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Archive for June, 2013

It can be a challenging task to connect faith and culture in a way which respects both. By no means do I wish to hide from the rich experiences of culture, but I become uneasy when faith is swept away with the current. In recent years, Hollywood has become profoundly aware that Evangelicals are a huge market. While it may be affirming to see movies produced in consultation with people of faith such as The Prince of Egypt complete with discussion notes, a definite line was crossed when the same was done for Man of Steel.

Don’t get me wrong. I like Superman. No, I haven’t seen the movie yet, though I will. However, the specific content of this particular movie is irrelevant.

Marketing “God in a Box”

We, as Christians, are sometimes our own worst enemies when we forget who we are. In our zeal to witness to others about God, we often serve the gods of culture–in this case marketing. I am mindful of a friend who once became so frustrated with this phenomenon that he wrote out four full verses under the title “They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Fish” using the tune from a similarly named hymn.

My biggest concern here is that every attempt was made to create analogies between Superman and Jesus. While this is not a new idea, the effort reached a crescendo as language in the trailer and the film itself were crafted carefully to appeal to Evangelical ears. Images are powerful and, even in the face of reasoned contrasts, confuse our view of God greatly. Following are some key problems with making any comparison at all. (more…)

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“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15 (NRSV)

I always think of this verse when a holiday rolls around. And I’ve been thinking about this post for quite a long time.

The holidays are a mixed bag. We all want to have as much fun as the next person, but many of us have at least one that rings hollow for us. Whether it’s the loss of a loved one or a simple disconnect from the relevance of the day, we just don’t share the same “spirit” as “everyone else”. We may struggle with the expectations of others or just our own standard to achieve a certain level of cheer.

Rather than come across as self-righteous in contrast with someone else’s holiday joy or holiday blues… Rather than rain on someone else’s parade or pity party… I decided to wait to share my thoughts till Father’s Day which is, at best, the emptiest and sometimes saddest of holidays for me. I did not grow up knowing my father. I did not have any long-term stable father figure. But none of that is the point of this post, and yet I’m obviously preaching to myself as I write. (more…)

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