Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Spiderman, Batman and Jesus?

I must admit that I have not been a huge connoisseur of comic books or superhero stories.  More recently, however, I have begun to really enjoy the epic stories of superhero tales.  Movies like the latest Dark Knight series, Spiderman, Iron Man, and the like, have really been good.  And by good I mean more than just entertaining.  They have been thought provoking, asking questions about evil and our attempts to combat it. 

Certainly, I am not expert on superhero stories, but my most recent outing to the theaters to see the new Spiderman movie has caused me to reflect on these types of stories and make a few observations.  For those of you more informed in superhero lore, I'd love to hear your opinion about the observations I am here making.    

Observation #1:
There is a danger in unbridled hope in science and technology to fix humanity.  The power of science and technology to improve humanity and make our lives better and stronger is matched only by its ability to enslave us or turn us into something worse than we were before.   

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Is Mitt Romney the Messiah?

It is election time here in America. Election time is a fascinating, if not an extremely annoying, time to be alive. The hype is made even greater because the highest office in the land is up for grabs. So much power hangs in the balance.

The Republicans are shouting at the top of their lungs. Their message is that our current President, Barrak Obama, has failed miserably in his leadership of the country. Obama, so they say, has failed to use the power of the Office of the President to its fullest extent. The President has failed to properly use the power of the office to fix the economy. He has failed to use his power correctly to work for peace and stability and our American interests in the Middle East. Former Governor Mitt Romney charges Mr. Obama with simply not knowing how to fix the country’s problems. The office of the President is a powerful office, and President Obama has failed to wield its power effectively. So the Republican story goes.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Empire Strikes Back: Segregation and the Lord's Prayer

There is something transformative and subversive about the Lord’s Prayer. Subversive in that it challenges our notions about the way the world is supposed to work, about our notions of how we are to live our lives in this world. To pray for God’s Kingdom to come, and then to ask to participate in bringing that Kingdom, is treason in the existing kingdom. To pledge allegiance to a King that is not the current king (or President, Prime Minister, or Dictator) will often get you killed. To seek to reorder the way things are structured will, at the very least, get you yelled at. (Just try to change something in the church!)

The Lord’s Prayer, with its petitions for God’s Kingdom to come and His will to be done, with its requests for equity, faithfulness, justice, love, and hope, with its urging for debts and transgressions to be forgiven massively challenges the systems and structures that guide our society. As we’ve realized, these petitions and requests aren’t just for God to do something, but they are for God to use us in helping God. As Christians, we are called to be God’s hands and feet in our culture and world so that debts and sins might be forgiven, that there might be equity, faithfulness, justice, love, and hope. This call that Christ makes upon our lives is a dangerous one. It amounts to treason against the powers and principalities, the systems and structures that have so unfairly ordered our world.