Saturday, March 16, 2013


Comic Art

So, I am perusing the "Marvel Universe Wiki" list of villains looking for inspriation for this weeks Comic Art, and I run across this entry:
The Communist Party of the Soviet Union rose to power after the Russian Civil War of 1918-1921. The official communist state was established on December 30, 1922 as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.), otherwise known as the Soviet Union led by Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin. After Lenin's death in 1924, Stalin gained control of the party and ruled with an iron fist.
Stalin turned his attention toward America and saw the presence of super powered beings. Deciding to have his own superhumans he appoints a Soviet man to become the Union's champion giving him the codename Red Guardian. Noticing the rise of the Nazi Party, Stalin signed a nonaggression pact with them in 1939 hoping to avoid a war. But in 1941 the pact was broken when the Nazi's started to invade the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union then joined the United States, England, and their allies. Enraged Adolf Hitler summoned Thor and ordered him to attack Stalin. However the attack was foiled by the Invaders and Stalin proceeded to the Teheran Conference to meet with Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Soon after the conference Hitler was killed by the Human Torch and the war ended.
Soon after the war ended tension began to rise between the Union, England, and America leading to the Cold War. However in 1953 Stalin died and years later the Cold War ended in 1989. Following those events the Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991.

"Fascinating," I thought. The "National Socialist Party" (Nazi's) are not listed - nor are more modern, though equally deadly, political entities. The Nazi exclusion is especially interesting because superheroes were born in the crucible that lead to WWII. The prototype, Superman, was born specifically of two young Jewish lads contemplating the horror that was to come and the Nazi ideal of the Ubermensch.

Of course, "wiki's" are the products of the contributors and there are few left alive that remember the horrors or Nazism. And in this political correct age would we ever demonize even a genocidal regime? I wonder if this inclusion contemplates the horror of the Soviets or thinks they have been reduced to some sort of joke? My natural cynicism would lean towards the later.

I constantly remind people that comics reflect culture, they do not establish it. But I wonder if in this case they should not attempt a bit of leadership. Evil political regimes are real - from Hilter to Stalin to Mugabe. It is not something we should ever forget.

Sorry for the bummer Comic Art, but one in a while....
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Friday, March 15, 2013


Good Points

Mark Daniels on "5 Pointers for Lutherans (and other Christians) Who Want to Share Christ with Others"
  • Maintain intimacy with Christ.
  • Live in daily repentance and renewal.
  • Be intentional about forming friendships with spiritually-disconnected people.
  • Remember your own story.
  • Be kind.
Note that Mark does not talk about the message so much as the messenger. WE are the evidence for this discussion. This is not a matter of logic or reason, but evidence and that evidence is in our lives. If you are going to witness for Christ, make sure you have all your evidence in order.
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Friday Humor

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Thursday, March 14, 2013


Never Safe

Jeff Dunn @ iMonk quotes a sermon by another:
“There seems to be a growing feeling that God is ok with making us uncomfortable. In fact, I think He plans to. We worship a dangerous God and He is coming to threaten every area of your life. God is a loving God, do not be mistaken about that. His love, however, is unlike any human love; its chief concern is not to make you comfortable, but to make you free. And to be free is dangerous and the act of making us free is dangerous.

“I am sensing specifically the danger of the nearness of God. He is waiting in places you do not expect to approach you in ways that you think God shouldn’t and wouldn’t approach you. He is about to move in a way that will not allow Him to be a household idol on your mantel that you cherish and pass down to your children. Your here and now will be changed by His presence. If you want safety, then go back to your idols. They get their name from you, they don’t change your name, they don’t move without your leave, and they will never threaten your comfort. If you want safety, then go back to your idols but do not profess to worship the Creator of the Universe, because He will not be counted among your idols.


“It will truly cost us everything to follow Him. The fact that we have to ‘lose our lives to find them’ has been relegated to a cliche and sapped of its power for most of us. God is about to move in a way that will no longer allow that to be a cliche for you. That means that both the losing and the finding will be at a much deeper and more meaningful level.

Dunn introduces the talk with a reference to the very famous Narnia quote:
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
When we try to make God safe we deny His authority as King, UNtil such time as we embrace the danger, God is less than King.
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Illuminated Scripture

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Finding Center

Christian Post:
Evangelical Christianity has been shaped by a "salvation culture," but should strive for a "Gospel culture," says Dr. Scot McKnight, professor of religious studies at Northern Seminary.

"The Gospel of salvation has produced what I call a 'salvation culture' – a culture marked by who's in and who's out. So a very strong sense of 'we are the in group and others are the out group.'


"The central question of the Bible is not, 'how can I be saved?'" McKnight said during his presentation. "This is the 'me' question. The central question of the New Testament is, 'who is Jesus?' This is the 'God' question. The 'me' question follows the Jesus question.
"The fundamental job of the evangelist is not to get people to feel guilty about sins, or to feel terrorized by an angry God. The central question of evangelism is, 'who do you think Jesus is?'"

I hate to pick nits here, but I think we make a fundamental mistake when we say it's about "Jesus." The Christ is an entry point to the totality of the triune God. Once Christ has "saved" us it is the Holy Spirit that perfects us. It is God the Father to whom we ultimately submit as our sovereign. I fear that focusing on Jesus alone is not that different from the me focused salvation message.

McKnight is so right in decrying the "me" focus of so much that passes for church these days, but the broader focus is much broader than he here announces.
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Tuesday, March 12, 2013


It's a Journey, not a Destination

Justin Taylor quotes JI PackerT:
. . . whereas to the Puritans communion with God was a great thing, to evangelicals today it is a comparatively small thing.

The Puritans were concerned about communion with God in a way that we are not.

The measure of our unconcern is the little that we say about it.

When Christians meet, they talk to each other about their Christian work and Christian interests, their Christian acquaintances, the state of the churches, and the problems of theology—but rarely of their daily experience of God.

It is all about us, yet it is not about us at all. We talk about what concerns us, but we do not talk about us. You see, genuine communion with God will, of necessity, confirm two things - 1) How very small we are in comparison to God, and 2) How deeply sinful we are.

We do things for God in order to keep God at arms length so that we do not have to learn how deeply flawed we are. What deeply saddens me is that this self-understanding is not the destination of our Christian journey - it is but the first step. And more, the journey takes us to a place so much better than we can possible imagine. A place where we are as we were created to be and not the distorted things we have become.

If we could just bring ourselves to take the first step.
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Kitty Kartoons

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Monday, March 11, 2013


About Election

John Piper writes very succinctly about the interweaving of free will and election. In the middle of a 5 point argument he says:
Therefore the truth Paul has in mind is not truth that the natural man can see. But the natural man can see a lot of truth. Tens of thousands of truths are open to the natural mind. What truth can the natural man not see? The natural man cannot see the glory of Christ in the gospel.
Truth cannot be researched nor understood - it can only be revealed. And becasue of that fact, we can never be sure that we know the entire story. From this humility should be born.

It has always baffled me that Calvinism, should produce the most humility in its adherents and yet it is so often the opposite. The very idea of election makes us so powerless, so inconsequential in our own salvation that to respond with other than humility is the very definition of sin. What I love about this is that Piper extends our inconsequence not just to our salvation but to our understanding. The pride that Calvinism so often provokes is generally born of its comprehensive and logical nature - it creates an illusion of understanding. But it is just that, illusion. That should drive us humbly to our knees.

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