has a Masters degree in British Imperial history from Texas Tech University. Still hasn't found a good way to put it to use. Ex-interim college minister at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Amarillo, TX. Currently finding out what I want to do when I grow up: right now that means working part-time with Barnes & Noble and part-time with the family business, until something more substantial comes along...that, also, probably won't use my History degree. Loves horror films and culture, stouts and IPAs, Flannery O'Connor and Walker Percy, and British TV and films.
“Seems to me your conscience has killed more people than I have.”– Alice Morgan
DSU Schenk: “Miss Morgan, I must remind you that I am a police officer and you are a fugitive of justice and, just by walking in here, you have by default surrendered.”
Alice: “You are entitled to send me back. I wouldn’t take it personally, besides, I’d only escape.”
DSU Schenk: “I have no doubt.”
Alice: “Meanwhile, John will be in prison…or dead at the hands of Tom Marwood. Now, me, I’m as guilty as sin. Name it, I’ve done it, but John’s as innocent as I am culpable. So,…
Warning: if you have not caught up to the third episode of series three of BBC’s Luther, then wait to read this until you have. Spoilers ahead.
The third episode of BBC’s Luther’s third series/season is a highlight of the season and, maybe, the whole show. John Luther’s second case begins as we come into contact with a vigilante who has decided to take the law into his own hands by killing off criminals who have been spit out of the British criminal system. This man, Tom Marwood, has taken on his own version of justice in reaction to the murder…
I am coming up on my one-year anniversary of Mockingbird graciously allowing me to become a contributor. It all started with my series on the intersections between horror cinema and Christianity: “In the Event of a Cosmic Horror”. So I couldn’t leave the Halloween season alone without some sort of post dealing with horror and the faith. In that spirit, I would like to present my case for why BBC’s Luther is the scariest show on TV.
Television has broadcast its fair share of horror over the years—The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, The X-Files, Supernatural, Fringe, American Horror Story, just…
“A theologian of the cross says what a thing is. In modern parlance: a theologian of the cross calls a spade a spade. One who ‘looks on all things through suffering and the cross’ is constrained to speak the truth…it will see precisely that the cross and the resurrection itself is the only answer to that problem, not erasure or neglect.” – Gerhard O. Forde
I admit: I am frontin’ when I talk hip-hop. I was raised on 90s country and Neil Diamond. I didn’t hear my first sample until high school when a friend of mine popped N.W.A.’s Straight Outta…
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. – I Corinthians 13: 4-8a NKJV
And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” – I Peter 4:8 NKJV
The second episode of the third season/series of BBC’s Luther continues the series-arching crusade…
“God moves in a mysterious way
his wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
and rides upon the storm.”
-William Cowper, “God Moves In Mysterious Ways”
As the hero lies down under the burden of his toil; the villain rises from underneath to do his deeds in the dark. This is the visual juxtaposition that introduces the third series of BBC’s Luther. We know what the villain looks like a la Peter Falk’s Columbo—an intentional homage to that series from writer Neil Cross—but we don’t know who he is, why he is killing people, or how John Luther will catch him.
“No, much as we would hate to admit it, we love to watch heroes suffer. And the greater the suffering and the more emphatic ability of the hero, the more we admire the hero…. I love to see heroes who fuel some kind of moral furnace inside them, who are driven to take on the evils of the world, despite the fact that the evils of the world are more powerful than them. And essentially can never be defeated, but they refuse to bow down. And in order to enjoy that aspect of the hero, you’ve got to put them…
I am that rare Jars of Clay fan who does not hold their debut album in highest esteem. It is not a bad album by any means–”Worlds Apart” is a classic–but it never reached me the way If I Left the Zoo (my first Jars album), Who We Are Instead and Good Monsters did. Those three are the albums by which I judge their output. In certain circles, that statement would have me discredited. So I may not be the best person to write this review. Of course, that has never stopped me before.
My usual ritual in the weeks leading up…
I wasn’t really old enough to get into Nirvana, but I did catch the Foo Fighters wave. So when I heard that Dave Grohl—who was the drummer for Nirvana & the lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist for Foo Fighters—was making a documentary on Sound City Studios—along with an accompanying soundtrack of new material by the people that made some of the most iconic rock records at that studio—I became extremely excited. The documentary itself contains no frills and is straightforward, a lot like the nature of the studio and the people who worked in it. Well worth the watch for a…
Langston Hughes’ poem, “Who but the Lord?”–though explicitly written about and within a period of deep racial unrest in America and the fight for civil rights for African Americans–seems to strike a profound metaphorical chord within the theological discussion of the role of the law and the intense suffering, lament and doubt inhabiting the area between the work of the law and the beginning of grace.
I looked and I saw
That man they call the Law.
He was coming
Down the street at me!
I had visions in my head
Of being laid out cold and dead,
Or else murdered
By the third degree.
I said, O, Lord, if you can,
Save me from that man!
Don’t let him make a pulp out of me!
But the Lord he was not quick.
The Law raised up his stick
And beat the living hell
Out of me!
Now, I do not understand
Why God don’t protect a man
From police brutality.
Being poor and black,
I’ve no weapon to strike back
So who but the Lord
Can protect me?
I distinctly remember downloading Levi Weaver’s album, You Are Never Close To Home, You Are Never Far From Home, from Noisetrade just months after Derek Webb and others initiated it. I had never heard of Levi Weaver nor knew what his music sounded like, but like so many bands I have come to love, I downloaded it because the cover art interested me. After the first listen, I was hooked and I bought everything he produced from that point on. If you have a chance to see Levi Weaver live or to host a house show for him, then take…
“Forgiveness is the name of love practiced among people who love poorly. The hard truth is that all people love poorly. We need to forgive and be forgiven every day, every hour increasingly. That is the great work of love among the fellowship of the weak that is the human family.” –Henri Nouwen
“…God’s grace and forgiveness, while free to the recipient, are always costly for the giver…. From the earliest parts of the Bible, it was understood that God could not forgive without sacrifice. No one who is seriously wronged can “just forgive” the perpetrator…. But when you forgive, that…
I used to be like “Why are we doing a remake? What are remakes being done for?” But then, we do that all the time in the theater. If we weren’t doing remakes, nobody would know who Shakespeare was. I’m not saying that Robocop is Shakespeare, but it’s a way to … we’re retelling. That’s what we do as human beings. We retell our favorite stories. That’s what we’ve done since we were sitting around campfires. It’s a part of the human spirit. It doesn’t have to be negative to creativity. It can be completely opposite. That’s how you can break new ground by rethinking something that’s already been…
When I’m in the studio I have the opportunity to do things in a certain way, and I try to make records more pleasant sounding, records that you can listen to while you’re sitting in your room. But live, I want to rip your throat off with the music, I want to beat you into a pulp with the law. I bring the law, I bring it! So you wanted to live by it? You want to know what’s good and evil? OK, let’s talk about it, if you wanna live by your expectations or someone else’s. But I know…
A few months ago, the associate pastor search committee at my church—of which I am a member—began the process of meeting to find the new addition to the church staff; in effect, leading to the end of my interim position as college ministry director. I have been working toward my own demise as a member of the staff. All interims know that a pink slip has been filled out for them from the first day that they started, but my scenario is a little different than most. I was a member of the church and in the college ministry before…