Saturday, June 25, 2011
So, I am trying to think of who to do this space on and it dawns on me, I have never done a "So Bad, They're Good" dedicated to certainly the best movie superhero villain of all time - General Zod.
Frankly, Zod's presence in the comics is barely notable. He was around in the very early days, and pretty well accounts for the existence of the Phantom Zone, (Comics Code Authority device to avoid Supes having to kill the really bad ones.) But it was the second Christopher Reeves movie that pushed this guy over the top into superstardom.
Many, I think like Zod because he was so melodramatic in the film - sort of Shatneresque, but I think Terence Stamp played him at precisely the right pitch - a kid would swallow it whole and an adult saw the tongue planted in the cheek.
I am deeply saddened that I could not find images of Zod from the very early days of comics (that's the source of the beret you see in some of these images) when he was brightly festooned - almost clown-like, constantly plotting his next escape from the Phantom Zone. But alas, we live in a far more complex world - a world in which all we can truly do is kneel before Zod.
Enjoy the video.
Friday, June 24, 2011
The richness of Lent and the Anglican liturgy was unmistakably rich, offering an opportunity for a deliberate reverence that was impossible to not be fully engaged in. I’m inspired to a new way of embracing my faith as I return to my life this week and to church on Sunday…with another perspective on worship and sacrifice. [emphasis added]"Impossible to not be fully engaged in," is I believe the entire point.
Church exists to draw us to God, not God to us (Thankfully, He is already here.) It should be something that engages us and pulls us forward, not something that we passively consume.
It warms me to hear this from the young set - it gives me hope.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
The Priority of Culture
Culture precedes apologetics—or maybe it would be more accurate to say apologetics only matters for the believer when it leads him to a greater comfort with or confidence in the culture that has formed and continues to form him, freeing him from doubts so that the culture can mold him more deeply. (Critical reflection on that culture and argument is the job of theology, and theology may, of course, suggest doubts. It’s complicated, as they say in movies.)Somewhere in this mix lie the problems with politics we Evangelicals seem to have. We have engaged politics in an effort to engage culture, when politics, in reality, flows out of culture. We argue when something other is called for.
Jesus’ condemnation of the Pharisees might apply to many of us, cut rate Gnostics that we are, who assume—partly, perhaps, because we like to argue and think we’re good at it—that knowledge and particularly success in argument is the essence of the Faith. We could easily be found praying “Lord, I thank you that I am not like that poor guy over there with his holy cards, who wouldn’t know what to say to Richard Dawkins,” when he is having a lively and intimate conversation with Our Lord, His Mother, and several saints with whom we are not yet on speaking terms.
We use, I believe, apologetics and argument as a shield against the real and deep working of the Holy Spirit. Yes, we are transformed by the renewing of our minds, but renewal is not the same as education. We isolate Christ to the merely intellectual, and hence He never affects our personal culture and therefore can never affect the larger culture, which in turn would change the politics of the nation.
AS with most things, if you you really want to make them better, you must start with making yourself better. I wonder what would have if the church quit focusing on growth and started focusing on building a church culture?
Related Tags: Illuminated Scripture
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Right Idea, Wrong Tactic
OK, there are some good ideas there - the church does suffer from a bad image that needs reversing, and confession is the way to start. But there are also some bad ideas - like confessing in this fashion, and confessing to things that are not sins, but simply political hot potatoes.
A group called "Changing the Face of Christianity" has started a new campaign that they hope will... well... change the face of Christianity. But the way they're going about it seems to me that it may backfire.
The plan: Have Christians publicly confess their shortcomings by leaving nots in public places and posting them on a website.
The goal, according to an article in the Christian Post: to help Christians to acknowledge problems such as hidden hypocrisy, intolerance and homophobia... you know, all the things that give Christianity a bad name.
But the thing that really gets to me is that this idea seems like the form of confession without the substance. Confession, in many sense, is not about making the other feel better, but about taking an honest look at ourselves and admitting to a problem so that we actually get better. Confession is not an end, but a beginning.
And here is the biggest thing - confession is meaningless unless we actually move from there to do something. And if we confess to God, the change will happen., and when the change happens, public confession takes a very different tone and tenor.
Confession without change is in fact hypocrisy. Change accompanied by confession is a reclamation of the moral authority the church has punted away.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Top 10 Most-Searched Bible VersesJoe is really quoting this post which makes the point about what is missing:
Let me mention an omission. Maybe you caught it, too. Knowing the whole Bible and not just the most-searched passages, you realize that the absence is glaring. You won’t learn from this list why God needs to redeem the world he created. You won’t learn why his love is so significant. You won’t find any warning of what’s to come if you don’t believe. In short, you won’t read about our sin and God’s wrath.That's not what I notices, all the verses included, and the ones mentioned as excluded are about how ME. Where are the verses that simply examine God? Where are the verses that examine society ans social order? Where are the prophecies? Where is the history and the attempts to understand history?
See, here is the thing - scripture is not about me - it's about God. His history, His actions, and yes, those things He does for me, but it is not about me.
What a different place the church would be and what different people we would be if we would only figure that out.
Monday, June 20, 2011
I Try Not To Have One
This morning I started reading Trevor Hudson’s Discovering our Spiritual Identity. I didn’t get far because its first words What is your picture of God? pulled me us short. How do I view God and how that impact the way I live my life. Part of what this made me realize is that it is easy for me to say God is love but when I start to really think about this I know that my view of what this means is still distorted.Trying to understand God, and trying to form a picture of God, are two very different things and they seem to be confused in this post, but I want to address the issue of "forming a picture" of God.
Puritans will argue that such is idolatry. Some of that is born in anti-Catholic sentiment, but there is a strain of good thought there. I remember a great book from my youth that I do not hear discussed much anymore. "Your God Is Too Small" by J.B. Phillips. In it, Phillips examines the inadequacies of many of the most common images that people have of God.
But the real issue is this - ALL the images we could possibly have a of God are inadequate simply becasue God is beyond our comprehension. When we attempt to form an image or picture of God, we limit Him and in some sense attempt to control Him.
Yet, it is He that is supposed to control us.