On fire

I want to recommend a movie that you might be interested in seeing if you are either a Christian or are interested in Christianity (whether you think you may want to be a Christian or are more academically curious). The film gives a solid explanation of what Christianity is at its core—but it is also not sugar-coated.

Many Hollywood films and shows I’ve seen that feature Christian characters make them look like bumbling buffoons or religious fanatics. Many Christian-made films never become popular because they don’t offer real-life scenarios or have poor production quality.

This movie is a nice package: A good representation of Christianity, wrapped in a script with firefighter action and relational drama. Plus, it contains an excellent message about the importance of love and faithfulness in marriage.

Fireproof  hits theatres in late September. In the meantime, check out this trailer:

Intrigued by God

When God catches even the attention of a staunch atheist, it’s impressive to see.

I went to see Expelled with my husband on the weekend. The whole bit about the educational system knocking down the idea of intelligent design was interesting, but what really intrigued me was Richard Dawkins’s fascination with God. This was evident mostly near the end of the film, when Ben Stein sat down with the atheist for some face-to-face time. Dawkins read from his book, The God Delusion, a description of what he called the “Old Testament God.” It was scathing and even frightening.

What amazed me is the time that Dawkins, who does not believe God exists, has devoted to God. Writing the book takes time, yes, but there’s also the pondering the whole idea of God over and over in his head to come up with not only one description but a whole bookful of observations and arguments (I haven’t read the book, so please correct me if I’m off track here). I thought about the fact that atheists generally view God as a myth; he’s been compared by some to the fairies or goblins of children’s lore. I considered how difficult it would be for me to, for example, write a whole, serious book on the evils (or benefits) of the tooth fairy or the Easter bunny, considering that I have no doubt in my mind that those creatures are make-believe.

Later in the interview with Stein, Dawkins admitted to believing there could be an intelligent designer—if said designer evolved.

I left the movie wondering that if deep within himself, Dawkins doesn’t have just a tiny bit of doubt in his faith that there is no God.

Celebrating the secular Sabbath

It always intrigues me how religion and secularism interact, in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. A recent report by the Associated Press points out the secular celebration of the Sabbath.

The Sabbath, a command given by God to the Israelites as part of what’s known today as the Ten Commandments, mandates a day of rest. Interestingly, some people who turn their backs entirely on any type of religion are acknowledging a Sabbath of sorts. They’re finding that God’s rules are actually healthy for their lives as they take a break from the hustle-bustle and technology of the day to day, and focus on relationships or just relaxing. They’re unplugging themselves from the Internet, refraining from watching television, or hanging out at coffee shops to chat and reflect.

As a Christian, I recognize that God’s commands are not merely a set of dos and don’ts. Yes, they were designed by Him and Christians obey them out of love for our Maker, but they are also for our good. In the case of the Sabbath, our physical, emotional, and relational health is at stake. In other cases—such as the commands to not steal,  murder, or commit adultery—our lives and the lives of others are deeply hurt by disobedience.

To me, the effectiveness and truth of the Bible are one very firm piece of evidence for God’s existence.

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