Friday, June 27, 2008

Booyah and the Art of Communication from the Mind of a 5 Yr Old

Tonight Eli and I were sitting at the table talking about our day over a late-night snack. During our conversation, Eli told me about something he had done during the day that he was particularly excited about. I just looked at him and said, "That's what I'm talking about - Booyah!" (Susan had told me the other day that Eli had said booyah while playing downstairs.)

As soon as I said that word, Eli said, "We shouldn't say that word daddy."

When I asked him why - he just showed me that mommy had made a bad face when he said it the other day.That's when I told him that sometimes there are words and things that boys say to each other that don't make much sense to mommies or other girls - and that booyah was one of those words (I did not feel it necessary to discuss the fact that the word has transitioned from cool to not so). Eli looked at me for a minute and then said - "Is it like another language?" And I simply said, "Yes."

The truth is that men and women do speak something of different languages. One of the joys of my almost 10 yr marriage has been discovering how Susan communicates and how I should communicate with her. I will be the first to admit that I am not as successful at figuring those two things out, but I enjoy the process.Tonight when I sat down to talk with my son, I never imagined being challenged to think about the differences in communication styles of men and women - but that is the joy of being a parent.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wall-E and Eve

Pixar will release their newest movie this Friday. The movie entitled Wall-E tells the story of a robot humans forgot to turn off when they abandon the planet. Having two young children, I have come to look forward to Pixar movies. One of the first movies that Eli ever really enjoyed was Finding Nemo. Since the day he watched it, he has been fascinated with ocean life. One thing that makes Wall-E interesting is that it is from the same director as Nemo.

Christianity Today has a great interview with Andrew Stanton, the director. In the interview he talks about the biblical themes in Wall-E:

They tell you that as a storyteller, it's vital to just stick with and be honest with your values system. The last thing I want to do is go to a movie and feel like I'm being preached to or being told how to be, and I think it's more honest—and you're going to have more effect—to be truthful with the values of your characters, working off of your own values. That was the case with WALL•E. The greatest commandment is to love one another, and to me, that's the ultimate purpose of living. So that was the perfect goal for the loneliest robot on earth, to learn the greatest commandment, to learn to love.

To read the rest of the interview, click here

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Jesus Film 2.0

The Jesus Film is an amazing evangelistic success story. Since its first run in 1976, the film has been translated into 1026 languages and is estimated to have been viewed over 6 billion times. Statistics like those led the New York Times to declare that the Jesus Film is the most watched film in history. What is even more amazing is that the Jesus Film project states that they have recorded over 220 million decisions for Christ at live showings.

I have personally witnessed the power of the Jesus Film in one of my trips to Brazil. We had a movie showing in the town square where people just walking by began to gather to watch the movie. At the end of showing, the missionary gave a very brief discussion of the film and then offered an invitation. That a large number of people responded to the invitation.

But in spite of that success, the people behind the Jesus Film project are trying to evaluate how they can reach the next generation. While recordings have been made in the various translation languages, no new filming has been done in 30 years.

Instead of reshooting everything, the people behind the project are thinking of reworking the film as an Japanese animation project. What they say they need now is your input. Below is a concept video of the direction they are intending to go.

You can help the producers by completing a survey here.

So, what do you think? How do you feel about the style? Does the anime work for you? Should they re-record the voices? Should they reshoot the entire film with new actors?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Random Quote

"A good name, like good will, is got by many actions and lost by one."

Lord Jeffrey

New Report on Religion in America

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has just released the second part of their study on religion in America. They conclude from their research that

most Americans have a non-dogmatic approach to faith. A majority of those who are affiliated with a religion, for instance, do not believe their religion is the only way to salvation. And almost the same number believes that there is more than one true way to interpret the teachings of their religion. . . . This is not to suggest that Americans do not take religion seriously. The U.S. Religious Landscape Survey also shows that more than half of Americans say religion is very important in their lives, attend religious services regularly and pray daily. . . . The Landscape Survey confirms the close link between Americans' religious affiliation, beliefs and practices, on the one hand, and their social and political attitudes, on the other. Indeed, the survey demonstrates that the social and political fault lines in American society run through, as well as alongside, religious traditions.

What especially troubles me in reading this story is the number of members of evangelical churches that believe "many religions can lead to eternal life." According to the survey, 57% of evangelical church members believe that to be true. In other words, over half of the people surveyed from evangelical churches do not believe that John 14:6 or Acts 4:12 are true.

Here is a link to the full report: Religious Beliefs & Practices/Social & Political Views (You can also view the other report put out earlier this year on religious affiliation at that link).