Thoughts on Prometheus

I saw Prometheus on Tuesday.  The motivation for the protagonist in the film is to discover where humanity came from.  This search leads them to an earthlike planet, where things then go horribly, horribly wrong.  The acting was fine, the special effects were amazing, the premise was interesting. 

Prometheus is one more story that tries to make sense of the fact that there is very little in the world that can explain human life.  How did we get here, why are we different than the other creatures on the planet, how did all of this happen, and on and on.  I don’t think that Prometheus gives a good explanation to answering these questions and I have no question in my mind that actually answering these questions was not the writer’s, producer’s or director’s motivation for the film.  They needed a reason for the protagonists to go searching for answers. 

The really interesting thing for me in this film is that even thought the protagonists search leads to some really bad things happening to her and her lover, and her crew, she still holds on to her father’s cross.  She still chooses to believe in something.  The film does a pretty good job of allowing for uncertainty and faith in the life of the protagonist.  

I think this tenssion of uncertainty and faith is exactly where most Christians live day to day.  We have to constantly wrestle with the things that we read in scripture and what the things that we can see in the world and try to come to grips with all of it.  

I think this tension is also where every single person who has ever lived exists.  That’s the reason that we study science, philosophy, theology, literature, etc. We are searching for answers for why we are here and how we got here.  

As a Christian I am completely satisfied with there being a Creator God who made everything and made humanity in his image.  That makes sense to me.  I will never have all the answers to all the questions that that entails, but I can keep searching for the Creator, and I can see his work in everything around me, and the mysteries of creation and the Universe are even more spectacular because there is someone for whom these mysteries are not mysteries, and my search is ultimately to find him. Answers and clarity for these questions are by products of my search for the Creator.

The Lines We Draw

Yesterday at Creekside we had a guest Speaker, Dr. Ron Herms from Northwest University.  I’ve known Ron for almost four years and every class that I took with Ron has challenged my thinking and helped me to love Jesus and the Bible more.  It was a great privilege to have Ron speak at Creekside and I was glad to hear the positive feedback from so many folks.

Ron talked about Romans 11:13-36.  Towards the end of the passage there is a section where the Apostle Paul says that All Israel will be saved.  This is a tough verse to work though.  Ron pointed out that some people would read that and says, All doesn’t really mean all, Paul must have some clarifications. The other end of the argument would say, yes, Paul means All, every single Israelite.

This is a troubling passage, but what Ron said about it was incredible helpful.  Paul was talking at this point in Romans to Gentiles who may have had an attitude of superiority over the Jewish Christians.  They may have even given up on Israel, saying that they were too far gone from God’s grace.  But Paul’s use of the word all stretched the line that the gentiles had drawn.  And perhaps whenever we draw a line about who is in and who is out of the Kingdom of God, then God wants to come along and break through that line and show us that is grace is bigger than we can imagine.  Pretty great.  You can get the podcast here: audio / video.  I would really recommend that you go and download it.  It was really great.

God is a Giver

Yesterday at Creekside we worked through Romans 11.1-12.  This is a short text but there is a lot going in there.  I loved going through the story of Elijah and the duel with the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel.

The text really came together though when in Pre-Preach Kate and I were talking about the idea that God gave Israel eyes that couldn’t see and hears that couldn’t hear.  Kate asked, “Why doesn’t God give them eyes to see.”

And it finally clicked, that God gave the offer of grace first.  God is a giver and grace is always his first offer.  And that offer is always on the table.  But when we don’t receive it, God gives us not grace, God gives us our desires, and we don’t really see God’s offer any more.

God is a giver.  His first offer is always grace.

That helped me so much with understanding this text.

Sports Night, Doctor Who, Life. Oh The Joys of Netflix Streaming

I love Netflix Streaming.  I know they don’t have a ton of great current movies on there but they have a treasure trove of great television shows.

It was through Netflix that I discovered the awesomeness that is Doctor Who.  It was through Netflix that my wife and I got all caught up on Friday Night Lights, just in time to finish the series with everyone else.  Netflix introduced us to Downton Abbey, where we watched the entire first season in 3 days.  So many great television shows are available that even if I still subscribed to cable I would probably use Netflix just as much.

My most recent show du jour is Sports Night.  West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin perfected the hall way walk and talk on Sports Night and made a show about the people who make sports news without getting bogged down in sports talk every episode.  Just like the West Wing did with politics, Sports Night takes the issues around sports and makes them the background for the personal relationships and drama of the primary characters.  Brilliant.

This show also walked a fine line between drama and comedy.  In the beginning it was clear that they were trying to make a comedy with a studio audience and everything.  The show evolved into more of a drama.  And what’s even more remarkable, each episode is only 22 minutes.  A 22 minute drama, that’s unheard of.  But it so works.

Unfortunately the show only had 2 seasons and it’s 14 years old, but it was a great show that I never would have watched if it wasn’t for Netflix Streaming.

So if you are looking for something to watch this summer, I would recommend Sports Night.  If you like cop shows, Life is great, and if you like fun Sci-Fi, then check out Doctor Who!


Confess and Believe

Week two of Don’s Sabbatical was a blast.  We talked about how we receive grace.  Confess that Jesus is Lord, and believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead (Romans 10:9).

It’s a simple idea but it it’s a huge statement.

When we confess that Jesus is Lord we are saying no to all the other things that want to be lords of our lives, success, power, money, sex, approval, addiction, pride, ourselves.  When we confess we remove those other voices from the throne and put Jesus where he belongs.  He is Lord.  We are not Lord.  Jesus is Lord.

If Jesus is Lord then we can walk in confidence that we have a good king.  We can walk in confidence that Jesus is good.  And we can talk about Jesus.  He’s bigger than politics, nations, and anything else that tries to take our allegiance, because Jesus is not just Lord, he’s eternal.  He’s going to outlast this election.  He’s going to outlast America, just like he outlasted Rome.  Jesus is our eternal Lord!

When we believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead we are saying, that God has the power to do the impossible.  God raised a dead person back to life.  Jesus is alive.  Jesus is eternal.  Jesus is Powerful, Jesus is Lord.  We can trust the God who had the power to raise the dead in the middle of our struggle, in the middle of our pain, in the middle of our anguish because he has the power to raise the dead.

And as followers of Jesus we have the opportunity to walk in that power, when we confess that Jesus is Lord and believe thatGod raised him from the dead.

Jesus is Lord!

Confess and Believe!