Friday, January 11, 2008

Musing from Readings: A.O. Scott on "Family" Films

In my mind, A.O. Scott is second only to Roger Ebert when it comes to thoughtful, intelligent, and artistic film reviews. The primary critic for The New York Times, I have learned to trust his ability to engage the artistic value of a film. While on a break at Starbucks this evening, I happened across this article he wrote regarding the sort of films to which children should be taken. Granted, if I were a father, I might not approve of showing all the films he mentions to children, but I must admit that I like what he's getting at. You'll find that I return to this topic over and over again, that art is not merely meant to entertain, but rather, it is meant to teach and train the heart.

That said, click it or ticket.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Ceasing Transmission

The time has come to pull the plug. I am not closing this blog, but I am cutting the cable that links it to Facebook.

At the risk of being overly dramatic, I would like this to serve as an invitation to a deeper conversation. Facebook is far and away one of the websites I traffic the most. It's good clean fun, etc, and I enjoy networking with my hundreds of friends. When I started importing my blog posts as notes on Facebook, it exposed my blog to hundreds and hundreds of people who would have probably never clicked on the hyperlink on my main page. However, I have come to the conclusion that a raging party like Facebook is not quite the appropriate place for some of the conversations that I would like my blog to spark. I'm always up for a conversation with just about anyone about anything over a cup of coffee, however. Think of my blog, as a digital version of the same.

Thus, I hope that you will bookmark my blog and join the conversation.

Musings from Readings: Bonhoeffer on New Years Resoloutions

I ran across this in a devotional book based on the writings of my hero, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. It is quite timely for a New Year, I believe. I hope that it encourages you as it did me.

"'The road to hell is paved with good intentions.' This saying, which is found in a broad variety of lands, does not arise from the brash worldly wisdom of an incorrigible. It instead reveals deep Christian insight. At the beginning of a new year, many people have nothing better to do than to make a list of bad deeds and resolve from now on - how many such 'from-now-ons' have there already been! - to begin with better intentions, but they are still stuck in the middle of their paganism. They believe that a good intention already means a new beginning; they believe that on their own they can make a new start whenever they want. But that is an evil illusion: only God can make a new beginning with people whenever God pleases, but not people with God. Therefore, people cannot make a new beginning at all; they can only pray for one. Where people are on their own and live by their own devices, there is only the old, the past. Only where God is can there be a new beginning. We cannot command God to grant it: we can only pray to God for it. And we can pray only when we realize that we cannot do anything, that we have reached our limit, that someone else must make that new beginning."