Films & music, Theology & Church

When the church leaves the building…

This is my favourite scene from the Oscar-winning 1954 film On the Waterfront, starring Marlon Brando.  One of the key characters is a priest who is encouraging the dock workers to stand up against the corruption of the Union bosses.  One docker, Kayo Dougan, is prepared to testify in court against the violence and extortion. But the day… Continue reading When the church leaves the building…

Films & music, Recommended books

Bono on the difference between Grace and Karma

"It's a mind-blowing concept that the God who created the Universe might be looking for company, a real relationship with people, but the thing that keeps me on my knees is the difference between Grace and Karma... You see, at the centre of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put… Continue reading Bono on the difference between Grace and Karma

Films & music

What age should you let your child watch or play a ‘12’ rated film or game?

This week my sons came home from primary school with a letter for parents and guardians which reminded us about the recommended ages that children should be before they use various social media and games.  As well as referring to the 13 year old threshold for using facebook and Instagram they also felt they needed… Continue reading What age should you let your child watch or play a ‘12’ rated film or game?

Films & music

’12 Years a Slave’ and the ambivalent role of religion

Last night I went to see the film 12 Years a Slave.  I am still recovering.  The film focuses on the tribulations faced by Solomon Northup, (Chiwetel Ejiofor) a successful New Yorker who is duped, drugged and sold into slavery in the southern states of the US. It is a brilliant yet relentlessly traumatic film.  Northup’s switch from… Continue reading ’12 Years a Slave’ and the ambivalent role of religion

Films & music, Theology & Church

Sharing the gospel with Errol Flynn, Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart

It has been great to see the reaction to Corin Pilling's beautiful guest post about how his church has connected with a local care home for those with dementia. Its another reminder that some of the most important work that the church does is with those who society finds it easy to forget.  Much of this… Continue reading Sharing the gospel with Errol Flynn, Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart

Films & music

Drowning in the Shallow – Andy Flannagan [Review]

I must admit that I am not a big fan of a lot of contemporary Christian music.  Too often, I find the lyrics can be trite and too detached from the difficulties and complexity of real life.  Often laments for our broken world tend to be both more poetic and more moving from those outside the Church rather than… Continue reading Drowning in the Shallow – Andy Flannagan [Review]

Films & music

Three reasons why everyone should watch ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ this Christmas

In my view,  It’s a Wonderful Life  is not the best Christmas film ever. It is simply the best film ever, full stop. Released in 1946, the film focuses on the life of a man called George Bailey (James Stewart) who lives in the small town of Bedford Falls. As a young man, George intends to ‘shake… Continue reading Three reasons why everyone should watch ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ this Christmas

Films & music

The life, death (and resurrection?) of The Stone Roses

I first heard The Stone Roses when they appeared on Top of the Pops in November 1989  when they debuted in the same show as The Happy Mondays. The next day at school everyone was going on about 'Madchester'.  The Stone Roses breakthrough single, Fool's Gold was jangly, ambient and different to anything I had ever heard before. It's success led… Continue reading The life, death (and resurrection?) of The Stone Roses

Films & music, Recommended books, Sport

Cricket, justice and political action

Just as you cannot separate faith and politics, it is impossible to separate the world of international sport from politics.  Recently for my birthday I got two brilliant examples of the role cricket can play within the political sphere. Firstly the DVD of the acclaimed documentary film Fire in Babylon, which is about the great West Indies… Continue reading Cricket, justice and political action

Films & music

Attack the Block (15)

Attack the Block is about a South London teenage gang who defend their council estate from an invasion of aliens.  Their block is besieged by males of an alien species after the gang killed a female alien in retribution for injuring their gang leader, Moses.  It's an unusual mix of gritty social realism, mild horror and genuine comedy.  I thought it… Continue reading Attack the Block (15)