As some of my readers know, my first son was born this past year. I have learned much from the example of God the Father, but why talk about that? Instead, I’ll share what I’ve learned from my favorite father in fiction: Darth Vader. (Warning: Some serious, some facetious, many spoilers.)
In giving his life for Luke and appearing after death, Obi-Wan Kenobi clearly fits the role of a Christ figure. But, let’s dive deeper than that and learn from Obi-Wan’s 19 years on Tatooine. While minimizing spoilers from Star Wars Comic #7 and Star Wars Rebels: “Twin Suns”, we can see how his—dare I say—temptation in the desert enables him to give his life so easily. At the same time, this does not help him discover a critical fallacy in his Jedi faith. Continue reading Obi-Wan and Jesus, Alike but Not
Beauty and the Beast is a story of repentance. The Beast’s sin of pride and selfishness brought the curse upon himself and his whole household. He must repent and learn to love and to be loved before the last rose petal falls, or he will remain cursed forever.
On Christmas Eve of 1914, the unthinkable happened. Soldiers from opposing armies defeated warfare itself to celebrate the birth of Christ. While using fictional characters, Joyeux Noel depicts the historical events of World War I that actually occurred in multiple places along the front. But when the commanding officers learn what happened, we see a clash of religions, of two very different versions of “Christianity”: Biblical spirituality and civil religion. This clash continues today, and we need to identify this false faith in order to overcome it, especially in the current controversy regarding refugees.
Who are the heroes of Star Wars? Luke Skywalker? Leia Organa? Han Solo? Yes, but Rogue One (contains spoilers) shows us that there are more heroes than we could imagine—some named and most unnamed—who play critical roles in the successful recovery of the Death Star plans and, consequently, its destruction. As they press on with no guarantee of success or survival, they model for us how we can persevere in hope, faith, and love.
A Jedi prophecy said that the chosen one would bring the Force back into balance. Did Anakin fulfill it? If so, how? Obi-Wan thought this meant he would “destroy the Sith, not join them”. But how would that be balance?
The prophecy can be understood, but it requires an unorthodox explanation of the Force, heretical to the Jedi, but true to the films. This even reconciles key tenets of Eastern and Western spirituality and exhorts us to attain a balanced life, while purely good, uncompromising with evil.
In The Dark Knight, the Joker brings people face-to-face with their true selves. In danger and chaos, who will they be? In some ways, the 2016 US presidential election does the same.
While some voters truly support their candidate, many feel that they must choose the lesser of two evils. But The Dark Knight draws a line that we cannot cross, even if it means voting third party or abstaining.
Continue reading How Batman Teaches Us To Vote
At first glance, it may seem that Independence Day: Resurgence is just another story about saving the world. Not so! For former President Thomas Whitmore, it’s about saving Patty, his daughter. While the original movie focused on saving the world, the sequel gives attention to mature people saving the ones they love.
Twenty years after the events of Independence Day, an alien race returns to our planet to destroy all life. Many of the same people who repelled the first attack now lead the efforts (contains spoilers), along with their children and new heroes.
Continue reading Saving Patty (and the World) from Aliens
So, are you Team Cap or Team Iron Man? You need to pick a side! Or do you?
In Captain America: Civil War, the heroes must answer a political question: “Should the UN have oversight of the Avengers?” (Spoilers follow.) It would seem that they are forced to pick sides, which quickly leads to violence. Then, the internet lit up with fans deciding if they are on Team Captain America or Team Iron Man. Must we so quickly define allegiances, or could this tendency be a fundamental problem in American politics today?
Spiritual Thoughts on Avatar
I love it when a story presents an idea accurately, even when I disagree with the idea. And James Cameron’s Avatar brilliantly presents pantheism. Not only does the film explore the details of the worldview, but its flaws are revealed as well. In fact, in order to give an exciting climax, the film switches ideology for a while, and the God of scripture shines through.
Continue reading Eywa and Yahweh