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Seven Reasons Life is Better with God


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


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.

The Adventures of a Young Hospital CEO


Paul Howe is a hospital CEO. It may be fair to say that he is the only hospital CEO anywhere who graduated from law school this year. Instead of going to work for a big law firm after getting his degree from Washington and Lee, Howe headed to Gimbie Adventist Hospital in Ethiopia. He is 25.

Question: Did you ever think you would be CEO of a 71-bed hospital in Ethiopia? What led to you getting the position?

I like having options and I never plan too far ahead. God leads me one step at a time.

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


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?


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?

On the Campaign Trail


Nathan Blake is a 28-year-old lawyer who left his firm to work full-time in Iowa on the Barack Obama campaign for president. He talks to Spectrum about mixing politics and religion, and Obama's chances.

Question: What is your role in the Barack Obama campaign? What do you do every day?

Answer: I've been a field organizer for about a year and recently switched to the communications team in Iowa.

Field work is on-the-ground voter contact – what this campaign is famous for.

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.

Sharing the Earth - A Jewish, Evangelical Conversation


When I found this Sh'ma interview in my inbox, it raised a question: we Seventh-day Adventists qua Sabbathing followers of Jesus seems to be on all sides of this conversation, except the ecology part. Why? I'm curious to read your reactions.

Open Thread: What Have You Been Watching?


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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