Showing posts from February, 2018

How to Drive Through Hollywood and Not Wind Up in Hell, A Christian Guide to Watching Movies

Christians view Hollywood as the Babylon of modern culture. We criticize it. We despise its ideals and we reject much of what it produces. But then comes the films that Christians seem to drool over; Les Misérables , pretty much every film in the Star Wars universe, The Greatest Showman (which my youngest daughter saw five times), and most recently, Black Panther . Most people outside of the church think we are hypocritical idiots anyway, but what about the confusion that our Hollywood mood swings seem to produce within the Christian community? We are borderline bipolar in our going to and shunning of the theater. For my undergrad, I attended a Baptist university. It was quite a culture change from my public high school. I will never forget the Freshman orientation session in which we were lectured on the rules. The one I found most amusing was “no mixed bathing.” I didn’t know Baptists had issues with jumping in the tub together. But that’s not what he meant. He meant that if you

Raising Cain, Society Struggles with how to Respond to Yet Another School Shooting

Jaylen Fryberg, Adam Lanza, T.J. Lane, Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, and now we add to the list Nikolas Cruz. Each of them rampage killers who entered a school and opened fire on defenseless students and teachers. Last week, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida became the latest scene of terror over which we grieve. As most of us watch through a television screen we cannot help but wonder where it will happen next? How close to home? We all remember the fire drill and the tornado drill at school. Add to those the “shooter drill.” Drills are safe reminders of dangerous possibilities.  As we seek ways to recover from and respond to the rampage killers there is one more name that we should add to the list. His is not the next one. His is the first one. Cain.  It didn’t happen on a day at school. He didn’t carry a gun. But it was a senseless slaughter. The world’s first murder victim was his brother, Abel. As we watch what is happening in Parkland and try to diges

Why Women Love Thomas Rhett, the power of men with words

In 2015 Thomas Rhett released a simple, stripped-down country song entitled “Die a Happy Man.” The song became his breakthrough hit, topping the Billboard Country charts for 17 weeks. It was a song written for one woman, but it seems like every woman fell in love with it. With a syrupy sweet country song, Thomas Rhett gave women what they want from men – words.   I grew up on Randy Travis tapes. I know I sound like a 44-year-old dad here, but I struggle with current country music.  It seems like you could take the words truck, girl, beer, and jeans and write every song in country music’s top 40. Furthermore, today’s country boys can’t figure out if they’re from Nashville or Detroit. Right after they twang about the beer in the back of their truck they rap about that girl walking across the parking lot in her “torn up” jeans. Can you imagine what it would have been like if Reba had rapped? Emerging from the fray of the redneck Chevy rappers comes Thomas Rhett, the country crooner.

The Movie that Made Me Miss My Wife: A Post about The Post

The Post is an intriguing historical film that explores the dicey relationship between the government and the press. Katharine Graham, the first female publisher of a major newspaper (played by Meryl Streep), and executive editor Ben Bradlee  (played by Tom Hanks) are faced with a choice. Do they print the leaked Pentagon Papers that reveal what Washington really knows about the failing war in Vietnam and risk losing everything, or do they obey an injunction from the White House to stop the publication of the story and save the family business?   The Post is entertaining enough for those who take even a casual interest in history, yet deep enough to spawn conversations amongst those who are serious followers of politics. A s intriguing as those conversations may be, for me, there was another theme that makes this movie a must-see for every husband in the room. This past weekend Shannon and I celebrated 21 years of marriage. The great thing about our anniversary getaway was that f