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Posted inFilm/TV

‘Hell-Bound Train’ (1930)—an ingenious moralizing oddity of early Black cinema

Reading Time: 3 minutes A few years ago, to fill in some gaps left by my formal education, I took a community college course on African American history. The assigned textbook, Freedom on My Mind, contains a still image from the 1915 Civil War/Reconstruction epic The Birth of a Nation. “D. W. Griffith’s silent cinematic masterpiece The Birth of […]

Posted inReligion

American Gospel: Christ Alone (Red-Hot Mega-Review!)

Reading Time: 19 minutes Yesterday, we watched American Gospel: Christ Alone. In this 2018 documentary, Christians bicker and argue about exactly what ‘the gospel’ even means. The documentary makers decide ultimately that it means not prosperity gospel. Today, let me show you this documentary — and we’ll see how well they make their case.

Posted inReligion

The Jesus Beatings Shall Continue Until Salvation Improves (Only God Can)

Reading Time: 10 minutes Lately we’ve been talking about the horrible Christian movie Only God Can. In it, we encounter a great many tropes beloved of evangelicals. And one of their very favorites–said on that Zorg voice of course–involves how they see their god engaging with humanity. See, he’s got a novel approach to winning friends and influencing people: he destroys their lives till they bend the knee. Yep! Today, my friends, we look at the Jesus beatings that shall continue until salvation improves!

Posted inReligion

Only God Can: Pre-Review Warmup!

Reading Time: 5 minutes Today, we’re reviewing a 2017 Christian movie called Only God Can. It’s the annoying heartwarming story of a bunch of middle-aged Christian women living in one of the most privileged countries in the world as they try to find a solution to the Problem of Evil. To get through this experience, we’ll be drinking. A little. Join me here for some pre-review observations, and then please feel free to head down to the comments as we watch together!

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