Digging in Deeper: Philippians 2:4

“Everyone should look not to his own interests, but rather to the interests of others.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

In a famous children’s story whose original form and meaning makes absolutely no sense in our modern culture, Peter Pan and the Lost Boys lived their lives in the blissful world of Neverland where they had an endless stream of adventures uniquely suited to tickle the fancies of young boys which worked out just fine because they never grew up. In Neverland you remained locked in childhood forever. The whole thing is made to sound terribly fun and romantic; something that everyone should want for themselves. By the time you reach the end of the story, though, you are left with the sense that in spite of Peter’s seemingly unending bliss, there is something he’s missing out on that would be an even grander adventure than he’s known before: growing up. In the culture of its day, the story was a reminder that while childhood is a wonderful time, it was not only necessary but good to grow up and experience the wonders of the world waiting on us there. Somewhere along the way, though, that final moral was lost from the story, and we embraced the supposed virtue of youth with gusto and have made living in a perpetual state of adolescence a goal worth achieving. I say all of that to make sense of the observation that the dream of Peter Pan is alive and well. We are living in a day when a great many of the movies being made are an attempt by filmmakers and moviegoers alike to relive their childhood adventures. Along the way, the younger members of Gen X and the older Millennials are inviting their kids into their adventures. I got to experience a taste of this last night as I watched the latest Sonic the Hedgehog movie with my boys. Let’s talk for a few minutes this morning about what I saw and heard.

Read the rest…

Morning Musing: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

“Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. So glorify God with your body.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

The heart of the American spirit is a desire to be fully in control of our lives. We want to be able to be the ones who accomplish whatever needs to be accomplished. We want to go where we want to go, lay our hands on what we need to get by, and stay as long as we desire. We want to have no one in charge of us, but to be our own masters. From the standpoint of our culture, that kind of thing is presented as noble and good. It is the desirable end for all people to be striving to reach. But what if there is a hidden cost to this way of life? What if there is a whole underbelly of problems that can wreck the whole thing? What if there was a better way? I’ve started reading a book recently that seeks to pursue these very questions. I’m nowhere near finished with it, but it’s been rumbling around in my mind enough that I want to get some thoughts out on digital paper. This morning, let’s spend some time talking about a fairly new book from author Alan Noble, You Are Not Your Own.

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Romans 12:19

Friends, do not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for God’s wrath, because it is written, ‘Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

What do you do when you can’t decide between two options? If possible, you choose both. This past week I finished watching a miniseries and finally watched a movie that first came out a couple of months ago. I had always planned to write a review of both once I finished watching them. I hadn’t planned on finishing both in the same week. And yet, as I have gone back and forth on which one to write about first, it became clearer and clearer that they both covered a whole lot of the same theological ground, although from different directions. Trying to treat them separately just didn’t make sense. Today, then, we are going to span two totally different media universes and talk about the recently completed Marvel series, Moon Knight, as well as the fairly recent latest offering from DC Comics, The Batman, and see how two different visions of the world reveal the Gospel is still the greatest vision of reality there is.

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Grab Bag

Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

This past week, we have talked about the value of staying plugged in to Jesus, hypocrisy, contradictions, God’s sometimes painful efforts to help us grow in His image, and the importance of a response of kindness to provocations rather than one that is merely in kind. And as the week has unfolded, each one of those things have made their way into the national news cycle in one way or another. Now, this doesn’t mean anyone in the media was talking about any of the issues through any of these various lenses, but as careful observers of culture through the lens of the Christian worldview, we can see the connections. In light of this, instead of a review of a recent show or film today, I thought we’d do a quick review of some of the news of the week through the lens of what we’ve spent the last week talking about. Here we go.

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Matthew 12:33

“Either make the tree good and its fruit will be good, or make the tree bad and its fruit will be bad; for a tree will be known by its fruit.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

It’s hard sometimes to know who people really are. In our digital world, we have become incredibly adept at hiding ourselves. Our disguises may not be elaborate, but they don’t have to be. Superman fooled everyone with a pair of glasses. We just want people to think the best of us whether we deserve it or not. Given this, how can we really know who the people around us are? Jesus told us: A tree is eventually known by its fruits. Sometimes, though, the world tells us that isn’t really true. A recent show from Netflix tries this very thing. The result is something that could be great, but settles for just being good. Let’s talk today about Sweet Magnolias.

Read the rest…