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Reviews and Cultural Comment

[July 17, 2014 | No Comment | ]

by Ted Giese
If someone says the word “transformer” and the first thing that comes to mind is an electrical device in a covered box outside your house quietly transferring energy between two or more circuits, then the knowledge there’s a movie called Transformers 4 might come as a surprise. But this isn’t home repairs: these films, like the toys and cartoon series from the 1980s, are about alien robots who can disguise themselves on earth by transforming into things like cars, helicopters and trucks.
Like previous films in the series, Transformers …


In: Culture watch, Feature Stories, Headline, Movie Review, Reviews and Cultural Comment

[August 13, 2013 | 4 Comments | ]

ONLINE – Discernment, or the ability to distinguish and test things, is held up in Scripture as both a gift of the Holy Spirit and a skill the Christian is encouraged to personally develop.  In a culture that is awash in media, the need to test what is watched and to discern what is being presented is very important. How might a Lutheran Christian approach this task? What tools would be useful in aiding the task of media consumption?  What practical end would this exercise hope to accomplish?
Using the medium …


In: Education News, Headline, Reviews and Cultural Comment

[July 19, 2013 | One Comment | ]

by Wesley Hromowyk
In his new book The American Muhammad: Joseph Smith, Founder of Mormonism, Alvin J. Schmidt compares the founder of Islam, Muhammad to the founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith. In the process, he makes a great confession of the Christian faith without ever directly addressing the dogma of the Church. He does so by consistently interweaving Christian doctrine into the mix of his discussion of the Islam and Mormonism.
Schmidt compares the two founders of these world religions in a fresh and thought-provoking way. In many instances the eeriness of …


In: Headline, Reviews and Cultural Comment

[May 21, 2013 | No Comment | ]

by Ted Giese
Iron Man 3 is a superhero action film with some drama thrown in. As a story, it centers around the theme that actions have consequences. Seems simple enough. The movie starts out with Tony Stark, the man behind the Iron Mask, saying “A famous man once said we create our own demons.” Within minutes this is playing out, as we see a flashback to a New Year’s party in 1999. Here we see Stark in a one night stand with a promising young scientist, leaving her a note …


In: Feature Stories, Headline, Reviews and Cultural Comment

[May 3, 2013 | One Comment | ]

by Ted Giese
The movie 42 (The Jackie Robinson 2013 Bio-Pic) is about the life of two Christians—Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson—and how they lived their Christian faith in their vocations. Rickey was the General Manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers and Robinson was a player on the team. On the surface it looks like it’s simply a bio-pic about the first African American Major League baseball player and the events surrounding his first season with the Dodgers (1945-46). But if you dig deeper, the film presents the Christian faith in a …


In: Culture watch, Feature Stories, Headline, Reviews and Cultural Comment

[March 20, 2013 | 5 Comments | ]

by Ted Giese
As might be expected, Lutherans are keen on the Bible. Our churches read aloud from the Scriptures every week during worship. In those same services our pastors preach sermons based on the readings for the day. We encourage our members to read their Bibles in personal devotions, and to attend Bible studies at our churches so that they can grow in their knowledge of God’s Word.
Helping people know the Scriptures better is the goal behind Mark Burnett and his wife Roma Downey’s new television adaptation of the Bible …


In: Culture watch, Feature Stories, Headline, Reviews and Cultural Comment