Tag Archive: ted dekker

finished reading Ted Dekker new book ‘burn’ last nite that he wrote with some woman lady – dude, don’t do that again. Took me so long to get into it because nothing was happening – well there was a plot and some money and a fire and a whole colony of dead gypsy’s except the three who escaped that the story revolves around, but just not in the must-turn-the-page thriller mode Dekker normally works into his books – i was bored a lot of the time and just waiting for it to get good, still waiting Ted.

in its favour it did suddenly get a bit weird towards the end but the whole ‘twist’ if you want to call it that was very forced and absolutely ridiculous (as opposed to most of his other thrillers where it is possible stuff) and just not very satisfying

Burn scores a boring ‘piece-o-crap’

for great Ted Dekker check out ‘Three’ and the Circle Series (altho maybe pretend Green never happened cos that also felt a bit like desparation from someone not knowing how to end things) and Blink and then House which he wrote with Frank Peretti.

we watched a multiplex (workshop session) yesterday on Christians and the media and then we had a bunch of small group discussion on the topic – as i was mc’ing the meeting and made some statements about bad christian movies there were too many heads nodding in agreement for me to think this is just my particular cynicised view

the bottom line for me is that the church has some great stories – from the bible which really has some x-rated hollywood blockbuster stuff in it [tent pegs through the head, incest, adultery followed by murder of a high-ranking general to try and cover the fact, bears being called from the forest to maul a bunch of youth for daring to call the prophet a baldhead, the fire from heaven altar challenge between elijah and the prophets of baal, stonings, crucifixion] to true life dramas [bible smuggling into china, the mother teresa story, the missionaries who were killed by the aucas in south america – which became a movie ‘the end of the spear’ which i haven’t had the chance to see but the book is amazing] to fiction [writings of ted dekker, robert liparulo, frank peretti who i would all describe as stephen king if he was a christian – some great science fiction/fantasy/horror/supernatural writing] – and so the stories are definitely there, but i think we have quite a long way to go before we can tell them well on film

i, as a Christ follower, cringe when i hear that something is a “christian movie” so i can’t imagine what an unbeliever must think and feel (maybe they’re less critical than me, who knows?) but the majority of christian films down the ages have been cringeworthy, cheese-filled and generally with bad camerawork and production, useless acting and trite storylines

the one question i posed was this – is it good enough for us as Christ followers in the media to be making bad movies, so that perhaps one day we can make good movies, or would it sometimes be better to be making no movies at all?

another question posed by the group was on the sacred/secular split – the tendency we as christians have to divide life into what we call spiritual and what we call secular when, as one guy pointed out in my group, Jesus would probably be confused if i told Him about “my spiritual life” because to Him everything was spiritual – and so can’t we as Christ followers just start making good movies – when i look at a movie like ‘the blind Side’ with Sandra Bullock in, it was a really strong movie and received critical acclaim in many quarters but was not produced as a ‘christian movie’ – we have the stories, we just need to do better at getting them across

i think personally that we do a lot better in the area of music whereas in the 80’s there were maybe the big 5 of mainstream christian musicians in amy grant, steve curtis chapman, michael w smith, carman and then if you were really hardcore maybe dc talk and they were all ‘good for a christian band’ music types [let the hating begin, ha!] but i think today Christ-following musicians and bands have gained a lot more street cred and in many cases are as good if not sometimes even better than their non-Christ-following counterparts… so there is hope

personally i don’t think it’s good enough that we create bad christian movies (or music or books) and i really wish the people making them would have better filters or just go hang out in the world a little bit to get a clue as to the kind of quality we should be producing. i imagine some people might see this post as a little harsh and unloving, but i think the reality is that when we are representing Christ, there is a strong case for us doing it well and effectively and in a way that impacts society rather than causing it to withdraw

i long for the day we can say ‘that was a great movie’ and not feel the need to simply compare it to other worse ‘christian movies’ as a means of greatifying it

so we wait with bated breath til some Christ-followers can actually write, direct, film and act in a movie that is worth watching… there have been some that come close but at the moment it’s still ‘secular’ movies like The Blind Side and Dead Man Walking that seem to portray Christian love, grace, acceptance and forgiveness better than any ‘Christian’ film i am yet to see, and i sadly still believe that most ‘Christian’ movies are pretty rubbish [you disagree? post your ‘Christian’ movie of choice and let’s see if i’ve seen it]

in the meantime though it is exciting to see that the Christ-following authors have strongly gotten their act together, altho to be fair if we look back to Pilgrim’s progress and C.S.Lewis’ Narnia books i spose we can say that’s been happening for a while. But when i discovered my first Ted Dekker book titled ‘Thr3e’ something in me jumped and said ‘it is time.’ As much as i think Francine Rivers catches the heart in some of her stories [to be fair, only read Redeeming Love and The Atonement Child] and i really did enjoy both the ones that read, i think that her writing is still painfully cheesy at times and she doesn’t quite do it for me [and millions disagree and that’s okay – nice stories, not great writing imo] but Ted Dekker arrived and boom!

again there were authors like Frank Peretti whose ‘This Present Darkness’ series blew me away at the time altho most of his subsequent books failed to produce the same kind of response in me [‘House’ by Peretti and Dekker on the other hand…] and the Left Behind series guys who also provoked a ‘wo’ in me(at the time, altho stopped halfway through cos they couldn’t keep up with me, but then once they started writing prequels and left behind for kids i think i got a lot more suspicious about their motivationals and lost interest)

i had seen Ted Dekker books in christian bookshops for years and was always wondering if they were any good cos seemed to be a bunch of them and if they were good then a bunch of cool stuff to read, but never got round to making the move of trying one out. then i think someone recommended ‘Thr3e’ and i read it and was hooked and have now almost pretty much run out of Ted Dekkers and wait patiently (like for Terry Pratchett) for the next one – i describe him as Stephen King if he was a Christian and yeah ‘Thr3e’, ‘Blink’, ‘Circle Series,’ ‘House’ and others are well worth the read – very, very dark some of them, hectic thriller with supernatural elements but never going too far into the message-preaching realm but giving enough to make you think – very real characters, honest, raw, rough writing and page-turning stuff – difficult to put down

which brings me to Robert Liparulo – happened to venture into gospel direct last week and saw these two hardcover books which looked intriguing called ‘Comes a Horseman’ and ‘Deadfall’ for R55 and R40 which is nothing for a hardcover – never heard of him altho there was a Ted Dekker endorsement in the one book so thort let’s give it a try and yeah, he’s no Ted Dekker but he is not too far off…

equally dark and supernatural in terms of ‘C a H’ being about secret societies and anticipation of the antichrist and ritual serial killings but again some good characters, some hardcore action and some pretty decent writing… and now reading Deadfall which i am enjoying even more – occasional semicheesy trying-that-little-bit-too-hard line of dialogue, but generally riveting stuff

sadly, i think he only has one other book out – ‘Germ’ – so i might have to add him to my pile of authors-who-need-to-write-quicker-so-i-can-read-their-stuff but for the time being (with half of Deadfall to go) i am happy…

anyone else read him? thoughts? feedback? other good reads?

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