Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Entertainment options in cold and wet Vancouver are somewhat limited on a student budget (especially when you are giving up wasting time on the iMac for lent).

However the Vancouver Public Library is stocked with a bunch of ‘classic’ DVD’s which are free to borrow! The Library also tends to hold out and buy the ultimate DVD version with all the special features. Some include recent interviews from cast and crew about the impact of a classic movie (e.g. M.A.S.H.).

So far, we have enjoyed watching several movies we hadn’t seen before:
>Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho – 4 Oscar Nominations
>M.A.S.H. (The Original Movie) - 1 Oscar
>The Godfather – Parts 1,2 & 3 – 9 Oscars
>Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid – 4 Oscars
>Lawrence of Arabia – 7 Oscars
>2001 A Space Odyssey - 1 Oscar
>Patton – 8 Oscars
>My Left Foot - 2 Oscars (I’m not sure it’s a classic (yet), but certainly a great story)

On the agenda:
>Ben Hur
>Gone with the Wind

Any other Classics worth looking out for?

Saturday, March 17, 2007

'touching down' on biblical economics

Regent’s Christian Thought & Culture course has been great! Over two terms we ‘touch-down’ briefly to see how Christian thought has developed and shaped cultures from the early church fathers right up to the 21st Century. We have ‘touched-down’ on: the spiritual practices of the church fathers; Jesus’ transforming message being met by the Greco-Roman world, the spread of Christianity throughout the world over time, the Christian influence on the arts, the good and the bad of the Reformation, the influence of philosophical movements and in the last few weeks, in the modern era, a Christian response to globalisation, ecology in the bible and an examination of tricky biblical text concerning models of marriage.

That isn’t half of it! By nature, this course touches-down on too many issues, which can be frustrating, as I want so much more on certain topics. But, our Professors know this and create the assessment around the frustration. We get to write our own research questions and we are set an additional reading assignment where we get to choose our own adventure and read 50 pages from 8 different sources from a wonderful reading list.

This week I have been reading Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger. First published in 1977, this book caused quite a stir and was embraced and rebuked accordingly. It’s now in it’s 4th edition and it is still stirring and being rebuked! In a nutshell, Ron Sider provides a biblical understanding of God’s Economy and how it can affects today’s economy and Christian & Church economic actions. For me this book brings together several areas of interest including affluenza, fair trade, poverty, simpler lifestyles and (all too briefly) environmental concerns based on economic activity.

In ending a chapter on Thinking Biblically about Property and Possessions, Snider writes:
In a consumer society that increasingly measures a person’s worth and importance by the amount of his or her material possessions, biblical Christians will reject materialism without falling into asceticism. They will delight in the splendor of the material world but not forget that things cannot ultimately satisfy. They will enjoy the good earth and celebrate its abundance without neglecting sacrificial sharing with the needy. They will distinguish between necessities and luxuries. They will enjoy possessions while recognizing their seductive danger. When forced to choose between Jesus and possessions, they will gladly forsake the ring for the Beloved.
A read worth being stirred by!

[Since posting, I have added a few more thoughts/quotes see: Comments]