Digging in Deeper: 2 Corinthians 7:8-10

“For even if I grieved you with my letter, I don’t regret it. And if I regretted it – since I saw that the letter grieved you, yet only for a while – I now rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because your grief led to repentance. For you were grieved as God willed, so that you didn’t experience any loss from us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, but worldly grief produces death.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

In a world without God, we are haunted by death. Let me be more specific: In a world without Christ, we are haunted by death. In his letter to the Thessalonian believers, the apostle Paul wrote encouraging them to grieve for their lost loved ones who died in Christ like the people of faith they were and not as those who had no hope. There is indeed a difference between the two. And if last year’s hit Disney+ series, Wandavision explored the process of grieving (something I wrote about here), this year’s latest Marvel movie, Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, helps to highlight the difference. Absent time to go see it in the theaters, the film final released on Disney+ this week, I have watched it from start to finish, and am at last ready to offer up some thoughts. If you haven’t seen the movie, this review is going to be full of spoilers, so proceed with caution. If you’ve already seen it, here’s what I think.

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: Matthew 5:43-44

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

I was a cartoon fanatic when I was a kid. I still love good, animated movies and TV shows. There were a few cartoons growing up, though, that were my all-time favorites. I could (and did) go back and watch episodes and storylines again and again and again. One of these was the original X-Men cartoon series. The Dark Phoenix and Apocalypse storylines in particular I must have watched a dozen times apiece. I have been most excited recently about the news of Disney+ doing a reboot of the series picking up right where the original left off. Another favorite was Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. From the original Batman the Animated Series to the more recent Young Justice, I can’t think of a cartoon universe that has as many different series that all draw on the same characters. While Marvel may be the king of live action, DC owns the animation wars. But the series that is still my favorite of all time was Spider-Man. There’s just something about Spider-Man that makes everyone a fan. As he has been taken from the small screen to the big screen, I’ve been there for all of his adventures. So, when the latest movie came out just before Christmas, my family made our first trip to the movie theater since before Covid started. Let’s talk about why Spider-Man: No Way Home was so good.

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Genesis 1:1

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Every worldview has a creation story. After all, we had to get here somehow. No one has ever believed we’ve been here forever (or that we will be here forever, but that’s a story for another time). This verse here is obviously the beginning of Christianity’s creation story. Well, although it’s not actually a worldview anyone believes in because it’s a fantasy story, but this past year, Marvel finally told its creation story on the big screen. This was done in the movie, The Eternals. The Eternals, more than any Marvel movie before it, invites viewers to ask some pretty big questions. It also reminds the perceptive believer watching of just how good the Gospel is. This is a longer post than usual, but there was a lot here to think about. Let’s dig into it.

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Genesis 1:1

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Did you ever watch episodes of the old Star Trek series? No, not that one. Nope, not that one either. I’m talking about the one with William Shatner. That was a fun series. Gene Rodenberry was a visionary of the highest order. Do you remember some of the technological wonders he imagined we would have in the 23rd Century? At least, many of those things seemed like distantly future wonders in 1966 when the series premiered. Now? Well, many of them still seemed pretty far-fetched, but not as many as did then. Things like traveling through space and wireless communicators and even some of the medical treatment and diagnostic tools they had are practically matters of course nowadays. And this isn’t the only time science fiction writers of the past correctly predicted technologies of the present. Some concepts that started as the fanciful imaginings of guys who were always just a little bit…different from everyone else are being brought into reality revealing those guys as a whole lot more forward thinking than anyone really expected. Then again, some science fiction ideas are just that in spite of our best efforts to the contrary. This morning I want to talk with you about science fiction, reality, and how everything got here.

Read the rest…