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Posted by on Oct 6, 2015 | 1 comment

What Hulu Can’t Do

What Hulu Can’t Do

  Let me begin by casting off any pretense of judgment towards a Saturday afternoon spent watching Gilmore Girls while the sun shines gloriously outside. One of my “incentives” for reaching a days reading or writing goal often involves a couch, two cuddly dogs and the most recent episodes of Once Upon a Time, I must admit. But, I also admit that a day of binge watching on Netflix does not compare to the times when I spend an entire day immersed in a novel, bottomless cup of coffee in-hand. There is something the pages of a book offer that the television screen cannot. What I propose here is not revolutionary, in fact, it may seem quite obvious to some: consider this a reminder of our imaginative capabilities to indwell fantastic worlds. In The Act of Reading, Wolfgang Iser discusses a particular kind of imaging that occurs in reading. Its particularity resides in the fact that when we read narrative fiction we imagine worlds that are independent of any...

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Posted by on Apr 7, 2014 | 0 comments

Is Humanity Worth It?: Seriously Dangerous Religion, Noah, and the Image of God

Is Humanity Worth It?: Seriously Dangerous Religion, Noah, and the Image of God

The following article contains spoilers for Noah (2014) and is in part a response to this article, which was shared with me after I had expressed my appreciation for the film. In discussing the film’s narrative, I have used “man” and “Creator” in place of “humanity” and “God” following the film’s language. Dr. Iain Provan recently released his newest book, Seriously Dangerous Religion: What the Old Testament Says and Why it Really Matters. I had the privilege of attending the book launch, and getting a taste of what the book, which I’m currently reading, has to say. Among the arguments of the book is a point close to Provan’s heart—the deep positive significance of the Old Testament for human rights. Without going into too much detail, the argument hinges on the importance of the Old Testament’s view of human worth in undermining other ancient Near Eastern views of humanity in the cosmos and how these assumptions about human worth that the Old Testament makes form a foundational bed-rock for the...

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Posted by on Mar 30, 2014 | 1 comment

Noah’s Righteousness Contra the Wicked

Noah’s Righteousness Contra the Wicked

This post is not yet another assessment of the recently released movie Noah. Others have done a good (and not so good) job of evaluating how this movie harmonizes with the biblical account. Instead, this post is using the excuse of a new and popular movie to return to a key biblical theme that carries water in our current age: wickedness and righteousness. In Genesis 6:5 it is written: The Lord saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually. (NRSV) The language at the start of this verse should be familiar. Where have we heard it prior in the book of Genesis? The last time the verb “to see” (ראה) contained God as the subject of seeing is in the creation account. God saw the light, the vegetation, the beasts, and the human, that is, all that he had made and it was very good. The next time the text points to God’s seeing...

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Posted by on Jun 21, 2013 | 3 comments

The Horror in the Heart of a Superman

The Horror in the Heart of a Superman

I am no fan of Zach Snyder. He is an auteur of sex and yelling films that I find juvenile and narcissistic (this is coming from someone who likes Michael Bay movies). Snyder glorifies violence and machismo, and when I found out he was directing the new Superman film I was quite upset. I really like Superman and I was terrified by what he would do to it. The thing about Superman as a character is that he embodies the highest of virtues—he is the mirror through which the author reflects their values to the reader. The myth of Superman will embody whatever you glorify as good. When a brash director like Snyder, who exalts strength over temperance, immediacy over patience, and passion over restraint, got his hand on the myth what I feared would come forth was a Superman who viewed violence as the means and ends of courage, truth and justice. Unfortunately my fears came true. The main problem with Man of Steel is that it lacked a counterbalance...

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