Why Do High Churches Get All the Good Artists? (Pt 1)

Several months ago, I was in a conversation with some book lovers and Inklings fans. We had wrapped up a discussion about Dorothy Sayers, when someone in the raised an interesting question: "You know, we talk a lot about Anglicans like Sayers and C.S. Lewis who wrote great books, and about liberal Christians like Frederic …

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Films on Faith I’ve Enjoyed

In addition to seeking novels that explore spiritual ideas in interesting ways, I'm always on the lookout for a good film that explores religious ideas. While my previous post focused on novels written by people who considered themselves orthodox Christians, this one includes a variety of people. Some of these filmmakers were Christians, some were …

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Breaking a Genre Gently: Thoughts on What Makes Art Work

Conversations about good art versus bad art often talk about using the medium well. For example, one might discuss whether the latest Ted Dekker novel works well as a thriller, based on other examples of what makes a good thriller novel. Or on a different level, one could discuss whether that novel works well as …

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Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

Review: Transcendental Style in Film by Paul Schrader

Can a movie really capture what it feels like to have a spiritual encounter? Plenty of movies have certainly tried (Biblical epics and so forth), but have they ever really worked? One writer who's done some seminal work on this subject is film critic and filmmaker Paul Schrader. In the 1970s, Schrader wrote Transcendental Style in …

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Ken Russell and Twiggy on set of The Boy Friend, 1971. Author unknown (publicity still)

Eccentric Artist: Ken Russell and the Problem of Maverick Christianity

Recently I've been reading a great blog series by the Anselm Society on "centric artists." In essence (and I highly recommend reading Brian Brown's introduction for the full concept), the series points out artistically-minded Christians shouldn't follow the "eccentric artist" ideal. Christianity claims people's talents are rooted in God and that people are called into …

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Movie projector in a smoke filled room. Photo by Jeremy Yap on Unsplash

3 Unusual Christian Movies Worth Watching

I've talked about movies several times on this blog. I've discussed mainstream Hollywood movies with spiritual themes, movies that find unique ways to talk about God, and even looked at how scary movies may get closer to describing religious ideas than other genres do. This time, I'd like to recommend a few movies written or …

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The titular main character in Robert Bresson's film pickpocket, sitting in a bar and observing people. Image source https://www.reddit.com/r/CineShots/duplicates/5yfqmu/pickpocket_1959_dir_robert_bresson/

Transcendental Style (God in Film Pt 9)

This blog post really should have come earlier. When I started this blog series on how literally showing God or angels in movies may always feel cheesy and therefore we should consider alternate ways to talk about the divine, I mentioned two writers who've really influenced this series: Roy Anker and Paul Schrader. Anker argued …

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