Archives For world

Much time, effort, money, what have you is invested in making Christian products. We have Christian clothing, music, movies… In short, we are a subculture. I suspect, however, when Jesus issued the dictum to “be in the world, but not of it” this is not quite what he meant.

In the world is still in the world. But not being of it is more about the attitude of our hearts than it is about having alternative products. I’m not necessarily opposed to Christian things, per se, but I don’t think the world is in need of more Christian things. No, it needs more Christians doing things.

We don’t need more Christian writers; instead, we need more Christians who write. Flannery O’Connor, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, Graham Greene, Dorothy Sayers, William Peter Blatty, and Dean Koontz (arguably the current bestselling Christian author in the world) had/have no problem writing for the mainstream.

I’ll take it a step further, and say that saying we need more Christian whatevers is akin to stating that we need more Christian plumbers. Do you care more about your plumber’s view of predestination, or that he can fix your problem? Is it important that the man articulate all the points of five-point Calvinism, or that he can, ahem, clear out your crap?

You see my point.

From where I sit, it seems to me that what the world needs isn’t more Christian whatevers, but rather more Christians who are:

Artists
Plumbers
Lawyers
Scientists
Accountants
Technicians
Teachers

We who hold Jesus in our hearts need to go out into the world like those guys who followed Jesus around all those years ago. What were they called? Oh, yeah–my bad: disciples. That’s us: disciples.

In short, what the world needs is more salt and light–more of us mixing it up in the marketplace of ideas. More of us rubbing shoulders with, gulp, sinners.

Just like Jesus. (Remember? The guy who was known as a friend of sinners? Yeah–him).

Fancy that.

In this age, the church age, we are no longer under law, but rather under grace. The curtain has been rent in twain. There is no longer a distinction between secular and sacred. All is calling, all is vocation. We carry Christ with wherever we go, sanctifying as we go.

But not if we keep living in our comfortable Christian ghettoes.

What do you think?

Speak on it:

In writing this post, I’m looking at the popular T.V. show The Walking Dead through the lens of a Christian worldview. You may ask what does a Christian worldview has to do with a zombie show?
Fair question.

I’ve long held that fiction in general, and horror/supernatural fiction in particular, owes its popularity to the often unacknowledged longings of the heart. As Pascal said, “the heart has its reasons that reason knows not of.”

In this context, take that to mean that our hearts acknowledge, even long for, the supernatural despite our scientific reason decrying it. There is a reason that the novels of Stephen King have been perennially popular; aside from writing crackerjack stories, believable characters, and often white-knuckle plots, his stories are replete with the supernatural.

This resonates with our deep hearts. And horror stories in particular are often morality tales–a sort of What Would You Do? (ABC show with John Quinones) from hell. The point is that horror stories acknowledge the reality of an often supernatural evil.

In fact, I would venture to say that all of the stories we love have a villain we love to hate. Why is this? Because our story has a villain.

Which brings me to The Walking Dead. The shows creators/writers don’t necessarily intend to present things from a Christian worldview (probably quite the opposite–that the living are now in a hopeless situation); however, they live in the same world as you and I. As such, they can’t escape a fundamental fact of reality: we live in a world at war.

Like Rick Grimes in the pilot episode, we are all of us born into a world at war. And like him, we are often dazed, confused–comatose, even–until Christ bids us wake. The zombies in the show are, to me, a physical manifestation of a spiritual reality: demons are real (they also serve as adroit social commentary on unchecked consumerism, unrestrained id, the sin nature let loose).

But we don’t like to talk about that in this enlightened 21st century, do we?

Folks, all I’m saying is that there is a spiritual reality that we often poo-poo to our great detriment. And this reality is the truth behind the books, and shows, we love.

How about you? Do you read horror, or watch The Walking Dead?

Sound off in the comments.

Call me a Luddite. Call me anti-science. Call me whatever you want–I don’t care.

All of which is prelude to this confession:

I don’t find the theory of evolution to be a tenable solution to this conundrum:

20120507-055036.jpg Why is beauty? What purpose does it serve?

Specifically, why is there such stunning beauty in the world? And why can’t science answer that question?

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not anti-science. In the taking of supplemental thyroid hormone, I benefit daily from the advances of science. But to me, science doesn’t answer the big questions, the “why” questions. Sure, it answers many of the “how” questions, but it delves more into process than purpose. And I think that we often lose sight of the forest…

You may say that’s not its purpose. That’s fine. I am however very much interested in purpose.

As such, what purpose does beauty serve in an evolutionary paradigm? (Oh, I know of pair-bonding, attractiveness in a mate, etc.). What I mean is: what purpose does all the random beauty we see on such stunning display serve? Evolution–mindless, cold, utilitarian, avowedly purposeless–discards the unnecessary in favor of the fittest. It is nothing if not efficient.

I’ve heard there are more efficient ways of reaching Machu Pichu, too–but what is that destination without the journey over the Inca Trail? In this way, evolution is all destination, and no journey. It’s all about the end, not the means. (I’m here speaking philosophically–metaphorically–of course–not in the concrete language of science).

(Listen: I have no problem with an “old Earth”–make it as old as you want to: it’s still not old enough. I don’t even have a problem with animal death before the Fall–because animals, while possibly having souls, don’t have spirits, and thus there is no “plan of salvation” for them).

Nota bene: I am a Christian. I make no apologies for that, nor will I make apology for the Christian faith. I’m not trying here to defend anything other than my own thoughts.

Note well, however, that I am very sorry for the excesses, and abuses, done in the name of Christ. If you have been hurt by someone who stood in the place of God, someone who misrepresented him, I am truly sorry. Please forgive us. Please forgive me. For I have certainly misrepresented him a time, or two (or three, or four).

But I digress…

What purpose, for instance, does all of the exotic beauty awaiting us at the bottom of the sea serve? Unless it was put there by a “capricious” creator, waiting to be found. To me, it is this seeming randomness seen in the creation that points to a reality, a paradigm, beyond our senses.

I think God delights in our exploring, in our discovering.

The world–the very universe–is full of artistic flourishes that serve no other purpose than to stun us with their beauty. It is these touches that, for me, point to something beyond what the eye can see.

As the artist knows: in any work there is nothing left to chance. When I look out the window, step out the door, I see the fingerprints of God everywhere.

Put another way: believing is seeing.

The world didn’t have to be beautiful.

What do you say? Does evolution do it for you? Does it have sufficient explanatory power–the weight of “emeth”–does it ring true for you? Sound off in the comments:

>Man of Two Worlds

randomlychad  —  January 13, 2011 — Leave a comment

>Man of two worlds

Torn between–

The here and now

And the coming King