The opening scene in John Michael McDonagh’s stunning Calvary takes place in a confessional. Fr. James’ face is illuminated, though barely, in deep orange tones. The confessor’s face is out of frame, but his words leap out of the dark: “I’m going to murder you one week from today.” A genuine confession, I suppose, though the confessional booth is typically reserved for sins already committed.
I do wonder sometimes if the Protestant way of doing things has unwittingly encouraged a less than enthusiastic approach to church life. Protestants are big on a personal faith; we place a high importance on reading the scriptures for ourselves, we deploy phrases like “personal relationship with Jesus Christ” with a creedal solemnity and when we’ve found significant disagreements among each other, we’ve split and gone our own way.
It’s almost 2015. Think of the possibilities and the potential that await us when the calendar flips over to a fresh new year! If you’re still looking for an attainable new year’s resolution, may I humbly suggest you bend your ear to something new. I’m thinking you should start listening to jazz! Or, if you’re already a bit of an aficionado, then I’d encourage you to listen to more of it. You can’t overdo it.
What does today’s theological landscape look like? Who is influencing modern churches?
This is the second in our series of five contemporary Christian theologians. Each piece will introduce a major figure in the theological world and explore his or her sphere of influence, most well-known works and most helpful insight on God’s word.
The new HBO medical drama “The Knick” takes place in an “astonishingly modern world” (so says one of the characters in a stirring soliloquy in the first episode). Set in the New York of the early 1900s, everything feels like it’s on the cusp. Or on the edge, maybe.
For Austin Fischer, Calvinism is a matter of cosmic concern. It’s a black hole – or at least it postulates a God who behaves like one.
Resolutely analytical and critical, Ehrenreich is a ruthless puncturer of platitudes and soft-headed consolations about the way the world works.
Five minutes into The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and characters are already acting stupidly. Or at least not acting how you or I might act, were we placed in a similar situation. There’s this scientist on a plane, secreting away some high-clearance research data on his laptop. The plane is hijacked, but the scientist is able to overcome his attacker, and get back to securing the data. The hijacker wasn’t subdued enough, of course – no handcuffs, no incapacitating blow to the noggin – and he springs back up, attacking our beleaguered scientist. Chaos ensues.