Thursday, February 28, 2013

Amazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism

257 minutes, 2004
Rating: 8/10

This particular documentary surpasses most every other we have in quality and depth, but also in length too. It could make a great resource for a small group of friends who want to spend two or three evenings together exploring the wonder of God’s grace.


Eric Holmberg, a one time Arminian, hosts this discussion of the roots and theology of Calvinism. Production values are astonishing, and the people Holmberg chooses to interview are top notch – D. James Kennedy, R.C. Sproul, Kenneth Talbot, Walter J. Chantry and others. He manages to get them to distill huge ideas and dynamic concepts in only a few short sentences at a time.


This focuses on TULIP Calvinism, to the exclusion of any other dimensions. So it is a good introduction to Calvinism, but only an introduction.


It is brilliant, but at over 4 hours long it takes some endurance to make it all the way through. This is a valuable study resource for anyone but particularly for the average Reformed believer who was raised as in the Church and may never have had Calvinism systematically presented to him or her. It is a beginners' introduction to Calvinism that has enough depth to it that long-time Calvinists will still learn a lot.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Best of YouTube: Purity matters

In this 1:30 video the folks as the Apologetics Group make a crystal clear point about one of the more practical reasons sex in marriage is better. And they do it in a very striking, entirely G-rated way.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

There's Something Funny In the Water

Animated, Children
Rating: 8/10
27 minutes, 2005

Life at the Pond is a series of five videos that have a lot in common with the VeggieTales. Both combine simple animation with sophisticated humor – these are children's videos that parents can appreciate too. Both teach moral lessons that line up with what God teaches.

But while many of the VeggieTales videos "sanitize" familiar biblical stories (ex. David's descent into murder and adultery is turned into a story about wanting someone else's rubber ducky) The Pond steers clear of any disrespectful treatment of Scripture by setting their stories in the present day.

The location is, of course, a pond, and the four stars are all aquatic:

Bill the Duck is a regular joe; we are Bill the Duck
Tony the Frog fills the role of wisecracking comic relief
Floyd the Turtle is the most child-like, and often the straight man setting up Tony's zingers
Methuselah the Alligator is older, and a voice of biblical wisdom

In the first video, There's Something Funny In The Water, we get two 15 minutes stories. Bill the Duck hides the fact that he is afraid of heights, because he doesn't want to be made fun of, and, in the second story, Bill, Tony and Floyd all learn that it is important to keep promises, even when they cut into our fun. These are stories kids can relate to, and they are told with humor that parents will enjoy too. One example: the video begins with the familiar FBI warning against copying the film and Bill and Tony walk in from the sides to take a look.

Bill: Has the video started?
Tony: No it's just the FBI warning.
Bill: And after this, what? CIA warning? FDA? NRA?
Tony: The NRA puts up a warning, I pay attention!

One caution that should be mentioned: while this first video, and the one that follows it, The Little Things, Trust Starts Small, are gentle enough for even three year olds, the last three – The Alligator Hunter, The Rise And Fall of Tony The Frog, and Big Mouth Bass – are more intense. My three year-old didn't like Big Mouth Bass, because this fish was mean at the beginning. Even though she turned nice by the end it didn't matter – she was mean, so that made her scary. However what's scary for a three-year-old won't be for a five or six-year-old, so the whole series is well worth checking out.

You can find a trailer for The Little Things below and you can but a copy at by clicking here..