Archive for July, 2009
Posted on 22. Jul, 2009 by Tim Stoner.
Going to see the latest Harry Potter movie with my son Jonathan made we think about the difference between the Potter cosmology and that of Narnia and Middle Earth. I think Rawling comingles two things Lewis and Tolkien never do: the power of the good and the power of evil. Whereas using the ring’s power in Middle Earth will destroy you, and whereas the mad magician’s delving into magic brought a curse on Narnia, at Hogwarts it is either all brillant fun or dynamite to be handled with caution (but handled none the less). The protagonists at the school of sorcery play with fire while Frodo and Bilbo learn it is better not even to put the damned thing on your finger. That is not to say I don’t recommend the movie. It can still be enjoyed, but carefully–like dynamite.
Posted on 21. Jul, 2009 by Tim Stoner.
The mythic theme of the end of the world is recurring in the movies with alarming repetitiveness. It is hard-wired into us that this story we are in has a definite conclusion–that as all epics must, there comes a final conflict and a final resolution. There is a point to all the drama, the struggle and the heart-ache. The movie, Knowing, with Nicolas Cage, left me feeling that the suspicion is growing that the book we have all been reading–in which we have all been taking part–is about to reach its conclusion. But, fortunately, we have not been left without some warnings and we have not been left completely alone.
Posted on 21. Jul, 2009 by Tim Stoner.
From a talk given to Christian radio broadcasters: “Should our worldview be that of war or peace? Is the message of the Gospel, “you can come home now the war is over”? or is it “if you surrender you will be safe”? And why it matters that those called to speak (or write) get the message right. And why shouting may not be inappropriate.
Posted on 16. Jul, 2009 by Tim Stoner.
When I was asked to embark on a seven-country excursion to interview successful business owners for a book on business as mission I did not realize that I would need to repent. Nor did I expect that I would discover how secret judgments and suspicion (my own and that of others) had been used to prevent the rich from blessing the poor and helping to set them free.
Posted on 05. Jul, 2009 by Tim Stoner.
There are certains Psalms called the Imprecatory Psalms because they are filled with prayers of curses on wicked oppressors. I am tempted to run as far as I can from them. I wish they weren’t included in the Bible. They are so utterly Medieval and Inquisitorial. But it is their intolerable harshness that arrests me and drags me back. And it makes me wonder whether I am the one in need of change not the Psalms.
Posted on 02. Jul, 2009 by Tim Stoner.
Are we to pretend the bad and the gruesome and the ugly don’t exist? Or is it the task of the Christian artist to show how God is present and or pitches His tent in the middle of the awful? That He is there in the bloody awful terror and loss of starvation, of disease, of war? Is an aspect of our calling to look fiercely and unflinchingly into and through the unbeautiful to expose the mystery of God hidden in the darkness; grace breaking out like a song on the bruised lips of a battered child?
Posted on 01. Jul, 2009 by Tim Stoner.
In these the best and worst of times, where a jaded generation struggles with apathy and a restless alienation, comes a book which issues a penetrating call to purpose and destiny. While the story addresses issues of anger, forgiveness and alienation, and is carried along by danger and romance it has much more on its mind. It is a fantasy thriller which serves also as a spiritual warfare allegory. It issues a rousing call for followers of Christ to wake up, seize their destiny and perform exploits in His name.