Saturday, January 18, 2014


Comic Art

When last we dedicated this space to villains we looked at my personal Top Five Marvel Comics villains. Today, let's do the same for DC.

5. The Weeper

 OK - come on, you have to love this:
The arch-foe of Bulletman and Bulletgirl, the Weeper is capable of the most brutal of murders, but sheds tears for his victims; he hates to see people happy but feels bad after he hurts them.
Seriously, a guy commits a horrific murder - you, the hero, come upon him in a fit of grief. Are you gonna be able to clobber him? Only if you are heartless and cruel. But then "Heartless and Cruel Man," might make a good new title.

4. Polka-Dot Man

Oh, please, do you honestly think I know anything about this guy? But how can you NOT love the concept?
For some unknown reason, Abner Krill decide to launch a crime spree in Gotham City revolving around spots and dots by assuming the identity of Mr. Polka-Dot. He ended up in conflict with Batman and Robin and used his polka-dots to fight them. He managed to capture Robin only to be defeated by Batman.
Remember the old cartoon concept where you could pick up a hole like it was a dot and put it someplace else making a new hole? This played big in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" Anyway, that should be this guys power! Different colored dots make holes that go different places. Tie it in with the color/emotional spectrum of the GL series and voila'. Now you have yourself a villain! And a reason to bring back that idiot costume. (It's how he transports his holes.)

Dear writers, this one s NOT free, send me checks when this idea is a hit.

3. Per Degaton

Time traveling Nazi based opponent of the Justice Society, now we are getting serious. We need Nazis in this modern era. We need Nazis to show that genuine evil has not died. What better way to do that than have one come forward in time and have his evil ideology take root all over again? Besides, I still say comic book Nazis had the coolest toys.

2. Gentleman Ghost

He's a real ghost - he can't die. He is efemoral. How do you hurt him? How do you defeat him. This is a bad guy that ought to turn good. You would think an eternity might make the error of his ways apparent, but no, he just keeps coming. And he is doggone hard to beat because all the good guys powers are so physical and he is not. Of course, some day he'll run up against Dr. Fate and that'll be that.

1. Flash's Rogues Gallery

These guys are goofy to a fault and yet you just have to love them. It is more than nostalgia, or the whole physics geek thing the Flash generally induces and that the Rogues fit so well into. It's even more than the somewhat ersatz form of honor they have show in later incarnations. I think it is the fact that they are bad without being evil. They are lovable. One gets tired of villains that are so homicidally insane they they NEED killing. These are guys you want to see turn over a new leaf and go good.

These are villains worth rooting for.

Friday, January 17, 2014


Genuine Prosperity

iMonk classic:
The real prosperity gospel is the belief that God will — must? — keep things at a level where it is still possible for us to follow Jesus without overt appeal to rewards in this life. The real prosperity gospel is revealed not in the promises of a yacht or a large home, but in the unspoken approval of a level of prosperity that allows us to live the Christian life on our own terms. It is the ratification of our private, sometimes entirely secret, arrangements with God of what his “goodness” means.

… We evangelicals apparently need to believe a version of the prosperity gospel where, at the least, none of us are below an understood “line of credibility” in Christian experience. And if we happen to go below that line, don’t expect instant encouragement. You may be surprised at what happens to you when you become walking evidence that not everyone is as happy, blessed, obedient and satisfied as they are supposed to be.

… The “real prosperity” gospel especially appeals to the idea that the church is fixing things, people and situations. In this kind of thinking the church has a repository of wisdom and power that can actually cause us to live in a different world than our neighbors, a world with different rules and a different outcome to the usual situations.
We are prone to confuse "good" with "happy" or "prosperous." God has promised us a good life, but often good lands us in difficult circumstances. Sometimes it is martyrdom. Sometimes it is not so grandiose. Sometimes it is just the consequences of a difficult decision, well made. Suppose your employers asks you to do something unethical or illegal. The good decision is to refuse and perhaps resign. That mean you lose money, but you have done good.

Sometimes we do not just lose, sometimes we suffer from decisions made that are good decisions. Certainly that was the case when Christ said "Not my will but Thine," and it happens to many of us on a smaller scale daily. Good is good, but sometimes it costs. Salvation is indeed a free gift, at no cost, but its consequences are often costly. The value of what you get for that cost is inestimable if you are willing but to look at it properly.

Are you willing to pay the cost of being good?


Friday Humor

Thursday, January 16, 2014


God and Mind

Chaplain Mike:
In both her book and this article, Luhrmann, a professor of anthropology at Stanford University, describes how she spent time among evangelical Christians because of her interest “in the fact that people like me seemed to experience reality in a fundamentally different manner.” The piece at hand today describes how the evangelical churches help people deal with anxiety and stress in their lives through prayer.

The author likens what happens in evangelical settings to cognitive-behavioral therapy, which its practitioners characterize like this:
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is based on the idea that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors, not external things, like people, situations, and events. The benefit of this fact is that we can change the way we think to feel/act better even if the situation does not change.
Luhrmann cites the methodology of Rick Warren in The Purpose Driven Life, who, in her words, “spells out thoughts he thinks his readers have but don’t want, and then asks them to consider themselves from God’s point of view: not as the inadequate people they feel themselves to be, but as loved, as relevant and as having purpose.”
Mike reacts:
On the one hand, any increase in kindness, forbearance, and gentleness in the way our pastors and teachers encourage us to treat one another is welcome. Withholding judgment and pat answers, learning to listen, helping people recognize God and his love in the hidden places of suffering and pain, urging them to talk to him in prayer and to cast their burdens on him — these are salutary ways of walking with one another in love and compassion.

On the other hand, I can’t help but suspect that this commendable activity that T.H. Luhrmann is describing may be rooted in shallow soil. For it is not just a “relationship with a Friend” that we need when it comes to knowing God, it is faith to embrace the mystery that he doesn’t always show up as my Friend.
I am not a big fan of a "therapuetic" view of Christianity in general, but this is unique. This, "...our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors, not external things, like people, situations, and events. The benefit of this fact is that we can change the way we think to feel/act better even if the situation does not change," seems to describe precisely the transformative process that God has in mind for us. But Mike is right, as presented, this is shallow. The Lordship of Christ is the only way to hold this altered view. And this is true for two reasons.

For one, just putting on this altered view means we can take it off. There has to be more involved than merely adopting a point-of-view. But more importantly, no one can really do this without supernatural intervention. Have you ever tried to just change how you think? Doesn't really work without some sort of extra something.

And that is the problem with naturalistic views of what goes on at church. You only almost get it.


Illuminated Scripture

Related Tags:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Communication Barrier

Stuff Christians Like (written somewhat tongue in cheek):
Do you speak Christianese?

Brethren and sistren, how is your daily walk? How are your quiet times and devos? Remember that seven days without prayer makes one weak! For me, I’ve just been counting it all joy. I’m too blessed to be stressed and too anointed to be disappointed. I hope you don’t think I’m superspiritual or that I’ve arrived. After all, I’m not perfect, just forgiven. Some people have accused me of being so heavenly-minded that I am no earthly good, but have patience with me please—God’s not finished with me yet!

Why just this morning I was sending God knee-mail and getting into the Word. I was reading the red letters and making sure that the gold was in my heart and not just on the gilt edges of my Bible. I gleaned some pearls and re-read my life verse.
Cute - problem is there is no analysis and there are two very distinct ways to analyze the phenomenon of "Christianese." Analysis 1: these sort of stuff is a barrier to church entry. It makes us look weird and people come to church, hear that stuff and just walk away. Analysis 2: This kind of stuff is used as a substitute for actual maturity. Rather than seeking to have God deeply affect each aspect of our lives, we just add the magic phraseology and Bob's your uncle.

But then maybe those two analyses go hand-in-hand and therefore they do not need to be delineated.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Ain't That The Truth

Dan Edelen:
Jim Daly wrote a piece about why young people abandon the Faith (“Ten Reasons Kids Leave the Church“). It’s not a bad postmortem. Many of those reasons are decent secondary excuses. They play well.

What doesn’t play well is the real reason why youth leave the Church:

Kids today look at their parents’ Christian faith and see that it changes nothing.


Kitty Kartoons

Tags: , , , ,

Monday, January 13, 2014



Justin Taylor asks "How Sovereign is God?" and answers by quoting Spurgeon:
I believe that every particle of dust that dances in the sunbeam does not move an atom more or less than God wishes—

that every particle of spray that dashes against the steamboat has its orbit, as well as the sun in the heavens—

that the chaff from the hand of the winnower is steered as the stars in their courses.

The creeping of an aphid over the rosebud is as much fixed as the march of the devastating pestilence—

the fall of sere leaves from a poplar is as fully ordained as the tumbling of an avalanche.
He then backs this up by quoting scripture after scripture after scripture. Just one example:
A man’s steps are from the LORD;
how then can man understand his way?
(Proverbs 20:24)
I wonder if we really, really understand that God is just THIS sovereign? For example, we tend to think of objects in motion as following the laws of physics - not as having God in charge of their motion. I wonder if we stop and wonder where the laws of physics came from? Who ordained them? I like to think of this as "meta-Sovereign>" No matter how much explanation we can offer for something, God id sovereign over that explanation. No matter how predicatable some thing may be, God created and manages the system that creates that order.

And I purposefully use the word "manage." God keeps track of it. He did not create the laws of physics and then step back. They require vigilance and maintenance. That means He must be intimately familiar with the working of the entire, enormous, and microscopic, machine.

Such sovereignty is incomprehensible, and yet comforting.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Site Feed


eXTReMe Tracker

Blogarama - The Blog Directory