Monday, February 21, 2011

There ain't time to read it?

Scandalous: The cross and Resurrection of Jesus (D. A. Carson)

“Nothing is more central to the bible than Jesus’ death and resurrection, over one weekend in Jerusalem about two thousand years ago.”

It is from this opening statement that Don Carson examines various passages of the bible seeking not only to show the reader that they are historical fact but also that they have hugely important meaning, one that is important for us to understand.

Moving through passages from Matthew (27), Romans (3), Revelation (12) and John (11 & 20) Carson deals with the necessity, effect and triumph of the Cross and how it should affect our lives as well as the Ironies of the cross and reasons for doubting the resurrection, the latter of these especially helpful to see what exactly doubt is and what causes it. With useful digressions into Millennialism, Propitiation, Evangelism and Forgiveness it is hard to imagine anyone not gaining from the insight Carson offers.   

Taking what was originally a series of expositions at a conference Carson explains the meaning of the death and resurrection in a straightforward and accessible way to aid both the non-Christian and the Christian to see beyond the surface level of the most pivotal event in human history.

PS - I have returned to Kinks song lyrics as titles, but I hope you will find the time to read it!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Wish I could fly like Superman

Aside from a waste of a couple of hours the most recent (loosely recent, it was 5 years ago) installment of the superman franchise offers this quote from Superman's (Kal-El's) father, Jor-El

"Live as one of them, Kal-El, to discover where your strength and your power are needed. Always hold in your heart the pride of your special heritage. They can be a great people, Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you... my only son."

At first glance it's a rather cliche voiceover to introduce the concept of a comic book/sci-fi film, but if you look closer you may see something that seems familiar: "I have sent them you... my only son". Could it be that this film is an allegory for Christianity?

To put it bluntly....No!

What it does appear to be though (IMHO) is a rather apt allegory for how people view themselves, and may think this is how they would be described by some far off alien being.

"They can be a great people Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way" Mankind can be great, we can live up to our potential, and be good. All we lack is someone to go before us and show us how it's done. Give us a role model, someone that will show us how we should act, behave and live and we'll be that great people. We have the capacity to do good, we just sort of need a few hints to get us started and we'll be away.

Sadly, this just doesn't match up with our experience in the real world. We have all followed the example of the first man, Adam, and have the capacity for failure, sin and evil. We are fundamentally bad and no amount of effort, wanting to be good or guiding lights can change the state of our hearts. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no-one who does good, not even one (Romans 3:12).

What we need is a quote of "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly"... "For this reason above all, I have sent them you... my only son".