Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Church Fathers and Heathen Literature Under Julian the Apostate

From Socrates Scholasticus, Ecclesiastical History, Bk.3, Chs. 12 and 16:

Observing that those who suffered martyrdom under the reign of Diocletian were greatly honored by the Christians, and knowing that many among them were eagerly desirous of becoming martyrs, Julian determined to wreak his vengeance upon them in some other way. Abstaining therefore from the excessive cruelties which had been practiced under Diocletian; he did not however altogether abstain from persecution (for any measures adopted to disquiet and assault I regard as persecution). This then was the plan he pursued: he enacted a law by which Christians were excluded from the cultivation of literature; 'lest,' said he, 'when they have sharpened their tongue, they should be able the more readily to meet the arguments of the heathen.'

Sunday, January 14, 2018

My Top Twenty Movies of 2017

They say that every seven years is a great all around year in movies, and as I recall just as it was said in 2010 so also it could be said for 2017. If you didn't watch a lot of movies this year, then you have a lot to catch up with, because just about every weekend at least one film was released that was at least very good or excellent. This raises the bar in being critical, so my top twenty list this year reflects both what I consider to be the twenty all around best and the twenty I most wanted to see a second time, most of which I already have, and look forward to a third watch. Here's my list with a blurb of what was generally thought about this film that I agree with:

Sunday, January 7, 2018

My Top Ten Best Movie Experiences

Since I have yet to see all the movies I wanted to see to select my picks for best films of the year for 2017, I wanted to compile another post based on a conversation I overheard a few weeks ago around Christmas time. While waiting for a movie to start in the theater, as I arrived about 25 minutes early, four ladies who must have been about college age in their early twenties sat in the seats directly in front of me, and for about 15 minutes were debating back and forth on whether or not it was better to watch movies at home or in a theater. Now for me personally there is no debate: it is pretty much always better to see a movie in a theater rather than at home. Seeing that we were the only people in the theater, and in such a close proximity, I decided to get in on this conversation by telling them a story of a great experience I had watching a movie in that very theater almost 20 years ago (which was probably when they were born), which could not have been experienced at all the same way if I had seen it at home. To this I added that it was my personal belief that all movies, if possible, should only be experienced in a theater, as they were meant to be seen, and only under extreme conditions should watching a movie at home instead of a theater be preferred (such as being sick, lack of a decent theater, weather conditions or lack of money). Plus many movies are meant to be experienced communally, and when they are seen alone at home much of their effect is lost; the same is true to the fact that many movies are best seen only on opening weekend.