Fatima Review

I know the screenwriter and plan to see Fatima but I don’t get Amazon Prime. For now this will have to suffice.

Christianity in Japan

This young woman put together a documentary on Japan’s relationship to Christianity, how its perceived, what Japanese people do believe and how Christians are received in the Land of the Rising Sun.

When I lived there, Christianity was perceived as a foreign religion and as the video states only 1% of the population believes in it. Still because its a densely populated country, I did find churches near me.

I attended Buddhist and Shinto festivals, but as the documentary shows people tended to do them because they were traditions not because they actually believed them or knew their origins. At temples people would post their prayer petitions and people do donate to support their temples, in fact there’s great social pressure to tithe.

The Great Good Thing

klavanAndrew Klavan’s memoir, The Great Good Thing: A Secular Jew Comes to Faith in Christ is a great read. Klavan goes back to his youth growing up in the suburbs of Long Island with a mom who was atheist and a father who was culturally, but not religiously Jewish. He chronicles his rocky relationship with his father and his love of writing and reading stories. It’s easy to see that Klavan was a storyteller from his earliest days. What’s more it’s shown in the writing. The Great Good Thing is masterfully written. Now an accomplished novelist and screenwriter, Klavan knows how to make every word and every metaphor count. He’s a delight to read.

This memoir isn’t preachy or saccharine. Instead, Klavan shares how he slowly came to be baptizes after dealing with the demons and mistakes of his early life. He doesn’t portray himself as a saint. He isn’t proud of his rebellion at school. He doesn’t sugarcoat his struggles with depression or anger. He trenchantly describes how anti-semitism plagued him and for years was a barrier to Christianity for him.  Instead he gives us a smart, open look at one very intelligent guy’s slow turning to faith. While doing so he offers a road map to deeper understanding of theology and scripture.

Because Klavan’s writing so good, so intelligent, I’ve ordered one of his novels to read next. (By “next” I mean after I’ve finished the eight books I’ve already started.)

On Forgiveness

Below is a fascinating podcast on forgiveness. It’s part of the Feminist Catholic Podcast series and features Rosario Rodriguez, who experienced two assaults and had to learn what forgiveness really is.

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Not sure why the player won’t show up though it does show up in the Visual mode. If you click the HTML above, you can listen.

Sorry that WordPress won’t make it look nicer. They could if they wanted to.