Thursday, January 14, 2010
Something To Think About...From BATMAN
Here’s the context: Rachel and Bruce were in love with each other when they were younger, but then Bruce disappeared, only to return years later. He had not contacted Rachel since his return. In order to cover his identity as Batman, Bruce is trying to act the part of the “millionaire playboy.” One night he’s cavorting in a hotel fountain with a couple of young women. While leaving the hotel, soaking wet in his suit and tie, Bruce runs into Rachel. In this awkward moment, he tries to explain to Rachel that he’s not what he appears to be. “Inside I am more,” he says. Rachel responds:I have always thought that one of the best book titles ever was Josh McDowell's Evidence That Demands A Verdict. I think that is a fine synopsis of what it is we seek to do with evangelism - present evidence that demands that people respond to it. McDowell did so primarily with historical arguments. Others use philosophical ones. Some use "fire and brimstone," and yet others promise a better self-image or prosperity. The appeal runs the gamut.“Bruce, deep down you may still be that same great kid you used to be. But it’s not who you are underneath. It’s what you do that defines you.”You can watch the clip here. Much later in the movie, when Batman has saved Rachel’s lives and is fighting to save others, she asks him who is really is. Batman responds, tellingly:“It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.”
Those are some words to weigh.
I first encountered McDowell's book in high school, far more than 30 years ago now. In those ensuing years, I have only encountered one piece of evidence that demanded response. It's not apologetics, it's not history, it's not emotion, nor reason. It is lives lived very differently. At those times when I had questions, when I doubted, God brought someone along whose life was genuinely unique - the evidence was not what they said, but who they were and how they acted. Such evidence cannot be ignored.
We shape messages, we hone arguments, we preach and we cajole. But in the end, if it does not result in changed people, nothing is accomplished.
Mark was right, these are words to weigh.