Movie Review: Babylon

I have reviewed many movies here, but I rarely mention whether a movie has nudity, sexually explicit scenes, or other offensive content. I figure if that is primarily what a Christian movie critic is offering the public, it is not worth the effort. Pagans will act like pagans, even when they make movies; we shouldn’t be surprised. I try to overlook it and focus on the themes, messages, and entertainment value of the movie. After all, movies are supposed to be a form of entertainment.

A movie’s biggest sin then, is when it fails to entertain. When it does so after 2o minutes of resorting to every shocking image the most perverted pagan can conceive, from a grossly obese man enjoying a golden shower to a midget on a pogo stick made into a giant penis spraying its pretend semen all over the audience, you know you have a monumental loser on your hands.

In fact, the most fitting metaphor of this movie was the elephant in the first scene defecating all over the man transporting it to a Hollywood party. Call it foreshadowing. After twenty minutes of this movie, I felt like that man, and the only thing I could think to do was look for the exit and the nearest shower. It was perhaps the single worst, most banal and offensive, boring excuse for a movie ever put on film.

I have been a fan of Damien Chazelle’s movies in the past, particularly Whiplash and La La Land, but I seriously doubt his judgment after seeing this one. Chazelle should give back whatever he was paid to write and direct this movie. In fact, he should pay me back. After seeing this abstract-excrement-on-celluloid-excuse for a movie, I feel like I have been robbed at gunpoint and felt-up at the same time.

Save your money. Don’t waste your time. Get a root canal, a colonoscopy. Anything is better than being subjected to 189 minutes of this. GS

What the Bible Says about Dealing with Anxiety

I have a stressful job. In fact, U.S News & World Report’s 2022 survey ranking the top 25 most stressful jobs lists the job of a lawyer as the second most stressful job in America. On top of that, I am a trial lawyer, which is by far the most stressful of lawyer jobs.

There are many reasons being a trial lawyer is stressful, including the public speaking and arguing and that millions of dollars can be at stake, depending on how well one performs. It’s a lot of responsibility. I once lost 20 pounds during a two week trial, and it wasn’t because I was working out more.

Someone else who knew something about stress was the Apostle Paul. Paul was imprisoned, beaten on multiple occasions and often in danger of being killed, was stoned, shipwrecked three times, and once spent 36 hours floating in the open sea, wondering whether he would be rescued or drown. See 2 Cor. 11:23-25.

In addition to these external stressors, Paul had the daily pressure of responsibility for the churches he had planted or oversaw. 2 Cor. 11:28. It’s hard to imagine another person, save Jesus, who has lived a more stressful life than Paul.

Here is what Paul said about how to deal with stress:

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On Doing Your Work Wholeheartedly

The other night, I ate dinner at the hotel across the street. I ordered “The Gobbler,” which. as you guessed, is their version of the turkey sandwich. When it arrived, I was immediately disappointed. It was one of those triple-deckers, with an extra piece of bread in the middle, all-in-all about 5 inches thick.

They would have had to call the local fire department for the Jaws of Life to pry my mouth open wide enough for me to get a bite of this sandwich.

So there I sat trying to figure out how to get what should have been a simple turkey and cheese sandwich into my pie hole. Was I really supposed to eat it with a knife and fork?

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On Diverting Astroids and Jesus’ Return

So, today for the first time in history, man intentionally hit an astroid with a projectile and altered its course. Humanity will now breathe a sigh of relief knowing man has a fighting chance against the greatest threat to global annihilation.

When I heard the news today, my mind went to a completely different place. I thought, what if 1,000 years ago, we had told Christians that before Jesus returned we would be able to launch a rocket 7 miles into space and intentionally hit an astroid less than 200 yards wide with enough force to alter its course.

I believe most Christians would have said that was impossible, either because the necessary technology was inconceivable or that by the time it took mankind to achieve such technology, Jesus would have already returned. Yet, here we are.

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Early Christian, Medieval Travel Journal-Epilogue

Painting of Savonarola at San Marco Convent

As we have slipped back into our lives at home, I’ve thought through what we read, saw, and learned related to our Early Christian, Medieval Travel Journal tour.

The first two three hundred of the years of the Church was marked most conspicuously by persecution. We discussed some of those first century martyrs, including Ignatius who gave the ultimate proof of his discipleship in the Colosseum in Rome. After the Apostle Paul addressed in his New Testament letters some of those teachers who were painting outside the lines, with the exception of Gnosticism, we don’t hear much about heresy during the first three hundred years of the Church. Never was the Church more united than when it was most persecuted.

Constantine the Great’s vision, conversion, and his victory over Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge changed everything. The Church was finally free to worship in the Roman Empire, and more than that, the full support of the Roman Emperor, who assisted in the building of new churches and baptistries and in restoring to Christians and churches what had been taken from them during the persecutions that preceded Constantine.

But with that new freedom, dissension suddenly became a luxury the Church could seemingly afford. Heresies like Arianism, which had been simmering beneath the veneer of Christianity’s public face to the empire now bubbled to the surface. Others followed, Donatism, Pelegianism, and Nestorianism are just some examples.

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