Monthly Love: September

septemberHere are just some of my favorite things from September:

1. Blackish

This hilarious comedy is full of wit and good writing. Proposing to show us the tension that some African Americans feel living in a dominate white cultural context this show gives us insight without being preachy. It is clever and hilarious. Anthony Anderson in particular does a brilliant job. I highly recommend this ABC comedy.

2. Mad Max: Fury Road

George Miller’s dream of a fourth Mad Max film in the franchise finally came fruition, after years of development nightmares, in 2015. The film captures all the original grit, drama, and shock of the originals but with new actors and the benefits of modern film-making. It is easily one of the most compelling, attractive, and astounding action films I have ever seen! In fact many critics hailed it as one of the best action films of all time. We rented it in September and I was blown away by its haunting beauty. Despite being wall-to-wall action, it has a lot of depth and meaning to it too, as my friend Wade discussed in this great review.

3. Volleyball with Friends

At our Labor Day party with friends Dave Kaynor convinced me to play sports…and it wasn’t terrible. I am as shocked as you are, but I had a great time playing volleyball with all our friends. I especially enjoyed that our team won, but I won’t rub it in.

4. Pumpkin Butter

Much love to Yates Cider Mill for this fantastic treat. We love pumpkin at our house and this has been wonderful with the emergence of fall.

5. Kidd-Free Fridays with Krista

With both kids in school now, Krista and I have been enjoying our kid-free days on Friday. Since Friday is my day off, we drop the kids off at school and then find ourselves enjoying some fun by ourselves. We have many plans ahead, but for the time being we are just enjoying some quiet together.

6. Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering by Timothy Keller

As one of the best books I read this month, and possibly one of the best this year, I can honestly say this was a favorite thing in September. In light of our October workshop on depression I thought this work would give me a good framework for addressing emotional suffering, and it does that and more. Keller’s usual brilliance and clear communication come through in this well developed monograph. Keller addresses everything from the philosophical to the practical issues related to suffering. He discusses theodicies, world religions, psychology, and Biblical theology in this very comprehensive and fascinating study. I loved everything about it and highly recommend it.

7. Guardians of the Galaxy: The Animated Series

Z is my little superhero nerd. He and I love to enjoy the Marvel characters, comics, and cartoons. So, naturally, when he saw the previews for this cartoon he was ecstatic. We scheduled to watch the premier and enjoyed it. I mostly love the time I get to spend with my little buddy.

8. Pumpkin Spiced Latte

Tis the season! I love all things pumpkin spiced and Starbucks set the benchmark with this delicious fall drink. For me it encapsulates the season.

9. Yum Yum Rolls

I like sushi, but I am not very knowledgeable about it. So, when my pal Chris took me out for lunch and ordered several different kinds of sushi I just assumed they’d all taste fairly similar. All good, but similar. Man, was I wrong. And the Yum Yum Rolls were easily my favorites. The tasty fish combined with the crunchy top was a great combination in my mouth. I am looking forward to more developments in my sushi palate.

10. Free Seminary Theological Journal

It is with a great deal of joy that I get to announce the official launch of The Free Seminary Theological Journal. We’ve spent months putting it together. The first issue deals with the somewhat esoteric subject of “Ontology,” which was an intentional decision. The topic is not simply an abstract philosophical concept, but has practical implications for our everyday lives. Like all things related to Free Seminary, the goal is to take deep theological thought and make it practical. And that’s what this journal is about. Several different gifted contributors have written essays in this volume, we have good book reviews, and an interview with professional theologian Michael Wittmer, of Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. The issue will be available for free download next week, and in hardcopy for a nominal fee. I am very excited about this project, and about this issue.

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