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.
In 2049, a blade runner named K hunts down and kills replicants. Unlike Rick Deckerd decades earlier, he’s engineered by the Wallace Corporation as the latest Nexus-9 model replicant that cannot rebel or even disobey orders. When he discovers a miracle, his worldview changes, and Blade Runner 2049 (spoilers below) provides three insights in how to break free from our programming.
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
Joseph Campbell boldly claims in The Hero with a Thousand Faces that ancient stories across cultures portray the “monomyth”, detailing the hero’s journey. Testing the assertion, does Jesus Christ of the Gospels follow this template? To a degree, yes, but his life and teaching also stand in contrast to the underlying worldview that Campbell professes. Let us delve into his story and come face to face with Jesus the Hero.