Movie Review: Jurassic World

In 1993, a story was told of a catastrophic incident on Isla Nublar which claimed the lives of four people, all eaten by cloned dinosaurs that escaped from controlled captivity due to a failure of the island’s security system. The island was home to Jurassic Park, the ill-fated brainchild of John Hammond who, along with his genetic engineering firm InGen, discovered a technique by which dinosaurs could be cloned from ancient DNA strands preserved in amber. The disaster occurred during the visit of a group of scientists who were hired by Hammond to evaluate the viability and safety of the island attraction. Just before a group of the survivors boards a rescue helicopter to leave the island, one of the scientists tells Hammond that he has decided not to endorse the park, and Hammond agrees.

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A Critical Analysis of the “Left Behind” Series (5): Biblical Pornography

The wild popularity of the Left Behind series demonstrates the extent to which evangelical culture has become proficient and competent in adopting secular standards to dramatize the Christian message. This is made all the more fascinating when one considers the extremely literalist standpoint with regard to theological doctrine that the authors of the series assert and from which the storyline and concept is derived.

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A Critical Analysis of the “Left Behind” Series (4): Left Behind 2000 Years Ago

[M]ainstream “orthodox” Christians ironically criticize preachers like Harold Camping (who predicted that the Second Coming of Christ would occur on May 21, 2011) and fringe denominations like the Jehovah’s Witnesses for doing exactly what Jesus himself did, namely setting dates for end-times that never happen at the promised time. Why is it that Jesus’ own words debunk Christianity in the same way and for the same reason?

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A Critical Analysis of the “Left Behind” Series (3): Tribulation Farce

“You must be certain of the Devil ‘cause he knows your name / You must be certain of the Devil ‘cause he’s counting on your shame / You must be certain of the Devil ‘cause he’s master of the game / You must be certain of the Devil right now.” ~ Diamanda Galás, ‘You Must Be Certain of the Devil’ (1988) In the Left Behind series, […]

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A Critical Analysis of the “Left Behind” Series (2): The Characters

The Protagonists The first book in the Left Behind series introduces the four primary characters who form the inner core group. Rayford Steele is a well-to-do, upper-class, all-American airline pilot. His nineteen-year-old daughter Chloe Steele is a college student and a natural-born skeptic of religion and supernatural phenomena. Cameron “Buck” Williams is an award-winning, globe-trotting journalist. Bruce Barnes is an […]

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A Critical Analysis of the “Left Behind” Series (1): The Premise

“This is the end, beautiful friend. This is the end, my only friend the end. Of our elaborate plans the end. Of everything that stands the end. No safety or surprise, the end.” ~ The Doors, ‘The End’ (1967) The belief that the biblical apocalypse is right around the corner in the present day is very central – and is […]

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Heaven is for Suckers: A Review of Todd Burpo’s “Heaven is for Real”

“For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.” ~ […]

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The Mystery of Flight 370: A Skeptic’s Perspective

On March 8, 2014, a Malaysian airline’s Boeing 777 passenger aircraft suddenly disappeared from air traffic radar screens while on a midnight flight outbound from Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370) was carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members and was bound for Beijing, China when it seemingly vanished into thin air. The last radio contact air traffic controllers […]

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The “Dark Dungeons” Movie: Jack Chick on the Silver Screen

Among the many religious comic book pamphlets that have made cartoonist and Christian evangelist Jack Chick an infamous and enigmatic figure in the cultural underground, perhaps the most well-known is Dark Dungeons, published in 1984. Out of the hundreds of Chick tracts that have been churned out over the decades, Dark Dungeons is by far my personal favorite. The storyline features […]

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