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extreme prayer If we were playing Family Feud, and the word to play was PRAYER,  I would guess that one of the top responses from the audience would be POWER.  Have you read the Christian end times books that have the heavenly hosts completely handcuffed in their last battle against Satan, bound in helplessness until they are released by the prayers of the faithful on Earth?

I read one of those books once and found myself wondering if we are not turning prayer into a power tool that we wield rather than kneeling humbly and letting our requests be made known to Almighty God.

 Asking, knocking, crying out, seeking, supplicating, longing, beseeching, calling out, these don’t sound like power words to me; rather, they sound like words of neediness.

But we don’t want to be needy; we want to make things happen, so we Christians want to turn acts of worship, of submission and surrender into acts that compel or instigate or change.

Greg Pruett has written a wonderful book Extreme Prayer: The Impossible Prayers God Promises to Answer, published by Tyndale House, and available through Amazon.com.

Greg is the president of Pioneer Bible Translators in Dallas, Texas, but before that he and his wife Rebecca, along with their three children, served as Bible translators in West Africa for over twelve years.  I met Greg a few years ago, but we had never really had much time to talk until the North American Christian Convention in Indianapolis earlier this month.

At the end of our time together, Greg gave me a copy of his new book, which I began to read on the plane home, and it captured me with the opening pages.

He begins with a dark time in his ministry, his faith, and his marriage. One of the characteristics of liturgical churches that I wish our churches would imitate is that their liturgy often begins with, but in every case includes, a confession of our own sinfulness and our need for the grace of God before one more song is sung or one more prayer is spoken.  And so it seemed to me a wonderful thing that a book on prayer begins with a confession of unworthiness even to be in the presence of God—which in turn makes His gracious gift of prayer even more precious.

Drawing from many of his experiences in West Africa, Greg teaches us to pray. “This book is centered on . . . extreme prayer—the discipline of maximizing Jesus’ promises about prayer. Each of the following chapters unveils a different kind o prayer that Jesus backs with a blank-check promise (“whatever you ask”—mw). “

I might have been a little nervous about the book still to this point, but then Greg really reveals his message:  “But watch out! Don’t read this book to get your own wishes out of prayer.  God wants something so much bigger than that.

Greg makes prayer about God and not about me!  And that’s the way it should be, but often isn’t.

He teaches us what it means to pray “in the Name of Jesus.”  He teaches us to pray in “faith and faithfulness,“  not making the answer to our prayer the condition of our faith.  Even his shorter chapter on what he calls “shameless” prayer teaches us that persistence is not from entitlement but from the humble acknowledgment of our total dependency on God.

As the small book draws to its close, the writing becomes more specific, more concrete.  We need that kind of instruction, not just the inspirational.

Extreme Prayer taught me about prayer in a way that has grown my understanding of and my faith in Almighty God.  If you read this book—which I highly recommend–you may not hear exactly the same message because it is full of words of Truth, but you will hear the Word, and you will be changed because of it.

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Boy with menacing shadowHave you read Malcolm Gladwell’s book David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants?  Gladwell has been one of my favorite authors since Tipping Point was published in 2000.  Having said that, I would say, however,  that you can’t read his books uncritically. He typically takes either statistics or limited studies, draws unusual conclusions from them, then illustrates those conclusions with selected anecdotes.

The scope of his conclusions are broader than the evidence that he gives to support them, BUT what makes his writing so captivating is that while small samples don’t always prove large truths, sometimes they do.  Much of what Gladwell writes rings true and has proven itself true for some people—hence, its appeal.

While the “David and Goliath” story has taken on archetypal qualities, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Gladwell does more than just borrow the metaphor.  The first section of the book actually explores the biblical story and offers some unique insights without being purely imaginative.

For instance, Gladwell goes into the story and speculates (as have many) that Goliath may have suffered from acromegaly, a disease related to giantism, which is quite common in people of excessive height.  One of the symptoms is poor vision, sometimes double vision.  For Gladwell, a vision disorder explains why Goliath seems to need to be led by someone else and why he at first seems a bit slow to recognize that David is not a fully-armed warrior.  You can hear Gladwell tell the story himself at this Ted talk from 2013 http://www.ted.com/talks/malcolm_gladwell_the_unheard_story_of_david_and_goliath .

In addition, Gladwell argues that “slingers” were a part of ancient armies in the same category with archers. He maintains that a rock in a slinger’s sling traveled at such velocity that it would have about the same effect as a 45mm handgun and that they were accurate up to 200 yards.

Gladwell is not trying to debunk the biblical story at all. His point is that David, an experienced slinger (remember the bear and the lion), was not a total underdog when he went up against the visually-impaired giant.  With what he believes is a better understanding of the story, Gladwell is trying to make the point that there are reasons to expect victories even in the face of what appear to be overwhelming circumstances.

Gladwell would like for his audience to rethink the David and Goliath story and come away with two important points:

  • For people who think they are strong:  “the same qualities that appear to give them strength are often the sources of great weakness.”
  • For people who think of themselves as weak or underdogs:  “the act of facing overwhelming odds produces greatness and beauty.”  

Don’t Christians often feel like underdogs in the post-Christian world we live in?  Don’t individual Christians often feel defeated by the gigantic evil in their lives?  Don’t we all wonder where the promised victory is when we look at the trends in the world around us?

If you were to place yourself in the story of David and Goliath, who would you be?  Would you be the person who relies on size and armor, and those you surround yourself with?  Are you the one who relies on experience and previous success and who scorns those smaller than you, those who are beneath you, those you can so easily defeat?

Or perhaps you are just a soldier, standing on the hillside far removed from where the big battle will take place, unwilling to be tested, hoping that someone else will win the battle for you, perfectly willing to wait passively and just hope you are on the right side at the outcome?

Or are you a little young or a little inexperienced for the big battle, but you have some skills and gifts that you know can be decisive.  You don’t really have all the right gear—but sometimes the right gear is a hindrance, so you think you can do without it.  You don’t really have a following; people like you, but they think you are a bit foolhardy.  But your confidence causes you to step out and take on challenges that nobody else seems to want to do?  And that confidence comes from great trust won from great experiences with a God who is never defeated!

Who are you in the story of David and Goliath?

Malcolm Gladwell is certainly not categorically a “Christian” author , but in writing this book, he was changed.   In an interview with Religious News Service, he described a rediscovery of faith:

I had drifted away a little bit. This book has brought me back into the fold. I was so incredibly struck in writing these stories by the incredible power faith had in people’s lives; it has made a profound impact on me in my belief. That’s been the completely unexpected effect of writing this book. I am in the process of rediscovering my own faith again.

We are surprised by the power of God and His Word like we are by David’s victory over Goliath.

Gladwell’s book is about why improbable victories might be more probable than we think.  God’s book is about why victory is certain! 

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edgeoftomorrow Perhaps it’s the threat of random terror and/or the post-modern lack of confidence that anyone has the answers to anything anymore, but something is stealing our vision and hope of a future—and our films are the popular expression of our general anxiety.

Two of the big summer movies currently in the theaters deal with time travel issues.  The first Edge of Tomorrow, starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, is a military thriller, but really it is about what it would mean if we could really start all over again every time we mess up badly—and that’s appealing at a certain level, isn’t it!

X-Men: Days of Future Past, delivering the usual ensemble of stars, but focusing on Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), tests the idea of whether going back in time and manipulating historical events can change the future.

Both films play with the threat of total annihilation of the race.  Seems like we are getting more and more films like this, that is, films like the 1950s movies about the invasion of aliens and/or the mutants from atomic wars overrunning the earth, all of which expressed the newly feasible, but very real existential fear of atomic destruction.

Edge of Tomorrowsets up a scenario where a reluctant soldier (Tom Cruise) repeats the same day over and over again, resetting to that day every time he is killed.  When he realizes what has happened to him, he tries to learn from each lethal experience in order to save the world.

Through hundreds of iterations of the same day, he finally figures out what to do and what not to do in order to win the war against the aliens—at which point he has to start the NEW day over again and try again from the beginning to win the girl.

Fortunately, the director and editors of this film spare the audience the boredom of watching the same events happening over and over again, all which would have to be repeated so carefully because even one forgotten detail could result in needing to reset all over again.

That boredom and the tyranny of details when trying to change history were better demonstrated in Stephen King’s recent book 11/22/63: A Novel about a time traveler’s attempt to change history by preventing the assassination of President Kennedy.  Although the time travel and resetting is quite similar, because the novelist has more than two hours to tell his story, the difficulty and tedium of using repetition to get everything right are much more pronounced.  In fact, it proves to be almost impossible.

X-Men: Days of Future Past is the better film, primarily because the complexity of the characters plays a larger role in the outcome of the film.  In spite of political, racial, and philosophical oppositions, the key for saving the world becomes hope!  That hope is essential to the survival of humanity rings true, doesn’t it!Xmen

A cousin of mine is a hospital chaplain. He has told me that his main job is to offer people in his care hope, that when a patient loses hope, death becomes more probable.  He says that if he can just help them hope for tomorrow or next week,that they often rally.

Ultimately, time-travel films are terribly inconsistent, sometimes inconsequent, because no cause-and-effect event can be ignored, not even the smallest, without downstream consequences.  That is the great comfort Christians take in being in the hands of the Great I AM.

Our hope rests on the sole First Cause, in the hands of the Beginning and the End, in the Author and the Finisher.  Our hope is not in ourselves or dependent on our tomorrow; our hope is not in learning all we need to learn to achieve perfection or in getting it all right. So Christians can live without that existential fear that lies behind films like these because we have been given true hope.

May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace in your faith, that by the power of the Holy Spirit, your whole life and outlook may be radiant with hope” (Romans 15:13, Phillips).

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fatherHappy Father’s Day to all of you fellow dads! One of the moments I enjoy the most is sharing the postings of new fathers to Facebook.  The scores of pictures of that unique little baby, almost always wrapped around gushy, sometimes tearful, praises for the amazing woman who made you a father!  I’m not making fun of you guys because I was exactly the same way on three wonderful days in 1974, 1976, and 1978.  And, honestly, I have re-lived all of those emotions  when our nine grandchildren were born, watching our sons (including Tim) become fathers!

The strangest thing happened to me after my father’s death twenty-five years ago this week.  For a period of time after his death, I found myself talking to him in my prayers.  It was not anything mystical or intentional. I would be talking to my Father in heaven and conversation would just merge into talking to my dad.  I don’t really have a theology that supports praying to saints, so at first I was a little shocked and felt slightly guilty to realize what I was doing, but the phenomenon didn’t last long.

As you can tell, however, I’ve remembered this vividly for twenty-five years and have actually come to believe even more strongly that God has always intended for earthly fatherhood to be a first experience for both fathers and children of His relationship to us. If He has bound His Fatherhood and ours so closely together, then perhaps it is not so unique or unnatural for our hearts and minds to merge the two.

God as Father was a gift from Jesus His Son. Yes, there are a handful of references to “Israel my son” (Ex. 4:22) and David “my son” (2 Sam. 7:14), for instance, but such references are extraordinarily rare in the Old Testament.  On the other hand, God is called Father over 160 times in just the Gospels. In his letters, Paul talks of the fatherhood of God over forty times. Peter and John also use the same word they had been taught to use by the Lord. That Jesus taught his followers to understand God as father is special and uniquely Christian.

I have a sweet story to tell you to illustrate this point.

Sherrylee and I were in north Africa in a predominantly Muslim country. One night we met for prayer with a group of Christians, and there was one young woman present who told us this story.  She had been raised in a Muslim family, having no contact with Christians. One night, however, as a young girl, she had a dream about God. She dreamed that God appeared to her and told her that He was going to do something special for her. He was going to allow her to call him “Father.”  She treasured this dream in her heart and in her own prayers and meditations, she secretly and silently called God “father,” thinking she was the only one with this privilege.

Years later, as a young woman she traveled to a western country where she made friends with another young woman who was a Christian.  At some point they were talking about God and the young Christian woman said something about God, calling him  “my Father ” The Muslim woman was shocked—not because her friend had blasphemed or disrespected Allah, but because she had used the Muslim girl’s most special, secret words as if they were her own.  The Muslim girl asked her friend why she had called God father and thereby discovered the special relationship that all Christians have with God. It was not long until she too was adopted as His child, and her dream became reality.

And for those who have had abusive, troubled, unfaithful, sick fathers, I can only imagine that it is extremely difficult to relate to God as Father. Someday all that is broken in this world, including fatherhood, will be made right again.  The first taste of this perfection is allowing God the Father to renew you, to re-birth you, to adopt you into His family. Your pain is real, but God’s willingness to be a loving Father to you is real too!

Today is Father’s Day!  Our gathered family is going to grill and talk and watch the World Cup today in celebration.  But first we are all going to spend time in praise and prayer to God, thanking Him for being our Father.

Our Father, who is in heaven, holy is your name!”  

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Pentecost[1]We acknowledge—sometimes celebrate—Christmas and Easter, of course!  We recognize Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, and Super Bowl Sunday! But Pentecost comes and goes and many of our churches leave us in our perhaps benign, but unfortunate ignorance!

Pentecost is the Greek name for the Jewish Festival of Weeks (Shavuot).  The word pentecost means “fifty days,” referring to its time seven weeks (from Saturday to Sunday that is fifty days) after Passover.  According to Exodus 34:22, it was given to the Jews to celebrate while Moses was on Mt. Sinai and was one of the three feasts that all male Jews were required to celebrate (Deuteronomy 16:16).

Besides the events of Acts 2, Pentecost is only mentioned in the New Testament by Paul who tries his best to be in Jerusalem for the feast after his third missionary journey (Acts 20:16); he also uses the feast day to mark time in his first letter to the Corinthian Christians (16:8).  Paul may be keeping his Jewish traditions, but it could have taken on a new significance as well.

Within a century after the apostles, the early church fathers mention Pentecost as if it were a well-established feast day for early Christians.  Tertullian says in On Baptism:

            After that, Pentecost is a most joyous space for conferring baptisms; wherein, too, the resurrection of the Lord was repeatedly proved among the disciples, and the hope of the advent of the Lord indirectly pointed to, in that, at that time, when He had been received back into the heavens, the angels told the apostles that He would so come, as He had withal ascended into the heavens; at Pentecost, of course. But, moreover, when Jeremiah says, “And I will gather them together from the extremities of the land in the feast-day”, he signifies the day of the Passover and of Pentecost, which is properly a feast-day.  (Chapter 19)

One of my professors at Harding Dr. James D. Bales used to call Acts 2 “the hub of the Bible.”  He was not the first nor the last to recognize the immense importance of the events which Luke records in that chapter:

  • Coming of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles 2:1-4 – On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place.Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.
  • Apostles First Preach the Gospel to the Jews 2:14 – Then Peter stepped forward with the eleven other apostles and shouted to the crowd, “Listen carefully, all of you, fellow Jews and residents of Jerusalem! 
  • The Fulfillment of the Great Prophecy 2:16 – No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days it will be, God declares,that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
  • The First Proclamation of the Risen Messiah as Lord 2:36 – Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
  • The Promise of Salvation from Sin and the Gift of the Holy Spirit 2:37-39 – Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” 38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.” 
  • The First Baptisms of New Believers 2:41 – Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all.

 

The Eastern Church considers Pentecost the second holiest day after Easter. Liturgical Christians in most western countries celebrate Pentecost, some as a continuance of the Easter celebration, for many as a time for baptisms, and for all a day of joy and new birth.

 

So where is Pentecost in our churches?  I have scratched my head trying to figure out why there is virtually no acknowledgement of Pentecost—even from our churches that have cornerstones marking their beginning in 33 A.D?

 

Here are a few brief thoughts:

 

  • We have never been very comfortable with the Holy Spirit, not in song, not in prayer, not in practice.  So we probably can’t figure out a way to celebrate this Holy Spirit event.
  • Our roots are anti-liturgical, so we react to their celebration by ignoring Pentecost and missing a great opportunity to celebrate!
  • We have long opposed any “holy days”—but we seem to be OK with Easter and Christmas—finally. Maybe we can work on Pentecost.
  • This one I hate, but I think it is true:  Our culture has not secularized Pentecost as it has Easter and Christmas.If we had an Easter Bunny or a Santa Claus type for Pentecost along with appropriate children’s traditions, then we’d figure out a way to do it at church as well.

OK, I’m making a note to myself right now to do a “Preparing Children for Pentecost” series of blogs next year as I have done for other celebrations in the past.

What would you like to do?

 

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eisenhower librarySherrylee and I just returned Saturday from a two-week road trip vacation—which is why this blog station has been silent for a while!  For the first week we were in Kansas, Iowa, and Minnesota looking up dead relatives . . . if you know what I mean.

I must admit that I find it great fun to dig around in court records and libraries, even the walk through cemeteries, looking for clues to how my great- and great-great- grandparents lived, why they moved from one place to another, how they met their spouses and lived their lives. It’s certainly more fun and entertaining that watching fake people’s lives on the soaps!  I guess this is my own version of reality TV!!

The second week of our trip we drove across Minnesota and South Dakota to Mt. Rushmore—a beautiful drive this time of year and an impressive monument.  While Sherrylee searched the antique stores of Rapid City for treasures, I drove over to Devil’s Tower in Wyoming, a place I’ve been attracted to since seeing Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977).

OK, I will also confess that driving back to Rapid City from Devil’s Tower, I stopped in both Sundance, Wyoming, where the Sundance Kid took his nickname because he had been jailed there, as well as Deadwood, SD, where Wild Bill Hickok held aces and eights for the last time. I don’t find it very inspiring that people leave half-empty whiskey bottles and old playing cards on his grave.

From South Dakota, we started home, but first had a very important stop in Abilene, Kansas. Here’s the story:

Shortly after President Reagan died in June 2004, Sherrylee and I visited his library and museum in Simi Valley, California.  Our visit was especially meaningful because our memories of his funeral there were still quite vivid, but we were amazed at how well done and interesting the museum itself was—and that was even before they had the retired Air Force One on display there.

Some friends of our try to visit all the classic roller coasters in the U.S..Others travel to and tour baseball stadiums. Some of our dearest friends set a goal of seeing all 34 Vermeer paintings—I don’t know if they include the disputed paintings or not—but I think they have or will soon complete this fancy.

Sherrylee and I decided we wanted to see all of the presidential libraries/museums.  There were only twelve at the time, but now there are thirteen official presidential libraries.

Franklin D. Roosevelt established the first presidential library in 1939 as a repository for his papers. In addition, he donated part of his Hyde Park, NY, estate to house them. Harry Truman decided he wanted to do the same thing and so a pattern developed that was codified by Congress, first in 1955 in the Presidential Libraries Act, then even more firmly established in 1978 and 1986.  The result is a wonderful set of museums, strung like pearls across the United States, literally from coast to coast, operated and maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration.  Here is the list and location:

Herbert Hoover Library West Branch, Iowa
Franklin D. Roosevelt Library Hyde Park, New York
Harry S. Truman Library Independence, Missouri
Dwight D. Eisenhower Library Abilene, Kansas
John F. Kennedy Library Boston, Massachusetts
Lyndon B. Johnson Library Austin, Texas
Richard M. Nixon Library Yorba Linda, California
Gerald R. Ford Library Ann Arbor/Grand Rapids, Michigan
Jimmy Carter Library Atlanta, Georgia
Ronald Reagan Library Simi Valley, California
George H. W. Bush Library College Station, Texas
William J. Clinton Library Little Rock, Arkansas
George W. Bush Library Dallas, Texas

 

Now you know the reason for our important stop in Abilene, Kansas.  Our visit to the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library means I have visited all of the libraries.  Sherrylee still lacks two, and I’m sure we will eventually see those two together.

The presidential libraries are like heaven will be!  The full story of every president’s life is revealed.

  • I bet you do not know what an extraordinary generous man Herbert Hoover was, a man who spent much of his life and personal fortune helping the hungry and homeless.
  • I bet you didn’t know that George H. W. Bush was raised as a man of deep faith, and that he served as an elder in his church.
  • I bet you don’t know that Dwight Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander of Europe, was raised by a pacifist mother, and that he hated war!  He said, “I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.”

I say the libraries are like heaven because the stories of these men’s lives are told to show what led them to greatness and to show the good that they have done with the lives they were given.  When essential to their story, their failures are admitted—Watergate, Bay of Pigs, Great Depression, etc.—but when you get to the end of the museum, you always feel like you have been in the presence of someone who cared deeply about his country and his fellow citizens and who was wholly committed to upholding his oath as president.

After commanding millions of soldiers in war and sitting in the most powerful seat in the world for eight years, Dwight D. Eisenhower was buried in a regulation army casket in a chapel in Abilene, Kansas.  That simple casket is the fate of all of us—great or small.

Presidential libraries might be like Heaven on Judgment Day.  Because of the justice of God, our lives will be openly displayed, but because of He is full of mercy and grace, most prominently displayed will be how God has worked the days of our lives together for good along with those good works He prepared for us to do.  Our sinfulness is acknowledged, but overshadowed by the love and light of Jesus, so that He will be glorified when He says, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

 

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MCDGODZ EC052Sherrylee and I almost always choose our movies by consensus. Occasionally, however, one of us gets a wild hair and just wants to go see something that neither of us would normally choose.  If I want to remind her of some crazy films that we have seen together which were her choice, then all I have to do is refer to Snakes On A Plane (2006), which is so bad that it might become a cult movie someday.

Thursday night she decided we needed to see the premiere of Godzilla (2014), so we invited friends to join us and hurried to buy early tickets and beat the crowd. Before the film began, we were talking about the older Godzilla films, and Sherrylee says, “I liked the one with Faye Raye better than the Jessica Lange version.”  Oops!

After a little research, it turns out that Sherrylee was more right than she thought; apparently, the word godzilla was intended originally to invoke the idea of a gorilla. Gojira is the Japanese name, which is a combination of their words for gorilla and whale. In spite of the fact, that Sherrylee was disappointed not to see King Kong, I think she enjoyed the film!

The first Godzilla film, a Japanese film, was released in 1954, and most people agree that the monster was originally a metaphor for nuclear war. This sauric creature is awakened from his pre-historic sleep by nuclear blasts, he feeds on nuclear energy, and one of his trademark weapons is his atomic breath, with which he can destroy his enemies. In later films, he even has the power to shoot out atomic laser-like beams through his eyes!

Nuclear fears were behind many of the 50s monster movies, but even though Cold War fears subsided and nuclear energy became more common, Godzilla, King of the Monsters, survived by becoming a more sympathetic creature, often saving humanity rather than destroying it. Buildings, mountains, weapons, cities were destroyed, but not human existence.

Interestingly, however, Godzilla is not really the friend of humanity; rather, the monster usually acts out of a sense of self-preservation.  His now famous signature roar (at which the audience on Thursday night clapped in delight!) seems like rage, but the roar is more animal than human, a physical response to threat more than an emotional reaction to evil.

The producer Shogo Tomiyama reportedly was asked if Godzilla was good or bad.  His reply was that the creature was neither; Godzilla, he says, is more like the Shinto “God of Destruction,” not human and not moral at all.

This is where I slip over into Christian movie-watcher mode because the message of the 2014 Godzilla, is “if you leave it alone, nature will take care of itself and preserve its own balance.” 

As have been many of the earlier Godzilla films, this movie also pits modern technology and modern science against nature. Modern science and modern technology—especially weaponry—really only feed the monsters and do nothing to save humanity.  Only when left to its own devices can Nature (Godzilla) overcome the threats to the world.

I really have no trouble with the current recurrent cultural bent toward nature.  But I do find it atheistic!  Our world has adopted both figures, the more benign and comforting Mother Nature as well as the frighteningly powerful and destructive monster Nature (Godzilla), to explain the world we live in.

As a Christian, I do not believe in Mother Nature or Godzilla because I do not believe in a self-created, self-sustaining, self-preserving force called Nature.  I believe rather in God the Creator who through the Son created the universe. The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command (Hebrews 1:2-3).

There is nothing amoral about God. He creates the world and sustains it and holds it together because of His nature. There is purpose and plan in life and death; there is a beginning and an end, terminal warfare between Good and Evil, and, best of all—God so loved the world!

Godzilla is a good Saturday matinee film! The well-known actors have almost cameo parts, which should tell you that the monsters, the battles, the action are what the film is about. It is not really one of those sneakily propagandistic eco-films that you have been mildly disappointed with in recent years, so go see it!

But don’t forget that Nature is just as fantastical as Godzilla. Only God can save the World.

 

 

 

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