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DVD Review

I apologize for not being more active, but not having other reviewers or books to review, it's been a little difficult. However I want to let you know about this wonderful DVD "God's Not Dead." Working at the library I found it on our shelves and took it home. When I brought it back I raved about it. I wanted to take it out again, but it seems word gets around. It's always on hold for someone else. That's great.

The opening scene is in a freshman college philosophy class. The professor states he is an atheist, and asks that if everyone will sign a paper with 3 little words on it he can dispense of the dust and get to the subject. Those 3 words are "God Is Dead." One student cannot sign that. He is given 3 chances to argue the case of the existence of God before the class.

Fueled by hate on one side and a determined love of God on the other this is not your simple movie. The poor kid researches and goes off on a journey of his own to state his case. The end is nothing short of amazing. I guess telling people stuff like this is one of the reasons I can't get a hold of it a second time. It's really that good.

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May our Lord be with you now and always. Remember, God is in control, even when things look like they're crashing all around you. David

Sunday, August 03, 2008

CHION, by Darryl Sloan

Day 1. That's almost the way CHION begins, as it follows an amazing plotline through the days encountered. So what is this book about? The author would have us believe it is about snow, for that is what the Greek word Chion means. True enough, it has snowed, albeit so slightly, in Northern Ireland. We find later that this snow has covered the entirety of both North and South Ireland, England, Scotalnd and parts of France. So what's so spectacular about snow? I have a daughter-in-law who was raised in Florida. She and her sisters hadn't seen snow. When she moved north to be with my son she was thrilled by seeing her first snow. That thrill quickly wore off and she longed for warmer climates. I can't say that I blame her. Her sisters thought she had received an extra blessing by being able to see real snow. Those of us "up north" might like an occasional flurry or two, and realize the necessity of more than that, but generally we don't like snow. If you're not trying to get from one place to another in this substance that makes driving difficult, then chances are you're busy shoveling it out of your driveway.

The difference with CHION, is this snow, although just a bit more than a flurry, isn't slippery at all. In fact it doesn't melt, and only resembles snow. Better put, what appears as a blanket of beautiful snow is hazardous. The book starts out with a school of 650 students watching in horror as the first students rush out to the playground. Only they don't get more than a step. The snow, we learn, is an adhesive, binding them to it, just as surely as two pieces of steel are joined by welding them together. I'll not go on too much about it, because I'm trying not to give away the story. Just remember, the entire United Kingdom and parts of France at least, are held hostage by a dusting of pretty white flakes of snow. No one can go out and about. No one can step on the snow without it trapping them, holding their shoes fast.

When you finish reading this book you're going to find out that it's really not about this weird snow at all, but about us. This snow is an excellent vehicle in uncovering the hidden evils of human nature, and sometimes bringing out a kind of harsh heroism in others. We get a sort of global feel about this disaster, and see how different people are handling it. To make this more clear, author Darryl Sloan focuses on a shool of students age 11 through 14 I believe. What we in the United States might call junior high. He gives us some wonderful character descriptions, through action mind you, not something many established authors are capable of doing, and then focuses on Jamie. It is here that you find the real story.

I sometimes wonder if life isn't like this. We complain about this situation and that situation, but the reality is that we are all characters in God's Book. These situations bring out our true character and He is trying to establish in us something great. There are many references to us being like gold or some other precious metal tried in the fire. Yet it isn't about the fire and we aren't gold or precious metal. We are people and the fires we face are those daily tribulation that many of us complain about. There are those brave souls, however, that see something on the other side of the situation, something they are bound and determined to reach. This, I feel, is the essence of CHION. For God wants us to look beyond those things that seem to threaten us to what is beyond, to something far greater than we could ever have imagined. As we press on, we, like Jamie, find ourselves caught up in an incredible adventure in which God plays both the One who tries us by fire, as well as the One who supplies us the strength to make it through. He creates in us an image of His Son, Jesus, and purifies that image with trials. He gives us the power of His very Spirit that we might not be overwhelmed. In the end we find that we have become something far greater than we may ever have set out to become. Through it all we find the strength of praise, the wisdom of God, as He guides the steps of the righteous. Yet if we only look at the "snow" around us, we remained trapped. Jamie refused to be trapped, and becomes the unlikely hero of this story. It is truly amazing. But I'll sign off for now so I have something to write about tomorrow.

David Brollier
CFRB co-founder

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cathikin said...

I love the way you boil it down (the novel, not the snow) to the rela essence of the novel. I suppose that's what a majority of good books really come to: us, not the situations.

Laura Davis said...

Thanks for that insightful review David. I had not thought of the spiritual applications of this book. I know how strange that sounds (being a Christian), because I was so caught up in the story, I missed the point. Thanks for reminding me.

David said...

Thank you both for your kind comments. Laura, don't feel bad about missing the spiritual points. I believe Darryl wrote the story so those points would more or less sneak in. In other words, you really weren't supposed to catch them, at least not overtly. As a minister I like the teaching aspect and so I'm always digging into what is behind the scenes. It's beautiful, because I can see spiritual lessons in almost everything, even things not meant to be that way. Darryl did a great job.

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