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The After Eden Archives
 

Gold and Jell-O
By Jenn Wright
August, 2005


Just as it is difficult to sell Tully’s to a Starbucks crowd, it is hard to introduce the concept of redemptive thinking to those of us (nearly everyone) who have become accustomed to knock-down-drag-out polarizing rants in which each party seeks to make any opposition look foolish, thoughtless, witless and altogether vapid.

 

Cinematic Race Relations
By Mike Gunn
July, 2005


Spike Lee has created important, meaningful projects, but has been pretty much ignored at both the box office and the Oscars. White America struggles to listen to a black man speak about the obvious elephants in the American psyche. We’re not ready to listen to the potential of inherent racism in the post-Cosby generation.

 

Free Stuff
By Greg Wright
June, 2005


Sometimes, just for the cost of sales tax and the gas to get you to the store (well, and the patience to wait for your mail-in rebate to arrive), you can get something like a spindle of fifty CDRs for “free.” My dad is particularly addicted to these rebates. He’s got stacks of fully-rebated stuff that he’s not quite sure how he’ll ever use.

 

Bury Me Massive
By Mike Gunn
May, 2005


Mind you, I am a pastor now, but I don’t know what I was then—desperate I guess. As I began to take the steroid, my “inner Catholicism” won over. You know, some weird “super-ego” demanding that I put those evil blue pills away. I was doomed to conscience and sure-fire failure in the pursuit of my desires.

 

Mickey-Mouse Science
By Jenn Wright
April, 2005


As many of us have heard in the last two decades, Pluto’s planetary status has come into question. Most scientists agree that it simply does not share the characteristics of the “more regular” orbiting bodies in our solar system. Basically, Dr. Schindler asserts, “Pluto is really nothing more than orbiting space junk.”

 

Tsunamis and God
By Mike Gunn
March, 2005


This is a hard question, and one that we can either put our heads in the sand and ignore, or allow to erode our trust to a point beyond belief. Our understanding of God’s love for his people is at stake, and how we understand God has severe ramifications for our lives and faith.

 

Elections of Mass Distinction
By Greg Wright
February, 2005


Time’s description of the Iraqi situation is fairly accurate: “heady optimism on one street, jittery paranoia down another. In a country roiled by... sectarian tensions... this is a time of profound uncertainty.” It’s also an accurate assessment of America.

 

Peace and Good Will
By Mike Gunn
January, 2005


What do I do with the cacophony of political rhetoric? The nihilist position would relieve me from caring about this cynical, divided country we call home, but I can’t do that because I care, and because I know that ideas are not neutral. They matter and they often carry literally grave consequences.

 

Food for Thought
By Jenn Wright
December, 2004


I have a love-hate relationship with food. On the one hand, I love to bake—breads, cakes, cookies, you name it—if it’s carbohydrate-loaded and produces an overdrive-shift of the olfactory senses, I’m there. There’s only one problem now—the problem being, quite simply, that I cannot eat.

 

Red Sox, Yankees: Ambassadors of Peace
By Mike Gunn
November, 2004


The Sox’s dismantling of the New York Yankees on the way to the Big Show must at least be nominally on the same level as other evil empires falling. It might even be indubitable proof of things like the existence of God or the reality of hell freezing over.

 

The Walls Come Tumbling Down
By Greg Wright
October, 2004


I was weaned on thermo-nuclear brinksmanship, and was bred -- so I thought -- with an ingrained conviction that ongoing conflict with the Soviet Union was inevitable. When the Berlin Wall crumbled, my understanding of the world crumbled with it...

 

Smoke and Mirrors
By Mike Gunn
September, 2004


The skeptic has created a god in the image of a firefighter, and then judges said god by the same concocted and finite standard. Is it possible that there is a bigger picture than our own limited view, and we simply don’t always get it?

 

Fahrenheit 9/11: Hot and Bothered
By Jenn Wright
August, 2004


In volatile contexts such as church board meetings or pep rallies disguised as movie screenings, I keep my dearly held religious, political, ethical, and other ideological cards closely chested, because I don’t like my pulse rate to exceed my IQ by more than 60...

 

Take Your Crusade and Shove It!
By Mike Gunn
July, 2004


Then there’s the documentary I recently watched about Immaterial John, a crusader who lives on $3600 per year (yes, that’s per year), and who only creates one pound of garbage each year. His cause? Solid waste, and America’s propensity towards wasteful consumption...

 

The Problem of Miracles
By Jenn Wright
June, 2004


I guess I have an issue with the issue of miracles, and how so many people seem to interpret circumstances through the lens of the 'miraculous.' One person is 'miraculously' saved from a car-bomb blast, but what about those who were injured or killed -- and their families?

 

Of Peace and Cheese
By Mike Gunn
May, 2004


In a world of remakes and re-releases we have one more popular 70’s movie hitting the theatres this spring. And once again, this “Second Coming” of Monty Python’s sacrilegious and sarcastically funny Life of Brian is sure to cause a stir from the censorship hawks.

 

April Foolishness
By Regina Doman
April, 2004


If Christians believe in the regeneration of souls, why not the regeneration of culture? Why not human love and rituals? Why not harvest celebrations and the rites of spring and the solstices and equinoxes?

 

Gibson's Passion and Purpose
By Mike Gunn
March, 2004

Is there some chance in this world for a purpose greater than the ones we can obviously create for ourselves? I think Gibson has stumbled onto a profound point that all too many of us tend to forget... Sure, we live for Christ, maybe, and all that –- but, really, what the hell are we doing?

 

The Ultimate Frontier
By Jenn Wright
February, 2004

How can human beings do horrible things to each other (on Earth -- let alone Mars)? Or why does hope play such an important role in survival -- we know it does, but why? It seems to me there are still myriad unanswered questions here on Earth...

 

What Makes Revolutions Revolutionary
By Mike Gunn
January, 2004

It is also quite possible we’re not so “Postmodern” after all. Maybe we’re really seeking something more concrete than competing opinions to bring forth hope in a meaningless world. And maybe this is where the movie failed us the most...

 

Christianity, Please -- Hold the Church!
By Regina Doman
December, 2003

Joining the Church can be like getting married. We're talking about a commitment that's not on your own terms, but on someone else's terms -- a someone who's going to notice if you don't show up for dinner. A someone who's going to have the right to invade your privacy...

 

Cultural Imperialism
By Mike Gunn
November, 2003

My own experience climbing in the Himalayas recognizes the seemingly unavoidable cultural imperialism of western expansion. Developing nations in Asia represent little Americas, replete with McDonald’s and Starbucks. While I'm sickened with what I see (as I suck down my double tall mocha) I remain undecided about of the influence of my own biases.

 

Bodies as Power Tools
By Regina Doman
October, 2003

The battle of the sexes is a tale as old as Eden. And part of the dilemma of this battle is that throughout history, whenever evil... has crucified humanity, those victims have been mainly female.

 

Our Passion for Entertainment
By Mike Gunn
September, 2003


If Passion connects with audiences as well as Chicago does, maybe it reflects a zeal for substance hidden in a world of image; or maybe these two movies do say something about our culture after all?


 


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Chesterton
On Perception
It is a strange thing that many truly spiritual men... have actually spent some hours in speculating upon the precise location of the Garden of Eden. Most probably we are in Eden still. It is only our eyes that have changed.1

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Notes

  1. G. K. Chesterton, The Defendant, J. M. Dent, 1901, p. 13.