Three generations answer:
265 years ago John Newton sailed into the port of Charleston and unloaded 150 African slaves (October 1747).
242 years ago Newton wrote the hymn “Amazing Grace” for his church in England (December 1772).
227 years ago Newton formally became an abolitionist to end the Atlantic slave trade (January 1788).
Friday in Charleston:
Politics aside, it was, for one moment in America, a sweet twist in our shared history. It was a work of God in overcoming multiple layers of sin. It is grace — God’s unmerited favor.
Bible counselor extraordinaire David Powlison used literature to teach his course, The Elements of Biblical Change.
His students were asked to chose from novels (Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness; Albert Camus, The Plague), drama (Eugene O’Neill, The Iceman Cometh; Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman), and short stories (Anton Chekhov and Raymond Carver).
Students were also required to read Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead and Alan Paton’s Cry, the Beloved Country. I recently posted a short clip of Powlison from a dinner with him in 2009, explaining why he loves Cry, the Beloved Country.
Near the end, Powlison mentions assigning films in the class, too, and that led a number of you to email me for his list. So I asked David and he sent it:
- “The Great Santini” (1979). With this film, students were asked to do a personal application study on anger (grumbling, resentment, conflict, judgmentalism, etc.)
- “Wit” (2001). With this film, students were asked to do a personal application study on anxiety (preoccupation, obsession, fear, control, etc.)
- “Ordinary People” (1980)
- “Il Postino (The Postman)” (1994). With this film, students were asked to do a personal application study on escapism (addictions, avoidance, love of pleasure, etc.)
Here’s a clip from Wit:
There you have it.