End of Month Review – June 2008
I love checking out the stats on Pop Culture Christ. It’s great to see what people have been reading. And it is always interesting to see what people have typed into search engines to get here. At the end of every month, I aim review what’s been going on behind the scense at Pop Culture Christ.
Sermon given at St Luke’s Liverpool dealing with one of the 4 “Solas” of the Reformation – Scripture Alone.
Sermon Preview: Scripture Alone
Like a lot of Protestant Churches in Sydney, my Church at St Luke’s Liverpool is looking at “Ideas That Changed The World”, four of the slogans that represent the Reformation. This week is Scripture Alone. Scripture Alone is the idea that the Bible is the direct Word of God. When the traditions we create become equal or greater than the Bible we have a problem. Especially when those traditions contradict the Bible.
For a number of years, I’ve worked in Christian retail. It’s been my job to connect people with the right Bible or the right book or the right gift in exchange for money. When I first started in the shop (Bible Society NSW Bookshop) all we sold were Bibles. If someone asked me if we carried a book, I would ask them if it was a Bible. If they said no, I could quickly tell them we didn’t stock it because we only stocked Bibles. No need for complicated computer searches back then!
A few years ago, the shop branched into Christian literature and music. Suddenly it was a whole new world. I actually had to know things like titles! And authors! I never had that problem before. New stock meant new problems. What books do you stock? Do you stock everything and hope for the best? Do you only stock books you agree with? Do you stock books that are good, even if they don’t sell?
GI Joe and Bible Translation
Have you ever laid awake at night wondering which Bible translation would fight Cobra Commander best?
Vatican Says No To Dan Brown
What? The Roman Catholic Church has denied Ron Howard access to their properties? They don’t want the new movie Angels and Demons, written by Dan Brown, associated with their organisation? And they did this without even looking at the script?
I love buying T-Shirts. Every time I walk into Jay Jays I have to resist the temptation to buy up big. These two shirts caught my eye on http://amorphia-apparel.com/
What do you think?
Movie Review: The Wicker Man (1973)
Starring Christopher Lee
This is one of those movies that I’ve heard all about for so long but never seen. Can it live up to the hype? Is this really the Citizen Kane of horror movies? (Citizen Kane is another one of those movies I really should get around to seeing.)
Movie Review: Ghost Rider
Starring Nicholas Cage
Wow. That was a mess. Bad acting, bad dialogue, bad CGI, and a plot that doesn’t make any sense. I knew there was a reason that I’d held off watching this one. So how did this all go so terribly wrong?
Movie Review: Prince Caspian
I have to fess up. I haven’t read all of the Narnia books. I’ve read the first three, so I haven’t actually got round to Prince Caspian yet. It’s sitting on my book shelf, so I will one of these days… But I have seen the movie! So while I can’t tell you what the differences are between the book and movie, I can tell you how much I enjoyed the movie.
Book Review: Rapture Ready!
By Daniel Radosh
When I saw this book on the shelf at Moore Books, I only had to read the subtitle to know I wanted to read this book – “Adventures in the Parallel Universe of Christian Pop Culture.”
A book all about Christian pop culture? That is so my kind of book. Daniel Radosh deals with all kinds interesting topics ranging from Christian theme parks to Christian wrestling organisations.
Time For Retirement: Cliffhanger
Have you ever heard an illustration and thought “Wow! That really captures what the Bible and the preacher is trying to say!” And have you ever thought, after you’ve heard the tenth different preacher use that same illustration for the hundredth time that it’s time to come up with something new? There are illustrations out there that have done their dash. They were great the first time, now they need a break. For those illustrations, it’s Time For Retirement. Today’s application for Time For Retirement: Cliffhanger.
The Simpsons: The Father, The Son and The Holy Guest Star
The Father, The Son and The Holy Guest Star
Guest starring Liam Neeson
“You guys have more crazy rules than Blockbuster Video.” Homer Simpson
The Simpsons is one of the few shows on television that reguarly deals with the topic of religion. The Simpson family attends a Protestant Church every Sunday. Krusty the Clown is Jewish. And Apu is a devout Hindu. But what about Roman Catholicism? Is it the same as the Christian faith of Rev. Lovejoy’s Church or is it different?
Movie Review: Hot Fuzz
Alice Cooper: Gimme
It may surprise you that I’m a huge Alice Cooper fan. A fan of a 60 year old rocker wearing black leather and makeup with some Top 40 hits in the 70s and 80s who did a cover version of one of his own songs with British pop band The A-Teens. Yeah, that doesn’t sound like me at all. But strangely enough, I really enjoy his music as well as his presence as a performer. One of these days I hope I have enough money to justify seeing one of his concerts. If he’s still breathing… not that being dead would stop him I guess.
The thing that really gets me going about Alice, the thing that gets me excited, is that he is a Christian.
Call for Movie Suggestions
What will I watch next? Part of my efforts to stay current with the world of pop culture is to watch a movie a week. Back in the days I worked in a cinema, I would watch (at least part) of almost every movie that was released, as well as a stack of videos and movies on cable TV. These days I don’t work at a cinema, have fallen behind in my DVD watching and don’t have cable TV.
So here’s how you can help. Tell me what you want me to watch. It can be on in the cinemas or out on DVD (you have a greater chance of success if it’s a weekly DVD as I can get those for $1 on Tuesdays). Preferably it will be something I haven’t seen and a) be of special interest to issues of faith OR b) be something I would enjoy.
I’m also up for TV show recommendations, especially particular episodes. Please let me know in the comments what you would like me to watch!
Pop Culture Christ vs Pop Culture Guru
Apparently Mike Myers has got some people upset. And not just those who sat through Austin Powers in Goldmember. Myers’ new movie The Love Guruhas him playing a wacky Hindu guru with a wacky accent doing wacky things. And it’s got some people calling for blood. Deepak Chopra, famous spiritual guru, has stood up for Myers and has called for those protesting to pull their heads in and wait until the movie actually comes out before they grab their pitchforks.
You can find the article here in the Sydney Morning Herald. But what does this have to do with Christianity?
Movie Review: Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
Little Miss Sunshine (Rated M)
Starring Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette and Steve Carell
I’ve been meaning to see this movie for a while. It’s one of those movies that gets a bit of a cool reputation while not achieving box office gold. What’s it about? Six family members in a Kombi on their way to a beauty pageant. Well, that’s the plot. But what is the movie really about?