Reviews

The King's Speech Reviewed

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The must-see-movie of 2010 has to be The King’s Speech. It’s a stunningly accomplished production with a gripping story of two men absolutely determined to overcome the profound speech impediment of one of them.

Finnish Scholar Offers a New View of Ellen White’s Spirituality

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Many years ago, I noticed how often Ellen White referred to the “soul” in her devotional writings.

Top 10 Films of 2010 for Spectrum Moviegoers

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My picks for the best, most relevant films of 2010.

10. Waiting for Superman

    This documentary analyzes public education in the United States with a keen, critical eye. More, it spells out the problems facing public education with hard facts and humanizes the issue through the stories of kids whose futures are at stake.

The Grand Design

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Despite learning a great deal from Stephen Hawking and co-author Leonard Mlodinow in their recent book The Grand Design, in the end I was disappointed.

It’s not that their book lacked clarity. In the introduction they do say that their explicit purpose is to explore “Not only how the universe behaves but why.” They posit three framing questions for their rather short book (188 pages from Bantam books for around $14.00 on Amazon): “Why is there something rather than nothing? Why do we exist? and Why this particular set of laws and not some other?” (p. 9-10)

Narnia: Magic for Adventists

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When I was a kid in youth group, our Sabbath School teacher showed us segments from the DreamWorks screen adaptation of C.S. Lewis's "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe." One girl, the pastor's daughter, as I recall, refused to watch the clips on the basis that Narnia's magic was evil. No, she hadn't seen it. No, she hadn't read Lewis's other writings, including "Mere Christianity." She knew all she needed to know. Witches and dwarves and fauns were satanic, plain and simple.

Monkey Girl

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Monkey Girl: Evolution, Education, Religion, and the Battle for America's Soul by Edward Humes (Harper Collins Publishers, 2007), recounts the battle between creationists and evolutionists that was fought in the town of Dover, Pennsylvania. As with most wars, it began with a skirmish. The school board attempted to introduce Intelligent Design (ID) into the ninth grade science curriculum. The science teachers refused.

Building Cultures of Trust

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Back in the day, a song by the rock group Three Dog Night suggested that “one is the loneliest number that there ever was.” I’d like to paraphrase that line to read: “trust is the loneliest word that there ever was.” At least in the current situation, trust seems in short supply.

Waiting for Superman: Education System, We Need to Talk

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The opening sequence of Waiting for Superman begins with a routine that many Adventist families know well: narrator/director Davis Guggenheim describes driving past several public schools each day on his way to dropping his kids off at a pricy private school. In a sheepish tone, he describes the small pang of guilt that he feels. He explains that in 1999, he tried to bring hardworking public school teachers to the forefront in his documentary films Teach and The First Year.

Galileo Goes to Jail

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An often-believed subtext in the Adventist Faith/Science conundrum is that here are two worlds in collision. From the disparaging and presumably oxymoronic epithet ‘Seventh-day Darwinians’ to the short-chronology requirement for membership in the Adventist Theological Society, contemporary Adventism struggles with the question of compatibility – can revelation be reconciled with science? And, where we presently cannot, how should we proceed?

Humanizing Immigration Through Film

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Immigration is as complicated an issue as it is emotional. Politicians use the topic to drive their election bids. Ideologues ply their philosophic trade, and it recently came out that private prison corporations are leveraging their clout to pass lucrative immigration legislation. And people are "mad as heck."





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