A Marvelous and Mighty Paradox

“He, the Life of all, our Lord and Saviour, did not arrange the manner of his own death lest He should seem to be afraid of some other kind. No. He accepted and bore upon the cross a death inflicted by others, and those other His special enemies, a death which to them was supremely terrible and by no means to be faced; and He did this in order that, by destroying even this death, He might Himself be believed to be the Life, and the power of death be recognised as finally annulled. A marvellous and mighty paradox has thus occurred, for the death which they thought to inflict on Him as dishonour and disgrace has become the glorious monument to death’s defeat.”

– Athanasius, On the Incarnation

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QT Unchained

My review of Tarantino’s latest is now live on MovieByte:

Say what you will about QT, but there’s no denying the man knows how to spin an entertaining yarn. He does it again in Django, which is no less a western for taking place in the antebellum South. Everything audiences have come to expect of Tarantino is here in spades: terrific writing, remarkable characters, quirky storytelling, and bizarrely awesome musical numbers. Violence is here, too, accompanied by enough gore to paint half of Albuquerque a cheery shade of red. More on that in a minute. Continue reading —>

Flotsam & Jetsam (3/28)

Legal Abortion and “Men Without Chests” – Another terrific post from Matt: “Though many fail to recognize it, Roe v. Wade (along with our society’s abandonment of the traditional virtues of manhood) has actually undermined the dignity of women, and contributed to a culture of consequence-free sex that’s destructive for everyone.”

Gates of Fire – Can’t wait to get a copy of this book. It sounds awesome.

Praying Ephesians: Ephesians 1 – “Help us today to live by Grace, with our eyes fixed on the cross and the power of the resurrection. Help us today to build your Kingdom and build up for ourselves treasures in Heaven.”

When the Bubble Bursts – Excellent.

Augustine: For Professors, Poets, and Pastors – Trueman writes, “For [Augustine], it was not the pursuit of truth or some nebulous ‘journey’ which was the important thing; it was finding and resting in truth, real truth, God’s truth.   Thus, he spent much of his early life pursuing that truth, through education, through Manicheeism and through neo-Platonism; it was only when he found Christianity and came to rest in God himself that he found the  truth, beauty, and the fulfillment that comes from the same.”

Healthful Christianity – Epic Pink.

“In the precepts of the law, God is but the rewarder of perfect righteousness, which all of us lack, and conversely, the severe judge of evil deeds. But in Christ his face shines, full of grace and gentleness, even upon us poor and unworthy sinners.” – Calvin

There’s Nothing To That

“‘Listen, Jake,” he leaned forward on the bar. “Don’t you ever get the feeling that all your life is going by and you’re not taking advantage of it? Do you realize you’ve lived nearly half the time you have to live already?’

‘Yes, every once in a while.’

‘Do you know that in about thirty-five years more we’ll be dead?’

‘What the hell, Robert,’ I said. ‘What the hell.’

‘I’m serious.’

‘It’s one thing I don’t worry about,’ I said.

‘You ought to.’

‘I’ve had plenty to worry about one time or another. I’m through worrying.’

‘Well, I want to go to South America.’

‘Listen, Robert, going to another country doesn’t make any difference. I’ve tried all that. You can’t get away from yourself by moving from one place to another. There’s nothing to that.'”

– Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises (p. 11)

For Your Listening Pleasure

As most of you know, I’m a dyed-in-the-wool soundtrack fanatic. And considering that whenever I write about music, I generally write about film music, you may think that Hans Zimmer and John Powell are the only artists I bother listening to. You’d be wrong.

I love Bach, Mozart, Chopin, and Ludovico Einaudi. I love the beats and theological acuity of Lecrae, Shai Linne, and Keith Green. I love the old hymns, written and sung by the saints through the ages (“The Son of God Goes Forth to War” is one song I never tire of). I love Bob Dylan, Mumford & Sons, Ratatat, Coldplay, and Acoustic Alchemy.

So there.

Below are a few more artists I’ve recently come to enjoy, and which I feel compelled to share with you. Because they’re justthat…. good. Shall we begin?

*****

mzi.enqcazfn.170x170-75I don’t remember exactly how I became acquainted with Josh Ritter, but I glad I did. He’s a marvelous musician who also understands the power of storytelling and employs it with grace and gusto (just listen to “The Curse” or “Another New World” and you’ll see what I mean). I got one of his albums for free via Noisetrade, and then went about seeing what else I could learn about him. That’s when I came across this piece by Andrew Peterson, another favorite musician of mine:

Ritter is asking good questions. I don’t necessarily agree with his answers, but that doesn’t keep me from being amazed by the songs – and the songs suggest to me that he’s paying attention, watching and listening to the part of his spirit that resonates with a certain secret fire. And if he keeps writing songs this good I think he’s going to have to try pretty hard to ignore the source of all that richness. His imagination and sense of poetry and narrative are a rare gift, and I’m intrigued enough to keep listening. And listening. The same way I listen to Paul Simon’s Graceland. I don’t get every song, and that’s part of why I keep coming back.

 My hat is off to Josh Ritter. Please keep writing

You can download Live at the Iveigh Gardens here, but I must also put in a word for So Runs The World Away. It’s simply mesmerizing. Continue reading For Your Listening Pleasure