Monthly Archives: August 2011

 

Aug

31

2011

Trevin Wax|3:42 am CT

Proclaiming Truth Beautifully

Earlier this month, I posted a review of Francis Chan’s Erasing Hell, in which I commended the book for its substance and critiqued it for its style. The review ignited a conversation in the comments section, on Twitter, and via email. Most of the responders agreed with me. We are often good at articulating biblical doctrine, but we don’t give much thought to the role of beauty in communicating truth.

Jared Wilson has written some challenging things about this subject:

We need prose that sings. We need writers who aren’t merely authorities in their areas and can relay information to us in competent ways. Or we need readers who will not settle for that kind of writer. We need writers who receive on literary frequencies, writers who feel what they write, who convey poetry or beauty or some ecstatic sense in their writing. We need writers whose work emanates off the page the hum and buzz of adoration.

Some have asked me to cite some examples of the kind of writing we should see more of, and the kind of writing that we authors should aspire to. C.S. Lewis’ Narnia books quickly come to mind, of course. But there are other theologians and authors who also succeed at this well. Here are some examples:

G.K. Chesterton

I love the way Chesterton describes Easter morning:

On the third day the friends of Christ coming at daybreak to the place found the grave empty and the stone rolled away. In varying ways they realized the new wonder; but even they hardly realized that the world had died in the night. What they were looking at was the first day of a new creation, with a new heaven and a new earth; and in a semblance of the gardener God walked again in the garden, in the cool not of the evening but the dawn.”

Here is Chesterton again, making the case for humility as childlike wonder:

Humility is the thing which is for ever renewing the earth and the stars. It is humility, and not duty, which preserves the stars from wrong, from the unpardonable wrong of casual resignation; it is through humility that the most ancient heavens for us are fresh and strong. The curse that came before history has laid on us all a tendency to be weary of wonders. If we saw the sun for the first time it would be the most fearful and beautiful of meteors. Now that we see it for the hundredth time we call it, in the hideous and blasphemous phrase of Wordsworth, “the light of common day.” We are inclined to increase our claims. We are inclined to demand six suns, to demand a blue sun, to demand a green sun. Humility is perpetually putting us back in the primal darkness. There all light is lightning, startling and instantaneous. Until we understand that original dark, in which we have neither sight nor expectation, we can give no hearty and childlike praise to the splendid sensationalism of things.

Timothy Stoner

In The God Who Smokes, Timothy Stoner creates a portrait of God that exposes Rob Bell’s passive, sentimentalized vision of God as woefully reductionistic. Tim makes the case that believing God gets angry is part of what it means to believe that God loves:

“We are not only invited guests but the blushing Bride. And our Groom is a heroic King, a mighty warrior who is good and just and stunning in his beauty. He is so full of passion and blazing emotion that he burns – and yes, smokes in the ferocity of his infinite, holy love that compelled him to give it all away for his Bride. And he who gave it all for us is worth giving ourselves completely to.”

And check out this Piper-esque description of God in His glory:

“God really believes that he is the most worthy, most majestic, magnificent, glorious, stunningly beautiful being in the universe. And he is fixated on the certainty that only he deserves worship – that to him alone belong honor, glory, and praise forever and forever. With red-rimmed, stinging eyes and burning hair, all we can say is – he is right. He is astonishingly beautiful, utterly majestic and perfect in the symmetries of justice and righteousness, knowledge, and wisdom. He is as hypnotically compelling as a surging forest fire and ten times as dangerous. He is out of control – ours, not his.” (83)

Responding to the idea that “love wins,” Stoner reminds us that, biblically speaking, holy love wins:

The love that won on the cross and wins the world is a love that is driven, determined, and defined by holiness. It is a love that flows out of the heart of a God who is transcendent, majestic, infinite in righteousness, who loves justice as much as he does mercy; who hates wickedness as much as he loves goodness; who blazes with a fiery, passionate love for himself above all things. He is Creator, Sustainer, Beginning and End. He is robed in a splendor and eternal purity that is blinding. He rules, he reigns, he rages and roars, then bends down to whisper love songs to his creatures. His love is vast and irresistible. It is also terrifying, and it will spare no expense to give everything away in order to free us from the bondage of sin, purifying for himself a people who are devoted to his glory, a people who have “no ambition except to do good”. So he crushes his precious Son in order to rescue and restore mankind along with his entire creation. He unleashes perfect judgment on the perfectly obedient sacrifice and then pulls him up out of the grave in a smashing and utter victory. He is a God who triumphs… He is a burning cyclone of passionate love. Holy love wins.

Russell Moore

Russell Moore’s description of Easter morning sends chills up my spine:

That corpse of Jesus just lay there in the silences of that cave. By all appearances it had been tested and tried, and found wanting. If you’d been there to pull open his bruised eyelids, matted together with mottled blood, you would have looked into blank holes. If you’d lifted his arm, you would have felt no resistance. You would have heard only the thud as it hit the table when you let it go. You might have walked away from that morbid scene muttering to yourself, “The wages of sin is death.”

But sometime before dawn on a Sunday morning, a spike-torn hand twitched. A blood-crusted eyelid opened. The breath of God came blowing into that cave, and a new creation flashed into reality….

Michael Kelley

The Soldier with Tears in his Eyes: This is only a blog post, but I love how Michael Kelley uses his imagination to draw us into the life of the early church and experience the glory of salvation within community.

John Calvin

Who says theology has to be dry? Justin Taylor recently posted this beautiful section from Calvin’s Institutes, where Calvin explains that “We see that our whole salvation and all its parts are comprehended in Christ. We should therefore take care not to derive the least portion of it from anywhere else.”

If we seek salvation, we are taught by the very name of Jesus that it is “of him.”
If we seek any other gifts of the Spirit, they will be found in his anointing.

If we seek strength, it lies in his dominion;
if purity, in his conception;
if gentleness, it appears in his birth. For by his birth he was made like us in all respects that he might learn to feel our pain.
If we seek redemption, it lies in his passion;
if acquittal, in his condemnation;
if remission of the curse, in his cross;
if satisfaction, in his sacrifice;
if purification, in his blood;
if reconciliation, in his descent into hell;
if mortification of the flesh, in his tomb;
if newness of life, in his resurrection;
if immortality, in the same;
if inheritance of the Heavenly Kingdom, in his entrance into heaven;
if protection, if security, if abundant supply of all blessings, in his Kingdom;
if untroubled expectation of judgment, in the power given to him to judge.

In short, since rich store of every kind of good abounds in him, let us drink our fill from this fountain and from no other.

Augustine

His dense commentaries aside, Augustine could also write beautifully. Here is one of my all-time favorite quotes from the church father:

Man’s maker was made man,
that He, Ruler of the stars, might nurse at His mother’s breast;
that the Bread might hunger,
the Fountain thirst,
the Light sleep,
the Way be tired on its journey;
that the Truth might be accused of false witness,
the Teacher be beaten with whips,
the Foundation be suspended on wood;
that Strength might grow weak;
that the Healer might be wounded;
that Life might die.

N.T. Wright

D.A. Carson has commented many times that it’s nearly impossible for N.T. Wright to compose a boring sentence. The quote below is not even from a book, but a Christmas sermon:

The wonder of Christmas morning is that today we are summoned to look at the baby in the manger and recognise whose stamp, whose imprint, he bears. On Christmas morning we find ourselves gazing at God inside out. This baby is what you get when the stamp of divine nature leaves its exact imprint in the soft metal of a human being. Jesus is the coin that tells you whose country you are living in. Jesus is the seal that tells us whose authority the document carries. Jesus is the alphabet, Alpha and Omega, beginning and ending, Chi and Rho, the Christ, Sigma for Soter, Saviour, Tau for the cross – the letters that speak of his identity, his vocation, his victory.

When the living God wants to become human, this is how he spells his name, spells it in the character, the exact imprint, of his own nature, writes it in flesh and blood, soft, vulnerable human tissue, stamps it into the innermost being of the foetus in Mary’s womb, the light of the world who blinked and cried as his eyes opened to this world’s light, the source of life who eagerly drank his own mother’s milk. This is God inside out; O come, let us adore him.

This truth is so dazzling, so nourishing, that we ourselves blink at its brightness even as we come to feed on its richness.

That’s what we’re looking for. Ways to capture the truth in dazzling, nourishing ways that cause us to blink at truth’s brightness and feed on its richness. May God raise up a generation of writers who not only know the truth, but beckon others to swim in the depths of grace!

 
 

Aug

31

2011

Trevin Wax|2:50 am CT

Worth a Look 8.31.11

How To Destroy Your Own Research Paper in One Simple Step:

With one sentence, you’ve completely undermined my confidence in your argument. And, you’ve done it by making it exceptionally clear that you don’t have any confidence in your own argument. Nonetheless, I find sentences like this in papers all the time. Why is that? Why are so many students eager to destroy their own papers at the very beginning?

Robert Gundry reviews Christian Smith’s new book for Books and Culture:

Though Smith has justifiably brought to the fore a problem in pervasive interpretive pluralism, then, this problem plagues all literature, not just the Bible as perceived by biblicists. In regard to the latter, I find his arguments incoherent and his solutions inadequate. He cites Don Carson to the effect that solving the problem requires “better scriptural exegesis.” Indeed. So maybe someone should write a book arguing that pervasive pluralism in biblical interpretation is due to the lingering deleterious effects, even on biblicists, of nonbiblicism in the past. But what do I know? I’m neither a sociologist nor a theologian. Just a biblicist.

Thom Rainer – “Leadership and Decisiveness”

Many leaders fail simply because they refuse to make a decision. Some insist on more and more information. They fail as they experience analysis paralysis. Others will not make a decision because they fear failure. Ironically, they experience the failure they feared because of their failure to make a decision.

Do Not Neglect the Holy Spirit in Parenting:

If Proverbs 22:6 were a promise (and by extension) a command, you have serious theological problems. God often referred to himself as the “parent” of the nation of Israel (Ex. 4:22-23Jer. 3:19). And yet, you don’t have to be a Bible scholar to observe that Israel was a most rebellious child. Was God, therefore, a bad parent? Was Jesus a bad “parent” because Judas, one of his disciples, rejected him?

This illustrates the folly of such a formula-driven application of Proverbs 22:6. It reduces the Scriptures to a sanctified formula, a more spiritual-sounding version of Dr. Phil. This man-centeredness eliminates the only agent for human change: the Holy Spirit.

 
 

Aug

30

2011

Trevin Wax|3:30 am CT

3 Story-Focused Ways to Read the Bible

One of the core values of TGM, the curriculum I am helping develop for LifeWay, is that the materials be “Story-Focused.” By that, we mean “focused on the grand narrative of Scripture.”

Many Christians are familiar with certain Bible stories, but they are not always sure how the stories fit together into the Bible as a whole. By focusing on the grand narrative of Scripture, we want this curriculum will help participants connect the dots and think as Christians formed by the great Story that tells the truth about our world. We also believe this approach will provide a hope-filled outlook on our world because of the future God has promised. So even when we address theological topics from a systematic or topical standpoint, we want to keep an eye on how this theology is formed by God’s big plan.

Here are three Bible-reading plans that help us see the big picture of the Bible. Two are for adults, and one is for children. Let’s start off with the adult resources.

Reader’s Guide to the Bible:
A Chronological Reading Plan

by George Guthrie

As part of George Guthrie’s excellent Read the Bible for Life resource (intended to increase biblical literacy and help churches get the basic foundation of hermeneutics), this new Bible-reading plan takes readers through the Bible’s overarching storyline in a way that shines light on the individual parts. The Reader’s Guide provides small group discussion questions and personal devotional thoughts.

Guthrie’s daily commentary serves as a helpful guide through the Bible. He points out important facts and theological concepts from the daily readings. But he never lets his brief comments overshadow the power and prominence of the biblical text itself. I’ve been going through the chronological reading plan this year and, so far, I have found it to be very beneficial.

(A full version of the HCSB Bible that follows this chronology will be released in November. But if you want to read chronologically through a different translation, this chronological reading plan will aid your reading, no matter which Bible version you choose.)

The Story:
The Bible as One Continuing Story of God and His People

Another recent resource is an edited version of the NIV that puts the Bible into a story format. There are timelines, editor’s notes (that summarize the parts of the Bible that this version skips over) and footnotes explaining theological words and concepts.

The strength of this approach is that one can read through the Bible as if it were a novel. There are no verse numbers or chapter divisions, the absence of which makes even the feel of the biblical text more like the original manuscripts.

The weakness of this approach is that the editors have to pick and choose which parts of the Bible to focus on. To their credit, they sample sections of wisdom literature and prophecy, not just narrative. It’s obvious that their goal is to introduce people to all the genres of the Bible. In some cases (like the letters of Paul), this kind of historical context is helpful. In other places, the format is reductionistic. (There’s very little from the Old Testament Law, for example. And harmonizations of the Gospels always bug me, because I love the distinctive voices of the Evangelists.)

Overall, this is a helpful way to get people into the Bible, to see the big picture and focus on the biblical text itself.

The Big Picture Story Bible
David Helm & Gail Schoonmaker

If I could pick only one story Bible for my children, this would be the one. This book teaches children the biblical story from Creation to New Creation – anticipating Jesus in the Old Testament and making his crucifixion and resurrection the proper climax of the New Testament. Even the illustrations convey a message. The artist thoughtfully and strategically places a “star” upon God’s chosen representative, from Abraham to Isaac, from Jacob to David and Solomon. There are future glimpses of Jesus throughout the Old Testament.

The story itself contains one central plot aim: ”God’s people in God’s place under God’s rule.” This theme provides direction for every story in the book. I’ve actually given this book away to couples with small children, hoping actually that the parents would read it and learn from it.

The Big Picture Story Bible does not shy away from theology. Of course, theological concepts are kept simple for children, but the author takes great care in pointing to Jesus through the Exodus, the kings, the prophets -reaching back to past events to fill in the meaning of the atonement. All of the stories ultimately point ahead to Jesus.

What about you? What resources have helped you understand the Bible as a whole?

 
 

Aug

30

2011

Trevin Wax|2:16 am CT

Worth a Look 8.30.11

Chaplain Mike at Internet Monk summarizes and interacts with the main points of Counterfeit Gospels, and then uses the book as a springboard to discuss the gospel as considered in the wider world of evangelicalism

Within its context and in terms of its intended audience, this is a helpful and much-needed book… The primary problems I have with Wax’s analysis are not reflections on Trevin or the book itself, but on the broader world of evangelicalism and the weaknesses that are inherent to the system itself. So, while I rejoice in any and every attempt to make the Gospel message itself more clear, I seem to always long for something more when I read even the best writing from evangelical authors…

Christian publishers count their blessings:

 In the past 12-18 months, the religious publishing category has seen its sales jump faster than those of almost every other category of books. The book publishing industry overall has remained relatively healthy during the recession, with a nearly 6 percent annual growth rate from 2008 to 2010, according to the Association of American Publishers.

Dungeons and Dragons and Doctrinal Debate:

I fear that, all too often, our theological debates fall precisely into this category. We fight them so fiercely because there’s so little at stake in the way we view them. The professional Calvinist in his Internet forum sees a reluctance to embrace effectual calling as a personal attack, as a rejection of him. The anonymous-letter writing anti-Calvinist sees in the Calvinist a repudiation of his own background, of the kinds of churches and methods that led him to Christ. Rather than seeking to understand each other, and love one another with a convictional empathy, we claw and bite one another. That’s because, all to often, what we want is to be right, rather than to build up one another in the faith.

Timothy Tennent on “Ordinary Time”:

When I reflect on someone in twitterland reminding me that the sky is blue, that they are stuck in traffic, or enjoying biryani, I let it spark in me a reminder that we are in Ordinary Time. Daily life is filled with blue skies and grey skies. It is filled with traffic jams and long airport waits (I am writing this in the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport, waiting for a flight to Lansing, Michigan, – routine stuff for me). It is also filled with moments of eating Indian food, watching baseball games, enjoying a great laugh with friends, or listening to beautiful music. All ordinary – and all extraordinary – reminding us daily, and in our daily-ness, how great it is to be alive.

How to Get Involved in Disaster Relief: Helping Before and After a Disaster

Here are six good things to remember when thinking about disaster relief.

 
 

Aug

29

2011

Trevin Wax|3:13 am CT

On Generational Conflict: A Lesson in Fighting Our Instincts

Sometimes, older and younger pastors are more alike than different.

Yes, there can be a generation gap when it comes to style. Pastors from different generations may look different, dress differently, talk differently, and think differently. But sometimes, older pastors and younger pastors resemble each other in the way we frame all our opinions in black and white and leave precious little room for shades of gray. My way or the highway! is the unspoken mindset. And so… the elder goes his way, muttering to himself about the shortcomings of the next generation. Meanwhile, the young guy goes his way, openly mocking his father’s ideas as silly and outdated.

In a strange twist, pastors who serve in different ministry contexts and belong to different generations can adopt strikingly similar postures. The style may be different, but the demeanor is often the same. Hard-nosed. Bombastic. Over-the-top.

How to Respond?

So how should those of us who are younger respond to this generation gap? When I talk to friends in ministry, I notice that – instinctually – most of us resonate more with younger pastors, especially the ones who are well-known. They come across as hip, urban, and in touch with contemporary culture. Young guys are likely to give their favorite young pastor the benefit of the doubt. Quick to defend. Slow to find fault.

On the other side, I notice that – instinctually – most of us resist counsel from older pastors, especially when they come across as stodgy, unbending, or out of touch. We’re apt to see some of our elders as grumpy. Thus, we don’t listen to the word of caution, even when it contains wisdom we would do well to heed.

These instincts don’t help us. In fact, they hurt us. And they make us less gospel-centered than we claim to be.

For this generation gap to be bridged, we will have to fight our generational instincts. We need to look beyond the occasionally abrasive tone of older pastors and be willing to receive tough words of counsel. And we need to look beyond the star-power of some younger pastors and realize that not everything young guys say and do is worth emulating.

Fighting the Instinct to Resist Everything

First, we need to pray that the Lord would make us into the kind of people who can receive criticism without being immediately defensive. I confess that I struggle in this area. Whenever I receive criticism that is illegitimate in one area, it’s easy for me to react by rejecting a person’s criticism in every area.

For example, I believe that an older pastor’s criticism of casual dress and contemporary music in a worship service is off-base. It’s easy for anyone to long for the “good old days,” as if the methods of the previous generation were somehow above the culture of the time. Now, in disagreeing with an older pastor on issues related to music, I could say, “Look, he’s out of touch!” and not take into consideration anything else he says. But that instinct needs to be fought. Instead, I ought to hear the other criticisms.

And… I have to agree that there is wisdom in the counsel of older pastors when they tell us to avoid pursuing whatever is new and flashy. We are also wise to recognize that we have some growing up to do. I might not like the way some older pastors come across, but part of growing up means taking criticism like men and not getting too huffy too quickly.

My point is, it’s easy for us to label an older pastor’s criticism as striking the wrong tone and thus write it off. But what if Grandpa does indeed have something important to say? Will we listen, even when we disagree?

Fighting the Instinct to Embrace Everything

Secondly, we need to fight the other instinct we have: embracing whatever our young pastor-heroes say and do, no matter what. There are younger pastors with great influence and many imitators. It’s easy for us to look past the mistakes and missteps of popular pastors, out of generational loyalty. Sometimes, that leads us to defend what should be indefensible. Or it leads us to embrace just about everything from the younger guy and reject just about everything from the older guy. We need to fight the instinct to uncritically embrace the views of our pastor-heroes.

My point is, it’s easy for us to jump on the bandwagon of a young pastor and look past important and sometimes significant disagreements we may have. But what if we need to sharpen each other? What if it’s important to respect a leader without necessarily adopting every one of their positions? What happens when we too quickly accept whatever a ministry leader says, rather than thinking critically and seeking the Spirit’s illumination as we study the Scriptures?

Bridge the Gap

To bridge the generation gap, we need to fight our instincts. We need to work hard to discern truth from error in the teachings of our pastor-heroes. Likewise, we must listen carefully to the criticisms that come from other generations.

Let’s not look only to younger men for our examples of pastoral faithfulness. Let’s also look toward older men who have much wisdom to offer. And at all times, let’s seek to understand our culture and the church’s mission in light of Scripture. It’s time we look beyond younger pastors and older pastors – to the Scriptures that rebuke and challenge us all. We can be – indeed, must be – discerning and missional.

Let’s fight our instincts, so we can learn both from older and younger pastors.

 
 

Aug

29

2011

Trevin Wax|2:31 am CT

Worth a Look 8.29.11

When Doctrine Isn’t Enough:

Doctrinal precision is absolutely necessary. But it isn’t enough. May God grant us grace to love others with no less fervor than we love the truth.

Religion and the Bad New Bearers:

The widely reported decline in women’s church attendance is implausible.

Why McDonald’s Wins in Any Economy:

The fact that fast food is a somewhat cyclical business makes McDonald’s sales streak all the more impressive. But Skinner doesn’t think McDonald’s should experience serious ups and downs based on seasons or swings in the economy. He’s constantly telling shareholders and analysts that the company’s success doesn’t hinge on consumers trading down when times are tough; when customers have more to spend, they’ll spend it at McDonald’s, he says.

Gospel Indicatives and Imperatives: Where is the Debate Anyway?

 The crux of the debate seems to be the relative balance given to the communication of these two concepts in the sanctification process. The folks arguing for the indicative side of the equation might argue that 80% (I am making up the percentages for illustrative purposes only) of our communication should be focused on a theology of “remembering” or “appreciating” all that God has done for them in Christ Jesus.  “Preach the gospel to yourself everyday” seems to be one of the key phrases.  Their position is that the more God’s people meditate on the gospel in their daily lives, the more they will be motivated to put the commands of Scripture into practice.  Since the motivation is already there, the command section is not all that difficult.

Those who argue on the imperative side of the equation might strike that balance at a number of 30%-arguing that their counselees understand the content of the gospel, but that they fail to grasp what it “looks like” to live worthy of their calling.  They believe that what would be most helpful to their counselees is spending the bulk of their time focused on what the counselee must do in order to live out their calling.

 
 

Aug

28

2011

Trevin Wax|3:23 am CT

Prayer for Perseverance

Father, keep us from vain strife of words.
Grant to us constant profession of the Truth!

Preserve us in a true and undefiled faith
so that we may hold fast to that
which we professed when we were baptized
in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
that we may have Thee for our Father,
that we may abide in Thy Son
and in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.
Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.

- Hilary of Poitiers, 300-368

 
 

Aug

27

2011

Trevin Wax|3:19 am CT

Self-Consciousness Destroys Self-Revelation

One of the thousand objections to the sin of pride lies precisely in this, that self-consciousness of necessity destroys self-revelation.

A man who thinks a great deal about himself will try to be many-sided, attempt a theatrical excellence at all points, will try to be an encyclopaedia of culture, and his own real personality will be lost in that false universalism.

Thinking about himself will lead to trying to be the universe; trying to be the universe will lead to ceasing to be anything.

- G.K. Chesterton, Heretics

 
 

Aug

26

2011

Trevin Wax|3:27 am CT

Friday Funny: Why Titanic's "Rose" is a Villian

Following up on my book review about the Titanic band members, I submit to you what is – by far – the funniest review of the movie Titanic ever written:

Camille, how can an educated, classy woman like you not see through that horrific film Titanic?

Kate Winslet’s character, Rose, was one of the vilest and most disgusting characters ever to grace the silver screen. From beginning to end, she displayed nothing but character flaws and a lack of concern for everyone else around her.

As the movie starts, she is a rich brat who is depressed that she has to marry an incredibly rich and handsome man because he treats her badly. Perhaps she should have taken into account his personality rather than his bank account when she accepted his proposal. Rather than take responsibility for her own actions, stand up to her mother, and tell him to his face that she is not in love with him, she instead decides to take the easy way out and kill herself.

Now, the whole world would be better had she just jumped off the back of that boat. Instead, our boy Leonardo DiCaprio talks her down from the ledge, and she sees him and thinks, “Ooh, cute poor boy.” So then she decides to slum it for the weekend and hook up with the cute poor kid. Then, to prove her total lack of morals, she decides that she will ask Jack to “draw her” — naked, of course.

So, while engaged to someone else (because she never had the decency to call it off), she decides to get naked for a guy she has known for all of about 24 hours. Immediately afterward it’s time to consummate the hours-old relationship in the back of a car that is not theirs. Wow, that’s a real “moral” Victorian woman for you!

Of course, that is not enough. The ship hits the iceberg (we didn’t see that one coming). By the way, she was on deck when that happened. I wonder if our lookout was too busy snooping on her and Jack to notice the iceberg. Maybe it’s actually her fault the ship sinks in the first place.

Anyway, our hero Jack puts Rose on a lifeboat. Of course, being safe is not enough, so she jumps back onto the sinking ship — a prime example of great decision-making.

After it goes down, Jack is safe on a door of some sort, but he has to give up his spot to save Rose. Now Rose is on the door, and Jack is stuck in the freezing waters. So in a sense she kills Jack in a slow, frigid, painful way — sort of like the experience I felt while watching this movie. She holds on to Jack’s shivering hand, telling him, “I’ll never let go, Jack, I’ll never let go.” Of course, after a few minutes in Arctic waters, Jack’s hand is no longer shivering. Winslet, in tears, continues, “I’ll never let go, Jack, I’ll never let go.” Around then, the lifeboat arrives, and Winslet immediately lets go, “Hey, I’m over here!” Jack sinks to the bottom of the ocean, and Ms. Winslet grabs a spot on the lifeboat. Real nice, Kate, real nice: Whatever happened to never letting go?

We then hear the rest of Winslet’s life. Her fiancé loses his mind and ends up killing himself (you’re two for two, Kate). However, she finds a nice man, marries him, and lives a great life. Eventually, he dies (I wonder what she did to make that happen), and we see Winslet’s Rose again at age — I don’t know, let’s say 126 — with her granddaughter or whoever is on the ship trying to find the Titanic’s wreckage.

At the end of the film, Rose walks to the back of the ship and takes the priceless diamond necklace that she could give to her grandchildren, which would set her family up for generations, but instead she throws the freaking necklace into the ocean! Queue overplayed, overhyped and over-sung Celine Dion song (I mean, seriously, by the end she is practically screaming the lyrics — like Celine, we get it, you have a great voice, stop assaulting us with it already).

Back to throwing the fancy necklace: She might as well have thrown three generations of her family over the side of the ship. Could she possibly be more selfish? Well, yes, she could, because then, apparently Rose dies, and we see her in heaven. For some reason, heaven is the Titanic (not exactly what I picture paradise to be). She opens up a stateroom door, and there is Leonardo’s Jack waiting for her in bed. Not her actual husband, mind you, but Jack. So she is even cheating on her husband in heaven.

I rest my case. The vilest, most horrifying character in cinematic history. An Academy Award for playing the she-devil would be one of the greatest travesties in mankind’s history since … the actual Titanic.

Signed, Every Rose has its Horns

Source & HT

 
 

Aug

26

2011