Saturday, February 15, 2014
There is probably no more confused publishing history in comics than Star Trek. That could have to do with the fact that it is really a TV/movie property and the publishers make a fraction of what they make with properties they own, but I think it probably also has to do with the creative control the owners of the property maintain. With the advent of the JJ Abrams reboots, the continuity is now so friggin confused that one need a name and number program to figure out what is going on.
Last summers "Star Trek: Into Darkness" is another continuity bender, this time rebooting the classic Trek villain Khan. But by the same token, Khan is a classic upon which to do such bending since he is really the hinge that moved the property from TV to theaters. He is classic Shakespearean bad guy, a hallmark of the Trek movies to be sure. One of the great faults of the otherwise utterly enjoyable Abrams reboot was the lack of quotation of the Bard.
So, what about the comics? Forget them - they're worthless. They are an exercise in merchandizing, not storytelling. They are testament to the fact that comic books are an art form unto themselves with their own rules for storytelling and that those rules are different than other medium. If you cannot fee up the makers of the comic to tell the stories suitable for comics, don't bother.
IN fact,t he comics are suffering across the board as the characters move to the big screen. The comics, whose revenue is miniscule compared to movies, are now viewed as marketing arms for the movies and much of the best story telling is happening in the title not so widely known. This is certainly true for Marvel/Disney. DC which is following a different marketing trajectory is doing a better job of this, but it is a problem.
There are limits to the cross marketing phenomena.
Friday, February 14, 2014
It's Always Legalism
I could not help but think that both were missing the point. Christ did not come to establish schools of thought or doctrines. He knew they would arise in His wake and He knows of their necessity - but Christ came to change people. Change them in a way that they would understand how relatively unimportant such things are.
The whole discussion arises in response to stress and burn out amongst young Christians. They both presume such is more prevalent today than it used to be. I have not seen the stats - I frankly do not know. What I do know is that stress and burn out amongst young Christians is as old as the hills. And much, if not most of it, is born because they are driven to conform to a school of thought or a set of ideas, or a few chosen vision words instead of shaped into men and women whom God can use in any number of ways.
Instead of helping them discover their gifts and talents, their capabilities and desires - Instead giving them and intellectual base to chose their own school of thought - Instead of opening their hearts to God and allowing them to discover the Holy Spirit we try to turn them into clones. We wan thtem to line up and march in lock step.
I sound like some sort of hippie and I do not want to, but I do know this - when we respond to the real pain of real people that seek to serve God by arguing about words, we have missed the point. We have all become legalists.
Spirit legalism words
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Wrong On So Many Levels
But if parody, think about this. Such a parody says that what people expect from church is an alternative to culture. Relevancy perhaps, but not imitation. MAybe we need to learn the difference between the two.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
If You Measure The Benefit, Are You Still A Servant?
Grant describes research in his recent book, Give and Take, that suggests that servant leaders are not only more highly regarded than others by their employees and not only feel better about themselves at the end of the day but are more productive as well.I cannot help but reflect that that is true, but I also sense the seeds to corruption. Is service rendered in the interest of self actually service?
Can't you tell the difference between, let's say a waiter, that is being nice because their supervisor told them to and onse that genuinely likes their customers? It is so easy to tell who likes their job and who is going through the motions.
Service is an attitude - not just a style to be put on and taken off as the situation demands. Real servanthood is a matter of the heart, not of the action. The best servant desire the best for the served, not the self.
Christ's trip through death did restore His kingdom, but He could have done that any number of ways. He did it that way because He desired, more than anything, the best for us.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Faith and Works Inseparable
The question is relevant, I think, as Luther is often more talked about by Christians than actually read. And when he is read, dabblers tend to stick to works like The Bondage of the Will, Luther’s reactionary tirade against Erasmus. While responses like The Bondage form an important part of Luther’s corpus, they’re hardly the only part. Readers who restrict themselves to such works are in danger of mistaking Luther’s negative hyperbole as if it were a fair representation of all his theology; one must also read the works in which he puts forth his ideas in a positive, rather than reactionary, way.That's true for any writer with a large body of work. What is, I think, more important is that we need to read original source materials. Everybody reads ABOUT Luther and Augustine and Calvin, but who actually reads Luther and Augustine and Calvin? I am honestly growing to think that the Reformation may be the least understood period in church history. It has been so warped and diverted and fetishized that I now often wonder if it really was a good thing.
But I digress. Here's what I really wanted to talk about:
The question is relevant, I think, as Luther is often more talked about by Christians than actually read. And when he is read, dabblers tend to stick to works like The Bondage of the Will, Luther’s reactionary tirade against Erasmus. While responses like The Bondage form an important part of Luther’s corpus, they’re hardly the only part. Readers who restrict themselves to such works are in danger of mistaking Luther’s negative hyperbole as if it were a fair representation of all his theology; one must also read the works in which he puts forth his ideas in a positive, rather than reactionary, way.This concluding paragraph comes after a long discussion of the relationship of faith and works. A topic that has been argued by and around the church for nearly ever. I have come to one inescapable conclusion on the subject and that is that we will never understand the precise nature of the relationship between the two.
What we can say without fear of contradiction is that the two are inextricably woven together. How and preeminence and what does what we will never know, but they walk hand in hand.
I wonder what the world would look like, and especially the Protestant world, if rather than focus so much on the nature of the relationship, we instead focus simply on the fact that there is a relationship and that the bond between the two is unbreakable - regardless of the nature of the bond?
discussion faith preaching works
Monday, February 10, 2014
There Can Be Ministry To The Well Off
Most of the problems you face today are probably ‘first world’ church problems.This makes me uncomfortable. These problems are indeed trivial, but to say they are "first world" church problems is to imply that all problems that face us in the first world are trivial. I am growing increasingly concerned that the current generation thinks that ministry is something that can only happen to and with the poor. It is as if our material wealth means we are without problem, or more importantly - without sin.
2. Your main video projector’s bulb just blew out.
3. The pizza delivery guy is five minutes late bringing lunch for your staff meeting.
4. The air conditioner in the worship center quit working.
5. The church softball team has lost five games in a row.
Actually, I think they use the focus of material ministry to the poor as a means of not focusing on the genuine problems if sin and character. They seem to handily think that giving wealth away does away with Christ's admonition that it is easier for a camel.... And yet, such generosity is often just another expression of wealth.
There is nothing wrong with ministry to the poor, nothing at all. We just need to make sure that it is born of our character and love, not our avoidance and denial. That measn that the church need to do more than just care for the needy - it needs to care for the wealthy as well.
In many ways, that is a much harder job.
church ministry wealth