Reviews

The Singing Revolution

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Estonia is a small country, one of three Baltic States between Russia and Europe. Its strategic location has subjected it to almost continuous occupation throughout its long history. Gaining independence in 1920 the Estonians had less than two decades of freedom before World War II began. Then the Soviet Union invaded and, except for a short Nazi occupation, Estonia was firmly held behind the Iron Curtain for the next 50 years.

From the Archives: A Response to Prophetess of Health

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Editor’s Note: After 32 years, Prophetess of Health has been republished. To mark this event, Spectrum interviewed Ron Numbers about the book, his experience of Adventism, and the church’s response to this historic book. Additionally, I chose a classic review from a cluster of reviews originally published in 1977 to help us revisit the topic. 

Open Thread on the Olympics 2008: What are you watching?

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I felt a mixture of emotions leading up to these Olympics. Given the human rights record in China, and particularly given the ongoing conflict in Darfur and the continued tensions over Tibet, I wasn't sure what to think. I even participated in the torch protest in San Francisco when the torch stopped here briefly on its only American visit (ended up not ever seeing the torch as the organizers diverted the course at the last minute).

Seven Reasons Life is Better with God

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In reviewing this book, I’ll resist the temptation to tell you the story of how the author, Nathan Brown, made me buy it, and the story of his deep discontent with the book’s title and the sunflower on the cover, and even the completely irrelevant story of how he ran a red light, got a ticket, and had to take a breathalyzer test while driving me around Perth. I’ll cut straight to the heart of the matter: it’s an engaging, well-written, thought-provoking book, and you should read it.

Film Club Discussion: Babette’s Feast

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In the climax of Babette’s Feast, the title character prepares an extravagant meal, the like of which I have never seen. My general requirements for food are “healthy,” “easy,” and “quick.” But when friends talk about the Slow Food movement and signature moments where extraordinary food has been a catalyst, I recognize that lentils on rice is not the only way to go.

Book Club Discussion--Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith

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Some people know a lot about church and some know a lot about lying face-up in a field, alone, feeling the divine presence. And once in a while you find someone who knows a lot about both, and speaks fluently the languages of both.

Barbara Brown Taylor is one of those people.  

Film Club Discussion--Lars and the Real Girl: A Study in Community

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I was leery about watching Lars and the Real Girl. From the little bit I knew about the film, it appeared strange, which could be good, and awkward, which, for my particular personality, is bad. It is a film about a man who thinks a sex doll is his girlfriend (not private lover, but public girlfriend). Enter everyone else stage right. How much more awkward could it get?

Open Thread: What Have You Been Reading?

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It was great to hear what you all have been watching this summer, so let's bring on the books! Summer is often known as a time for lighter reading, but I have a feeling with this crowd we've got quite a mix of books on the bedside stand or in the beach bag. What book keeps your attention right now? What books are challenging your assumptions? Inspiring you? Making you laugh?

The Dark Knight: What is it That Really Overcomes Evil?

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We have waited a long time to have Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight hit out movie screens. And finally, it’s here! And dark it is -- more violence, dark humour, and much darker moral complexity. The story opens with a bank robbery in progress and as it proceeds we realise that these bank robbers are ruthless and motivated by an intense greed. The moral darkness of the whole film is set as we see the bank robbers turning on each other. Even the "honour among thieves" code is broken. Finally, the perpetrator of the bank robbery is revealed.

Open Thread: What Have You Been Watching?

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This is the summer movie season, a time not always known for stellar titles, but I thought it would be nice to open a thread to see what you all are watching at home or at the theater.

What's worth watching? What's not? What stories are a part of your life right now?





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