from a number of colleges have called for written warnings about literary works that may contain themes of racism, violence or sexuality. The…  [more]

What’s Godzilla doing in the Book of Job?

I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks of Job when watching Godzilla. The monstrous, fire-breathing sea beast is back on the pop-culture radar with this weekend’s release of yet another Hollywood take on the Japanese legend. This new Godzilla is actually a pretty decent monster movie, partly because it has a healthy respect for the 1954 original. Elijah Davidson, co-director of Reel…  [more]

Making room for the Bible’s maternal images of God

Mother’s Day makes me think about God’s maternal side. Christianity has been guilty of a patriarchal history that has been oppressive of women. Our conception of God as masculine - God as Father or King - certainly contributes to this. Although written in patriarchal contexts, the Bible itself does not refer to God exclusively in masculine metaphors. There are, albeit few, feminine metaphors used to…  [more]

Christians don’t own the copyright on Noah

A few years ago, my daughter was in a church musical production of the Noah story (she was the cutest alligator you’ve ever seen). The thing is, the ark they had on stage wasn’t exactly 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide and 30 cubits high. In fact, quite a few elements were downright unbiblical. So is the case with Noah, a big-budget Hollywood version from Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky - at least if…  [more]

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