God At The Oscars – Academy Award-Nominated Films Explore Spiritual Themes

God makes appearances in a number of Oscar-nominated films, but the Almighty doesn’t play a leading role on screen or preach a theologically orthodox message from the clouds. Rather, spirituality plays a supporting role in those films that either focus on characters’ quest for redemption or provide a fresh take on the eternal battle between... Continue Reading

Free Will vs. Predestination: What’s Matt Damon Got to Do with It?

How much power exactly do the agents of fate hold over someone’s life? Can free will ever win over fate? And is it free will or fate that orchestrates action? Such are the questions that come to mind throughout George Nolfi’s newest film, “The Adjustment Bureau,” based on the short story by Phillip K. Dick.... Continue Reading

An Interview with Winston Riley on Walker Percy

In his new film, Walker Percy: A Documentary Film, Win Riley offers a touching, nuanced portrait of Percy, the great Catholic novelist and philosopher. “?…There may be times when the greatest service a novelist can do his fellow man is to follow General Patton’s injunction: Attack, attack, attack. Attack the fake in the name of... Continue Reading

The ‘Christian’ Movie That Didn’t Get Watched

The weekend that an adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ much beloved book “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” was released in theaters, a heavy snowstorm convinced this Christian dad to stay home rather than “tread” the treacherous roads. And considering the lackluster performance of “The Dawn Treader” at the box office, many other moviegoers must have... Continue Reading

Narrative and the Grace of God: The New ‘True Grit’

The new “True Grit” is that rare thing — a truly religious movie. In the John Wayne version religiosity is just an occasional flourish not to be taken seriously. In this movie it is everything, not despite but because of its refusal to resolve or soften the dilemmas the narrative delivers up. Movie critic Dan... Continue Reading

Sailing on the Dawn Treader – Lessons a’Plenty

The novels—and yes the film—are great examples of how moral and philosophical ideas can be conveyed in fantasy literature—including tales of a noble lion, a gallant mouse, and a little boy named Eustace Scrubb, who almost deserved his name. C. S. Lewis never missed a chance to teach a moral lesson. And the Voyage of... Continue Reading

New “Narnia” Film Stirs Religious Controversy

“The whole Narnian story is about Christ,” Lewis once wrote. He said he “pictured him becoming a lion” because it’s the king of beasts and because Christ is called “The Lion of Judah” in the Bible. The studios behind the new “Narnia” movie are walking a tightrope in their quest to promote the third film... Continue Reading

Faith issues grab the starring role in mainstream movies

The New Testament warns about trying to serve two masters. But Hollywood moviemakers would prefer to have it both ways. And so multiplexes have been crowded with films that wrestle with spiritual questions even while battling for box-office attention. These aren’t tiny indies, like the evangelical films that sprang up after “The Passion of the... Continue Reading

Secretariat to the rescue – an artistic equivalent of a caffeine jolt, a Red Bull for the spirit

If you are in a funk over the current state of political and economic affairs, you will come away feeling better after seeing Secretariat. In 1977, things were similarly gloomy. The misery index under President Jimmy Carter reflected the mood of many Americans. The president would come to speak of an America that had seen... Continue Reading

“Get Low” and the Gospel

In an often animalistic culture, it reminds us that even the Gentiles know that guilt is real, and that it burns. It also reminds us that, no matter how deep the exile, where there is still a conscience there is still the God who put it there. On Sunday afternoons, typically, the adrenaline of the... Continue Reading

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