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Stephen Colbert vs. Ricky Gervais: The Late Show Atheism Debate

On February 1, comedian Ricky Gervais appeared on CBS’s The Late Show where he and host Stephen Colbert discussed God and atheism: .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } Regardless of how you feel about his theological views, Colbert is probably the most famous U.S. celebrity... Read More

The Philosophical Landscape of “Westworld”

At the halfway point of HBO’s unsettling new series Westworld – a J.J. Abrams reboot of the 1973 film written and directed by Michael Crichton – some big plot questions remain. Is William a younger Man in Black? Is Bernard really a host? And what’s this maze all about? The premise of the show is (relatively) straightforward: In the distant future, scientists and businessmen collaborate to create a vast amusement park in the style of the Old West, populating it with artificially... Read More

The “3:10 to Yuma” Proof of God

“Yeah, that's why I don't mess around with doing anything good, Dan. You do one good deed for somebody...I imagine it's habit-forming. Something decent. See that grateful look in their eyes, imagine it makes you feel like Christ Hisself.” – Ben Wade “Virtue is not an act, but a disposition (a habit).” –Aristotle   Catholic philosopher Peter Kreeft famously describes the “Bach argument for the existence of God,” wherein God’s existence is clearly posited by a) the... Read More

“Risen” and the Reality of the Resurrection

When I saw the coming attractions for the new film Risen—which deals with a Roman tribune searching for the body of Jesus after reports of the resurrection—I thought that it would leave the audience in suspense, intrigued but unsure whether these reports were justified or not. I was surprised and delighted to discover that the movie is, in fact, robustly Christian and substantially faithful to the Biblical account of what transpired after the death of Jesus. My favorite scene shows... Read More

“The Martian” and Why Each Life Matters

Ridley Scott’s The Martian is a splendidly told tale of survival and pluck, reminiscent of the novel Robinson Crusoe and the films Life of Pi and Castaway. In this case, the hero is Mark Watney, an astronaut on a mission to Mars who is left behind by his crewmates when he is presumed dead after being lost during a devastating storm. Through sheer determination and an extraordinary application of his scientific know-how, Watney manages to survive. For example, realizing that his food... Read More

The Existential Classic Behind Woody Allen’s “Irrational Man”

Irrational Man, the 45th film from the prolific Woody Allen, starts Joaquin Phoenix as Abe Lucas, a philosophy professor in a small town undergoing an “existential crisis.” You suffer from despair,” Emma Stone (who plays one of his students) tells him – and it appears she’s right. The professor has a drinking problem, suffers from “dizziness and anxiety,” and is tormented by a quest to commit a “meaningful act.” Early reviews suggest that Irrational Man will go the way... Read More

“The Avengers” and Friedrich Nietzsche

C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and their colleagues in the Inklings wanted to write fiction that would effectively “evangelize the imagination,” accustoming the minds, especially of young people, to the hearing of the Christian Gospel. Accordingly, Tolkien’s Gandalf is a figure of Jesus the prophet and Lewis’s Aslan a representation of Christ as both sacrificial victim and victorious king. Happily, the film versions of both The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia have proven... Read More

The Theory of Everything: A God-Haunted Film

The great British physicist Stephen Hawking has emerged in recent years as a poster boy for atheism, and his heroic struggles against the ravages of Lou Gehrig’s disease have made him something of a secular saint. The new biopic “The Theory of Everything” does indeed engage in a fair amount of Hawking-hagiography, but it is also, curiously, a God-haunted movie. In one of the opening scenes, the young Hawking meets Jane, his future wife, in a bar and tells her that he is a cosmologist.... Read More

Pascal in “The Rum Diary”

The Rum Diary is a rollicking farce based on Hunter S. Thompson's novel of the same name written in the early 1960s. It focuses on a young American journalist named Paul Kemp who ventures into sweaty, inebriated San Juan, Puerto Rico to write for an ill-fated newspaper, and stumbles into the middle of a major land acquisition deal.Thompson said that his "long lost" novel (which wasn't published until 1998) had "a romantic notion," and that it was simply "a good story." I haven't... Read More

What ‘Gravity’ Teaches us about Technology and God

Spoiler alert: The article below includes key plot details for the film “Gravity."   Alfonso Cuaron’s “Gravity” is the most visually arresting movie I've seen since “Avatar.” Its special effects have been quite rightly characterized as revolutionary and groundbreaking. But what is perhaps most surprising about this stunning film is its clear and profound religious import. The movie opens with a splendid vista of the earth viewed from outer space. As we are taking in this... Read More

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