Profile for Eclectic > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Eclectic
Top Reviewer Ranking: 677,145
Helpful Votes: 4

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Amazon Communities.

Reviews Written by
Eclectic

Page: 1
pixel
The Mission (Two-Disc Special Edition) (Bilingual)
The Mission (Two-Disc Special Edition) (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Robert De Niro
Price: CDN$ 21.99
29 used & new from CDN$ 15.06

4.0 out of 5 stars Faith vs Fortune, June 3 2003
Based on historical incidents, this screenplay, written by Robert Bolt, shows the clash between faith and greed, with the Gurani Indians of Brazil caught in the middle. Recall that Bolt's A Man for All Seasons was also about the conflict between faith and political expediency. Robert DeNiro plays a mercenary and slaver who loses his desire to live because of who he has become, but redeems himself through service to others. Jeremy Irons plays a Jesuit priest who lives out his faith among the Gurani as he seeks to protect them from the machinations of greedy politicians and landowners. There are some spectacular scenes in the movie, some excellent music, and some inspired acting. Perhaps, as others have suggested, the movie might have been stronger had someone other than Joffe directed it. He seems not to have understood what the movie was actually about, and his commentary was idiotic at times. For example, at one point he says "the movie is about women". At other times he says "the movie is about finding peace", which is perhaps closer. If not for Joffe's commentary I would have rated the movie 5 stars.

The Word of God In English
The Word of God In English
by Leland Ryken
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 17.51
22 used & new from CDN$ 2.93

3.0 out of 5 stars For those who want to dig deeper, Feb. 10 2003
It would be wonderful if the typical Christian read the Bible often enough or carefully enough to be sensitive to nuances in translations. Most of us would be happy if the average Christian was conversant with even a single translation. However, for those of us who do want a deeper understanding of God's word it is very helpful to understand that all translations have built in limitations. Whether or not you are a "professional" Bible translator is irrelevant. If you have done any translation, Biblical or otherwise, you have probably discovered that 1) it is almost impossible to do a word for word translation, especially if the original contains poetry, idiom, culturally specific connotations, etc.; 2) translating the "main meaning" of a sentence often also results in losing some of the meaning of that sentence if the original was rich in nuances and levels of meaning.
What are we to do? Well, becoming expert in Biblical Hebrew and Greek, understanding the culture of the the authors, the original connotations of the words, etc., would be an excellent approach, but this is not practical for most of us. Short of that, a good place to start is by consciously using at least two reputable translations for our study. I teach Bible studies to prisoners, and even with their limited education they have figured out that an editor's comma can sometimes change the meaning of a verse. If even the relatively "uneducated" can see this for themselves, then we ought to be consciously looking for ways the editors and translators of our Bibles have consciously or unconsciously altered or limited the meaning. I believe it is actually helpful when the translations differ because I assume that each translator was honestly trying to accurately convey the meaning, and the differences in translation can sometimes be very revealing. There is also a well known professor of Biblical Greek (who writes textbooks on the subject) who tells his students he is not sure that anybody has ever translated even a single verse of the New Testament with complete accuracy and fidelity. Knowing that all translations suffer from these and other limitations can help us be better students of God's word.
That being said, I will point out that the preponderence of people I know who can and do read the Bible in the original languages prefer the NASB as their primary translation. Since it attempts to be a "word for word" translation many decisions as to the meaning of each verse are left to the reader, which is ultimately the point that Mr. Ryken is arguing.

No Title Available

3.0 out of 5 stars Experiencing God's Grace, May 18 2002
This is an enjoyable book, but the message of grace is hardly new. Unfortunately, it is new to many people who have not been well taught and/or have not read the scriptures themselves. Manning comes from a Catholic background, so grace was a bit of a surprise to him. Recall that Martin Luther broke off from the Catholic church about 500 years ago over this issue. What Manning does bring to us is the experience of God's grace. Manning was a down and out drunk when God touched him and cleaned him up. It is from this experience in his life that Manning appears to have truly begun to understand God's grace. This is not a book on theology proper, but on the individual's experience of God's love and grace to us. The style is often rambling, almost stream of consciousness at times, but readable. One of the things that kept me from giving this book a higher rating is that it was not written in such a way that most of God's ragamuffins could understand it. It uses many allusions and cultural references, and a lot of 50 cent words. I teach Bible studies to prisoners and I believe that most of them could not understand a lot of this book. However, they are the ragamuffins that God came to save (along with the rest of us). At times I wondered who Manning was writing the book for - the ragamuffins, or the intelligentsia. Still, for those who can get past that, it is a worthwhile book.

Bible Cure For High Blood Pressure
Bible Cure For High Blood Pressure
by Donald Colbert
Edition: Paperback
40 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spirit Filled Advice, May 7 2002
I enjoyed this book very much because of its focus on turning to the Lord to aid in our struggles with stress. Medically the advice is very similar to what I have received from my own holistic doctor, with a few things that I have not heard before. However, in this book Colbert adds the spiritual dimension which I believe is invaluable. There are a few cases where he misused scripture, which always gives me "heartburn", but this book is essentially sound. In the world we live in stress is primarily a spiritual issue, which then affects our bodies. Colbert has good advice on how to deal with both aspects of the problem.

In Harm's Way (Widescreen)
In Harm's Way (Widescreen)
DVD ~ J.K.Rowling
Offered by Round3CA
Price: CDN$ 25.00
12 used & new from CDN$ 2.52

4.0 out of 5 stars A Story of Courage In Men and Women, May 6 2002
Ce commentaire est de: In Harm's Way (Widescreen) (DVD)
Yes, this is a war movie, and it covers some of the critical battles of the early days of America's entry into WWII. However, it is more about the people involved, and their struggles to stand up to the circumstances that life presented them with, than the battles themselves. We can not necessarily control the circumstances in our lives, but we can control how we respond to them. Some may have courage under fire, while those same people lack the courage to deal with a bad marriage. In this film both the emotional lives and the military lives of the individuals we see are examined. Do some of us run from emotional danger? Do some of us run from military danger? Do some of us run from ourselves? Under which circumstances will we have the courage to place ourselves in harm's way? Is there a time when running away is no longer an option?

The Guns of Navarone (Special Edition)
The Guns of Navarone (Special Edition)
DVD ~ Gregory Peck
Offered by Fulfillment Express CA
Price: CDN$ 24.06
32 used & new from CDN$ 1.04

4.0 out of 5 stars 3D People Under Stress, May 6 2002
One of the most obvious aspects of this film, as noted in an astute commentary by another reviewer, is that it is a study in leadership. It seems that everyone is willing to complain and second-guess, but few are willing and qualified to take the responsibility to lead. Another important aspect of this filme is that many of the people are shown not as flat stereotypes, but as real people with individual characteristics and motivations. There is an interesting interaction between the leader of the British commando team, and one of the German officers. They size each other up and make decisions based on the character and values they see in each other. Then there are some interesting contrasts between those who will sacrifice themselves for the good of others, and those who are unwilling to undergo pain even when the consequence of their selfishness means the death of many others. The outcome of the military purpose of the raid is almost incidental once we are treated to the many twists and turns based on character and individual motivations. Nihilists will not like this film. Those who believe that some people are capable of selflessness, courage, and acts of moral beauty even in bad circumstances will enjoy it.

Bible Cure For Weight Loss, The
Bible Cure For Weight Loss, The
by Dr. Donald Colbert
Edition: Paperback
55 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I Want to Like This Book, But..., May 4 2002
Colbert loves the Lord, and that is plain. His spiritual advice can be characterized by Philippians 4:13, and that is good advice. However, his medical advice, in this book, is suspect. The main point of the book, medically, is to understand insulin. Although Colbert does describe this through several pages, the pages are very short and small, and we are not left with sufficient information to understand how his theory works, and on the surface, at least, it appears contradictory. This review can not be long enough to explain my point, but let me point out some fairly obvious problems in other things he says. On page 28 he says men should eat 4 ounces of meat at each meal. His sample diets don't show this. Further, in his other book, What Would Jesus Eat, on page 200 he says, "I do not recommend over 4 ounces of meat a day". On page 29 of this book he says that men are to eat 4 ounces of "protein" at each meal. He uses this term very loosely. A slice of bread has protein, but probably not 4 ounces. A piece of chocolate has protein, but probably not 4 ounces (unless it is a very large piece of chocolate). By examining his sample diet we might guess that he really meant "4 ounces of certain high protein foods". The samples show things such as fish, meat, poultry, cottage cheese, etc. Some days you would eat meat at least twice, which he has warned against in other books. In this book he recommends the use of various oils. In What Would Jesus Eat he recommends only olive oil, and virgin or extra-virgin olive oil at that. What's more, in What Would Jesus Eat he points out that the failure rate for diets is about 100%. In that book he argues that only a changed lifestyle can sustain weight loss. Which is the truth? Since What Would Jesus Eat is a later book perhaps that reflects his latest thinking. It is also a much better, more enjoyable book. I recommend that book over this if you want to stick with Colbert, but better yet, look around for other authors and get a second opinion.

Rich Mullins: An Arrow Pointing to Heaven
Rich Mullins: An Arrow Pointing to Heaven
by James Bryan Smith
Edition: Hardcover
18 used & new from CDN$ 23.17

4.0 out of 5 stars Rich Mullins, A Celebration of Grace, May 3 2002
I have always enjoyed many of Rich's songs, but after having read this biography many of them have a much deeper, richer meaning to me. It is as if I never really heard the words before, but can hear them now. I particularly enjoyed reading about the incident that prompted Rich to write Hold Me Jesus. Rich was an ordinary person (aren't we all?) who genuinely tried to walk with God. This is the story of one person's struggles and joy. Doctrinally, this is about one person's experiential understanding of grace. Rich himself says he was heavily influenced by Brennan Manning in this regard. The fact that both Rich and Brennan found the doctrine of grace so surprising just goes to show how much we fail to teach accurately in our churches and seminaries. Even a cursory reading of the New Testament reveals the word "grace" many times. How is it that we don't understand what it means to us? Why don't we understand Ephesians 2:5-9? How about Ephesians 1:7-8? Rich never pretends to be a theologian, nor is this a book of Christian doctrine. It is the account of the Spirit working in the life of one person who was touched by, and continues to touch others. It is well worth the reading.

What Would Jesus Eat?
What Would Jesus Eat?
by Dr. Don E. Colbert
Edition: Hardcover
49 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good Medical Advice, But No Theologian, April 23 2002
Ce commentaire est de: What Would Jesus Eat? (Hardcover)
I found this book to be useful from the point of view of good medical and nutritional advice, but was disappointed in the way Colbert frequently misunderstood or misused the scriptures. Bending scriptures and using them out of context is wrong, no matter what your good intentions are. I also was pretty startled to find that Colbert thinks that grace means we are now empowered to obey the law we were set free from. Did Paul misunderstand God when he wrote Romans and Galatians? There may be sound medical reasons to eat a kosher diet, but God made it abundantly clear that there are no spiritual obligations to do so.

Page: 1