It was a Tuesday morning in July when I sat down in President Corey's office and told him the news that I had accepted a new job and would no longer be working at Biola University. With tears in my eyes I told him how hard it was for me to leave. I'd worked at Biola for nine years and met my wife Kira here. I loved my job working in the Office of the President. I was not looking to leave.
Yes, our individual stories matter, but mostly because they are subplots and microcosms of the BIG story God is telling. Each of our lives can be a reflection of the redemptive story God authors on a massive scale. Each is a compelling chapter in the epic of creation.A movie that I think illustrates this well is Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life.
I've been very honored to be a part of the initiatives coming out of the new Biola University Center for Christianity, Culture & the Arts, which launched at Biola back in September.
The world is far too complex, troubled, beautiful and dynamic for us to ever just exist in. It beckons us to make sense of it. To carve at least some comprehension out of the vast incomprehensibility of existence. This is what education is about. For anyone who cares about the destiny of this world, education is a high calling: a pursuit without end that is never wholly futile and never fully satisfying.
I just came from speaking about film criticism at the Biola Media Conference, on a panel with myself and Justin Chang of Variety. The topic of "Christian" or "redemptive" film was raised, and the moderator (Biola film professor Lisa Swain) asked Justin and I which filmmakers we thought were currently making the most "redemptive" films--were they Christians or non-Christians? Even in spite of the nebulous meaning of "redemptive film," Justin and I both immediately jumped to the films of the Dardenne Brothers as examples of some of the best "redemptive" cinema happening these days. But there are many others I could have mentioned. So, for those who were in the session this morning (or anyone else), here are some other recent films I would recommend that you immediately Netflix, if you haven't seen them yet.
Traveling changes one's life. I'm sure anyone who has done much of it--especially abroad--would agree. There's something about the displacement and discomfort of being in an alien place, coupled with the awesomeness of seeing things you've never seen before and blowing open the doors of any prior conceptions of "what this world is." Travel enlarges one's view of existence.
The start of every summer is always so full of excitement—the promise of endless free time, lazy mornings, late nights, swimming in pools and oceans, climbing trees and mountains, reading books. Every year around late May, the summer looms so large. It seems so immense. Those endless days! Those boozy low-pressure thunderstorm nights! And so little that must be done!
The late ’90s had “postmodern.” The first part of the 21st century introduced us to “emerging.” But over the last few years, there has been no bigger buzzword in Christianity than “missional.” It’s a word that has exploded into the popular vernacular of preachers, theologians and seminary professors. It has graced the covers of almost every major Christian publication. It has spawned books, seminars, conferences and endless blog debates. A growing number of congregations now describe themselves as “missional churches.” And proponents of the idea believe you and your church would do well to do the same. But what does it mean?