Free Book: When Giants Were Upon the Earth – Watchers, Nephilim and Biblical War of the Seed

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For a Limited Time Only!

This is the Biblical and historical research behind the Best-selling series, Chronicles of the Nephilim.

“As someone Brian has tapped as a resource, I can tell you his focus is on peer-reviewed biblical scholarship. His sources are not his own opinions.”
Dr. Michael S. Heiser
PhD, Hebrew Bible and Semitic Studies
Academic Editor, Logos Bible Software

Click here to get your free book

Fargo the Series: Good is Sexier Than Evil

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I am posting this way too late. Oh well. TV series are no longer time bound anyway.

I watched the first two seasons of Fargo when they came out. The last one was I don’t know how many months ago. I have been meaning to write about this. Now, I won’t remember all the details as I should, but that’s okay cause I just want to hit the broadbrush strokes anyway so I don’t spoil the good stuff.

I found the original movie Fargo by the Coen brothers to be fascinating and carrying their usual quirky, dark, but hopeful worldview. When the series came up, I thought I wouldn’t want to see the movie redone as a series, and didn’t think there would be enough to hold it through 10 hours.

I was seriously wrong.

Fargo is one of the best series on TV (I hate that term TV. It’s got a negative stigma and doesn’t even apply anymore. I watched it online). It captures the original spirit of the Coen brothers and repackages their thought-provoking storytelling in a way that quite frankly I find much more satisfying than the original movie.

Here is why I love Fargo the series so much… Continue reading

Ben Hur: An Epic Movie of Christian Forgiveness in an Empire of Hate

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Adaptation of a famous fictional novel by Lew Wallace about a first century wealthy Jew, Judah Ben-Hur, and his pursuit of revenge against an adopted Roman brother who betrays his family.

Chances are, you have heard of the classic movie of Ben-Hur with Charlton Heston in the lead role. But if you’re young, you probably haven’t seen it. Look, for those of us who have seen the “original,” it’s pretty hard to live up to the grandness of it because Heston was so legendary. But the truth is, when I watched the old one again some years ago, the actual quality of filmmaking and acting, even the famous chariot race, was not as good as my memory of it. Modern filmmaking is simply more sophisticated on many levels.

Enter, the modern reboot

Judah and his family live in Jerusalem, but his adopted Roman brother, Masala, never feels welcome with his pagan ideas and desire to make his own name in life. So Masala goes to Rome and becomes a highly placed military leader, who ends up at Jerusalem aiding Pontius Pilate at the time of Christ.

Judah begins the story as a Jew who scorns the extremes of both the Zealots, who seek to rise up against Rome, and of the way of love that he sees a young carpenter preaching to his followers. Judah seeks to protect his family and stay out of trouble. Self-preservation. And isn’t that really the desire of most of us, if we are honest? (Zealots were kind of like ancient “Social Justice Warriors” or terrorists)

The problem is that the family gets falsely accused of a Zealot crime, and is punished accordingly. Rather than execute Judah, Rome prefers to enjoy him dying slowly by putting him as a slave on a Roman galley ship. I have to say, this part of the movie was the most excellent surprise of the experience. I remember that part of the Heston movie as being a bit boring: guys rowing in dirty sweaty grunge with the quartermaster pounding the drum and the slaves getting whipped and yelled at.

But in this version, the experience of the sea battle by the oarsman from their perspective was a powerful action sequence. It captured the experience of what it might feel like to be there, helpless in those cramped quarters being bashed and battered around and sinking during a battle. And only being able to see what is going on through cracks and oar windows as they row. It reminded me of the D-Day scene in Saving Private Ryan, how it made you feel like the first time you ever really got a true sense of real battle in a movie from the individual’s perspective.

More Bread and Circuses!…

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PEERANORMAL Episode 3:
EVP – Electronic Voice Phenomena
Be There Ghosts?

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Electronic Voice Phenomena

Hosted by Dr. Mike Heiser, author of the game-changer in supernatural theology, The Unseen Realm. This episode features co-hosts Brian Godawa (hey, that’s me!), Natalina (Beyond Extraordinary podcast), Trey (Naked Bible podcast), Doug Overseer (Seers See Ministries), and Pastor Doug Van Dorn (author, Giants: Sons of the Gods).

We talk about respectable peer-reviewed analysis of this phenomena that is one of the more sensational elements of paranormal shows like Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventurers, and Ghost Worshippers (Okay, just kidding on that last one). But we do deal a bit with the Biblical prohibition of talking to the dead, which is what this phenomenon is actually a modern day version of.

But are the claims of EVP real, artificial or something else?

Check out the podcast here.

 

 

The Imagination of God:
Art, Creativity & Truth in the Bible

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NEW RELEASE!   NOW AVAILABLE

Want to Know God More? Use Your Imagination

I used to revel in his ability to argue the truth of the gospel, often crushing my opponents in the process. In time, however, I began to realize that winning an argument about the logic of Christianity did not equal persuading people to follow Jesus. What was missing?

Through prayer and searching the Scriptures, I realized that while God cares deeply for rationality, propositional statements were not the only tools he used to reach people with his truth. In fact, I discovered that story, visual images, and other kinds of art were central to God’s communication style because they could go places reason could never go: into the imagination and the heart.

The Bible is a Work of Art

In my new book I help you break free from the spiritual suffocation of heady faith. Without negating the importance of reason and doctrine, I challenge you to move from understanding the Bible “literally” to “literarily” by exploring the poetry, parables and visual images found in God’s Word. Weaving historical insight, pop culture and personal narrative throughout, I reveal the importance God places on imagination and creativity in the Scriptures, and I provide a biblical foundation for Christians to pursue imagination, beauty, wonder and mystery in their faith.

For any Christian who wants to learn how to communicate and defend the Gospel in a postmodern context, this book will help you find a path between the two extremes of intellectualized faith and anti-intellectual faith by recovering a biblical balance between intellect and imagination.

BUY The Imagination of Godexclusively here at Amazon.
kindle, paperback or audio


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“Brian Godawa is that rare breed—a philosopher/artist—who opens our eyes to the aesthetic dimension of spirituality. Cogently argued and fun to read, Godawa shows convincingly that God interacts with us as whole persons, not only through didactic teaching but also through metaphor, symbol, and sacrament.”

– Nancy R. Pearcey, Author, Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from its Cultural Captivity, and Saving Leonardo: A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, and Meaning


BUY The Imagination of Godexclusively here at Amazon.
kindle, paperback or audio

 

NOTE: This book was previously released with the title, Word Pictures: Knowing God Through Story and Imagination.

Hacksaw Ridge: Real Christian Faith Under Fire

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I just saw a rough cut of Hacksaw Ridge, Mel Gibson’s new movie coming out in November.

It’s the true story of Desmond Doss, a Seventh Day Adventist Christian who joined the US military in WWII, but refused to carry a weapon and never fired a bullet. He became a medic who “saved lives instead of taking lives.” He suffered persecution within the system and from his fellow soldiers, but ended up saving 75 of his company’s men in the brutal bloodbath of Hacksaw Ridge on Okinawa.

I will blog more about it when the release comes, but suffice it to say this is the best war movie about Christianity in a time of war since To End All Wars (Go ahead, mock me, accuse me of self-promotion, but it’s true, regardless of who wrote it. And it was a true story too).

Mel Gibson’s Redemption

He’s done it again. Mel Gibson has crafted one of the most inspiring movies for this generation.

If you want to see Christianity respected in a movie, then you will definitely want to see Hacksaw Ridge.

If you want to see Christianity lived out in grace and sacrifice, then you will definitely want to see Hacksaw Ridge.

If you want to be inspired to be a better person, then you will definitely want to see Hacksaw Ridge.

And here is what is amazing… Continue reading

Variety’s Family & Faith Summit: Christians are Alive and Kind of Well in Hollywood

Variety's Purpose Summit

I went to the all-day family entertainment and faith-based summit called “Purpose,” put on by Variety. I saw panel discussions on Faith in Mainstream Entertainment, How to Win the Faith Audience, Representation of Religion in Entertainment and others. This was not a conference for wannabes or Christian subculture, these were successful writers, producers, and executives, key decision makers and content makers in Hollywood. The real thing, people working with studios and networks making and marketing content related to the family and faith audience, or as my colleague Matthew Faraci of Inspire calls it, The “values audience.” (It’s more than just faith, it’s about cherished values that go along with that faith).

I have been involved as an independent filmmaker in Hollywood for a long time and I have experienced my share of cynicism with a system and people who are late to the party of recognizing and respecting the interests of this huge demographic of faith and values audience. But I have also been frustrated with the “faith-based” genre for its cheesy sermonizing and lack of excellence in craft, which to my mind disrespects God by disrespecting creation and beauty. I’m a Christian, and I don’t believe the message of many Christian movies. (Is this the fault of Christians with low standards pouring money into crap or the fault of a media culture that fails to provide for their demographic needs, thus resulting in Christians supporting lesser quality because it’s the only thing that respects them?)

But there is hope growing in Hollyweird.

Studios and networks finally see that there is money to be made in respecting faith and values audiences. As Paradigm agent Michael Van Dyck pointed out, sadly, these gatekeepers still don’t quite understand the demographic beyond their own stereotypes, but they are getting better as they hire more individuals that do get it. Yes, you have the abysmal failures like Noah and Exodus, but then you have the screaming successes of Miracles from Heaven and When Calls the Heart.

Some of those successful storytellers of faith were Devon Franklin, producer of Miracles from Heaven, Patrick Aiello, producer of Risen, Matthew Malick, producer of Scorsese’s Silence, Rick Rekedal of Dreamworks Animation, Jonathan Merkh of publisher Simon and Shuster, Writers Cary Solomon of God’s Not Dead, Bryan Bird of When Calls the Heart and many others.

The key to a growing presence of Christians in Hollywood has been in this generation ceasing seeing Hollywood as Sodom and Gomorrah to flee from without, but rather seeing it as a mission field to go into and influence from within.

Takeaways

Several memes rose within the conference in most all the panels.

Continue reading