Thursday, May 31, 2018

Beyond is Genesis history?

2017 / 400 minutes
RATING: 7/10

In Del Tackett’s 2017 documentary Is Genesis History? he interviewed PhD-holding scientists with various areas of expertise, all of them happy to share why their field of study backed a literal understanding of the first few chapters of Genesis.

It was among the best creationist documentaries ever made, and it left viewers wanting more. We wanted more with geologists Steve Austin and Andrew Snelling, and more with paleontologist Kurt Wise, and more with the many other experts consulted.

So that’s what Tackett’s given us. In Beyond Is Genesis History? Tackett shares 20 interviews – all of them 18 to 21 minutes – with six of the experts he consulted for the feature documentary. I loved the documentary, but I thought, at 400 minutes, this follow-up was too much of a good thing, and I gave it a pass. But then my dad saw it, loved it, bought me a copy and told me I really needed to see this. And boy was he right!

This isn’t something you’ll watch straight through – anything more than an interview or two at a time is going to be intellectual overload – but it is spectacular! Much more than talking heads, this is heartfelt, concise, deep discussion! Anyone who enjoyed Is Genesis History? will be sure to love this too.

Check out the trailer below, and for a dozen clips from the documentary, click here.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

School shootings: the cause and the cure

2018 / 20 minutes

Ray Comfort’s new 20-minute movie is worth watching for the first few minutes alone. Comfort interviews young people and asks them if they can call a school shooter evil…and they can’t! Our culture doesn’t want to condemn evil because then they would have to own up to the evil in their own hearts.

Comfort understands that, so we get to watch as he coaches and encourages these young people to own up to what they already know – that this was wicked, that sin is real, and that they themselves are sinners too.

When they own up to that, then, and only then, does Comfort tell them about the Jesus. As he puts it in one of his books, there is a need to first bring people to “Moses” – to God’s Law and to a realization we are sinners – before bringing them to Jesus, who saves us from sins.

The only caution I’d offer is that at one point Comfort makes it sound as if the reason we should turn to God is to reduce school shootings. But, of course, we don’t worship God for the purpose of combatting school violence; we worship God because He is good, just, gracious, and our both our Creator and Redeemer, deserving of all praise.

Like every Ray Comfort film, this has an evangelistic intent, that becomes explicit about halfway through. Most Christians could benefit from seeing Comfort in action, confronting and encouraging a world that doesn’t believe sin exists, to own up to the fact that they themselves are sinners.

Watch it for free at or below.

Friday, May 25, 2018


89 minutes / 2017
RATING: 8/10

Calvinist is the story of a generation of young men and women who went searching for answers and found them in Reformed theology.

I found this a fascinating film because what they discovered is what I've always had as my birthright. I grew up in a Reformed home, attended a Reformed church, and went to a Reformed school, and it was the same for most of my friends and family. What was so very fun about Calvinist was the opportunity to see through new eyes, the knowledge of God that I had taken too much for granted.

The "young, restless, and Reformed" were a product of the late 90s and early 2000s – they had questions, and the Internet gave them access to all sorts of answers. When they googled "How do I know if I'm saved?" or "How do I know the Bible is true?" the best answers they found were by Reformed theologians like R.C. Sproul, John Piper, John MacArther, and more.

So this documentary serves at least three purposes:
  1. It is a history of how God steered this questioning generation towards just what they needed to know Him. 
  2. Calvinist also shares many of the answers these seekers were after. Producer Les Lanphere went to today's biggest name Reformers and and hit them with some of the biggest questions. So, in addition to learning some recent history, the audience learns timeless biblical truths. 
  3. The film also introduces us to a host of solidly Reformed teachers. In addition to Sproul, Piper and MacArther, Lanphere talks to:
    • Michael Horton
    • Tim Challies
    • Robert Godfrey
    • Joel Beeke
    • Paul Washer
    • James White
    • Carl Trueman
    • Jeff Durbin
    • ...and many more
That's an impressive, long list; Lanphere has put in the time and effort needed to make this a very special film.

That extra effort also comes out in all the slick transitions and special effects – this looks good! One fun bit is running gag of sorts. Lanphere used 80s-era computer game style graphics to animate and illustrate some points. So, for example, when discussing Roman Catholicism's "faith plus works" position, we see what looks like an old arcade game, and scroll through some possible "fighters" until the selection stops on Martin Luther.

An interesting tangent that's briefly explored is the impact Reformed Rap had on these young seekers. I watched this with a group of 20-somethings who had never heard of Timothy Brindle and Shai Linne and they were amused and maybe even a little shocked that "Rap" could be paired up with "Reformed." But is it really so surprising that a medium which gives primacy to the word would be a great one for communicating the deepest truths about God?


While all the Reformed teachers we're introduced to are quite conservative, they do have some differences among them that aren't ever discussed. The most notable concerns baptism – there's a roughly 50/50 divide among the speakers, with half believing in credo-baptism (Piper, MacArthur, Durbin, White, Challies) and the other half, infant-baptism (Sproul, Horton, Trueman, Beeke, Godfrey).

Other differences also exist, so while a discerning student can learn much from these men, discernment is indeed needed.


I've shared this film with two different sets of friends and everyone has really enjoyed it. This will be a hit with anyone 18 and up who has an interest in Reformed Theology. It probably won't convince a non-Reformed friend, but it will probably give the two of you a lot to talk about and explore further.

If you use it for a group movie night, consider having an ice cream and brownie break at maybe the one hour mark. There's just so much packed in here, that a break is needed to allow folks to think through and discuss what they've been seeing and hearing.

You can check out the trailer below, and further down you can see two YouTube videos that are featured prominently in the film because of the impact they had on the young, restless and Reformed generation.

You can buy Calvinist here.