A Dog’s Purpose

After a busy few weeks of weekend travel, evening events at the university, and writing deadlines, I decided to take some time out to just hang out with my twins yesterday afternoon. I surprised them by picking them up from school to talk them to a matinee. We went to see a Dog’s Purpose. Here are a few thoughts about how Christians can leverage the message of this film.

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The Worldview of Moana

A new movie from Disney is causing a tsunami of ticket sales this Thanksgiving weekend. Moana is a beautiful production about a young girl trying to save her people. It’s produced by the same genius team that brought us “Aladdin” and “The Little Mermaid.”

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Storks & Planned Parenthood

Storks, the recent animated film by SonyPictures tells the story of the commercialization of the birds known for delivering babies. They’ve been repurposed as the cartoon equivalent of Amazon’s drones. Want a product quick? Order it online with guaranteed Stork delivery within minutes.

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Will Narnia Reboot Get Lewis Right?

Last week, Deadline reported that a new installment of the Chronicles of Narnia franchise will take a different direction from the earlier, Disney-influenced films. TriStar studios now wants to reboot the Narnia films, starting with the next adaptation, The Silver Chair. The first question I had when I read the news was, “Will they finally get C.S. Lewis right?”

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Ben-Hur: How a Debate With an Agnostic Inspired a Bestselling Novel About Christ

What’s called the “most influential book of the nineteenth century” is the result of a debate between two military leaders. It happened on a train ride to Indianapolis on a late summer day in 1876. Colonel Robert G. Ingersoll, whose nickname was “The Great Agnostic,” bumped into author General Lew Wallace. The two spent the trip debating religion.

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The Secret Life of Pets & The Importance of Friendship

I laughed more while watching “The Secret Life of Pets” than any animated movie of recent history. I saw the film today with my twins. But it has a plot that is worth considering.

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Worldview Questions for Summer Blockbusters

What questions will you ask of the movies you watch this summer? As you dive your hand into the bottomless tub of buttered popcorn, will you even think about what the movie is teaching about man and meaning? Here’s a list to get you started.

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The X-Men, Polytheism, & Socrates

I have a good friend who is a much bigger fan of the comic based summer epics than me. But it doesn’t take much arm twisting to get me join him for the newest bestseller. In fact, I’m usually the one to make the recommendation. I like movie popcorn. Don’t judge.

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Batman v Superman: And the Problem of Evil

A friend and colleague encouraged me to write this. After watching the movie “Batman v Superman” with his son and his sons friends, he was able to have some meaty conversations related to colossal theological and philosophical themes in the movie. The most pointed was about a diatribe from the young Lex Luthor.

Superman is like a god, Luthor claims, but no god can exist since there is suffering in the world. Luthor then outlines the classic formation of the problem of evil. If God is all-loving he would want to end suffering. If he is all-powerful he could end suffering. Since there is suffering in the world God cannot be both all-loving and all-powerful.

This is a big topic, one that is worthy of more attention than I’ll give to it here. But the bottom line is this, Christianity provides a framework for understanding suffering and evil. While other religions might struggle to explain suffering, a robust biblical faith does not. The Bible reveals that God is all-loving and all-powerful, but that moral and natural evil are a result of human rebellion.

You barely turn the opening page of Genesis before you hit a brick wall. The idyllic Eden is lost in chapter three of the first book of the Bible. Utopia is a mere speed bump on the road to redemption. The curse of Adam and Eve is shown to deeply affect the human race when murder permanently separates their children. The curse pervades every domain of human existence from our relationship to God, our relationship to one another, and our relationship to the land.

But the all-loving, all-powerful, Creator has promised to one day make all things new. He will one day end evil. We live in the in the mire of the in-between of the promise and its fulfillment, waiting even as we suffer. But no amount of pop philosophy from a fictional character can undo the trajectory of history that is heading towards a new creation and enthroned lamb. And no power in heaven or on earth, real or theatrical, can prevail against the one who overcame death, Satan, and the grave.

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