No one wants to give in to fear. Not you, not Marty McFly. Not only do we dislike the emotion, it feels shameful to be afraid. We hate it even more when others accuse us of being fearful. Whether the accusation comes from Biff, Griff, Needles, a pastor, or politician, the Back to the Future trilogy shows us how to overcome our fear of being fearful.
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.
When Isaac Asimov wrote the three laws of robotics, he did not simply describe fictional robots. He proposed a moral code for humanity. From his novel, I, Robot, and the Will Smith movie with the same name (spoilers for both), we see the benefits of these laws. At the same time, their insufficiency points us to a personal God. Continue reading How Three Laws of Robotics Point to God
“The Jedi must end.”
Why would Luke say this? We heard it in the trailer, and the movie teaches us the lesson Luke learns the hard way. (Spoilers below.) If we grow beyond the mistakes of Jedi Masters, we’ll find a balance in our lives — and our politics — that is needed for the galaxy far away and the one we live in.
If you’ve seen Wonder Woman and loved it, ask yourself, “Why?” True, it has witty dialogue, like-able characters, and impressive action sequences, but most importantly, its message speaks to our hearts. The film retells key themes from the Greatest Story Ever Told, the Good News of Jesus. Don’t believe me? I’ll let the movie speak for itself, providing Wonder Woman quotes with minimal commentary.
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.
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 the chosen one would bring the Force back into balance. Did Anakin fulfill it? If so, how? Obi-Wan thought 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 Plato’s dialogue Euthyphro, two characters discuss the nature of the divine. While Euthyphro considers himself an expert in pious living, Socrates dismantles his arguments. In so doing, he not only shows that Greek polytheism is internally inconsistent, but the logical extension of this reasoning gives multiple insights into the identity of God or gods, endorsing and discrediting various religious tenets. We find that the Trinity, perhaps uniquely, remains viable in the face of Socrates’s scrutiny.
Continue reading From Plato to the Trinity