Saturday, April 30, 2011
To date, the movies have not done justice to one of Batman's greater foes - Bane. The George Clooney lead, Joel Schumacher directed fiasco of film depicted Bane as a brainless muscle-bound clod. Nothing could be further from the truth, and fortunately in the next film they appear to be getting it right.
Like most great comic characters, Bane has undergone many changes and has even turned "good" in the comics. That may be overstating things a bit - he has been redeemed anyway. What makes him remarkable is that is the first to ever really take Bruce Wayne out of action, and develop the concept of someone else, typically Dick Grayson, filling the Bat-suit.
Schumacher went wrong with the movies is oh-so-many ways, but one of them had to be that he let the visuals of Bane override the depth of character there. The villain is genius or else he would have never been able to get his hands on Batman to break his back to begin with. Batman survives, in a world of meta-human abilities without any of his own, by being a master strategist. Bats can, and has, handled Superman, he can certainly handle Bane, if all he is is muscle-bound.
It is the combination of strength and guile that makes Bane so interesting, and lacking the egomaniacal drive of a Lex Luthor, who has often donned strength enhancing mechanical suits to compete against Supes, he is free to use his guile to enhance his strength.
Bane is a baddie for the ages, and I am glad to see his film fortunes being revived. Nolan should get it right.
Friday, April 29, 2011
But Is It Really A Sin?
If we are energized and excited by the gospel, it will show. I think the greatest sin of a preacher is to make the most interesting and exciting message in history sound boring!OK, Jim Rayburn, founder of Young Life used to say, "It's a sin to a bore a kid with the gospel." The idea is to energize the leadership, and energized leadership creates energized members - agreed. It is a grievous communication error to be boring - but a sin? - Really?
Sent me to reflecting on how often we use the word "sin" when we mean wrong. IN an age, now long past, when most people understood they needed God, such hyperbole was perhaps forgivable, but I don't think it is anymore. Sin has been trivialized to near meaninglessness. Good food is "sinful." I've heard the same word and same tone of voice applied to eating to much as I have to a one-night stand - is that really where we want to be?
Some might answer - "Yes!" - and they would do so for the sake of a theological argument out of Romans 3:23. But the theological fact that we all are in a sinful state does not remove from the necessity of existence they fact that ethically there are things far more problematic than others. We have allowed our theology to destroy our ethics.
In other words - we have made grace cheap while attempting to demonstrate its extreme value.
Now that is a sin.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Frog In The Frying Pan
# A lawyer who has no will.Just to cite a couple and then asks:
# A funeral home director who gives no thought about his own death and funeral.
One question I might ask myself is, “Are there contradictions in my life that are destroying my credibility?” Perhaps a blind spot that so many of us have in common is our failure to see the glaring contradictions in our lives.We are "frogs in the frying pan" when it comes to our own lives. You know, you drop a frog in boiling water and it jumps out, but you put it in tepid water and bring it to a boil, frog stays put. It's never the big spectacular sins that come to those of us that have been Christians for decades, its the gentle creep of the little ones.
I reflected on that fact this morning. I still struggle to maintain my weight and this morning I realized I had slipped into some eating patterns that had signaled the regain of weight from a weight loss I did in college! What I was eating this week would not of itself produce weight gain, but, it was a type of eating that told me I no longer had as tight a grip on my eating. Time to rethink, re-pray and re-discipline.
That's what accountability is all about, both to self and too others. What are the "tell" in your life? How do you gain perspective on whether the pot is starting to boil?
May I suggest lots of time in scripture, in prayer, and with people.
Related Tags: Illuminated Scripture
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Questions Only A "Scientist" Could Ask
The idea tackles one of history's great philosophical debates, and Bjoern Brembs of the Berlin Free University brings the latest thinking from neurobiology to bear on the question.The 1970's?!?!?!?!?! Free will is an idea, steeping in theological meaning pretty much since theology started. Last time I checked, theological was metaphysical.
"Free will is not that lofty metaphysical thing that it was until the 1970s or so," Dr Brembs said.
"More and more people are realising that it's a biological property, a trait; the brain possesses the freedom to generate behaviours and options on its own."
What we have here is a case of a scientist trying to start a fight, and doing so for reasons only he knows. What more is there is only one reason a scientist would even look into a question like this - and that is for science to attempt to displace religion.
I am reading more and more science of that type - science attempting to do metaphysics - science asking questions that it cannot possibly answer with any serious meaning - and doing so with an apparent purpose to undo religion.
What's a churchman to do? Well, response in kind is not the answer. We don't need to argue creationism v. evolution - we need to find the wound that drives people to this and heal it. Jesus rarely argued, but he did a lot of healing - think about it.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
The Wading Pool
Joy is that constant emotion of fulfillment as we humbly place our child-like faith in our very capable Savior! The state of joy is when we know that through it all, God will remain victorious. Happiness is fleeting, but joy is forever!That's fine, but it is so shallow. How do we find joy? How is it different than thankfulness? How do we transition from saying joyful things to actually being joyful? I could go on, but I think you get the point.
Joy is an inner strength, peace and contentment that supersedes everything that is going on around you! Joy is like saying, “through it all, no matter what…I will praise the Lord!”
Church consultants are great organizational guys, but most of them never go deep. See that's the thing - if the church is going to reach its potential and actually change the world we need to go deep. We need to be different from the world and different on levels the world does not even know exists.
Monday, April 25, 2011
But thanksgiving did transform me, and in this sense it did also transform my ministry. When things in the church were going well, my taking time to say "Thank you" to the Lord enriched my appreciation of his grace. I'm one of those people who can rush right by God's gifts without stopping to delight in them. Thanksgiving slows me down so that I might actually enjoy God and his goodness. It enables me to relish the good times, which leads to further gratitude and deeper joy.MArk is talking about how his being thankful improved his attitude towards his ministerial vocation, but I could not help but reflect that such an attitude can help any of us, in any setting.
Thanksgiving also helped to keep me humble.
Thanksgiving also helped me discover God's presence in difficult times and challenges.
You know, the more I think about it, the more I think thankfulness is the only possible way to approach the Lord.
I have seen far too many of my friends children come to expect the blessings that their parents gave them, never once stopping to thank them. One in a situation of deep trouble and problem responded to their parents arrival by simply leaving, both the local and the entire mess for the parent to clean up - never uttering even so much as a "Glad you are here."
How often do we treat God like that? He has blessed us so richly. But being thankful is about more than the blessings - it is about placing ourselves in the right position.
What place are you in? I know I need to me more in the position of thanksgiving.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Related Tags: Illuminated Scripture