The Latest

THEOLOGY
Thanks to both Cam Lawrence and Tim Challies for referring to this article at TheResurgence. Mark Driscoll continues to be one of the most influential young pastors out there, and his insightful evaluation of the divide between Chuck Smith Sr. and his son (Jr.) lays out a corresponding theological divide between older and younger evangelicals. The future looks interesting.

Judging from the program at the upcoming ETS, the hoopla (don’t condemn me for using that word) over George W. Bush’s presidency and the situations in the Middle East and nearly everywhere else will continue its invasion of the church’s world. I’m a little troubled that ETS is featuring Hugh Hewitt. I happen to like Hewitt and read his blog occasionally. And I’ll have to admit, he’s talking about something he knows: blogging. (After all, he wrote the book.) But he’s decidedly conservative, and I wonder if we’re getting in hotter water.

[I don’t have room for it now, but the divide (and the accompanying vitriol) in the church between political liberals and conservatives is unsettling.]

MUSIC

As I’ve said, I’ve been listening to (and really enjoying) Sufjan Stevens. But thanks to new folks I know, I’m getting to hear a lot of stuff I’ve missed. Now in the queue: Damien Jurado, Thursday, Mute Math, Bonnie “Prince” Billy (aka Will Oldham). In addition, I’ve rediscovered a band or three in a fit of nostalgia. Clockhammer’s Klinefelter has been getting regular airplay on my iTunes, as has The Cure. (Weird combo, I know.)

MOVIES

I’ve written about one recent viewing here, and mentioned seeing another here. Thanks to DVR and Dish Network, I’m catching up on a lot of movies. Since I’m a dad, I saw Valiant recently (not bad). Since I’m a husband (and since it was pretty good) I watched 50 First Dates.

By far the best movie I’ve seen recently is Little Miss Sunshine. Nearly every actor turns in a dead-on performance, making LMS fun and funny while at the same time deeply meaningful. Like my experience watching The Family Stone, I felt new appreciation for family, and what it means to love crazy people who are related to us as much as we should. Steve Carell shows a breadth of talent that we hoped he would have. I get the feeling that he’s finding his dramatic feet earlier than some other comic actors have (e.g., Robin Williams, Bill Murray) and succeeding as they have at blending comedy and tragedy incredibly well.

BOOKS

A friend e-mailed today, asking for book recommendations. I’m sorry to say I’m still laboring through Fall of Hyperion. Laboring is too strong a word, though, since I love the book but haven’t had as much time to read lately. BUT I’ve been revisiting Motherless Brooklyn a bit lately, just sampling to get a taste of what was a fantastic reading experience. Jonathan Lethem does a great job remixing the noir novel and creating an antihero you can sink your teeth into.

I will say that the Discerning Reader site seems to have improved. Its look, at least. I’ve not read more than a couple of reviews, but the content seems promising. If you check it out, let me know what you think.

TV

Prison Break has gotten under my skin again; it’s one of a couple shows Kristi and I are watching. I still can’t figure out how someone as smart as Michael Scofield could be so stupid, but that’s the way the script goes. The other shows are The Office, House, and Project Runway (he admits sheepishly). I’m anticipating the second season of a show called Top Chef on Bravo.

Since we disconnected our TV in the spring, we missed a lot of finales. Which is why we were so flabbergasted when we watched The Office on Thursday. Unbelievable!

Plenty of others have already fallen off our schedule, among them My Name Is Earl and Vanished (which lasted about two episodes). Speaking of Vanished, I wonder how many more of these serial shows the schedule can take. I know I’m about done.

WEB

As I mentioned above, Tim Challies has relaunched DiscerningReader.com. Should be a good thing.

I’ve got a few more, but no time to post em. Sayonara.

That’s about all I have. Thanks for stopping by.

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One thought on “The Latest”

  1. I love, love, love this post! Thanks for updating in such a neat way. Here are my comments…

    Music – I’m actually revisiting country lately, which has been nice for something different. Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, and some Crabb Family/The Isaacs mixed in for some good ol’ Southern Gospel nostalgia. I’m also discovering Hem, whose song “He Came to Meet Me” is currently playing on my myspace (www.myspace.com/michellewheeler). I haven’t gotten on the Sufjan Stevens train yet, but I keep meaning to check him out. Your recommendation pushes me even more. The new Los Lonely Boys is the newest thing I can’t stop playing on the Pod.

    Movies – AMEN on Little Miss Sunshine! That movie is amazing. Every aspect – the acting, the writing, the simple cinematography, the awesome horn that won’t quit honking! – was perfect. I also highly recommend Fast Food Nation. You probably saw the trailer before LMS. And though the trailer is just about the worst one I’ve ever seen, the movie is great.

    TV – It’s the most…wonderful time…of the year! I love the anticipation of a new fall season. Even though it generally ends in more disappointments than victories, I look forward to it always. We’re also hooked on Prison Break, House, and Project Runway. I can’t wait for the NCIS premier tonight and The Office and Grey’s Anatomy premiers this Thursday. For new shows, we’re trying everything on and seeing what sticks…Smith, Justice (worth it to see Victor Garber every week), Brothers and Sisters, Heroes, Studio 60, Jericho, Six Degrees, Shark, and even the new Survivor. Oh, the joys of a dual-tuner DVR!

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