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Innocents Lost: Is Hollywood Mourning Something?

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I’ve been feeling uncharacteristicly blue lately. Maybe it’s the news of religious extremists marching in the streets, damning a teacher for allowing her school kids to name a classroom teddy bear Muhammad, reminding me how religion can so easily be a tool of repression (this also goes for the Christian extremists holding signs up in the Castro District of San Francisco telling gays that God hates them). Maybe it’s the fear that our country is in another slow build-up to war yet again based on shaky intelligence and bluster.

A Search for God or Smiling in Your Liver: A Review of Eat, Pray, Love

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“‘Do I resemble a pig, then? Perhaps a buffalo?’” Elizabeth Gilbert asks the kind saleswoman in an Italian fashion store about her new jeans. “This is becoming good vocabulary practice. I’m also trying to get a smile out of the salesclerk, but she’s too intent on remaining professional. I try one more time: ‘Maybe I resemble a buffalo mozzarella?’
Okay, maybe, she concedes, smiling only slightly. Maybe you do look a little like a buffalo mozzarella…”

The Best Film You Didn't See Last Year: A Review of Stranger Than Fiction


Christianity Today hails this movie as “the best film you didn’t see last year” and goes on to cite a number of Christ allusions in the film. But I found myself more interested in what the film says about me than about God. I know that sounds a little self-absorbed, but then, that is what we do with stories--try to see ourselves in them. As C.S. Lewis said, “We read to know we are not alone”.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

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Every once in awhile I encounter a book that makes me slightly covetous. Usually, my envy rears itself in the manner of “I wish I had written that.” But sometimes it comes in the form of “I wish I had lived that.” Reading Barbara Kingsolver’s new non-fiction work, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, which she wrote with her husband, Steven Hopp, and eldest daughter Camille, about her family’s home-grown experiment in local eating, is one of those books.

Pieces of April


In the American ideal, Thanksgiving is nothing if not a family holiday centered on a meal. Christmas has its gift-giving, Valentine’s its chocolates, and Independence Day its fireworks. It’s hard to imagine Thanksgiving, however, without a meal shared with family and friends.

The Language of God


I’ll never forget the day I nearly lost my faith over an old skull. I was sixteen and a sophomore in High School. My biology professor, a staunch evolutionist, was writing on the chalkboard. He looked suspiciously like the chimpanzees he admired—large protruding ears, prominent forehead, and thick lower lip. We had just opened our textbooks to chapter 12 and I was preparing once again to plug my ears and hum through the lecture when I glanced down at a picture on the left-facing page. I froze.

In Japan, Adventists Find Willow Creek Bridge to the Unchurched


Nam: You studied at Avondale for your bachelor’s and master’s degrees in religion. Is it a normal or common thing for Adventist ministers in Japan to be educated abroad, or are almost all of them products of Saniku Gakuin College, which I believe is the only Adventist college in Japan?

For The Bible Tells Me So: Religion and Homosexuality

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My first encounter with For The Bible Tells Me So, a new documentary about homosexuality and the Bible, was at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. My husband and I had taken a group of students to the festival, and we waited in line for three hours hoping to get into a midnight screening. We got in, but just barely, sitting in the very front row of the theater, watching the film at an extreme angle. Even in the “worst” seats in the house, the film moved us all.

Film Review: Is SiCKO about Christianized Medicine?


The ever present good-girl, eldest child in me reeled in horror as I watched Michael Moore’s latest film SiCKO. Important lessons my parents taught me (and I have dutifully followed) about taking responsible care of one’s self—including working a “good job” where your health insurance needs will be met—were undone frame by frame by Moore’s clever and troubling examination of the American health care system.

Review of Seeking a Sanctuary: Seventh-day Adventism and the American Dream


When published in 1989, the first edition of Seeking a Sanctuary established itself as the best available study of American Seventh-day Adventism.  Now updated and enlarged, the volume remains the foremost work on this denomination. 

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