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Dordt theology student publishes second book

September 26, 2008

Light Up The Darkness

“Few people appreciate the deeper meanings hidden in many of today’s films,” writes Jamin Hubner, a senior theology major a Dordt College. His new book, Light Up the Darkness, uncovers from a uniquely Christian perspective a number of the themes that are virtues in the movie I Am Legend.

What began as an ordinary time of entertainment turned into this Dordt student’s latest writing project: Light Up the Darkness: Christianity, Calvinism, and Coherence in the Film “I Am Legend.” The book was released this June by BookSurge, an Amazon.com company. Most of it was written on Dordt’s campus last semester. The rest was completed while Jamin was living in Quito, Ecuador, this summer.

“My reaction after watching I Am Legend for the first time wasn’t the typical thumbs-up or thumbs-down,” Jamin writes in the prologue. “It wasn’t long before I realized that several of my friends also felt the same way after watching the film. It seemed like everyone I talked to “didn’t know what to make of it.” This struck him as a challenge, so he began writing some thoughts about the story’s themes and ideas. He had no intention of writing a book, “But soon enough, a book I was writing.”

To most people, the movie wouldn’t be the first choice to create a discussion on faith and film. Jamin admits in the introduction that movies like Chronicles of Narnia and Lord of the Rings fit more nicely with the gospel of Jesus than I Am Legend. But he argues, from his favorite theologian, Cornelius Van Til, that all stories actually borrow from the Christian worldview in order to make sense in the first place. “Good movies require good worldviews,” he writes.

For that reason, the first half of the book talks about the sacred vs. secular debate and what place movies have in Christians’ lives. In quoting Kuyper, he says “There is not a square inch [including the big screen] in the whole domain of our human existence where God does not cry: ‘Mine!’” In doing this, he establishes the necessary preconditions for a good movie.

The second half argues that only the Trinitarian God can account for those preconditions. “This apologetic twist,” says the back cover, “in combination with dozens of parallels between the message of Jesus and the movie, come together in an eccentric mix of theology, philosophy, and ethics to form the ultimate faith and film publication.”

Jamin considers Light Up the Darkness to be the climax of his Dordt experience. “The book truly is the culmination of my experience and education at Dordt,” he says. “It displays what I’ve learned about writing from the English department, ideas from the philosophy department, theology from the theology department, and the high standards of Christian scholarship by the history department.”

Light Up the Darkness can be purchased online at Amazon.com or at the Dordt College Bookstore. For information on how to get a signed copy, email him. Hubner published his first book, The Saving Grace of God, during his freshman year at Dordt College, also available at Amazon.com


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