I felt nervous going into The Rise of Skywalker. Would the new movie continue the message of original trilogy or would it detract? Specifically, would Episode IX emphasize redemption and mercy, or would it just conclude the Skywalker saga with a big fight? I left the theater with a big smile, knowing the film not only affirmed the earlier work, but “finished what it started.” Spoilers follow.
While we need hope to seek a better life for others and ourselves, it can also serve as a tool of oppression. A scene added to The Hunger Games movie, not included in the novel by Suzanne Collins, depicts the type of hope that perpetuates injustice. Applying President Snow’s insight, we can identify false hopes including the prosperity gospel.
While not perfect, the audience can respect and root for Tevye in the Fiddler on the Roof. He has many admirable qualities as he does his best to love God and his family. At the same time, a critical blindspot remains. While he never learns his lesson, we can benefit from his mistake. Continue reading Tevye’s Common Mistake
Have you heard the Good News, or Gospel, of Jesus before? Did it seem distant and irrelevant? How could some guy from 2000 years ago or an old-fashioned term like “sin” matter today? Looking at the preeminence of good and evil in our favorite stories and in the latest news coverage, we’ll conclude, however, that nothing can be more central to our lives than the message of Jesus.
Les Misérables powerfully and uncomfortably presents poverty, injustice, and evil. It asks, “What will you do about it?” Inspired by historical data and faith in God’s promises, we can follow the nonviolent, proactive, and sacrificial example of Jean Valjean (and also Jesus).
With the ever-expanding canon of the Star Wars saga, the writers elucidate Sith philosophy. Comparing this with real world beliefs, especially Friedrich Nietzsche’s master morality, we can draw key conclusions about the nature of morality and of the universe itself.
While our favorite stories depict the victory of good over evil, they align most closely to the Good News—or Gospel—of Jesus when this triumph comes through the transformation, not defeat, of the antagonist. In agreement with Christ’s teaching, Mary Poppins musically identifies that the secret to redemption is “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”.
Ever wonder why so many heroes grow up without parents and why countless stories pivot on the encounter with a father? Focusing on Anakin Skywalker’s life and path to the Dark Side, we find that his quest for a father, central to the hero’s journey, reveals our deepest need.
I recently watched 13th, a very well made and very depressing film about mass incarceration and racial injustice. I felt powerless to do anything. But believe or not, as I thought about The Last Jedi, the final Poe Dameron comic, and the ministry of Jesus, I found hope. While I don’t have all the answers, these examples provide a critical insight for individuals who desire to address societal and systemic problems. Continue reading How Poe Dameron and Jesus Christ Change the Galaxy
In his painting entitled, “The Treachery of Images”, surrealist painter René Magritte displays a pipe with the words “Ceci n’est pas un pipe” or “This is not a pipe.” While one might find this witty, obvious, or good fodder for a meme, it also contains a profound insight into the nature of God as Trinity.