Posts By Timothy Nargi

15 Jul 2013 TimothyNargi

Reverance

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Regent University - reveranceI just completed a spiritual formation class with Dr. Mara Crabtree. If you are a divinity student, I recommend you take her course. You will benefit greatly from her teaching.

While in this class, we were discussing spiritual disciplines. These include prayer, solitude, meditation, and being in the Word daily. During these discussions, a book was mentioned and I have since been vigorously reading this book. Read more

05 Jul 2013 TimothyNargi

The Blank Bible

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Regent University - BibleI read an interview done with John Piper and he was discussing those who are new to studying for the ministry. One of his recommendations was to pick an influential figure in the Christian faith, whether it be a theologian, apologist, or an evangelist, and become an expert on them. Well, I had already begun this path with my studies on C.S. Lewis.

However, this prompted me to see who Piper was influenced by. It was Jonathan Edwards. So I started looking into Edwards, and was immediately drawn in, mostly because he was alive during my favorite period in history, colonial America. As I was browsing articles about him on the Internet, I found one that struck a chord with me.

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13 Mar 2013 TimothyNargi

Why “Out of the Ordinary?”

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So this blog is titled “Out of the Ordinary,” but no one has written up what this title refers to. At first glance you may think it means something away from the normal, something special. Now that’s part of it, but the Ordinary for Regent students is a place, not a condition. It’s where we get our food!

Regent University - Ordinary

The name comes from colonial times (so does Regent’s architecture) and an ordinary was a tavern providing a meal at a set price. Read more

01 Feb 2013 TimothyNargi

All things C.S. Lewis

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If you’ve been reading my previous posts you are aware that I attended Oxford via the C.S. Lewis class last summer.

I have continued my own C.S. Lewis studies in my spare time, but once a month I get a nice dose of Lewis from people a lot smarter (and older) than me.

Regent has a C.S. Lewis Society on campus where students, professors, and those interested in all things Lewis can gather for about an hour and hear a lecture about Lewis. I’ve been to two of these events. The first was on Lewis’ method of communication and how we can apply that to our own creative endeavors. The second was a discussion about updating The Screwtape Letters and some of the ways and means that we can engage an audience on relevant issues.

Each meeting has been intellectually stimulating and I walk away with something new learned about Lewis, as well as something new about how to engage our world. I do wish the society would meet more often as there are a lot of topics to talk about. So if you are on campus or thinking about coming to Regent and you are a Lewis buff, well, the C.S. Lewis Society is a good enough reason. Plus, they serve free pizza. Come out to the next event on February 5!

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02 Jan 2013 TimothyNargi

What Does Regent Feel Like?

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Regent University Performing Arts CenterWhen people discuss a college campus they may describe its scenery.
“Look at that beautiful tree!”|
“Check out that architecture!”
“I love this open field!”

They may also chat about events and activities that occur.
“Yeah, we’ve got an outdoor study group.”
“Those guys practice on the lake every day.”
“Let’s go; the concert is starting.”

These people may also post pictures online to share with their family and friends. Pictures are good. They let you visualize college life; they let you experience a part of it. Some photographs even let you feel what it may be like to attend there.

Personally, I can’t speak to the nature of attending class every day or living on campus as I am an online student. However, I am able to walk the campus every day and I can tell you what I feel when I stroll about.

I feel beauty.

Beauty? You can’t feel beauty–you see it, you say.

Rightly so, but what is seeing something if you get no feeling from it? You might as well walk around in the dark.

When I walk around campus and behold the well-groomed grounds, the majestic trees, the colonial themed architecture that speaks to times past, I feel it. The beauty overwhelms me, sweeping me up in its embrace, imparting something to me that I can carry with me all my days and share with others. I feel privileged to be able to walk around such a beautiful place, thankful to those who work hard to make it such, and mindful of the pleasures God has given to His children.

I look at a tree with its multicolored leaves while the sun rakes its rays over them and I feel beauty.

I see a stream of fountain of water arch into the air and splash down upon the stone it tried so hard to escape from and I feel beauty.

I gaze at the clay brick buildings and marvel at the craftsmanship and I feel beauty.

I watch students scamper to and stroll from class and I feel beauty.

Why do I feel this? Where does this feeling of beauty come from?

It comes through the people that work hard on and around campus and it comes through the blessings and fortunes that Regent has been bestowed. When I walk around campus, I feel a little bit of God shine through. I feel a little bit of His beauty.

06 Sep 2012 TimothyNargi

The C.S. Lewis Experience

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At the end of June, I visited Oxford, England as part of Regent’s C.S. Lewis class. The class consisted of reading his most famous works for the first few weeks, then the class convened in Oxford for a week. While there, I saw and experienced the places where Lewis lived, ate and worshiped. It was an amazing experience, spiritually and intellectually, the way Lewis would have liked it.

The week-long course consisted of lectures on Lewis’s life, philosophy and theology. There were also lectures on Tolkien and the Inklings as well. We met Michael Ward, author of Planet Narnia, which seeks to explain why The Chronicles of Narnia seems to be inconsistent, but in fact, it actually is not. We ate at practically every pub that Lewis and the Inklings ate at, one time even walking 3 miles through cow pastures to get to a pub.

We visited Oxford campuses where Lewis taught, walked and eventually converted to Christianity. Many of these places were also locations for the Harry Potter films.

We took a trip to Lewis’s home at the Kilns, learning about his home life. There was a wall in one of the rooms that was an ugly yellow from the nicotine of his pipe he smoked every day. Behind his home was a beautiful lake that some say is the spitting image of Narnia. If you saw it, you would agree.

It is very hard to express what I saw and how it impacted my life, but hopefully this quick overview and these images will help give a tiny glimpse of this trip, so that one day maybe you too can experience the wonder of Lewis and Oxford, in person.

04 Jun 2012 TimothyNargi

Writing Believable Characters Without Sinning

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Regent University Adult Education Theater PerformancesOne of the arguments against Christian films has been that characters are not believable because they don’t swear or do drugs or cheat on their spouse. Christians won’t write these things into their scripts because the act of portraying the sin is a sin itself. But people really do talk like that, and to ignore that fact means creating fake characters. So how do you write believable characters who do sin, without sinning yourself? I posed this question in one of my film theory classes. After some discussion and reflection, here is my answer.

First, you need to set your boundaries. Here are some of my personal ones for a guideline on how I write. Frankly, writing swearing into a script or writing a sex scene is more than a sin for me, but those actors who have to act out those scenes are also committing a sin. This also goes against one of my guidelines – I will not knowingly portray any act, speech or gesture in a manner that will entice impure thoughts or encourage immoral action. Knowing your boundaries will determine what you will write and what you won’t write.

Once you set those, how do you portray real characters? How do you write about a biker who doesn’t swear? Well, I would ask this question – if things are so real, why don’t we ever see characters going to the bathroom? Never saw Jack Bauer do it. Why don’t we ever see people cleaning their house? Because it’s a movie, it isn’t real in the first place, and as an audience we maintain a suspension of disbelief. So your character doesn’t have to swear just because real-life bikers swear. What it means, though, is you have a tougher job in writing. You must figure out another way to portray your character’s personality. It makes for challenging writing, but your character will be far more interesting and developed than those who depend on swearing to portray character.

Another way to portray sin is to remember that it doesn’t have to be shown. It can be heard or heard about and characters reactions can be shown instead. You can show the aftermath of adultery, the broken family, without showing the adulterous act itself. The sound of a murder or rape can be heard from behind closed doors, it doesn’t need to be visually depicted. As producer Roger Corman, states:

“The scariest shot in all of movies is the camera approaching a closed door, that you know somebody’s got to open it. The anticipation is much scarier than anything, it’s the most terrifying shot in the movie, it’s not expensive, it’s not special effects.”

Depicting real characters that aren’t “fake” without sinning yourself is easier said than done, but it just means you have to work harder and be more creative than the other guy.