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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.

For more you can go here:

To purchase a copy try these links:
Barnes & Noble

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

Friday, April 09, 2010

THE MUSE, by Fred Warren

Friday - Jilly. I believe her actual name is Jillian Jackson, although I forgot where I read that. In any case she goes by the name of Jilly. Also a member of The Seventh Circle of Hell, Jilly is a Gothic gal who is into writing vampire stories. We aren't going to get into a debate about Christians writing vampire stories or dressing in Gothic attire, because I will defend them both. Suffice it to say that Jilly is another member of this same group. The obstacle she faces is publishers don't seem to be interested in her graphic approach. In her mind she got through the story with minimal difficulties, told the story the way she felt it should be told, kept the integrity of her story in tact from beginning to end, and yet no one, seemingly, wants to publish it. In a sense this only feeds into her Gothic approach to viewing things, that is, being the outcast. There is an oddity about being an outcast. The social norm says "You need to be over here, doing this and dressing like this," when the outcast says, "No, you need to be over here, doing this and dressing whatever way makes you feel comfortable." In a sense they force themselves into being outcasts, but in another sense, they just want to be accepted for who they are.

Now I can give you the Gospel of Jesus within a vampire-like context. I can explain the usage of dark clothing, the interesting value that the "death look", piercings and even tattoos have for a Christian. Yet the most important thing is that none of this matters. Consider Jesus who told Peter, Andrew, James and John, "I will make you fishers of men." As fishermen by trade they realized that when you cast your net out you get all kinds of fish in that net. Some are thrown back, many times so they can be caught at a later time when they are bigger. Few are tossed back because they are "bad fish". None of the fish are cleaned. That happens after you catch them. Too many people in the church try to clean the fish before they catch them. They say things like, "If you smoke you're going to hell," "If you drink, you're going to hell,"If you go to dances or movies, you're going to hell," and so on. Their idea of Christianity is a bunch of dos and doen'ts. People we refer to as outcasts because they don't fit our mold. But you know something? They aren't supposed to. Just as all children, even in the same family, are different, so are all people different. And just as only the father has the right to set the rules down to govern his family, so also does our Heavenly Father have the right to govern His family. It's not up to you or me to point out someone's flaws or sins, but to accept them and let our "Daddy" take it from there. How can love cover a multitude of sins if people are unwilling to address their sins. It should never be our job to do that. We must be very careful if we point out someone's sins, because we have no right to make ourselves out to be God, and that is what we'd be doing if we made those judgments. So be careful, be very, very careful.

I was glad to find Jilly in this story. I can relate to fantasy and sci-fi writers, but this gave me a chance address some things that I feel needed to be addressed. People will accept, to a point, writers of fantasy and science fiction, but they tend to have problems with writers of horror, especially when it includes vampires and werewolves. I can't say that I'm totally comfortable with the whole vampire schtick, especially when they are glorified as they often are. Still, people are people. Jesus did not say He came to die for only the sheep without blemish. He didn't say, "I'll except you and you, but you over there, keep on walking." No, the love of Jesus is such that He loves all of us, just as we are. We are all sin-stained and if we don't realize that then we are missing the whole point of the Gospel. Jesus came to save sinners. Outcasts, more than others, know what it is to be, well, cast out. They actually have the greatest potential to being some of the strongest Christians in our society, but if we keep shutting the doors in their faces, if we continue to shut up our hearts against them, then they will turn to paganism. If you think that's God's will for them, then keep shutting the door in their face, keep turning them away, keep shutting up your hearts against them. If you believe, as I do, and as Jesus teaches, that we are to love everyone, to embrace everyone as He would, then these people will bless you as they find their way into the household of God.

(Sorry, Fred, didn't mean to get carried away, but you started it *S*)

Don't forget to visit Fred's site found HERE

You can purchase his book at any of the following sites (although I would urge you to go to Splashdown books and help a wonderful young lady get her new company off the ground)

Splashdown Books

Barnes & Noble


Don't forget to check out the following CFRB member's sites for other reviews and insights for THE MUSE.

[Important legal notice: This book was given to me freely by Splashdown books for the purpose of doing a review. My compensation is writing a review of the book. However, having said that I must also state that I don't even bother looking at things I feel may be of inferior quality. The works displayed on CFRB are, and have been, for the most part, exemplary in their quality and content]


Fred Warren said...

Jilly is one of my favorite characters in The Muse. Despite her fascination with vampires and Goth culture, she's exuberant and full of life, and she faces her frustrations and fears with humor and style. I like that contrast.

While all three of the writers are outsiders of some sort, Jilly, for me, stood in for the people we all know who seem a little strange on the outside, and we often don't take the time to get past our preconceptions and discover the person inside.

I won't delve into the debate about Christian horror, even though I started it :), other than to say that, in general, horror, and especially classic horror, is very moral at its core. Good is rewarded and evil vanquished in the end. Characters who are pure of heart fare well, and those who try to compromise with evil are usually consumed by it. Heroes confront evil courageously after overcoming their fears.

Modern horror stories and movies, not as much, but the sense of it is still there to some degree.

Thanks again for spinning a great lesson off my story, David.

David said...

I like Jilly too. She reminds me of a segment of people in town who are misunderstood. They aren't as "death oriented" as they appear, but are more like seekers. I was talking to a Gothic kid and her mother a few years ago and said that Goths are just like the hippies of the '60s who happen to wear black. They are both seekers, and if given the right direction from God's people can become some of the greatest warriors in the Kingdom of God. They were both tickled by the idea and had to agree with me. I think you captured this well.

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