The Common Good

Culture Watch

A Rock Star Environment Minister

Jim wrote a piece a few weeks back about the new Bonhoeffer-quoting Aussie PM Kevin Rudd. Well, another fun fact is that he has appointed Peter Garrett, rock star turned environmental activist turned Member of Parliament, his new Minister for Environment. That's the Aussie version of putting Bono in charge of the foreign [...]

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My Top 11 (OK, 12) Films of 2007

This will be my final post for the God's Politics blog in 2007, and given that it's the time of year for lists, here's my choice of the films that have struck me the most in the past 12 months. (I should acknowledge that I haven't seen There Will Be Blood as it hasn't been released in my homeland yet

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Where Does 'The Golden Compass' Point ?

Here's the good news: The Golden Compass does not promote atheism. It isn't going to steal your children. It does not signal the end of hope for religion in the West. That's the good news. Here's the bad news: it promotes the same, shallow "don't touch my stuff or I'll kill you" message that appears in so much of popular culture. But more than this, in spite of delightful visual imagery, [...]

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'No Country for Old Men': Thoughtful, Frightening, and Beguiling

When a film ends with the recounting of a dream in which a weather-beaten, life-weary man searches for the fire his father is building to warm them, it's impossible not to think of the love we all yearn for and can hopefully muster. It's also a welcome spiritual respite when that film has seduced its audience on a journey into a hell of the relentless violence that follows a man after he steals [...]

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Expectations May Exceed Ex-Athiest's Explanations

Back in 2004, Anthony Flew, the world's most prominent atheist, stated he believed in God. Since this pronouncement, some of his fellow atheists treat him as though he's gone over to the dark side and literally lost his mind. In a nutshell, they feel this champion of their cause has flown the coop, as it were, and is being used as a pawn by those Christians who need someone of Flew's stature to give weight to the entire Intelligent Design movement. (

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NYT: 'A Pro-Lynching Movie That Even Liberals Can Love'?

It's intriguing how many current films address questions of revenge and justice. Like all cinematic epidemics, this is a mixed bag, from Quentin Tarantino's alternately boring and horrifying car-crash fest Death Proof, just released on DVD, to the slasher-style terror of Death Sentence starring Kevin Bacon, to the mature and moving reflection on justice and fatherhood in 3:10 [...]

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Pete Seeger and the U2charist

During the Tribeca Film Festival, I happened to catch the world premiere of the documentary
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Ryan Rodrick Beiler: Kurt Vonnegut, 'Christ-Worshipping Agnostic'

I'm not an evangelical who reads only what affirms my theology, or failing that, tries to pretend that the artists I like somehow conform to my beliefs. (I tire of the endless debates in evangelical circles about whether Bono is a "real" Christian or [...]

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Ryan Rodrick Beiler: Kurt Vonnegut, 'Christ-Worshipping Agnostic'

I'm not an evangelical who reads only what affirms my theology, or failing that, tries to pretend that the artists I like somehow conform to my beliefs. (I tire of the endless debates in evangelical circles about whether Bono is a "real" Christian or [...]

+Continue Reading

Ryan Rodrick Beiler: Kurt Vonnegut, 'Christ-Worshipping Agnostic'

I'm not an evangelical who reads only what affirms my theology, or failing that, tries to pretend that the artists I like somehow conform to my beliefs. (I tire of the endless debates in evangelical circles about whether Bono is a "real" Christian or [...]

+Continue Reading