Saturday, January 04, 2014


Comic Art

Researching this space can get very, very weird. Search the Internet and you get all sorts of "Best Villains of All Time" things coming up. Most of them are like this, personal postings, and most are exercises in geekness. They are trying to pull up obscure villains just to show how much they really know about comics. Well, who amd I to be different, but I will do this a bit differently.

For this list, I refuse to call it "Best" - its "Favorites." Secondly, at least for the moment, I am limiting my self to Marvel comics, Maybe I'll do DC later. Third, I am going to date myself. Most of my favs are really old school. I really miss the days when comics were good v evil and not so angsty.

5. Dormammu

Look, I realize Doc Strange is a bit esoteric. But the guy's head is on fire! I also have to admire his ambition. Not satisfied with taking over the universe, this guy wants to rule all of the multiple universes of reality itself. Now THAT is ambition. Besides, who else would have the grapefruits to tackle Eternity himself. When it comes to sheer audacity, you cannot beat Dormammu. You just can't. It is a crying shame he never really crossed over to tackle other heroes. The epic battle of science v magic that would erupt in a confrontation of the Reed Richards and the FF and Dormammu would be extraordinary, and reality shattering. But alas, Kirby is dead - only he could draw something like that.

4. Super Adaptoid

He can take on the powers of his opponent. That is just cool. I have always thought; however, that his appearance should shift as he changes who he is fighting and what particular power he is utilizing at the moment. Huge creative burden, I understand, but he's green, so you'll always know who he is. And why did he fight only the Avengers? Super Adaptoid v the Defenders - What would he look like.? How could he adapt to the Silver Surfer and stay green? And what would happen when he hulked up? Oh, and how would Nighthawk's little eye hole wings look on Doc Strange's face? Come on, the possibilities here are endless, let's play with it!

3. A.I.M

These guys were the friggin ant colony of evil. The just kept coming. Biggest disappointment in Iron Man 3 was how poorly these guys were portrayed. The Beehive head may be the most iconic image in all of Silver Age Marveldom. I am serious. I had more fun as a kid wondering how these guys went unnoticed until the plot was hatched that I could hardly stand it. And there were thousands of them - all technically adept. I couldn't believe that many people went to college. I want the real yellow swarm. Dozen of these guys crawling all over the Hulk - come on - THAT is comic imagery. And MODOK as their head - pun intended. I still will pick up any comic with MODOK on the cover.

2. Absorbing Man

Another one the movies got oh so wrong. The tragedy in this baddie is immense. So powerful, so incredibly powerful - his Achilles heel? Dumb as a box of rocks. Hyper dumb - short bus dumb. Oh but so proud. Rather than hook up with one of the smart villains and rule the world, he puts together his own gang of massively powerful guys, all of them so dumb, he's the leader. The second deepest character lesson in comics.

1. Thanos

Thanos is either awful or wonderful. Most times he is done wrong, but in the hands of masters like Jim Starlin he is the greatest villain ever. Why? The ultimate character lesson. On more than one occasion he has become, essentially, God. And he put it down. The power did not bring the reward he sought. Someday, I hope, he will put it together and find where his reward lies. But until then, it's still an important lesson.

Friday, January 03, 2014


Telling The Difference Between The Baby and The Bathwater

Justin Taylor:
... “unconditional love” carries a load of cultural baggage, wedded to words like “tolerance, acceptance, affirmation, benign, okay,” and a philosophy that says love should not impose values, expectations, or beliefs on another. In fact, humanist psychology even has a term for it: “unconditional positive regard” (Carl Rogers).

Powlison says, “We can do better”....
"God's unconditional love" is one of those phrases that popped up in my youth and seemed so "right." But as I have matured in my faith and my life and I have noted what that phrase hath wrought, I agree with Taylor quoting Powlison here - we can do better. This is a classic example of how appropriating a modern expression actually changes the message - it is a warning about how when we try to be "relevant," we often compromise the message.

This is an example why we have to do more than simply "spread the word." We have to have a deep and abiding understanding of what the Word really is. We cannot merely look at the world, see a need and attempt to plug our message into that need. Our message includes a definition of what the real need is and how to look at it.

God plays by a very different set of rules than we do - in point of act, He makes the rules and we keep trying to bend them to suit ourselves. We we attempt to do God's work by our rules instead of His, things can and will go wrong. In our efforts to be relevant and to modernize the message we must know the message well enough to maintain it.


Friday Humor

Thursday, January 02, 2014


The Product?

Todd Rhoades looks at KFC offering boneless chicken and then asks:
What would it look like if churches went boneless?

Here are a few ideas:

1. Doing away with regular Sunday morning service times for a completely different delivery method.

2. Changing up the one hour fifteen minute service of nearly equal music and sermon.

3. Meeting in a church building at all.

4. Taking whatever your church is holding on to as tradition (we all have them) and changing it.

But all the while… keeping the chicken chicken.
Which leads me to ask a question - are bones "trivial?" In going boneless has KFC really only played around the edges? Well, if the idea is to deliver only chicken, then yeah, bones are trivial. But what if there is more to the product? What if the idea is not just to deliver chicken, but also to help people stay in touch with the fact that what they are eating is animal flesh? If you think about it, that is a pretty important idea.

Now, you can argue that it is not KFC's job to transmit such secondary messages. But can the church enjoy such focused luxuries? The church should be so much more than simply the delivery of the "gospel message." And that is only if you are willing to accept the "gospel message" is something small and encapsulated like the Four Spiritual Laws.

I would argue that the gospel message is a life consuming, character,and society, changing thing. The problem in the church is not enough focus, but too much.

The church is more than a delivery vehicle for personal salvation.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014


Illuminated New Year

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Tuesday, December 31, 2013


New Year Comic Art

How do superheroes celebrate the New Year? With a...

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Kitty Kartoons

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Monday, December 30, 2013


The Dumbest Thing I Have Ever Read

No really, it is. Charles Stanley writes:
Reason can be the enemy of faith, because it attempts to "trump" trust in God by encouraging us to rely on human intellect. This kind of logical thinking places confidence in man, but since we are not all-knowing or all-powerful, it leads to insecurity and worry.
I mean honestly, reason wrongly used is the problem, not reason itself. This is like saying, "Someone could hit you over the head with a hammer and kill you, therefore, the hammer is the enemy of life." But then arguing against reason, I don't guess someone can be asked to be reasonable can they?

But it is precisely this kind of nonsense that has landed religion backed so deeply in the corner in our society. We have accepted, and now take for granted, the argument of those arrayed against us that faith and reason and enemies. They are not. They, in fact compliment each other. Reason untempered by faith leads to atrocity. Faith is the root of reason, not its enemy.

I understand the temptation to make this argument, but in doing so, we concede ground we should not concede. When we do so, we are forced to cordon off our faith into certain corners of our lives because most of the world operates on reason. We cannot set our reason aside at work or school. We cannot set our reason aside even when doing mundane things like reading or watching TV. We cannot recognize, let alone combat the forces of evil that assault us from every direction if we set our reason aside and simply wait for revelation. God wants to temper our reason to be used for precisely such things.

Don;t set aside reason as the enemy, rather submit it to Christ and watch it flourish.

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