Apr 21

Crime and Punishment (Film) ★★★★★

This is a Russian adaption of the Dostoevsky novel by the same name, made for television, and in 8 episodes. Having just read the novel, I was quite curious about seeing how a Russian filmmaker would render the novel. This series stuck very close to the book, and minimal artistic license seemed to have been exercised. The sets and acting were for the most part superbly accomplished. There were only a few rare scenes where the acting was slightly “soap opera-ish”. Raskalnikov was totally superb in his acting. The filming was superb. On Amazon.com the only real complaints were about the subtitle translation. True, there were frequent misspelled words and grammatical errors but these were never so egregious that one could not immediately figure out what was said. For those who love Dostoevsky, this is a MUST have. Do NOT get Hollywood versions of the Dostoevsky novels, as they have been best performed in the mother land. If you must have the movie in English and don’t know how to read subtitles, then you shouldn’t be watching movies at all but going to English school. Betsy and I are now working through Brothers Karamozov and soon the Idiot, both also made for television, the Brothers Karamozov (soon to be reviewed) is equally superlative in its production and accuracy to the novel. Nothing is better than reading the novels themselves, as Dostoevsky’s writing style and the minor nuances of his text could never completely put on film. I would highly recommend reading these Dostoevsky novels before ever watching the films.


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Apr 21

Sermons on Romans, DM Lloyd-Jones ★★★★

Lloyd Jones would spend Friday evenings at church slowly working through the book of Romans in an expository fashion. This took him a number of years to accomplish, preaching a total of 353 sermons in the series. This makes for a total of 290 hours and 20 minutes of sermon. Lloyd Jones numbers among the great preachers of all time, preaching in a conservative fashion from the Reformed perspective. In most cases he is fairly conventional, though at times he does bring objections to the most eminent Reformed theologians. In particular, his perspective on Romans 7 is unique, in that he holds this chapter as speaking of the non-converted sinner under conviction of sin. So, it is neither the non-converted person you would find on the street, nor the converted. His perspective on what Paul meant by “Israel” and the “Jew” are also somewhat at odds with convention, though he is quite firmly not a British-Israelite. Altogether, it is solid teaching and very informative. These sermons were listened to by me over the last several years while I was riding the bicycle on the trainer in the garage. As you might detect, I worked out a lot.

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