Malick: Only in Russian Characters

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…combine the romantic and innocent side, with the insolent and daring side. For some reason, you only ever see that combination in Russian characters

on filming To the Wonder

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So, for example, he recommended that Kurylenko read The Idiot with a particular eye on two characters: the young and prideful Aglaya Yepanchin, and the fallen, tragic Nastassya Filippovna. “He wanted me to combine their influences — the romantic and innocent side, with the insolent and daring side. ‘For some reason, you only ever see that combination in Russian characters,’ he said to me.”

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As prompts for the actors, Malick shared representative works of art and literature. For Affleck, he suggested Fitzgerald, Tolstoy, and Dostoevsky. (Affleck read Martin Heidegger on his own, having known that Malick had translated one of the German philosopher’s works as a grad student.) For Kurylenko, he also recommended Tolstoy and Dostoevsky — specifically, Anna Karenina, The Brothers Karamazov, and The Idiot. “Those books were, in a way, his script,” she says. But he did more than give the actors the books; he suggested ways to approach the texts and characters to focus on. So, for example, he recommended that Kurylenko read The Idiot with a particular eye on two characters: the young and prideful Aglaya Yepanchin, and the fallen, tragic Nastassya Filippovna. “He wanted me to combine their influences — the romantic and innocent side, with the insolent and daring side. ‘For some reason, you only ever see that combination in Russian characters,’ he said to me.”

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What Is the Definition of Missional?

jeff-vandersteltJeff Vanderstelt on the definition of “missional” (around the 1:55 mark of this video):

A man stood up at a conference and said, “Missional is the new ‘seeker’… the church finally getting its hands dirty.” Someone asked me to respond to him.

When we say missional, what we mean is:

God’s church is so saturated in the gospel and the mission of Jesus, that they see themselves as the sent ones of Jesus in all of life, to make disciples who make disciples, so that the earth is saturated with people who love Jesus and God is glorified in all things. That’s what I mean when I say missional… I want you to understand there are lots of definitions out there, but I when I say [missional] that’s what I mean.

Could you get behind that definition of “missional?” Why or why not?

Certainly, some terms need to be parsed out. As much as I appreciate Vanderstelt’s ministries, I’m not sure his definition of “God’s church” is the exact same as the Reformed confessions. Nevertheless, there is a lot of good here to chew on.

Vanderstelt also suggests that we ought not quibble over terminology: Why I’m tired of Hearing About “Missional”.

WSCal_2008MRFor more, go back to WSCal’s 2008 annual conference Missional & Reformed: Reaching the Lost & Teaching the Reached. The audio lectures up for free are:

  • Why the Mission Needs the Marks of the Church
  • The Mission and the Confession of the Church: Friend or Foes?
  • Why the Marks of the Church Need the Mission
  • Mission According to Paul
  • Mission in a Pluralistic Age
  • Mission and Missions: Evangelism in the 21st Century
  • Missional and Reformed (Q&A Session)

Michael Horton sums it up: “The mission of the Church is to evidence & execute the marks of the Church.”

Amen.

Repenting of Regret: Your Future Determines More Than Your Past

regretWhat kept Abraham from being crippled by regret over Ishmael, whose progeny would plunge two lineages into millenia of violent conflict? What kept Joseph from the bitter regret of losing the prime of his life to wasted jail time, betrayal, and abandonment? What kept David from despairing in regret over Bathsheba – not only losing their child, but the perpetual consequence of the sword in his own household? What kept Peter from the regretful shame of denying his Lord and Master three times? And what steadied Paul when he could have easily plunged into guilt and regret over his former life as persecuting Saul?

What will keep you from a life crippled by regret? What will bring you hope?

There’s only one medicine that can cure the cancer of regret.”Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:13). Continue reading

…Amidst all the dangers of this world, may we stand upon the foundation of thy word which never can fail…”

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john-calvin“Grant, Almighty God, since thou settest before us so clear a mirror of thy wonderful providence and of the judgments on this ancient people, that we may also be surely persuaded of our being under thy hand and protection: – Grant, that relying on thee, we may hope for thy guardianship, whatever may happen, since thou never losest sight of our safety, so that we may invoke thee with a secure and tranquil mind. May we so fearlessly wait for all dangers amidst all the changes of this world, that we may stand upon the foundation of thy word which never can fail; and leaning on thy promises may we repose on Christ, to whom thou has committed us, and whom thou has made the shepherd of all thy flock. Grant that he may be so careful of us as to lead us through this course of warfare, however troublesome and turbulent it may prove, until we arrive at that heavenly rest which he has purchased for us by his own blood. – Amen.”

John Calvin, prayer concluding his 1st lecture on the book of Daniel
(HT: AC)

According to Pew Research, Millenials misunderstand relation to marriage and parenting

2011-milliennials-marriage-16For Millennials, Parenthood Trumps Marriage

When it says further down “Most Millenials Want Both,” caveat lector: I assumed it meant most millenials want a good marriage and good parenting. That’s not what it says. While they want both marriage and parenting, the overall premise that parenting is more important than marriage is emphasized throughout the research.

Read the whole thing here.