Tag Archives: movie recommendation

Hellbound?

There of some us out here for whom “Hell” is more than just a plot point in the latest episode of Supernatural. More than a video game catchphrase: “Burn in hell, suckers!” More than a slightly-less-sinful curse word.

Whether you were raised with it or jumped in later in life, the Christian concept of hell is by turns horrific, disconcerting and yet, to some, comforting.

“The Bible is clear.” It’s something I heard all my life. From the pulpit. From Sunday School teachers. From my own parents. It’s a sentence I’ve thrown around myself in years past.

And there are topics which the bible is clear and straightforward on.

Hell is not one of them.

Today I did something different. I paid full price to see a documentary in a movie theater. I bypassed Bruce Willis’ journey back in time to kill his younger self. I forsook serious Ben Affleck. I didn’t even give the quirky teen drama a second thought.

Hellbound? explores the surprisingly vast spectrum of beliefs within Christianity about Hell. Writer and Director Kevin Miller interviews pastors, authors, scholars and even death metal musicians as he navigates us through the issues. From uber-conservative Mark Driscoll to emergent thinker Brian McClaren, from those with absolute certainty to those “living in the mystery”, everyone contributes a verse.

There are three classic positions on hell: those who believe it is a literal place of eternal conscious torment, those who believe it is simply the end of a soul’s existence (annihilationism) and those who believe that is either a temporary or metaphorical condition from which all people will ultimately be redeemed (universalism). What many do not realize is that there is scriptural and historical support for all three sides of the debate. The answers are not simple.

There is something to offend everyone in this film, whether it is a death metal rocker positing that religion is simply a money-making business, or the hateful vitriol of the Westboro Baptist church member who insists that God hates almost everyone. My favourite part is when this 50-year-old woman refers to the interviewer as a pussy. Very godly.

This is not a cheesy church-umentary to be played in church basements and used for neighbourhood outreach. It is a fascinating look at a complex and contentious issue.

The release of Rob Bell’s “Love Wins” rocked the evangelical community last year. There are many who believe we are better off NOT to broach the discussion at all. But these are the questions people are asking. And I have to agree with Gregory Boyd who said “the truth shouldn’t have anything to fear.”

So here’s me, not a bible scholar, or pastor, or theologian; just a regular Jo. And this movie was made for us too. Choose it – Bruce Willis will be killing someone else next month.


Friday Favourites 9: Couples Edition

This post is for grown ups, the married kind…

Last Christmas I was having trouble figuring out gifts for my husband. Like me, Glen is a book lover AND a big fan of sex, so when I found an ornate copy of the Kama Sutra in a dusty old bookstore I scooped it up. It brought us hours of fun, but not in the way you’re thinking.

We giggled our way through some very weird and often disturbing ancient sex advice. For instance, men are advised to keep a rag by the bed so that they can mop the sweat from their pits during love making. A sensitive lover also must do their best not to spit on the floor during the act, but instead should provide their own spittoon.

Now you know.

As a follow up to the big V-day, here are a few of my favourite “couple-y” things.

Quote

To hear many religious people talk, one would think God created the torso, head, legs and arms, but the devil slapped on the genitals. ~Don Schrader

Runner Up: Sex on television can’t hurt you, unless you fall off. -Author Unknown

iPhone/iPad App

Although the book was a bust, the app worked out a lot better. The iKamaSutra is $0.99 of inspiring ideas, even those that inspire the question “what the…?” and “why?” It is password protected, so you don’t have to worry about the kids trying to play your new “game”. The illustrations and explanations are tasteful – instructive and not at all like creepy porn.

Website

I often feel caught between one culture that sees sex as a cheap thrill and another culture that sees it as a dirty, forbidden subject. It’s neither. ErynFaye.com is a great place to poke around for thoughtful advice and ideas.

Book

Once upon a time, we worked for FamilyLife developing marriage conferences and study materials. So we have read A LOT of marriage books, from the lame to the utterly bizarre (such as the one which suggests sitting naked, hands together and saying “the god in me salutes the god in you”). Of all of these, Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas remains a favourite.

It is not another exhaustive list of things “to do”, but an exploration of all the things marriage can and should teach us. Although it grapples with some profound and difficult subjects, it is surprisingly easy to read.

Movie

Okay, I’ll admit, as I was picking a movie off of Shaw VOD last night my finger hovered over Twilight: Breaking Dawn (which, yes, I’ve already seen), but I am so glad that I kept scrolling down and decided to try In Time. I was skeptical – that boy band kid and the chick from Veronica Mars… but dystopian sci-fi with romance to boot, sounds like my kind of thing. Turns out, it was.

Bonnie and Clyde with a Robin Hood flair in a world where time (as in, time to remain alive) is a currency. It puts that whole being the 1% thing in chilling perspective. Also, it kind of makes me want to rob a bank on our next date night.

Marriage Advice

Date night. Do it.

Marriage isn’t always easy, but you can get through almost anything if you’re still friends.

So here’s me, cuddling up on the couch with my friend to watch Modern Family re-runs. Yes, at this stage in life that totally counts as a date. PJs optional.


Friday Favourites: Rachel Held Evans, LaDiDa, Post-Apocalyptic Fiction and more

I have a lot of favourite things! Enough to keep me going on these lists for a while. Here are some random favourites.

FYI, I am Canadian, so YES this is the correct way to spell “Favourite”. If you disagree, the first entry is for you.

Favourite Quote: “The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off.” Gloria Steinem

Favourite Blog: This was the first blog I started reading regularly. Rachel Held Evans explores deep topics with enough humour to make it entertaining, and the eloquence to make you really think. I also love her book Evolving in Monkey Town and not just because I’m a sucker for a clever title (Rachel grew up in Dayton, Ohio – site of the famous Scopes Monkey trial). If you are intelligent, open-minded and appreciate dry wit, you will love this blog.

Favourite waste of time on YouTube: “Because two minutes in heaven is better than one minute in heaven.” Thanks to my pastor for sharing this classic with us. Not in church, mind you; that’s what staff parties are for.

Warning – do not call your children to gather ’round to watch Business Time by Flight of the Conchords. It is for married people. I don’t mean that in the x-rated sense… exactly. Calm down mom. Never mind, you’ll see.

Favourite iPhone App: When my nephew was born a few months ago all the girls gathered round the iPhone to sing him Happy Birthday. With the LaDiDa app you simply sing a song and it will add a beat and accompaniment to your voice. Then you wow the masses (a.k.a. the grandparents) via e-mail, Facebook or Twitter. They call it reverse karaoke. We prefer “rhythm synth pop” style, but “tasty breaks rap” is cool too. Only $2.99, but worth the hours of fun my girls have had playing around with it, especially since we discovered it will also create a video of you singing.

Favourite movie about/for teenage boys: I have nothing against teenage girls. I was one. I plan to have 3 myself, buuut… the boys crack me up. It’s one of my favourite genres. In the grand tradition of Stand By Me and the Goonies, I thoroughly enjoyed stinky teenage boys punching and insulting each other while trying to save the world (and get the girl) in Super 8.

Favourite post-apocalyptic book series: This is definitely my favourite “read for fun” book genre these days. There is something fascinating about society remade.

About this time last year I started reading Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. It is a dark and disturbing world where children are enlisted to fight to the death to both entertain and appease a corrupt ruling class. Not for the faint of heart, but very intriguing.

Also, an honorable mention to The Uglies by Scott Westerfield about a tightly controlled world where everyone is forced to undergo drastic plastic surgery at age 16.

So here’s me, wondering which post-apocalyptic world is more horrifying.


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