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Glimpses of Grace in the Films of the Coen Brothers
« Reply #360 on: November 08, 2016, 07:05:41 AM »

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Glimpses of Grace in the Films of the Coen Brothers

Beyond their penchant for the macabre, the directors’? films also display transcendent hope.


I am drawn to lively conversations about movies. That’s why this weekly column is called “Viewer Discussion Advised.” So when I’m invited to discuss big-screen beauty, I go.


Last weekend, I accepted an invitation to St. Leo University near Tampa, Florida, to participate in a public discussion about—of all things—the movies of the Coen brothers. Brent Short, the school’s director of library services, organized this seminar, and we were joined by Erica Rowell (author of The Brothers Grim: The Films of Ethan and Joel Coen) and Mark T. Conard (editor of The Philosophy of the Coen Brothers). For three hours we learned from one another and took questions from the audience.


It all seemed so Halloween-y. We talked about the Coens’ catalog—so genre-diverse, so full of tricks and treats. We talked about their crazy characters—H. I. McDonagh, Barton Fink, Jeffrey Lebowski, Marge Gunderson—all of whom deserve to become Halloween costumes.


But the film that haunted me all weekend was one that opened nine years ago this month. No Country for Old Men seems to resonate more meaningfully every time I see it.


As it begins, gun violence erupts near the border of Texas and Mexico. Stumbling into the bloody aftermath, a self-interested fool named Llewelyn (Josh Brolin) steals a cash-stuffed briefcase. He doesn’t guess that his greed will bring trouble neither he nor his wife Carla Jean (Kelly Macdonald) can afford.


It comes in a form that seems superhuman: Chigurh (Javier Bardem) is a killer who isn’t content to fulfill his assassin’s assignment; he’ll flip a coin—life or death?—for everyone he meets.


As bodies pile up, Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy ...

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CFamily

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Hacksaw Ridge: The Bloody, True Story of Faith in Action
« Reply #361 on: November 09, 2016, 07:10:20 AM »
Hacksaw Ridge: The Bloody, True Story of Faith in Action

Mel Gibson’s new film raises questions about religious liberty and moral conviction amidst national turmoil.


After scandals and controversy led to his very public downward spiral and subsequent exile from Hollywood a decade ago, Mel Gibson has kept a pretty low profile. The Oscar-winning actor and director of Braveheart and one-time evangelical darling (for directing the blockbuster Passion of the Christ) has been gradually redeeming himself of late, beginning with an acclaimed starring turn in Blood Father this summer.


Hacksaw Ridge, Gibson’s first directorial outing since 2006’s Apocalypto, should expedite his return to respectability. The World War II epic, which received a 10-minute standing ovation when it premiered in September at the Venice Film Festival, is artistically masterful and thematically timely. It is sweeping and surprising cinema of the sort that feels more and more rare in Hollywood’s current funk of recycled franchise junk.


A title with the word “hacksaw” in it is perhaps appropriate for a film that is jarringly two-halved, in many senses. The first is literal: The film is structured in two parts. The first half is set in rural America, in homes and army bases and courtrooms; relative civilization. The second is set on Okinawa in World War II, far from civilization and love and peace; relative chaos. When the shift happens from the first to the second half it is bloody and bracing.


Depicting the pivotal battle of Hacksaw Ridge in April–May 1945, the film’s brutal second half contains some of the most visceral and well-choreographed cinematic battle scenes since the bar-raising opening of Saving Private Ryan. Between the in-your-face violence and a structure that draws attention to itself, Hacksaw Ridge reminded me of a Quentin Tarantino film, particularly (in a weird way) ...

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Source: Hacksaw Ridge: The Bloody, True Story of Faith in Action

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http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/topics/g/mel-gibson/
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/topics/t/the-passion-of-the-christ/
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/decemberweb-only/apocalypto.html
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/november-web-only/hacksaw-ridge.html
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CFamily

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Weekend Edition - Cubs Win!
« Reply #362 on: November 10, 2016, 07:00:31 AM »
Weekend Edition - Cubs Win!

Cubs beat Indians 8-7 in the 10th inning of the 7th game of the 2016 World Series


Here are a few articles and series as our weekend roundup this week!


Reclaiming Dignity in Public Discourse | Darrell L. Bock, Mark L. Bailey


Dear Christian, You’ve Been Called to Mission | Zane Pratt


Engaging Women in Mission Leadership | Wendy Wilson


Church Signs


but after the Cubs win the World Series!


Is Pokemon still a thing?


Apparently it is.


Thanks to friends of the blog, including Dustin, for this week’s church signs. As always, you can tweet your church signs to @EdStetzer.

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Source: Weekend Edition - Cubs Win!

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/BtOYCnRz3jg/weekend-edition-cubs-win.html
http://www.christianitytoday.com/images/73913.jpg?w=460
http://www.dts.edu/read/reclaiming-dignity-in-public-discourse/
https://twitter.com/DBockDTS
https://www.imb.org/2016/10/17/christian-called-to-mission
https://twitter.com/ZanePratt
https://missionexus.org/engaging-women-mission-leadership/
https://twitter.com/dusticon
https://twitter.com/edstetzer
http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2016/november/weekend-edition-cubs-win.html
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CFamily

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God Is King, No Matter What
« Reply #363 on: November 11, 2016, 07:11:29 AM »
God Is King, No Matter What

With election day finally here, the Bible's political metaphors for God remind us who ultimately reigns.


Throughout this raucous political season, evangelicals have been known more for whom we might elect than for being citizens of the kingdom of heaven. High-profile evangelical and charismatic leaders have expressed unheard of levels of enthusiasm for a man known for being a casino owner, a serial adulterer, liar, and business fraud. Other evangelicals, hopeful for economic transformation in an unequal society, stand bewildered at the choice between an unscrupulous billionaire and a politician who takes six figures from Wall Street for 30-minute speeches.


Polls regularly show the two leading candidates are among the most disliked nominees in recent memory. Meanwhile, we are repeatedly told (for how many elections in a row?) that this is the most important election of our lifetime, and that it will determine the course of our nation. Even those of us who are confident about whom to vote for may find ourselves staring into a bottomless chasm of despair when the election is over. If the vote doesn’t go our way, are we left with anything more than defeat and tears?


Looking for a King and a Kingdom


One evening some years back, one of my sons curled up in my lap while I reclined in my reading chair. As he scanned my book piles, his eyes fell upon the spine of N. T. Wright’s How God Became King. Wright argues that in the Gospels Jesus comes as the God of Israel in the flesh, showing back up among his people to establish his reign as he promised in the prophets. God’s gospel heralds could finally shout “your God reigns” (Isa. 52:7), for Yahweh was now revealed as “king over the whole earth” (Zech. 14:9).


“But I thought God has always been King?” my son said. It was a terrific observation. ...

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CFamily

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Breaking the 200 Barrier: New Vintage Church in Richland, Washington
« Reply #364 on: November 12, 2016, 07:06:46 AM »
Breaking the 200 Barrier: New Vintage Church in Richland, Washington

Church seeks to meet the needs of unbelievers in southwest Washington State


When we broke the 200 mark for the first time—what a victory! We were sure that full-on revival had broken out in the SW corner of Washington State. At times, my wife and I would crash on the couch at the end of a weekend and wonder, “Where did the all these people come from, and why were they coming to our church?”


We did begin to evaluate the “why” people were coming, and how we could keep the momentum going. The key, I was convinced, as the lead pastor was for me to do just that: lead. Andy Stanley’s podcasts in those days helped our thinking so much, when he said that churches didn’t need better pastors, but they needed better leaders. Andy is right—we need to lead better to help our churches grow.


Leading well will help you go beyond the invisible 200 barrier. Here are three things we learned about leading well.


First, people are judging what we do as much or more than what we preach. Are we kind to our spouse? Do we keep our cool with our kids? Are we inviting people to our church? Do we seem passionate in our devotional life? What we do in life as a leader, our people will do in their life. We set the culture, the tone, and the example in our church communities.


One day at a pastors’ luncheon, early in our planting journey, another church planter friend asked me, “How do you get your people to invite people?! I can’t get mine to do it!” I was taken back and said “I’m not sure.” It caused me to reflect about his question, however. I found an answer: it was that I was inviting people to our church. The power of example will cause your church to grow in numbers, more than anything else. Lead by example to grow your church.


Second, we ...

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Source: Breaking the 200 Barrier: New Vintage Church in Richland, Washington

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http://www.christianitytoday.com/images/73953.jpg?w=460
http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2016/november/breaking-200-barrier-new-vintage-church-in-richland-washing.html
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CFamily

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Trumped: American Politics Turned Upside Down
« Reply #365 on: November 13, 2016, 07:16:05 AM »
Trumped: American Politics Turned Upside Down

Evangelicals made Trump’s candidacy; now they need to help remake his presidency.


Tonight, maps were redrawn. Political realities were upended. America was redirected—and, for good or for ill, Evangelicals were a big part of that reality. White Evangelicals voted overwhelmingly for Trump in the general election, after propelling his campaign in the primaries.


Many Evangelicals didn’t follow the leaders that warned them away from Trump. These Evangelicals, and many Americans, were angry enough to vote for a stunningly unpopular candidate who promised change. It turns out that that basket was a lot bigger than many people expected.


We knew that half of America would be outraged, but the surprise is which half.


Now the world is outraged. And much anger is being directed at Evangelical Trump voters. Yet we need to remember that Trump voters are not Trump.


I (Ed) shared this in an article, “Lord, I Thank Thee That I Am Not like Those Evangelical Trump Supporters,” back during the primaries.



 

Trump’s supporters—like many Americans—are complicated.


 

I don’t know them all, but I know some—including some members of my church.


 

The ones I do know don’t hate immigrants (though they think illegal immigration is an economic and criminal problem), think a multicultural society is a good thing (while they are quite tired of politically correct speech codes), and they really do want what’s best for the country (though we might differ on what that is).


 

Still they support Trump.


 

I may not agree with that decision, but I do care about them. In part because, for some Trump supporters, I am their pastor.



So it’s easy to say that Americans voted for Trump because they hate women or minorities, but that’s the lazy analysis, unfair to many. Most don’t. They ...

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Source: Trumped: American Politics Turned Upside Down

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/hyQKnZW88hc/trumped-american-politics-turned-upside-down-what-now-for-e.html
http://www.christianitytoday.com/images/73978.png?w=460
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2016/11/09/exit-polls-show-white-evangelicals-voted-overwhelmingly-for-donald-trump/?postshare=481478670946843&tid=ss_tw
https://world.wng.org/tags/evangelical_insiders_survey
http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2016/june/trump-supporters.html
http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2016/november/trumped-american-politics-turned-upside-down-what-now-for-e.html
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Offline francis drake

Re: Trumped: American Politics Turned Upside Down
« Reply #366 on: November 13, 2016, 03:30:52 PM »
Trumped: American Politics Turned Upside Down

Many Evangelicals didn?t follow the leaders that warned them away from Trump. These Evangelicals, and many Americans, were angry enough to vote for a stunningly unpopular candidate who promised change.

Yet another diatribe against Trump from the moronic institutional church.
Just look at the idiocy of his above statement.-

"............................angry enough to vote for a stunningly unpopular candidate................"

Stunningly unpopular?
Did it flow through his empty head that this stunningly unpopular candidate was maybe popular enough to win the election?

And these are our leaders, God help us.

Its just a shame that they didn't spend the same time and money investigating the anti Christian and criminal activities of the Clinton camp.
Disturb us Lord, when we are too pleased with ourselves. When our dreams have come true because we dreamed too little. When we arrived safely because we sailed too close to the shore. Disturb us Lord, to dare more boldly. To venture on wider seas. Where storms will show your mastery; Where, losing sight of land, we shall find the stars. We ask you to push back the horizons of our hopes; And to push into the future, in strength, courage, hope and love.                     (SIR FRANCIS DRAKE 1577)

Offline francis drake

Re: Trumped: American Politics Turned Upside Down
« Reply #367 on: November 13, 2016, 10:21:18 PM »
Trumped: American Politics Turned Upside Down

Many Evangelicals didn?t follow the leaders that warned them away from Trump. These Evangelicals, and many Americans, were angry enough to vote for a stunningly unpopular candidate who promised change.

Yet another diatribe against Trump from the moronic institutional church.
Just look at the idiocy of his above statement.-

"............................angry enough to vote for a stunningly unpopular candidate................"

Stunningly unpopular?
Did it flow through his empty head that this stunningly unpopular candidate was maybe popular enough to win the election?

And these are our leaders, God help us.

Its just a shame that they didn't spend the same time and money investigating the anti Christian and criminal activities of the Clinton camp.
Disturb us Lord, when we are too pleased with ourselves. When our dreams have come true because we dreamed too little. When we arrived safely because we sailed too close to the shore. Disturb us Lord, to dare more boldly. To venture on wider seas. Where storms will show your mastery; Where, losing sight of land, we shall find the stars. We ask you to push back the horizons of our hopes; And to push into the future, in strength, courage, hope and love.                     (SIR FRANCIS DRAKE 1577)

C-Family @ Faithwall

C-FAMILY ~ C MORE @ Faithwall.co.uk