Viewing entries in
Reviews

Review: Haunted Man by Charles Dickens - Intro. by Dave Swavely

Comment

Review: Haunted Man by Charles Dickens - Intro. by Dave Swavely

In Haunted Man by Charles Dickens, Redlaw is tormented by memories of his tragic past. When a demonic spectre appears and offers to take his haunting memories away, Redlaw accepts. He spend most of the book visiting people as passing his gift (i.e. his curse) along to them to disastrous results.

What’s the moral of the story? Well as C.S. Lewis said, “A pleasure is full grown only when it is remembered.” Okay that’s not really what Dickens is saying. But there is something to be said about looking back and remembering your life, whether pleasurable or tragic. Either way, it produces virtue. In the case of Redlaw, retaining his difficult memories brought him closer to Christ once he took the time to see their value.

Haunted Man is a novella published in 1848, twenty years before Dickens died. I mention the date in relation to his death because I was often wondering if there was a correlation as I was reading. I don’t know a great deal about Dickens, but until I’d read this version, which includes an introduction and afterword by Dave Swavely, I’d assumed, like most, that Dickens was not a Christian. His portrayal of organized religion and “religious” types in his novels was not always favorable. Swavely argues that the explicit Christian content in such stories like this one (and some others) proves that, despite his dislike of religious hypocrites, his affair, and separation from his wife, Dickens was, in fact, a Christian. Or at least possibly a Christian. So as I read, I sometimes wondered if he wrote this near the end of his life after repentance. Instead, he didn’t separate from his wife until ten years later. I think this only heightens Swavely’s point in his novella, Next Life, that heaven is filled with saints who were no stranger to sin on Earth.

This version is abridged and includes a fascinating commentary by Dave Swavely. I love his proposed idea that Dickens could have been a Christian and it makes me want to read more from this prolific author. I’ve seen a number of BBC film adaptations of Dickens novels but have only read Great Expectations so far.

I also highly recommend the 2017 film (also a book), The Man Who Invented Christmas, available on Amazon Prime. Although partly fictional, it offers a lot of good tidbits on the life of Dickens as he wrote A Christmas Carol—a similar story to Haunted Man.

This is one of three fictional titles from Cruciform Press

Comment

Review: The Mona Lisa Mirror Mystery by Latayne Scott

Comment

Review: The Mona Lisa Mirror Mystery by Latayne Scott

The novella, The Mona Lisa Mirror Mystery by Latayne Scott, follows Christian girl, Addy, through the ups and downs of teenage life and . . . time travel! Addy is an artist and covers her room--as teens usually do--in posters. When one of da Vinci’s paintings hanging on her wall wooshes her back in time to the year 1500ish, she finds herself befriended by none other than Mona Lisa. Or at least the woman who is thought to be Mona Lisa.

The unexpected twist (no, not a spoiler) was her being shortly thereafter whoosed back to her own life. This happened a number of times throughout the story, parallels between her two lives appearing along the way.

The writing was enjoyable and engaging. I particularly liked that Addy was a good little Christian girl, yet her thought life still rang true to teenage temptations and immaturity. Yet, those thoughts and temptations never went overboard or became inappropriate for a young reader. I loved every scene that Addy spent in Italy and wished I could have just marinated in that time a whole lot more!

A major theme in the story was sexual abuse. (Like I said, there was nothing explicit.) This is where most of the parallels arise. Addy is dealing with her own close call of abuse in 1500 while her best friend, Lace, is being molested back home. All turns out well and the abusers are caught (in a way). Lace learns from the story of Joseph in the Bible and from Addy’s time travel stories that what others mean for evil, God means for good. After reading up on the author, Latayne Scott, I noticed that she has another book coming out next year on how to protect your children from sexual predators. It’s clear from this novella that Scott is passionate about this topic.

My only issue with the story was the lack of foreshadowing or clear plot progression. I felt pretty confused as to the point of the story or it’s themes until three quarters of the way through. Until then, Addy was just time traveling, hanging with her friends, living life, etc. I also felt derailed by the random subplot of evangelism and textual criticism. I’m all for a good conversion story (and apologetics for that matter), but this did not seem to fit the theme (that I later discovered) and added to my sense of aimless wandering. Hopefully this review will help you feel less lost.

This is a fun, quick read for anyone seeking Christian speculative fiction!

Comment

Review: Next Life by Dave Swavely

Comment

Review: Next Life by Dave Swavely

Dave Swavely’s book, Next Life, is a fictional account of a man dying, going to heaven, and then coming back to life. This is not your average heaven tourism book! Where those (supposedly) non-fiction books fall short (from Scripture), Next Life attempts a reformed, and more biblically faithful speculation on what the afterlife will be like. I would even go so far as to say this book was partly a critique on those “non-fiction” afterlife books.

Okay so I’ve been meaning to read those theology books on heaven . . . but they’re still chillin’ on my TBR list. I’ll get there, ya’ll. So I definitely learned a lot from this book. Be warned! It reads differently than your average work of fiction. The tone and style more closely resemble a letter or a journal. Swavely even left out all the quotation marks for the small smattering of dialogue!!! (Gasp!)

But that approach allowed him to be more open about his thoughts on the Bible as well as other books on heaven. He often mentioned other authors books on the topic—both positively and negatively. This was . . . okay. But I had to get past the unpleasant feeling that he was speaking as a real authority on the subject (he wasn’t because the book is obviously fictional) when he said such and such author was wrong.

My favorite thing about NL was its ability to put sin into better perspective. For example, the main character, Pastor Tim Carler, spoke about how much more he could see his old sinfulness when he got to the intermittent state (the IS being the place in which one goes before the finally coming of Christ). Yet, his “tour guides” were both serial killers while on Earth. This made for a heavy image of how gracious God is and how diverse the community will look in heaven. When Tim asks Jesus why he picked the serial killers to be guides, Jesus responded by saying, “because they love me so much.” No doubt.

This book put a rather new spin on both a theology of heaven and heaven tourism. My only real qualm was the main character’s assertion that everything in his account will be biblical. I think he meant that he isn’t going to be making stuff up like the faux non-fiction tourism books do. And that is definitely true. Yet, the story is speculative (as a fictional work of this nature would undoubtedly be). The good part about this is that all Swavely’s speculating is based on scripture and his interpretation. I think I would have borne any theological disagreements a bit more happily had I not been told up front that nothing within the story would function outside the Bible. How he could get away with not saying that though, I have no clue. . . . I’m not here to fix problems, but only to create them.

Overall, Next Life, was enjoyable, fascinating (especially the part where Charles Spurgeon and Charles Dickens hang out!), and informative! Give it a read and make sure to leave an amazon review!

Comment

Review: The Oracle by K.B. Hoyle

Comment

Review: The Oracle by K.B. Hoyle

Click here to read my review of book one of The Gateway Chronicles.

In K.B. Hoyle’s The Oracle, the second installment of The Gateway Chronicles, Darcy Pennington returns to the magical land of Alitheia. Unwilling to face a future betrothal to Prince Tellius, Darcy asks an oracle if the prophecy is accurate regarding their fate. She is completely unaware of the magnitude of her request. Her petition magically tied her to the oracle and she must travel on foot for months to receive an answer. What she didn’t anticipated was the cost. The evil entity not only demands payment, but requires something far more valuable than Darcy could have imagined--or is willing to part with.

It is undoubtedly a rite of passage for a youth to make a mistake in ignorance that has more negative ripple effects than they could have ever dreamed. At first, we look down on their actions, condemning them for their selfishness and stupidity. But in reality, we as adults are no different. We’re just a lot better at hiding it sometimes.

Although Darcy faces immense shame and guilt for her rash act of petitioning the oracle, someone else in the story did the very same thing years before: the mentor character, Rubidious. I find it sad and ironic that Darcy feels so much shame when Rubidious must have been a lot older when he asked a selfish question of the oracle. And that’s what made this story so real. Not only does this situation humble those who are tempted to condemn others for their folly, it also shows how God instills wisdom through suffering and sin.

Another wonderful journey through Alitheia! I can't wait to read book three!

Comment

Review: The Six by K.B. Hoyle

Comment

Review: The Six by K.B. Hoyle

I read K.B. Hoyle’s The Six (The Gateway Chronicles) years ago. It’s been so long, in fact, that I was actually surprised by some of the twists and turns this time around. With the rerelease, new edits, and cover, I just had to delve back into the world of Alitheia again!

If this is the first time you’ve heard of this series, think The Chronicles of Narnia meets The Maze Runner. It’s a portal fantasy much like Narnia yet with a darker, zombie-esque antagonistic force that will keep the cast of characters on their toes through all six installments.

The Six (book 1) follows thirteen year old Darcy Pennington from summer camp in Michigan through a gateway and into a magical world. Once an achingly average teenager, Darcy finds herself, along with her five friends, at the center of prophecy of epic proportions.  

What is striking and brilliant about this installment of The Gateway Chronicles is how well Hoyle portrays the awkward and truly painful insecurity of a thirteen year old girl. There are cringeworthy moments throughout the book because it just felt so real!

There are few people in the world who wear thirteen well and I certainly wasn’t one of them. My adult self felt the depth of how ludicrous her mistakes and self-centeredness was. Yet, my pre-teen self was right there with her, feeling the injustices, the need for recognition and affection.

I love it when I find an author who truly understands her characters and the depth of human sinfulness. But also hope. There is darkness in this world just like our own. But there is hope too!  

I’m so looking forward to rereading the series again.

Comment

Review: Humble Roots

Comment

Review: Humble Roots

Humility has long been my favorite of the virtues. (Perhaps because it's the one I struggle with the most?) I’ve slowly been “collecting” books on humility and this one might be my new favorite—or perhaps tied with The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness.

What this book has over Keller’s is thoroughness. (Although brevity is also a wonderful thing.) But I felt that Hannah Anderson defined humility better. Where Keller’s strength is his discussion on the ego, he completely neglects the importance of self-reflection.

Anderson doesn’t make the same blunder. Her metaphors were careful, biblical, and easily applied. Also props to her for using philosophy as well as theology!

I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a deeper understanding of humility.

Comment

Review: Christians in the Crosshairs

Comment

Review: Christians in the Crosshairs

Review of Christians in the Crosshairs: Persecution in the Bible and Around the World Today by Gregory C. Cochran  

 

What role should persecution play in the Christian's life. In his Christians in the Crosshairs, Greg Cochran explores the meaning of 2 Timothy 3:12, "All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." Indeed, how are we to understand Jesus' statement that those who are persecuted are blessed and should rejoice (Matt 5:10-12)? 

In Cochran's very accessible book written to benefit laymen or pastors, he begins with a careful explanation of what persecution is and is not. The most general definition of persecution is that it is "a negative reaction to the incarnate presence of Jesus." This basic definition helps us begin to identify what is and is not persecution. It means that persecution is not when my coworkers are offended at my rudeness but when they are offended at my godliness.

Equipped with a definition of persecution, Greg leads his readers to identify persecution worldwide and "Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body" (Heb 13:3). Persecution, Cochran explains, is the high cost of following Jesus and accompanies Christians wherever they are throughout history. Cochran closely follows biblical texts to show how God reveals that persecution is part of his plan and has been instrumental in spreading the faith and cultivating the righteousness of Christians. It fulfills prophecies, provides a witness, accomplishes God's mission, and produces strong faith. The Bible is clear that the testing of faith is to be considered a joy because it causes growth toward perfection of faith for those who respond in faith (see Ro 5:4; Jas 1:2-5). Cochran closes his book with further implications and applications regarding comfort in persecution and social justice.

Cochran's book succeeds in conveying a much needed exposition of the role of persecution in daily life and the worldwide church. Readers will walk away from this book with an eagerness to spread the good news, a readiness to face persecution in their own daily life, and an increased sense of solidarity with Christians worldwide. Pastors who read this book will also find encouragement and instruction on how to equip their church to endure, oppose, and share in persecution at home and abroad.

Reviews are really valuable to authors, so please rate and write a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or elsewhere. Thank you!

Comment

Review: The Last Closet

Comment

Review: The Last Closet

I recently finished Moira Greyland's highly controversial book, The Last Closet: The Dark Side of Avalon. This review will mainly discuss the widely accepted moral philosophy of the LGBT community—what is right or good for me may not be right or good for you. And with that comes the idea of tolerance—indulgence in a belief that differs from your own. (See the update at the bottom of this blog for Moira Greyland's response to my review.)

Greyland gives a chronological account of her life while in the care of her parents who were both pedophiles and part of the LGBT community. If you're considering reading this, don't be put off by the number of pages. Nearly half of that is the appendix.

There were a number of things that disturbed me about Greyland's mother, Marion Zimmer Bradley (bestselling science fiction author, a feminist icon, and awarded the World Fantasy Award for lifetime achievement). First of all, the similarity of my name with this horribly abusive person. Secondly, the numerous similarities in hobbies and career choice. If you follow me, you know I write science fiction and fantasy. And if you know me personally, you might be aware of my love of singing and opera specifically (back in the day). Thankfully, that's where the commonalities ended. Our worldviews could not be more different!

At the same time, it was a breath of fresh air to read about Moira's own interests growing up. I know we would have been nerdy friends! We both love theater, sewing costumes, and singing. Not only that, but she grew up in California and even lived in Redlands for a time! Okay but moving on . . . .

Marion Zimmer Bradley was hailed as one of the great voices of feminism in her time. No doubt those that looked up to her are now cringing at what lay underneath that Voice. 

And there lies the rub. 

Greyland makes some extremely controversial statements in the last few chapters. Once all the drama is wrapped up, she delves headlong into personal analysis. And it's this part that has the LGBT community and their supporters breathing fire. And yet, most of them are just as adamant that what Marion Zimmer Bradley and Walter Breen (convicted pedophile) did to their children was unethical and evil. Why is that? Moira Greyland primarily blames her parent's homosexual lifestyle. There's a disconnect here, and I would like to speculate as to the reason why. 

Greyland states in her book:

“I have heard all the customary protestations. ‘Your parents were evil because they were evil, not because they were gay,’ but I disagree. The underlying problem is a philosophical one that is based on beliefs that are not only common to gay culture but to popular culture. And this is the central belief: All Sex is Always Right No Matter What."

I am a supporter of traditional marriage, but I won't attempt to prove her point about the cultural ideology of sex being right all the time. I would like to question her final conclusion that homosexuality is the real problem here. I do believe it is a problem, but she seems to be saying the the core issue is gayness, and the natural consequence is pedophilia. I propose instead that they are different but related consequences of moral relativism (which she mentions in passing). 

Here's a definition of moral relativism as it is commonly used today. In the words of my husband and philosophy professor, Tim Jacobs, "Moral relativism says morals are created. Objectivism says they're discovered. Relativism says morals describe personal preference. Objectivism says they describe reality. Relativism says morals are created by individuals (subjectivist relativism) or society (conventional or cultural relativism). The latter collapses into the former because nobody can define 'society.' Is it a country? What about political divides? Religion? Family? Who do we ever agree with? Relativism is inadequate because it does not allow for morals to prescribe behavior, express obligation that overrides emotion, allow for individual growth or social progress, etc."

I believe there are many people in the LGBT community who are sickened by the idea of pedophilia. Not only that, but they rightly see how much it hurts their cause: If pedophiles are given the right to "free love" (or for many, free sex), then those that had accepted homosexuals in the past might begin to see a slippery slope forming between the two lifestyles and reject both. 

But the fact of the matter is, that slippery slope from free love between all genders into free love between all ages does exist within moral relativism. If morality is man-made, then any man has the right to create their own moral code. And within the "free love" worldview, sex with the person you "love" is morally good whether they're the opposite gender, the same gender, old, young, or even a relative. When an LGBT person says that sex with children is "wrong," they are going against their own moral relativism and stating what we would all hope to be a universal truth. Sex with children is wrong!

Here's the thing, this worldview is faulty because it is inconsistent. It must be inconsistent in order to function at all. If you read Greyland's book, she shows just how hypocritical and contradictory her parents often were. And yet, they truly attempted to follow their moral code to it's logical extremes. That's the reason they supported pedophilia. And I do mean supported, not just engaged in it with a guilty conscience (they felt no guilt). Walter Breen even wrote papers (there were others already in existence) on the topic of Greek love (pedophilia) and why it should be widely accepted by society. 

Back to the matter at hand: moral relativism is the core problem, not homosexuality. The difference between those in the LGBT community that oppose pedophilia and Greyland's parents is that the former do not follow moral relativism to it's logical extremes. They set up quasi-universal moral standards such as, love is free to all genders. Stop. Don't go any farther down that slope. Sadly, there still exists a faction within their numbers who do not stop themselves from slipping down the slope. They are people like Walter Breen and Marion Zimmer Bradley. We would all like to believe that their case was extremely rare and no more common than heterosexual pedophiles. Yet, Greyland provides many sources opposing such optimism. Here is just one of them from The Public Discourse. LMs are lesbian mothers, GFs are gay fathers, and IBF is an intact biological family.

"Contrary to recent and widely circulated reports that there is no sexual victimization in lesbian households, the NFSS found that, when asked if they were ever touched sexually by a parent or other adult, the children of LMs were eleven timesmore likely to say 'yes' than the children from an IBF, and the children of GFs were three times more likely to say “yes.” The children of IBFs were the least likely of all family types to have ever been touched sexually: only 2% reported affirmatively (compared to 23% of LMs who replied 'yes'). When asked if they were ever forced to have sex against their will, the children of LMs were the worst off again—four times more likely to say 'yes' than the children of IBFs. The children of GFs were three times more likely to have been forced to have sex than the children of IBFs. In percentages, 31% of LMs said they had been forced to have sex, compared with 25% of GFs and 8% of IBFs. These results are generally consistent with research on heterosexual families. For instance, a recent federal report showed that children in heterosexual families are least likely to be sexually, physically, or emotionally abused in an intact, biological, married family.[7]"

I wish I could provide you with all my favorite quotes from this book. It was truly wonderful and an excellent study of worldview and mental disorders. Yet, it was also graphic at times. I hesitate to recommend it to anyone who suffers from PTSD from their own abuse—whether sexual, physical, or mental (as Greyland and her siblings suffered them all)—since it may trigger flashbacks. Although there is also a lot of value in her assessments of her abuse that there may be more healing found here than harm for abuse victims. 

*** Update ***

Upon reading this review, Moira Greyland commented, "A connection which might not yet have been made is this: where no doubt there might be some gay people who have a problem with sex with little children, older men seducing teens is the way into the lifestyle for all the gay men and ex-gay men I have ever known. My father twisted his experiences with a priest at the orphanage into 'love' and both Milo and George Takei joked about it. Of course, Milo spoke out about his first experience later as a rape, with tears and rage. To me, he is just like one of the boys in our house, used and degraded, and doing his best to maintain masculine pride and insist it did not hurt him."

 

Comment

Review: The Jane Austen Project

Comment

Review: The Jane Austen Project

I love Jane Austen, guys. When I grow up, I want to be Jane on a spaceship.

Naturally, I was thrilled to read The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen Flynn. A man and woman from the future travel back to 1815 to befriend Jane and recover her lost novel, The Watsons. Austen + speculative fiction = pure awesomeness! No wonder it took me so long to stop reading. . . .

But here's the truth: Jane Austen would not like this book. This entire story had an awkward sexual tone in a most un-Austen way (lust, sex, masturbation, etc.). Furthermore, Austen may have been something of a "feminist" for her time, but she was also deeply religious. It felt as though Flynn sought to capture not who Jane Austen really was, but who Flynn though she ought to have been. I forced myself to stop part way through. Not recommended!

 

Comment

Review: Creating Character Arcs

Comment

Review: Creating Character Arcs

I'm an avid reader of K.M. Weiland, and this is by far my favorite of her craft books. Reading this in the midst of writing a book changed everything! Not only did my knowledge of my characters grow tremendously through just the first few chapters (The Lie Your Character believes, The Thing Your Character Wants vs. The Thing Your Character needs, etc.), but my understanding of story structure grew deeper as well.

Creating Character Arcs is the perfect companion to Weiland's books on structure and outlining. Knowing exactly where your character is in their growth is an integral part of your story's structure. Without it, the story remains flat. For anyone who doesn't plot, this book can still get your creative juices flowing. There's also a workbook! To read more from K.M. Weiland, visit her website at www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com.

Comment

Review: Wonder Woman

Comment

Review: Wonder Woman

**This review contains spoilers and does not address concerns with sexual content, violence, or language. Click here to review explicit content.

 

I didn’t want to see Wonder Woman in theaters. “Looks like a rental,” I told my husband. I couldn’t understand why so many conservatives who only recently had been up in arms at the mere idea of women being drafted into combat units would consider Wonder Woman a suitable role model. 

In a culture overrun with entertainment focused on “strong” female protagonists who are only strong because they act like men, a film about an amazonian feminist didn’t seem like my cup of tea. That archetype seems to say, “You can do anything you put your mind to! You’re stronger than you think you are!” But here lies the rub: we will fail. We’ll fail to reach our own expectations because we’re human. We’re finite and sinful. We don’t deserve all we’ve been given.

And strangely enough, that’s exactly why I loved the new Wonder Woman movie. This film was the perfect example of common grace. This means the common man discovers and believes truth––often a tainted version––because of God’s grace to reveal it to mankind at large.

At the beginning of the film, Diana (Wonder Woman), is living on an island of women. She’s never seen a man before and is strikingly naive. Her mother, Hippolyta, tells Diana that mankind is innately good but the god of war, Ares, started a war many years before and ensnared their hearts with his evil. Without him, they would not hate or kill as they do. If only he were dead, mankind would be free to be good again.

Diana spent her whole life on the island believing in that goodness. When the Germans threaten to decimate the world, Diana believes wholeheartedly that she has the power to save everyone if only she can kill Ares.

Diana’s love interest, Steve Trevor, is the voice of reason throughout the film. He sees her naiveté and tells her that people do bad things because that’s who they are. She balks at his pessimism and forces her will against his advice.

Near the end of the film, she finally comes face-to-face with Ares. He urges her to see how futile her attempts to save the world are when these mortals are clearly not capable of changing. In a devil-on-the-shoulder fashion, Ares admits to whispering his own evil thoughts and ideas into the ears of those willing to listen, but he never forced them to act. They did it because they wanted to. They don’t deserve to be saved.

Sound familiar? That’s because it’s in the Bible. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23). “All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one,” (Romans 3:12). “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord,” (Romans 6:23). The next time someone tells you that you deserve something good, remind yourself you don’t.

As chaos reigns, Steve is determined to save the local people. He decides to climb aboard a Nazi plane filled with bombs and blow it up while in the air. He says goodbye to Diana, the woman he loves, and fulfills his suicide mission.

Meanwhile, Diana stares down at the radical Nazi chemist, ready to strike and kill her. She doesn't deserve to be saved. After a moment of hesitation, Diana lowers her weapon and addresses her adversary. Everything Ares said about them is true. They aren’t good, but there’s more to them than just that. This isn’t about what they deserve, it’s about love.

So what is love? Jesus says in Matthew 5:44-45, “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” And then in Mark 12:31, “The second [greatest commandment] is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Both St. Thomas Aquinas and Aristotle agree that love is “to will the good of another.” I would add that love is also willing the good of another before your own good. In other words, sacrificing yourself, your comfort, your dreams for the good of another person. “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves,” (Philippians 2:3).

Normally you don’t see this kind of love displayed or discussed in films. Our culture is far more likely to speak of love as a feeling that can’t be controlled. For example, the commonly heard excuse for separation goes something like this: “I’m just not in love with you anymore. I’ve fallen in love with someone else.” This kind of language communicates we have no choice in the matter. We don’t choose love, it chooses us.

The Wonder Woman film avoids this blunder beautifully. During the climax, Diana must chose to show mercy despite the guilt of the human race. She could choose to walk away and return to her island. And yet she’d watched as the man she loves and respects died because of love. He knew of the guilt of mankind and yet he gave his life for them anyway.

Here is where common grace is most clearly seen. Although this film is imperfect in many ways, they still have an understanding of profound truth. Mankind is depraved from birth. We deserve death and hell, and yet there is something more to us than just that. It’s what God graciously made us into. We are his image bearers. Although we aren’t good apart from God, we do have value because of God.

But we still need a savior. We can’t achieve goodness on our own. Yet the sacrificial love that Steve and Diana display here is still lacking. Beautiful though it is, it will never save our souls from hell. We are bad, and only the ultimate act of love––the death of Christ on a cross––will ever be enough to conquer death and save us from eternal separation from the only being in the universe who is wholly good.

What is equally striking is the irony of such love being present in a blatantly feminist film. We have heard repeatedly in the wake of the recent presidential election and the women’s march of the priority of women’s rights. The theme and message of this film is in direct opposition to the usual feminist mantra that says you as a woman deserve to see your dreams realized––even at the expense of the comfort of others and the very life of your unborn child.  

We see at the end of the movie Diana has finally come to grips with the truth––that people aren’t innately good, but she’s committed to them nonetheless. She’s committed to love.

Comment

Review: Things Not Seen

Comment

Review: Things Not Seen

Tim and I have been reading this wonderful book by Jon Bloom every night before bed. Most nights, we come to the end of the small (~3 page) creative narrative, pause, and say, "Wow. That was really good." Today was not much different except the topic was my favorite virtue: humility. I was already becoming a big Jon Bloom fan, but this one page has sealed the deal. 

thingsnotseen.jpeg

Comment