#81: How to watch a movie—Douglas Beaumont

#81: How to watch a movie—Douglas Beaumont

Motion pictures have been called the ultimate form of art because they incorporate all previous forms: dance, music, theater, and mime, all in one. They are powerful drivers of, and reflections of, culture.

Movie lines become iconic and hence memorable:

“We’re going to need a bigger boat.” Jaws

“ET phone home.” E.T. the Extraterrestrial

“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” Gone with the Wind

“May the force be with you.” Star Wars

“You had me at hello.” Jerry McGuire

As Christians, we need to watch movies critically, not just for morality reasons, but for artistic ones. Should believers support poorly made movies because they bear a Christian message? Can Christians see rated R films with potty words, sexual content, and violence? Where’s the line?

This week’s guest has thought deeply about these questions and has some practical guidelines. He is Douglas Beaumont, a convert to the Faith and author of a book that’s due for a reboot, titled The Message Behind the Movie: How To Engage With a Film Without Disengaging With Your Faith. If you like movies, you’ll love this conversation in light of the gospel and the principles of effective storytelling.

 

In this interview you will learn:

  • How some G rated films have bad messages and some rated R ones have good ones
  • The difference between a Christian movie and a movie that is Christian
  • Some tips for determining whether a story is told effectively on screen
  • Why some heathen writers write the best “Christian scripts”
  • Why the golden age movies still hold up
  • How to notice when a film is selling an anti-Christian bias

 

Resources recommended in this episode:

 

Question of the week

In what way is Hollywood today’s most important missionary territory?

 

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#80: America will perish without Rome—Timothy Gordon

#80: America will perish without Rome—Timothy Gordon

This is fascinating. What is the nature of the great experiment called “America”? We say that Poland is a Catholic country, India is a Hindu country, and Turkey is a Muslim country, and so on. We also say America is a Christian country. But in what sense? Because the majority are followers of Jesus? But Jesus isn’t mentioned in the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, or the Bill of Rights—the Christian religion is nowhere endorsed as the state religion. My guest this week unpacks the foundational source—the real thinkers and philosophical ingredients that went into the essentially American recipe. His name is Timothy Gordon and his provocative new book is titled Catholic Republic: Why America Will Perish Without Rome He finds six crypto-Catholic elements present in the founding of America, and takes pains to show how the founders did not exactly cite the sources (like St. Thomas Aquinas, Aristotle, and St. Augustine) for these elements. Gordon says “America is wired Catholic, labeled Protestant, and currently functions as secular.” Lots to chew on after this interview with Tim Gordon, to say the least.

 

In this interview you will learn:

  • How anti-Catholic bias of 18th century America kept our Protestant and Enlightenment forefathers from admitting their dependence upon Catholic ideals
  • How the signs of the decline of America (from abortion on demand to the redefinition of marriage to crushing debt to the paganized pop culture) do not signal the inevitable end of the republic
  • Why America was never intended to be an empire and how international incursions have not been good for the nation’s health
  • The way in which America can “become more Catholic” without becoming the dreaded bugaboo “theocracy”
  • How relativism has been deliberately inserted into public life primarily through the Supreme Court
  • Why truth can never be determined by a poll or nose count, and why it matters

 

Resources recommended in this episode:

 

Question of the week

Do you believe America is specifically biased against Catholics?

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#79: What is Coffin Nation, Anyway?

#79: What is Coffin Nation, Anyway?

Greetings, my fellow culture builders:

As you probably know, the thing I’ve been hinting at and quietly building for many months is finally here. Since we’re only opening the doors twice a year, this is the only Inside Scoop that will mention it until the winter.
The doors close this Friday at the end of the day. As a result, after June 15, the full video iteration of the podcast will no longer be available on this website or YouTube, although the podcast version (iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud, Podbean, etc) will still be available.
Last Friday evening, the light turned green and people began signing up for “citizenship” (aka membership) in Coffin Nation and haven’t stopped since. If you haven’t seen the trailer, it’s short, sweet, and here: www.coffinnation.com.
What do YOU get?
  • Masterclass interviews with top influencers and thinkers like Dr. Jordan B. Peterson, whom I’ve interviewed four times; time management guru David Allen, author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity; and public speaker trainer and radio host Ken Davis. These are the first three guests of the monthly TransformU feature for members only.
  •  Interactive monthly live webinars called Ask Away Friday
  • My top book and movie recommendations
  • Commentary on current events through a Catholic lens, called The Coffin Report
  • Connectivity with an ENTHUSIASTIC community that shares your faith and your deep desire to change the things you can in your life, marriage, and family
  • Peace of mind that you’re an active part of the solution. It’s EASY to sit on the sidelines and complain!

Much more

Again, the link to watch the trailer and learn more is is www.coffinnation.com.
Thanks for your support, and your patience as we roll out this exciting adventure. I’d be honored to deliver the “wow” factor that characterizes membership in Coffin Nation.
Join us tomorrow on Facebook for a live Q&A session at 12 noon PST. Just goto Facebook here  tomorrow.
And…be a saint; what else is there?
Patrick

 

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#78: America: Mission Territory—Peter Herbeck

#78: America: Mission Territory—Peter Herbeck

The home of the free because of the brave is filled with many terrific people, who live a life (for the most part—the poor, Jesus said, will always be with us) of comfort and convenience.

America also comes with particular challenges for Christians who are engaged in evangelization. This week, I talked to one of the best in the biz, Peter Herbeck, vice president of Renewal Ministries and its director of mission. He has been speaking about the lordship of Jesus for over 30 years in scores of countries all over the world and he has special insights into the “isms” here at home that make it a challenge for missionaries. I loved this conversation!

 

In this interview, you will learn:

  • How the failed sexual revolution has produced not only chaos but also countless hungry hearts for the truth about human sexuality
  • How different the average American is compared to the average Chinese in terms of openness to Christ
  • How the prison experience of a Lithuanian bishop provides a powerful lesson for us in the US
  • Why relativism represents an obstacle to evangelizing, but not an insurmountable one
  • The importance of praying with people on the spot when they ask you to pray for them
  • How culture impacts the Christian life and vice versa
  • Tips on how to stay calm when sharing the gospel with those who might be hostile

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

Join the Conversation

Question of the week:

What is one small thing I can do to be a better witness for the Faith?

 

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