Book Review: Growing Up Church of Christ (Paula Harrington - 01/03/2012)
Book Review: Outliers: The Story of Success (Von Mitchell - 09/25/2009)
Book Excerpt: The Feast (Josh Graves - 09/02/2009)
Book Review: Mere Discipleship (Josh Graves - 05/12/2008)
Book Review: The Shack (Patty Slack - 04/08/2008)
Book Review: The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier (Greg Taylor - 03/20/2008)
Book Review: John Newton: From Disgrace to Amazing Grace (Brian Thomas - 11/17/2007)
Book Excerpt: A Gathered People (J.M. Hicks, R. Valentine, J. Melton - 10/30/2007)
Book Review: Fieldwork (Patty Slack - 10/15/2007)
Book Excerpt: The Voice of Luke: Not Even Sandals (Brian McLaren - 09/28/2007)
Book Review: Missio Dei: In The Crisis of Christianity (Greg Newton - 08/13/2007)
Book Review: Justice in the Burbs (Fred Peatross - 07/29/2007)
Book Review: Across the China Sky (Patty Slack - 07/27/2007)
Book Review: Divine Nobodies (Kaye Pepin - 05/31/2007)
Book Review: Bad Idea (Patty Slack - 05/20/2007)
Book Review: Sex God by Rob Bell (Scott Simpson - 04/18/2007)
Book Excerpt: Pilgrim Heart - Singing (Darryl Tippens - 03/07/2007)
Book Review: Who's Afraid of Postmodernism? (Ken Haynes - 02/20/2007)
Book Review: Exiles: Living Missionally in a Post-Christian Culture (Wade Hodges - 02/03/2007)
Book Review: The Real Mary by Scot McKnight (Greg Taylor - 12/22/2006)
Book Review: Self-Incrimination by Randy Singer (John DeSimone - 10/23/2006)
Book Excerpt: An Invitation to Live in God's Love (Gary Holloway and Earl Lavender - 10/23/2006)
Book Excerpt: Real Sex: The Naked Truth About Chastity (Lauren Winner - 09/23/2006)
Book Review: Nourishing the Pilgrim Heart (Edward Fudge - 07/01/2006)
Book Review: Breaking The DaVinci Code (Genstacia Bull - 05/30/2006)
Book Review: The Secret Message of Jesus by Brian McLaren (Wade Hodges - 05/17/2006)
Book Excerpt from Together Again, Part 2 (Bob Russell and Rick Atchley - 04/02/2006)
Book Excerpt from Together Again, Part 1 (Rick Atchley and Bob Russell - 03/28/2006)
ScreamFree Parenting: An Interview With Hal Runkel (Anne-Geri' Fann - 03/27/2006)
Book Review: The Good Thing About AIDS/The Bad Thing About AIDS (Anne-Geri’ Fann - 03/22/2006)
Book Review: Body Prayer: The Posture of Intimacy with God (Fred Peatross - 12/15/2005)
Book Review: God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It (David Hutchens & Greg Taylor - 12/12/2005)
Book Review: Happily Ever After (Chapman) (Phil Huber - 11/24/2005)
Book Review: a.k.a. Lost (Fred Peatross - 11/09/2005)
Book Review: Ancient Future Time (Ken Haynes - 10/30/2005)
Book Review: Bringing Up Boys (Stephen J. Walls Mathis - 08/20/2005)
Book Excerpt: Longing For A Homeland (Lynn Anderson - 08/20/2005)
Book Review: Helping Troubled Families (Ed Billingsley - 08/20/2005)
Book Review: Myths America Lives By (Greg Taylor - 10/08/2004)
Book Review: Growing Old In Christ (James L. Knapp - 08/20/2004)
Book Review: The Fragile Stone (Laura Oldenburg - 08/05/2004)
Book Review: An Hour On Sunday (New Wineskins Staff - 07/29/2004)
Book Review: Come Away My Beloved (Greg Taylor - 07/22/2004)
Book Review: Leading From Your Strengths (Greg Taylor - 07/20/2004)
Book Review: Once Upon A Tree (Anne-Geri' Fann - 07/06/2004)
Book Excerpt: Things Unseen (C. Leonard Allen - 06/29/2004)
Book Excerpt: Mere Discipleship (Lee Camp - 04/06/2004)
Book Excerpt: A Beautiful Offering (Angela Thomas - 03/09/2004)
Book Review: Smart Step-Families (Daniel Morehead - 12/19/2003)
Book Review: The Wind That Destroys and Heals (Beverly Dowdy - 06/20/2003)
Book Review: Engaging God's World (Justin Lillard - 06/19/2003)
Book Review: Principles of the Reformation (Douglas Foster - 05/27/2003)
Book Review: Leaving Ruin (Greg Taylor - 04/02/2003)
Book Review: Becoming Friends (Gary Holloway - 02/25/2003)
Book Review: What's So Great About America? (Clarence Richmond - 01/22/2003)
Book Review: Decoding the Church (Don A. Stowell - 12/04/2002)
Book Review: Trusting Women (John York - 11/14/2002)
Book Review of Ruthless Trust (Timothy Berry - 08/02/2002)
Book Review: Paul On Trial (Todd Austin - 07/30/2002)
Book Review: When God Builds a Church (Kenne Whitson - 06/18/2002)
Book Excerpt: Authentic Faith (Gary Thomas - 05/13/2002)
Book Review: The Red Tent (Ann Evankovich - 04/15/2002)
Book Excerpt: Leaving Ruin (Jeff Berryman - 03/18/2002)
Book Review: Radical Restoration (Kenne Whitson - 03/04/2002)
Book Review: The Battle for God (Margaret Roark - 02/25/2002)
Book Review: Caught in the Net (Greg Taylor - 01/10/2002)
Book Excerpt: Jabez: A Novel (Thom Lemmons - 01/07/2002)
Book Review: The Church that Flies (F. LaGard Smith - 12/26/2001)
Book Review: Two Views of Hell (Greg Taylor - 12/26/2001)
Movie (P)Review: Lord, Save Us From Your Followers
09/23/2009 - Walking through cities and towns across America, Merchant wore a silly suit plastered with bumper stickers and icons, slogans of faith and anti-faith. He simply asked people to choose their favorite slogan or icon while the camera rolled. Some like the fish, some liked the Darwin inside the fish. Some liked the fish eating the Darwin in a fish. Most couldn’t figure what Merchant wanted, was selling or stood for. But a significant amount of conversation was stimulated. The dialogue that has been captured is riveting, convicting and shameful. The shame is that as Christians it is frightening to hear what unbelievers, former believers and yet to be believers think of Christians. Not Jesus, but Christians. Jesus comes off wonderfully well in the movie. His followers don’t. . . .
Movie Review: Angels & Demons
05/29/2009 - "As the cardinals gather to pick a new Roman Catholic leader, the Vatican asks for Langdon’s help: Four of the likely candidates for pope are missing, and the Vatican has received a message that all will be killed in a matter of hours. The key clue that brings in Langdon: an artfully symmetrical arrangement of the word Illuminati, the name for a secret society that once threatened revenge against the church for its crimes against science."
Movie Review: Prince Caspian (The Chronicles of Narnia)
05/18/2008 - Once again Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy—the Pevensies—find themselves back in Narnia when Prince Caspian, the rightful heir of Narnia, blows a horn and calls them from a London subway station into Narnia. But this is not the same Narnia they knew from entering through their uncle’s wardrobe. It is hundreds of years later, and the Talamarinds have attacked Narnians and have driven them into the forest to hide away.
Movie Review: The Nativity Story
12/22/2006 - "In the past, also, I might be concerned that writers not harmonize the Gospels but stay with one writer's perspective and so more fully understand the message. But as I watched The Nativity Story with my wife and children and two families from my church, I slipped off my scholar?s hat and lost myself in the story again."
Do You Know the Code?
06/15/2006 - "Yet I hear from other Christians a question that is asked every time we attempt to address movies and novels about religion: "Why should we be interested? Don't these stories only create doubt?" As with Oliver Stone, Dan Brown presents a conspiracy story designed to cause us to question what we've already come to believe." Know the CultureDo you remember the controversy over the movie The Last Temptation of Christ? This movie was taken from a book that also suggested that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, and for a brief moment during his crucifixion he dreamed of abandoning the cross and retiring with Mary to raise a family. I saw the movie years later and felt it was one of the worst quality movies ever made. ...
A Response from the Co-Author of The DaVinci Codebreaker
Dr. Timothy Paul Jones
06/11/2006 - Managing Editor Greg Taylor wrote a letter of inquiry to the authors of The DaVinci Codebreaker, with questions like "Is there a way to enter the conversation without immediately claiming we know answers to all these difficult and complex text critical issues?" - and received this candid reply from one of them ...
The Sacred Feminine
06/09/2006 - One of the elements of The DaVinci Code book/movie phenomenon that has caused a lot of controversy is an allusion to "the Sacred Feminine." Other religions have gods and goddesses; a few - like some of the Gnostic writings - actually elevate the feminine as superior to the masculine in deity as well as humanity. But Christianity does not, this work tells us; it's a men-only leadership club that doesn't recognize the human feminine, let alone the Sacred Feminine.
Sites with Complete Texts of Gnostic Works
New Wineskins Staff
06/06/2006 - Here is a listing of Web sites, as of this date, which contain the complete texts of known Gnostic works falling outside of the Christian biblical canon. You will not have to read very many before discovering that there is little consistency among them - but there is a great deal of literary creativity!
Book Review: Breaking The DaVinci Code
05/30/2006 - What will you do if your faith is challenged at work based on the ?facts? in The DaVinci Code? Would you be able to hold your ground and decipher fact from fiction? Breaking The DaVinci Code will put you in a better position to defend your faith or make you distinguish between fictitious entertainment and historical elements of the Christian faith...
Leaven - The Christian Response?
05/27/2006 - The DaVinci Code is creating a stir in the Christian community. The book initiated the discussion, but the movie is certainly bringing it to a climax. What is the Christian response? Or is it even necessary? ...
Not Magically from the Clouds, Nor by Fax
05/21/2006 - The DaVinci Code exposes a truth that Christians must acknowledge: our doctrine has a history. Moreover, the book is correct to suggest that our history might be complicated, and could reveal some stories we didn?t want to hear. None of these revelations can truly threaten the Christian faith, but they will surely challenge some of our traditional assumptions. My purpose, here, is to describe the shape of that challenge, because it can?t be debunked as easily as the rest of Dan Brown?s story....
Quotes about The DaVinci Code
05/21/2006 - Some of the criticisms of the movie and book versions of Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code are just bashfests. Others are well-pondered and wisely-defended tomes. And a few of them are just plain hilarious. We've picked a few choice ones we've been hearing on the grapevine ...
Approaching The DaVinci Code
05/20/2006 - I?ll be honest: my first reaction to Dan Brown's huge bestseller was unmitigated anger. At its core, The DaVinci Code's message is that Jesus is not the Son of God and that Christianity is a fraud...
Movie Review: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
02/26/2006 - Whether it garners citations of merit from Hollywood's Academy or not, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe won a lot of audiences over to the merits of truly good entertainment. Sarah Paulk reviews the motion picture, whose sequel is already in pre-production.
Movie Review: Beyond the Gates of Splendor
01/21/2006 - The real-life stories of the five murdered missionaries are chronicled in this absorbing documentary reviewed by Patty Slack ... "I knew Mincaye by reputation, but not by name. I had heard of Dawuye, but I’d never seen her face. I knew a story of redemption was being played out in the Ecuadorian jungle, and now I have seen it for myself."
Movie Review: End of the Spear
01/20/2006 - "Warriors of the Waodani kill five missionary men. A wife of one of the men, a sister and son of another later go back to the tribe. The story is one of the greatest Christian missionary stories of reconciliation in the twentieth century. And End of the Spear is a powerful movie of sacrifice and reconciliation ..."
Walk The Line: A Review
12/20/2005 - It isn't always easy to find a story of redemption and Christian influence in a Hollywood movie, but Jill Dowdy has discovered one that resonates with her own life story. "... Cash wore black like a scarlet letter signifying his pain, wrongs, rebellion, and rage. 'You can’t wear all black, you look like your going to a funeral,' says Vivian, Cash’s first wife (Ginnifer Goodwin). 'Maybe I am.' Cash answers." ...
Movie Review: The Return of the King
Dr. Leon Roby Blue
Before I review The Return of the King movie, a confession: I am a lover of J.R.R. Tolkien and Middle-earth. I was first introduced to The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) by my Latin teacher when I was a sophomore in high school. I've since read it at least a dozen times. I read it to my children when they were young; I read it at times when I needed a lift and in times when I needed to renew old friendships. I know Middle-earth. I know Gandalf and I've walked with Frodo. There is no way a movie could do justice to this rich tapestry of story and adventure. Such great literature just cannot be translated into a movie. Even so, I love these movies!
10/03/2004 - The DVD of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ has been released. The dust has more or less settled. Not counting the sales of the DVD, the film has already grossed $600 million worldwide, and millions of people have been enthralled and offended by it. Perhaps in the present calm, we can assess the meaning of the most successful religious film of all time ...
The Art of 'The Passion'
04/15/2004 - Many in the church are deeply uneasy entrusting their sacred text to the Land of Excess that is Hollywood, but it turns out that the industry that has perfected character arc, three-act plots, and post-production-enhanced narrative brings a lot to the campfire...
The Passion of the Christ: A Movie Review
Jeff M. Sellers
04/06/2004 - For those who are paying attention, this is far from an extended study in a man getting beat to a bloody mass. But as Jeff M. Sellers asks in his review of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, Does a film that narrows its focus to Jesus’ last night and day do justice to either Christ or his accusers?
Why I am Not Seeing The Passion of the Christ
03/11/2004 - A lot of people at my church are surprised to learn that I have no intention of going to see The Passion of the Christ. After several conversations with good friends I decide to write about why I am not seeing the movie because I think there is pressure on Christians to endorse this film while minimizing the discomfort it has caused for many.
Review of Jonah: a Veggie Tales Movie
01/30/2003 - Phil Vischer, creator of Veggie Tales and founder of Big Idea! Productions, tells a whale of a story in the recent theater movie release, Jonah: a Veggie Tales Movie. If you can get past those discrepancies and the extra translation of the story for mainstream appeal, you may find this movie entertaining, uplifting, and a helpful nudge to our consciences when we forget God’s great mercy on the ones we might otherwise condemn...
Do movies speak your language?
01/29/2003 - What if we did have actual footage of Jesus Christ—everything the Messiah said and did on DVD? What if the entire Bible were a movie, not a book? Would that be enough for us to believe?
How do movies get us ready to hear the gospel?
01/27/2003 - I don't expect to be asked to join the nominating committee for the Academy Awards anytime soon...
SIGNS: a movie review
Beth Van Rheenen
10/25/2002 - For those wondering why NEW WINESKINS is reviewing another science fiction movie, I want to suggest that Signs is not science fiction.
Movie Review: Star Wars Episode II
08/23/2002 - I have been a Star Wars fan-atic since the “beginning of the middle” of the story in 1977. My family knows it — many Star Wars gifts; my friends know it — ditto; my piano students know it — posters, Star Wars music in recitals; my computer screen saver is the marquee, “May the Force Be With You!” I’ve seen the movies uncountable times. I know Episodes IV, V, and VI so well that I can quote the movies with the music. It’s like watching the movies without seeing them (works great while cleaning house!!). When I’m found in front of the TV with Episode IV, M&M’s and Diet Coke, one knows I am in critical need of a mood boost!
Grace, Loss and Chocolate Sauce
Jane Montgomery Gibson
08/17/2005 - Be patient with all that is unsolved in your heart. - Rainer Maria Rilke
May God keep us from single vision. - William Blake
Grace, Peace and Flaccid Fleece
Jane Montgomery Gibson
08/19/2005 - Did you see Bruce Willis in "the Kid"? He plays an embittered, middle-aged image consultant who inexplicably encounters his younger self, a chubby little "loser" who both embarrasses and horrifies the sleek business shark his adult self has become. Willis' character, Russ Duritz, doesn't remember much of his childhood, except that it was awful and left him with a cold disdain for his aging dad. Neither he nor his little ghost from childhood past understands why or how they could possibly be thrown together into the same moment in time, but little Rusty is even more aghast than grownup Russ.
Grace, Hell, and Tinkerbelle
08/28/2005 - I'm about to spoil a movie for you, if you're the type of person who can't stand to know the ending or the storyline before seeing it. You may not be planning to see this one anyway; I wouldn't have if it hadn't been starring Robert Downey, Jr. It's called In Dreams, in which a writer of children's stories (played by Annette Benning) "meets" a killer. She dreams, and then has visions of moments he experiences, literally seeing what he sees as he stalks and kills his prey.
Movie Review: A Beautiful Life ... Divine Comedy in the Death Camps
07/10/1998 - Holocaust plots compose a rather large genre of film today, but we may safely say no one has fashioned a story that even remotely approaches the unusual tone or subject matter of Roberto Benigni's tragicomic Life Is Beautiful (Italian with English subtitles; PG-13; Miramax). As controversial as it is lovely, the movie attempts the impossible - and succeeds....
Movie PREview: The Prince of Egypt
06/14/1998 - Why would the execs at DreamWorks go to this trouble? One reason is that they wanted to get the story right. They're not dealing in fiction here. And they're not just adding embellishment to some character of history. They are telling the story of Moses and the Exodus - a critical story to Christians, Jews, and Moslems. People tend to fight wars over the mistelling of stories like that! ...
Movie Review: The Spitfire Grill
11/06/1996 - Christians and Hollywood don’t usually get along well. Historically, the Catholic Church made trouble for filmmakers through its watchdog group, the Legion of Decency. The Legion of Decency wielded so much power among moviegoers in the 1930s and ‘40s that studios actually let the church censor movies before they were released. More recently, conservative politicians and conservative Christians alike have decried the corruption of our morals by what passes for “entertainment” on the big screen.
07/01/1993 - It seems significant that the movie has been so popular. Reasons must include the strong story line and superb acting. But there may be something more to the public’s approval and film’s success on Awards’ night. Could it be that it spoke powerfully to some deep need within the American soul? Eastwood commented that he had held the script since the mid-seventies and was fortunate that the timing of its release was just perfect in 1992. Perhaps the violence in the movie feels good to something deep inside us.
Movie Review: A River Runs Through It
03/03/1993 - I am grateful to Robert Redford for moving outside normal Hollywood agendas to bring us this story. It proves that good filmmaking and solid entertainment can come from more than car chases, sexual voyeurism, and murderous violence. He has proved that good stories can provide good films.
Music Reviews (10/27/2005)