Prism Links--Week of Feb 25th
So in case you didn’t notice, the Academy Awards were yesterday (or as Abbi calls them, the Super Bowl of fashion). I have never liked the Academy Awards, partly because I don’t really care about fashion, and partly because the movies that I like almost never win, an often aren’t even nominated. This was true this year when my favorite film of the year, Roma, failed to take home Best Picture. But I wanted to talk today about a film that didn’t even get nominated, although it was one of the 2-3 best films of the year and infinitely better than that middlebrow pablum that wound up winning.
First Reformed is a movie about faith. It is not a “Christian” movie per se, but in the realistic and empathetic ways it grapples with the actual struggles of human beings, it is more Christian than anyone of the God’s Not Dead series. If you haven’t seen it, read this review, and see if it convinces you to give it a try. Ethan Hawke is simply magnificent.
Since I get to run this links column, I’m going to recommend another movie. Again, like First Reformed, this movie WAS NOT EVEN NOMINATED, although again it is significantly better than virtually every movie that was. Director Bo Burnham is a former youtube star turned comedian turned miraculously precocious filmmaker. The guy is only 26! And Eighth Grade is a marvel of compassion, humor, depth of observation, and realism. It does what movies are supposed to do—get you into the mind and heart of another person whose life is entirely unlike yours, so that you can understand them and empathize with them and feel with them. Truly an achievement. These three movies—First Reformed, Eighth Grade, and Roma were my favorites of the year.
I don’t agree with everything David French says, but this was spot on—referring to the recent “scandal” surrounding Chris Pratt’s involvement with “famously anti-LGBT” church Hillsong (this supposed fame would be news to most Christians who wish Hillsong took a more clearly defined position on the issue). It does show somewhat what the future holds for Christians—it is already impossible in most European countries to be any sort of public figure and maintain a traditional Christian faith. That’s where we are moving too.
This short article from RC Sproul hits on some of the issues I talked about in the sermon this week. The contrast between Judas and Peter is surely deliberate!
This is a longer read, but it is well worth your time. John Murray was one of the most significant Reformed theologians of the early 20th century, and his particular area of passion and focus was the covenant of grace. The covenant of God is central to our shared theology and this article will help you understand it!