Feb 272004

www.jewsweek.com has its coverage of the hot topic of the week, about The Movie — their complete Passion coverage is billed this way: “Tired of Passion coverage? Well, sorry. This area is reserved for people who just can’t get enough of Mel and his movie.” While some critics are outraged about The Movie being anti-semitic, will there be a comparable Christian outrage over comments being made about the Gospel narratives of the sacred text as being inspired propaganda and fiction??

Pull quotes from that Jewsweek article:

“That the Gospels as originally written, decades after Jesus’ death, were designed specifically as “inspired propaganda” is accepted by most scholars as a given. “

“Crossan felt that the passion narrative should not only be modified, its very use and exploitation should well be questioned: “In light of later Christian anti-Judaism and eventually of genocidal anti-Semitism,” he wrote, “it is no longer possible in retrospect to think of that passion fiction as relatively benign propaganda.”

twice in 24 hours

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Feb 262004

I went to my 2nd screening of The Movie this afternoon, viewing it twice in less than 24 hours.. it was just as compelling, gripping, and captivating as the first time. The story is already familiar, even before the 1st viewing, but my 2nd viewing didn’t leave me any extra breathing room to think or reflect, I was still totally emotionally engrossed, cringed just as hard at those excruciating moments, and still needed a good half hour or so to decompress.. 1 thought crossed my mind that this would be a great movie to watch once a year, probably around the Lenten season, as a part of a spiritual rhythm..

btw, Brian McLaren shared a few thoughts about The Movie earlier this week.. and quietly launched this week was the SemanticBible, a most powerful online Bible tool, displaying the sacred text’s rendition of the Gospel accounts portrayed in The Movie..

my 1st viewing was solo, by myself (in a theater about 85% full, evening showing); my 2nd viewing was a matinee with handful of co-workers, but we arrived late (in a theater about 25% full), theater was dark, so I just found a seat and didn’t sit with my group.. audio didn’t run right and didn’t come on until the priest was about to do the poetic toss of the 30 coins.. then as the movie ended, I timed the closing scene to be 75 seconds (it’s actually more than 15), and saw most people (my group) leave before the credit finished rolling, so I got up too (usually I’m a credit watcher).. so you might say my 2nd viewing was incomplete, peppered with tardiness, technical difficulties, and no credits.. I would’ve liked to engage more dialogue post-movie, but most of the others scrambled back to the office, quickly readjusted to real life again, while I’m stunned and needed time for re-entry..


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Feb 252004

that’s the best word I could think of to capture the impact of it.. stunned.. just returned from an opening night screening of The Movie, and it was a largely full house, and mostly silent after the 2:05 running time expired..

I’ll keep this entry to my feelings, and then perhaps later my thoughts, perhaps some time after my 2nd screening scheduled for tomorrow afternoon with colleagues.. a wide range of emotions flowed throughout the course of the movie, and I didn’t know where I’d end up, though the story line is familiar to many, both Christian and not; there wasn’t going to be any surprise (or bizarre) plot twists or fanciful character development.. straight up + straight through storytelling, masterfully done.. so I went along for the ride, and I would say I felt numb, but that’s such a weak word.. “overwhelmed” or “intense” is overused.. so I’m more satisfied with “stunned”.. it stunned me b/c I saw + experienced the agony and pains of Jesus in a way that no sacred text, no stained-glass stations, no extended period of meditation or prayer, no medical description of crucifixion could come close to making it come alive.. and having the suffering of Christ come alive didn’t evoke the generally typical Asian reaction of my unworthiness, and look-at-what-my-sins-caused-him-to-suffer shame and guilt, but rather it stunned me towards questions of why and how, why would Jesus endure all of that, and how did He last.. I felt like blacking out on a few occasions as Jesus was blacking out (as I actually had once, years ago, when I was working out and not breathing properly).. for a few moments there, I entered into his suffering, I entered into his temptation, and I am here now after it, stunned and amazed that he finished it to the end..
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745pm tonight

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Feb 252004

I’ve done the deed, what I clicked I have clicked.. 1 ticket to see The Movie tonight at my neighborhood theater, courtesy of Fandango.. decided to see it alone and not with friends or strangers b/c I’m culpable for my part of His suffering (and, okay, the people I called wouldn’t or couldn’t go).. stay tuned here for my thoughts afterward.

Feb 232004

I’m a little late on the American Idol fad, and don’t think I’ll ever get on that bandwagon, tho’ I’m definitely on The Apprentice bandwagon – how can you not laugh when The Donald says “you’re fired” with the New Yorker inflection and a flick of the wrist.. so I’ve been feeling the humdrums and doldrums of life, in the ebb and flow where I’m not getting the innovative excitement of ideas and possibilities as I wish I could have more often of, and I surf onto www.williamhung.net to be mesmerized by the aspiration of a fellow engineer, who had the guts, courage, and audacity, to audition when he didn’t particularly have a viable voice or act.. when I first saw the clip,

and now several times more, I’m not sure whether to laugh or to cry.. where were his friend’s to give him a reality check, and shield him from the embarrassment and humiliation.. and what of the racist undertones.. yet there’s a part of me strangely intrigued, that he could withstand the laughters of ridicule or mockery, and hold on to his dreams (and it seems genuine and apparent that he really does dream of being a singer; tho’ it’s not my dream), and here I sit wrestling with my frustrations and restlessness and inertia, feelings and thoughts that hover around my head like the dark clouds over Linus (was it that character Linus in Charlie Brown? or was it just Charlie Brown himself?).. wanting to do something more engaging, more exciting, more stimulating, more creative and innovative.. a little part of my self-discovery that I’m putting here as self-disclosure, I thrive and need a constant pace of change and stimulation.. routines and details, money and power, just don’t do anything for me.

Feb 192004

my interview with Brian McLaren is getting top billing at the newly redesigned www.forministry.com – done a while back, it’s nice to see it come to the light of day, and perhaps even reveals a couple of new thoughts, amidst the many rehashes circulating on the popular presses..