Movie Review: Balcony Closed


While I have watched a few movies that have recently become available on DVD I haven’t put down my thoughts regarding them.  So stay tuned I have at least four coming up and perhaps some classic movies too.

Until then I would point you to Thy Critic Man who does excellent reviews of all sorts of movies.  I don’t always agree with him nor he with me but I appreciate his viewpoint.

And also Jordan and Eddie (The Movie Guys).  Again I don’t always agree with them regarding the movies they review but I appreciate their viewpoints.

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Catechism


Q . 98. How do Baptism and the Lord’s Supper become effectual means of salvation?

A. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper become effectual means of salvation, not from any virtue in them or in him that administers them, but only by the blessing of Christ and the working of His Spirit in them that by faith receive them.

Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
1Peter 3:21

I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.
1 Corinthians 3:67

For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body— Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:13

Frenetic Friday: Denied!


Sorry I’ve been working long hours and haven’t had time to write up Friday’s post.  Seems my mundane life is cutting into my online time.  But stay tuned who knows what Saturday may bring.

Earworm Wednesday: Rayvon Reed Rude (Magic! Cover)


So last week I was sitting down trying to type out what I was going to write on Friday when I felt a set of headphones cover my ears.  I looked up to see one of my sources for music look at me and say “Listen to this” and I heard the Canadian group Magic! begin to sing about the woes of a young who wants to marry the girl he loves but can’t get the blessing of the father.  And I thought this is perfect for Wednesday so here is Rude

Movie Review: The Monuments Men


Director:  George Clooney

Cast:

George Clooney

Matt Damon

John Goodman

Bill Murray

Jean Dujardin

Bob Balaban

Hugh Bonneville

Cate Blanchett

During World War II the Nazis under Hitler’s orders began a systematic looting of the greatest art treasures of Europe to create the Führermuseum.  In it would be all the art stolen by the Nazis for Hitler’s private enjoyment.  In order to insure that didn’t happen a group of mainly art historians and restorers went with the men into the battle to make sure that during the battle irreplaceable arts and monuments wouldn’t be destroyed.  These group of men and women were parts of the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program aka the Monuments Men.

George Clooney writing a story based loosely upon Robert Edsel’s book Monuments Men:  Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History, shows how these multinational group of men went with the soldiers into battle to keep monuments and great pieces of art from being destroyed.  Which wasn’t always easy as not everyone saw the need to keep art work from being destroyed when they could use the church or museum they were stored at as a base of operations.

But they press on despite the opposition they face and they have some great success too.  Especially when Cate Blanchett, playing a french woman  forced to work with the Nazis to move the art from France, reveals that she has kept a record of every piece of art that was moved through the area.

Using this list the monuments track the stolen art across Germany.  Unfortunately, in doing so they loose some of their men to enemy gunfire.  Also it appears that the Russians are also on the hunt for the stolen art not for restoring it to the rightful owners but for their own museums and for the money they can get for the art.  So it is a race to find the art.  Especially since toward the end of the war Hitler gives the order to burn the art if the Germans are loosing the war.

This is a great story and while a lot of people say that the pacing is slow on this movie I didn’t find that to be so.  Also the story of why we still have the art of  Vermeer, Renoir, or Raphael is just fascinating.  When you see them sifting through the ashes to find remnants of a frame that had a Picasso the horror of never being able to see these great works ever is made evident.

I give this movie five stars out of five.

Catechism


Q 97. How is the Word to be read and heard that it may become effectual to salvation?

A. That the Word may become effectual to salvation we must attend thereunto with diligence, preparation and prayer, receive it in faith and love, lay it up in our hearts and practice it in our lives.

Blessed is the one who listens to me,
watching daily at my gates,
waiting beside my doors.
Proverbs 8:34

So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—
1 Peter 2:1-2

Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.
1 Timothy 4:13

Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.  how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard,
Hebrews 2:1,3

For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.
Hebrews 4:2

and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
2 Thessalonians 2:10

I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.
Psalms 119:11

Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
James 1:21,25

Frenetic Friday


We have a lot to cover today folks and it is all over the place so hold on to your hats we’re approaching ludicrous speed.

ISIS no not the Egyptian pagan deity rather the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria the terrorist group that is running rough shod in Iraq as they move toward Baghdad.  What should the United State’s response to this be?  Mike Konrad at the American Thinker has an answer:  Let them kill each other.

I know, I know, the recent ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Levant) gains have everyone scared.  No doubt, the Islamophilic administration will want to step in, and save Islam from itself once again.  Let me advocate a course of action that will make sense to all sides in America; the left and right; from militarists to pacifists:  Let the Muslims kill each other.oar

After the administration blundered on Benghazi, on the Arab Spring, and Syria, Heaven itself has afforded it one last chance to set itself right.  It is almost impossible for the administration to screw it up.  All it has to do is nothing.

Yes, Nothing!  read the rest here

Now from the Religion of Peace to the Presbyterian Church to be precise the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA).  The 221st General Assembly of the PCUSA has passed a measure to approve PCUSA pastors to perform same sex marriages where it is legal.  They followed this up with a change to the book of order so that a marriage is no longer defined by a man and a woman but instead by two persons.  This prompted the board of directors of the Presbyterian Lay Committee to send a message to the General Assembly calling what they had done an abomination and to call for repentance and reform.

It is uncertain how this will ultimately affect not only the PCUSA denomination but the missionary organizations that have ties to the church.  I am not a prophet nor the son of a prophet (ht: James White) but I think it is safe to say that some of the PCUSA churches and congregations will separate from the denomination because of this.

David Prince (Prince on Preaching) has written and excellent blog post on Christianity and the New Liberalism:  Homosexuality and the Evangelical Church.

J. Gresham Machen is most well known for his opposition to liberal Protestantism and his trenchant defense of orthodox Christianity. He served as a professor of New Testament at Princeton Seminary for 23 years during the time of the fundamentalist-modernist controversy. In 1929, Machen left because of encroaching liberalism to form Westminster Theological Seminary. In his classic, Christianity and Liberalism (1923), he argued that liberalism was an altogether different religion than Christianity. Read the rest here.

Lastly Kevin DeYoung has five questions for Christians who believe the Bible supports Gay Marriage.

Do you know who Alton Brown is?  Alton Brown is the host of the popular Good Eats program as well as other shows on the Food Network.  But did you know that he was a Christian?  In this article here Alton tells about how his faith and relationship with God are intertwined with his cooking.  But that isn’t all.  Here is a video of Alton Brown showing you how to make the barley loaves that are used in the miracle of the loaves and the fishes. (John 6:9)

HT Les and Tanner

And here is something from Harley Davidson to peak your interest an Electric Powered Motorcycle.

Finally this is addressed to the single dudes out there from the Matt Walsh Blog:  IT IS TIME TO MAN UP!

And thus ends the Frenetic Friday.  Remember to come back next week as I point you to interesting things happening all around us.  And Robots too.

 

Book Review: Yawning At Tigers by Drew Nathan Dyck


 

Book Review:  Yawning At Tigers  by Drew Nathan Dyck

Drew Nathan Dyck wants to introduce you to an uncomfortable God. In his book Yawning at Tigers he examines the attributes of God but not just the comfortable ones, like love, but also the ones like wrath, holiness, transcendence, and immanence.

This book takes the layman on a guide of the attributes of God and using easy to understand examples of what each attribute is and how we can then look anew at who God is and how to rid ourselves of the comfortable idols that we’ve created instead of worshiping the true living God that can’t be tamed.

There is a lot to like about this book it is easy to read and the author uses real life situations to bring the reader to the understanding of what attribute of God he is teaching about. The author also points out a current problem infesting the Evangelical understanding of God: our tendency of worshiping a lesser god.

The only thing that I can say makes me uncomfortable regarding this book and this may have been the author’s intent, is some of the people that he quotes or uses for illustrations. My presuppositions are conservative, protestant, and narrow when it comes to sources of information regarding my theology. So when the author quotes from R.C. Sproul, Kevin DeYoung, or Louis Berkhof I’m happy as a clam in mud but when he quotes from Coptic Christian woman named “Mama Maggie” or Brennan Manning I grow uncomfortable. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read this book rather it means that this book will stretch your presuppositions and that is a good thing.

This book also has a discussion guide in the back of the book for use in study groups and I would say it is also useful for the lone reader who wants to go beyond just reading the book but actually studying what the author is writing about.

This is a book you should read.

 

 

Drew Nathan Dyck is the managing editor of Leadership Journal and the author of Generation Ex-Christian.  You can find more about him at DrewDyck.com

 

Movie Review: How to train your Dragon 2


Director: Dean DeBlois

Writers:  Dean DeBlois, Cressida Cowell

Cast (partial):  Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler

How to train your dragon was the very first 3D movie I every saw.  The quality of 3D, the scenes of the dragon flying all these things made my first viewing of a 3D movie very enjoyable.  So when the next movie in the franchise came out I of course had to see it in 3D again.

The island of Berk has changed a lot since Hiccup and Toothless became a team.  Now the dragons and vikings live together  and the island is busy enjoying their new life as they race their dragons around the island.  And you have got to see how they score the races it is hilarious.

But that isn’t all Stoick the Vast wants Hiccup to take his rightful place as the leader of Berk and Hiccup isn’t ready for that so instead Hiccup and Toothless travel further and further mapping out where they live and what may live on them.  It is on one of those trips that Hiccup finds a village covered by green ice and a group of dragon trappers who tries to capture Toothless.  They escape and return to Berk where Hiccup tells his father that Drago Bludvist is amassing an army of dragons and is coming to Berk to take all of their dragons away.  Stoick’s face changes to a shocked visage as he hears the name of Drago Bludvist.  He reveals to Hiccup how Drago once came to all the viking chiefs offering to rid them of their dragon problem when he was refused he killed all the chiefs except for Stoick.  And Stoick’s realizing the danger they all face is determined to shut down Berk and keep all the dragons inside and safe.  Hiccup wants to reason with Drago saying if he can change Stoick’s mind about dragons he can change Drago’s mind.  Hiccup and Toothless fly out in search of Drago.

This is a good second story for this franchise it moves along quickly there is good character development and you can see that Hiccup has grown up considerably since the original movie.  There are some good twists to the story including a very sad scene and I am going to warn all parents if your kids see this you might have to explain what happens to one character.

Second you don’t have to see this in 3D but I must admit that I find that it looks better in 3D and you get the most out of the flying scenes in 3D.

I give this movie 4 stars out of 5.