Excerpt: the grace we are built to bear

While Our Man is stripped of the kind of hope he’d always known, the director, JC Chandor, never lets us escape beauty. His shots of the stillness, and expanse of the ocean, his gift of the silence of Our Man’s solitude—unspoiled by dramatic music or inner monologue—give even this disaster a resonant grandeur. The most affecting reminders of goodness come when Chandor shoots the raft from below, finding tiny fish and other sea creatures gathered in the sanctuary of Our Man’s raft. The images are electric, jolts of life in stark contrast to the endless austerity Our Man sees to the horizon. Even this ocean, harsh to a man, nurtures any life willing to depend on its provenance, built to receive it (which Our Man is not. His free will has lead him beyond the grace he was built to bear).

This excerpt is taken from All Must Be Lost or How to Live When Lost at Sea, a reflection on the 2013 film starring Robert Redford and a most unfortunate boat.

Excerpt: a fellowship of the redeemed

Excerpt: a fellowship of the redeemed

This is an excerpt of an essay called ‘In Community Group with David Foster Wallace’ that can be read in full at The Gospel Coalition blog.

Wouldn’t this be a great kind of church, a great community to be a part of? One filled with listeners who identified your pain as part of their own. One of such un-pretense that even the most bottomless confession is received with grace by people who all count themselves as the chief sinner. One of such consistency that the people live life together instead of merely gathering when they feel like they need it and scattering until the next crisis. This sounds like the kind of community that would give life. This sounds like the kind of community that is so thoroughly and humbly acquainted with themselves that they can see Jesus with a magnificent, binding clarity. This is not [high-achieving, upper middle class][1] Christianish-ity[2]. This is a true fellowship of the redeemed.

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[1] Edit thought up while driving to work, made post publication at TGC

[2] TGC editors calmed Christianish-ity down as ‘Christianity’, perhaps understandably not wanting the homophone sounded out by the double suffix on their blog. Though, that’s kind of the joke.

Excerpt: Sold our own demand

I am limited, though. I can only take in so much information before, overwhelmed, I begin to forget. Who can remember everything they have read, seen, heard, or even themselves said? Yet this unlimited access to information is ever on hand and offered as a sacrament. Some digi-evangelion, the gateway to a better life. Information has become so saturate as to flow like water from our screens. The preachers at the riverbank, that’s the marketing department. They call to us, ‘Wade in and be born into this new life.’ Baptized, full submersion. We have indeed been born away by the flood…

If this stream of information which data bears to us breaks over our limited minds and washes away lasting impressions, what does Sprint really mean when they compel me to be unlimited? Here it comes to a fine point: Sprint doesn’t really care if I am actually unlimited (I am not). They simply want me to feel unlimited as I consume their product because then I would ostensibly consume it limitlessly, which is a handy trait to have in a customer when you’re selling something and you’d like it to be expensive. What we are really being sold is our own demand, by which we will be sold more.

This portion was excerpted from ‘You Deserve To Be Unlimited’.