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Posts tagged "Red Beard"

Red Beard: Love Is Medicine

Red Beard: Love Is Medicine

Mockingbird at the Movies, is now available on Kindle! To celebrate, we thought we’d post the first half of John Zahl’s closing essay on Red Beard, which many readers (ourselves included) have mentioned as a highlight.   Discussing Akira Kurosawa’s Red Beard (1965) in any detail is a daunting task. After all, it’s a Japanese […]

PZ’s Ten Ways to Grow Your Church

Mockingbird’s roving correspondent has been taking in a lot of church services this Summer, mostly in the Northeast. Some have been excruciating, two have been glorious. Here are ten short reflections on my trip, on how to grow a church in light of what I’ve seen. The most important is the last.

  1. Begin by watching and studying every minute of Red Beard (1965) by Akira Kurosawa. The main character, a physician, played by Toshiro Mifune, is the ideal parish minister. Everything he does is perceptive, right, and plenum gratiae.
  2. Only ever preach one sermon, which is the forgiveness of sins, the absolution of every human “as is”, through the suffering and Passion of the Christ.
  3. Make sure every sermon has at least one arresting emotional illustration.
  4. green+rayRead, mark, learn, and inwardly digest each incident in Theophilus North (1973), the final novel of Thornton Wilder. Theophilus North is the all time handbook for intrepid, effective pastoral evangelism.
  5. Abolish all rules concerning weddings, and also baptisms, and say yes to every request you get. But don’t schedule baptisms, unless they are “in house” cases such as your child’s, for the main Sunday service. Do them privately Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon – the Jane Austen way.
  6. Focus monomaniacally on the casual visitor and seeker, but don’t let them know that. Just visit them or call them (personally) the Sunday afternoon of their visit. But call them after your nap.
  7. Only choose old and familiar hymns for Sunday mornings and make sure you do the choosing, not whoever is the organist.
  8. Never miss a chance to write a thank-you note. It should be an apt postcard from the Morgan Library or some place like that.
  9. Try to visit everyone in their home, even if they seem to resist it at first. Also visit everyone who gets sick when they are in the hospital. This has become one of the hardest tasks of parish ministry, partly because hospital parking lots have become more complicated and partly because hospital security no longer favors members of the clergy. It can still be done, however.
  10. Watch and study every minute, especially the last 15, of The Green Ray (1986) by Eric Rohmer. That movie is a testament to the reality that anyone can be saved, and there’s how it happens.

Don’t Miss: PZ’s Eight Easy Ways to Shrink Your Church!

From the Forgiveness Issue: 11 Special Portraits of Forgiveness in Film

From the Forgiveness Issue: 11 Special Portraits of Forgiveness in Film

This list, from the Rev. JAZ, is our first free peek at our summer issue. If you’d like to order a copy, check them out here.  Les Miserables In any version, this is the gold standard. You know the scene: Jean Valjean steals the Bishop’s silver in the middle of the night. When the police […]

Final Pensacola Preview: Revisiting the Gospel Message - Grace Again

Final Pensacola Preview: Revisiting the Gospel Message – Grace Again

The week of the Pensacola mini-conference is upon us! And to entice those of you who are still on the fence, we thought we’d offer one final preview from the main speaker himself, Dr. Paul Zahl. This event is not to be missed, so don’t wait another minute – register today. And for the updated […]

Mockingbird At The Movies: Red Beard

Mockingbird At The Movies: Red Beard

Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:17) Have you seen Akira Kurosawa’s “Red Beard” (1965)? It sweats Mockingbird-style (a.k.a., one-way/monergistic) Gospel from every pore! I can think of no other film that better explores […]