Review – Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer


Gonsell_Facebook_Banner_820x462_alt

by John Ellis

***This review contains spoilers***

“How do we know the skulls are empty?”

That gruesome question is asked by Assistant District Attorney Alexis McGuire, played by Sarah Jane Morris, as she stares at a row of dead babies. Whether or not the “skulls are empty” is a vital piece of evidence she needs to help build her case against Dr. Kermit Gosnell, an abortion doctor accused of murder, among a litany of other crimes. That question also represents the contrast between humanity (life) and evil (death) portrayed in Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Social Justice and the Gospel


soup kitchen

by John Ellis

For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him. Genesis 18:19

The most frequent questions I field of late are about social justice and the gospel, and the ongoing dustup over social justice within conservative evangelicalism. People want to know which “side” I’m on and if I’ve signed any statements. In answer to those two questions, I don’t think that I’m on any “side” and I haven’t signed any statements about social justice, nor do I intend to (that’s not to say that it’s wrong to do so).

Continue reading

Weekend Reading: 10/6

coffee-computer-expat-working(pp_w639_h426)

by John Ellis

This past week has been dominated by news and stories about Brett Kavanaugh. If you’re like me, you’re tired of reading about it. In fact, I strongly considered muting on Twitter any words associated with the Kavanaugh hearings, allegations, and investigations. I didn’t, of course; as a writer, I kind of can’t. Thankfully, there were interesting articles published this week that had little to nothing to do with Kavanaugh. Below are some of the articles I found the most interesting and/or edifying from this past week.

Continue reading

Parents, Broken Bones, and Sin’s Curse

broken arm cast

by John Ellis

There are moments that remind parents that our children aren’t really ours, not really. Moments that interrupt daily life, underscoring parents’ finiteness and the fragility of our children. Moments that stand still in pain and hopelessness while you implore, to no avail, for time to reset itself back into daily life.

Tuesday evening as I sat reading on our back-deck, the weak yet desperate cries of help coming from the front yard were the first signal that a chain of unwanted moments for my family had been set in motion.

Continue reading

Love = Obedience

John-14-15-In-You-Love-Me-You-Will-Keep-My-Commandments-gold-copy

by John Ellis

As a child, obedience was a pragmatic activity for me. Navigating the tension between my desires and the possible punishment if I got caught fulfilling my desires, my decision to obey or not was rooted in a cost/benefit analysis. If the reward from my desire was greater than the risk of the punishment, obedience was jettisoned. On the other hand, if the reward was less than the risk, I was an obedient child. Not to mention the many times in which obedience enabled me to do what I wanted. As an example of how my pragmatic obedience worked, refusing to sing Patch the Pirate’s song “Obedience” with the rest of the students brought with it punishment not worth the reward of not singing. So, I dutifully sang the lyrics “obedience is the very best way to show that you believe” many times throughout my childhood.

It’s only as an adult that I get the irony.

My childhood’s pragmatic hypocrisy aside, is the song correct? Is it true that “obedience is the very best way to show that [we] believe?”

Continue reading

#BelieveWomen Versus the Presumption of Innocence


shame

by John Ellis

You shall not pervert justice. You shall not show partiality, and you shall not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous. Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live and inherit the land that the Lord you God is giving you. Deuteronomy 16:19-20

During a test over the state capitals, my fourth-grade teacher accused me of cheating. Walking around the classroom, she noticed a piece of paper sticking out of my crowded, disorganized desk. That paper happened to be a previously taken quiz over the state capitals. While my classmates left for music class, the teacher held me behind.

Continue reading