Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Fun: Odd Toy Combinations

image from gettoys.com
          When my wife worked seasonally at Target, I tried to nudge her into creating a blog for "toy of the day." She's stocked some odd (and sometimes disturbing) products, such as Cuponk. Raise your kids on this toy, and they will be the best beer pong players at legal drinking age.
          In any case, I noticed a few odd combinations of toys I thought I'd let you know about.
          Lego Disney Princess. Lego, I think (as I collected them in the early 90's, mostly the astronautical sort), appealed a bit more toward the boys. And I wasn't surprised at all when they worked with Star Wars, Harry Potter, etc., even releasing video games (e.g. with Batman and Indiana Jones). Lego Rock Band was weird, but now it's brought in an alliance with the Disney Princess empire, along with all its controversy. Not sure how well it will sell. My daughters are novice Disney Princess fans, and I doubt they'd be interested. Building blocks and square-shaped figurines with peg-holes aren't the same as being able to dress and accessorize dolls that look just like the movie.
          Star Wars Transformers. Perhaps the Empire and the financially-strapped Rebel Alliance realized they could consolidate and simplify their army production by making their battle droids and combat vehicles into one unit (including making fleshly characters into cyborgs). Is this battle happening on earth or in a galaxy far, far away? Things must be changing.
          Maybe a big-screen movie is needed to help answer all these questions, and just when you thought both these franchises' movies were done.

          Any other odd toys or toy combinations you want to add?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

D.A. Carson on Western Christians' Love, Anger and Politics

image from The Gospel Coalition
          I found this lecture portion posted as text on Facebook this morning. Powerful, convicting words from someone I was privileged to call my professor.


          "One of the things that troubles me about American society—about North America, and I include Canada in this, and Western European Christian society, to some extent, but it’s stronger here; it’s stronger here because of America’s particular heritage—there is a great deal of anger on the American Right at the moment. Have I thrashed this one over with you before? Let me just say a little bit about it, because it is troubling. It’s hard to know what to do.

          "If you want to make a lot of money with a Christian book in this country, write a book that says what’s wrong with America, listing all the bad things that you possibly can on the Left, demonize the Left. It’ll sell like hotcakes on the Right. If you want to raise money for Focus on the Family, or a whole lot of other institutions that are really good institutions in many ways, if they really want to raise a lot of money in a hurry, let them tell you the worst horror stories of the month. The money flows in!

          "Now the reason it does is because there is so much in this society that feels—with a certain amount of justification—that all those nasties on the Left are taking away our heritage! They’re perverting our schools! They’re overthrowing principles of jurisprudence! They’re making the city unsafe! And so there’s anger—there’s anger seething through the whole land.

          "Now contrast that with the first Christians taking the gospel in the Roman Empire. They were nobodies. They didn’t have anybody taking away their heritage. They were out to take over the heritage. They looked around and saw an extremely pluralistic empire, and they said with Caleb, in effect, “Give us this mountain.” And they kept witnessing and kept getting martyred, and so on, and there was a revolution, finally—a spiritual revolution.

          "But we can’t do that today. At least we find it very difficult, because we’re so busy being angry all the time that at the end of the day not only do we lose our credibility with people on the Left—they start demonizing us back—but we have no energy or compassion left to evangelize them. When you’re busy hating everybody, and denouncing everybody, and seeking political solutions to everything, it’s very difficult to evangelize. Isn’t it? Very hard to be compassionate, to look on the crowds as though they’re sheep without a shepherd, very hard to look on them like that when they’re taking away 'my heritage.' Do you see?

          "Yet at the same time, because it is a democracy, there are things we ought to be doing to draw the line here and there, even if you understand the laws don’t finally engender justice. They might preserve it for a while. But finally they’re all broke, and you have to change the laws. There are things we ought to be doing. There are faithful things we ought to be doing…

          "But at the end of the day, if you can’t do it with compassion, and gently, and leave the doors open for evangelism, boy, you destroy everything. I think one of the devil’s tactics with respect to the church on the Right today is to make them so hate everybody else that at the end of the day they can’t be believed anywhere, not even the proclamation of the gospel."

          You can hear the rest of the lecture here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Happy Birthday, Awesome Wifey!

          My wife, Christina, turns 27 today. I don't know if I've told you, but she's an amazing woman. She wisely counsels me, reaches out to people in her church family, creates a culture of biblical devotion with our kids, maintains the house and cooks great meals, even when pregnant. This is just a sample of the awesomeness I married.
          (Seriously, it's because of her that my older daughter, whenever she hears anyone is sick or hurt, instantly wants to draw, create and send that someone a "get well" card).
          If you've had the privilege of meeting my wife, please contact her today, wish her a happy birthday and tell her how awesome she is!  

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Invisible Messages on a Pregnant Belly

          My wife is currently 34 weeks pregnant with our third child. I've been tempted to write about the numerous invisible bumper stickers and solicitations that must, somehow, appear on her pregnant belly. I'm serious. From my wife's experience (we've lived in three different states and been a few places during her pregnancies), an American pregnant belly must deliver messages to complete strangers in public including (but not limited to):

  1. "Tell me where you passionately stand on the issue of epidural vs. natural childbirth."
  2. "Encourage me with either the unique and amazing ease or the graphic horror-film of your birth story, and then tell me I'll probably be just fine."
  3. "How's my pregnancy? Am I too big? Too small? Call . . . well, just tell me."
  4. "When do you think my due date is? I bet you can tell better than my OB/GYN by just looking at me."
  5. "By all means, rub my belly. Don't even bother to ask first."   
          But don't take my word for it as a guy. This afternoon, I stumbled over this article from ChristianityToday Direct that's humorous but also a bit edifying and instructive as to how Christians should have a more hospitable and respectful attitude toward pregnant women. Thankfully, our family's church community doesn't really struggle with this thread's particular list of what not to say to pregnant women.
          Feel free to add to the list!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Pray for Haiti, and All the Other Targets of Hurricane Isaac

image from Reuters
          I know that there are a lot of eyes (some of them quite anxious) looking at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL right now. The nation has gotten more and more dangerously divided in politics, arguably to an historical pinnacle. And, despite Hurricane Isaac, this significant (maybe even urgent?) convention is going to happen, even with the cancellation of some speakers' appearances.
          But let's take time to remember a further-suffered victim of Hurricane Katrina: the country of Haiti.
          This isn't some guilt-trip to an apolitical lifestyle or general contentment (material or otherwise). It's a petition for compassion, and I'll admit it's a bit personal. My wife's former church, near Philadelphia, for at least more than a decade, has long been serving, helping and providing for God's wounded children in Haiti. A good friend at our current church in Wisconsin is about to adopt a beautiful Haitian child. Our hearts bled during the 2010 earthquake, and they continue to bleed when we read things like this in the Chicago Tribune:


          "In Haiti, Isaac added to the misery of more than 350,000 survivors of the 2010 earthquake still living in flimsy resettlement camps as water gushed into tents and corrugated plastic shacks were ripped apart by the wind."

          You can read more (and see a video) about Hurricane Isaac's pathway here, although it won't be hard to find continual updates on the internet. It may not be Katrina, but it's no light shower, either. Please pray that the people of Haiti will continue to be able to rebuild, and that God would give guidance to their leaders and any Christ-follower that is to help them.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Fun: New Christian Video Game Ideas


          I have a few fond memories, growing up and playing Bible Adventures. Without a doubt, my favorite option in the Nintendo 8-bit game was to be Noah, gathering all of the animal pairs (even the dangerous ones), food and supplies into the ark before the flood came and we heard a Casio-like rendition of a Bach fugue. However, I never did, as Miriam, get the baby Moses to safety or, as David, find my way past all hurdles to fight Goliath.
          Anywho, I thought it’d be fun to think up a few new ideas for modern Christian video-gaming which go theologically deeper and connect more with modern video-gaming culture, at least the titles (as I’ve only played Halo: Reach and Rapala Pro Bass Fishing). Get ready to groan.
          Mass Effect 4: The Question of the Sacraments - The recently-appointed Elder Shepherd, of a Protestant church, now begins to question his Roman Catholic upbringing as his new church’s pastor preaches on the “means of grace.” Exactly, what type of effect does mass have on a soul? 
          ETS 2K13 - You are a member of the Evangelical Theological Society as they have their annual meeting to discuss exegesis, theology and hermeneutics. Pick your issues and your teams and win discussions!   
          Halo: Outreach - John Cortana is the lead pastor of a new church plant in Covenant Harbor, CA, an impoverished coastal town that recently suffered a flood. Join him as he tries to build a church, both preaching the Gospel to the “unreached” and teaching his legalist-leaning team members that proficient outreach is not how you get your “halo.”
          Rapala Pro Fishers of Men - Practice evangelism and discipleship in the world of outdoor sports from the comfort of your own living room! You can go hunting, fishing, boating, camping, mountain-climbing, and more all while having a conversation about the life issue of your choice! 
          Augustine’s Creed II: Pelagians - Now that Augustine has found life in Jesus Christ and devoted himself to a life of asceticism, join him as he combats Pelagianism and other new heresies on the horizon. 
          Kinect Homiletics - (for XBox 360 only) Compete with your friends to give the best sermon! This fun video game uses the motion sensors and microphones to evaluate your message and its delivery, including pacing, stutters, pronunciation, dynamicism, gestures and even biblicality and practicality of content! Lectern included.
          Feel free to add!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rick Warren Cancels Obama-Romney Forum; Civil Conversation Impossible?

image from 2008 forum found on patheos.com
          Do you remember four years ago, when Rick Warren surprised a few people (Christians and otherwise) by hosting both Barack Obama and John McCain at his church for professional (and peaceful) interviews? Remember how many people thought it was a great venture in relations and general education for faith and politics, and it showed how, even with fundamentally disagreeable views, Americans can still (at least appear to) be professional, respectful and courteous with one another?
          Yeah, it seems like a long time ago for me, too. For a lot of reasons. The forum isn't happening again this election season.
          The Orange County Register reported that Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church and known as the author of The Purpose-Driven Life, canceled what he was previously hoping to be his church's second civil forum with presidential candidates.

          "Warren pulled the plug on this year's forum, explaining that the current negative campaign is opposite to what the church's civil forum is about, even as plans had been ramping up to coordinate schedules, secure the area and get traffic control in check for a forum of this size." 

          You can read the rest here. The article goes on to indicate that Warren's church is no rookie to host civil forums, even with guest speakers with which a stereotypical churchgoer would strongly disagree theologically, politically, etc. Yet Warren is worried about the hostile, slanderous and dishonest tone of the election.
          It's really worrisome when you can't even have a civil conversation. Props to Warren for striving for it. Maybe that's where we, as Christians, ought to apply biblical principles (e.g. the Sermon on the Mount, Paul's definition of love) and follow suit, stepping out in our strive for civil conversation.   

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Christian Director Talks "Dark Knight" in the Huffington Post

          A not-so-typical Christian screenwriter, Kevin Miller, whose documentary Hellbound is being released, got some page space in the Huffington Post, writing about the sixth chapter of Luke and, curiously, the first two installments of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy. He has some seeming wise words for Christian living.

          The next film in the trilogy, The Dark Knight, reveals Gordon's wisdom and Batman's naivety. Batman is confident he's using the right tool -- violence -- to control crime. He just hasn't applied it to the appropriate degree. When the Joker shows up, he demonstrates not only the foolishness of Batman's thinking but also the kind of person Batman must become if he's truly going to win the arms race against evil. The Joker knows the only way Batman can defeat him is to become like him; and he's ├╝ber-confident that Batman doesn't have the guts.
          I think we live under a similar delusion. We think we really can win this precarious game of one-upmanship against our enemies -- never stopping to consider what kind of people that will require us to become. 

          You can read the rest here.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday Fun: Woman Sues Dallas Cowboys for Overheated Facility Bench

image found on buy.com
          I already knew this was going to be a weird season. Peyton Manning is on the Broncos. Tim Tebow is on the Jets. Randy Moss is on the 49ers. Terrell Owens is on the Seahawks. Cedric Benson is on the Packers. Vince Young is on the Bills. Brandon Marshall is on the Bears.
          But none of these compare to the latest scandal of America's Team, the Dallas Cowboys. They are being sued for not preventing a visitor from sitting on a sun-heated bench outside the facility, by a victim with third-degree burned buttocks from said sun-heated bench.
          And no, this isn't a fabricated or exaggerated post from parody journalism. This is a true story. Read the rest here.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

An Addendum to "The Cross an Electric Chair?"

          There's a blog sub-genre on The Gospel Coalition known as the FactChecker, where author/speaker Glenn Stanton does well to debunk various misconceptions about history and hermeneutics held by both Christians and non-Christians alike. He tackled a big one recently. As it turns out, St. Francis of Assisi never said the controversial cliche: "Preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary use words."
          But, recently, Stanton tackled the occasional comparison of crucifixion to the electric chair, and I feel it needs an addendum or two.
          Stanton spends the vast majority of his blog rightfully comparing the thoroughly sadistic and barbaric inhumanity of crucifixion to the seeming tame and dignified process of execution by the electric chair (which is now considered cruel and unusual punishment by most). The cross, then, is unprecedented in its ability to represent the sacrifice that Christ made on our behalf.
          Yes, but let's not forget what the symbolism of the cross (and the history thereof) also represent.
          For one, there's the paradox of the idea that someone could reign from a throne of an execution device. This was certainly a hard pill to swallow for any first-century Jew looking for a militant messiah, and it's implausible today as well. While defending the graphic nature of crucifixion, let's not forget the paradoxical and significant "effects" of Christ's crucifixion.
          Secondly, let's not forget that one of the messages in Jesus's exhortation to "take up one's cross" is that a life following him will involve suffering and sacrifice. How would it look, today, if a pastor, using symbolism, compared the Christian earthly life to the path toward the gas chamber, gallows, electric chair, lethal injection, etc.? Doesn't sound like it would fit into a "prosperity gospel" sermon.
          It's, at the very least, slightly (but rightfully) offensive and controversial that the symbol of Christianity, the Gospel, and all hope for the life and peace for humanity is a method of brutal execution. People have not only forgotten the brutality of crucifixion, but arguably its purpose as well. Curiously, the cross (nor any method of execution) was not the symbol of the early Church well-familiar with suffering.
          May we not forget what Christ suffered for us, as Stanton's blog argued. But may we also not forget Christ's glory from His suffering, and how we may need to suffer for Him.      

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Understanding My Daughter's Vocabulary, pt. 1

          For those who would find it helpful, namely her teachers this year . . .

  • Weather Man: one who exterminates bugs with a flyswatter (namely me)
  • Talking Backwards: speaking with congestion in your throat
  • Brown Doctor: any doctor who works in the brown building which houses the pediatrician and the walk-in clinic (of which we've been frequent customers), but likely to specifically pertain to the doctor that had to cut open the thick burn blister on her hand last January
  • Purple Doctor: the doctor who works in the purple building, which is her dentist. She hasn't had her teeth cleaned by a dentist yet, so her impression of the Purple Doctor may drop severely in the future.
  • Brown Ice Cream: chocolate ice cream
          More to come later!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Noah Makes It to Hollywood

Edward Hicks's 1846 painting of Noah's ark
          While recent films like Blue Like Jazz and October Baby have stirred discussion on the definition and philosophy of "Christian film," a biblical story will make its way onto the big screen. Director Darren Aronofsky (Wrestler, Black Swan), Noah's actor Russell Crowe (Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind) and the rest of the cast and crew started filming Noah last month. It will be released in the spring of 2014.
          Myself, I haven't seen any of Aronofsky's directorial works, but his resume in that vein is impressive, having recently qualified actors/actresses for Oscar nominations and even a win. However, Aronofsky isn't afraid to be gratuitous, and now he's directing his film-adapted screenplay of the Bible's foremost demonstration of the wrath of God on earth. All I've gathered from Aronofsky's motives and intentions from interviews is that the character fascinated him since he was 13, and he plans to have the script give Noah some (extrabiblical?) survivor guilt.
          It can be a great thing when biblical stories are accurately portrayed in film, etc., no matter the director's personal theology, but, as in any story portrayal, it's always good to respect the source material as much as possible. Noah could be the first biblical blockbuster since Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, which took great pains to respect the exegetical tenets, nooks and crannies of the story.
          My estimate? It certainly won't be your Sunday school's story of Noah, and it may not even be the biblical story. It may be too extrabiblical (or even sacrilegious?) for churchgoers and too controversial and implausible for others. After all, we're talking about a very complex story centered on the wrath of God.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Fun: The Future for the Gotham City Rogues

image found on theonion.com
          I think this is clever, but I wonder what those in Pittsburgh think.

          "At a press conference following Monday's practice, newly appointed Rogues head coach Adam Kewell said the team was feeling cheerfully optimistic about the upcoming season despite the constant reminder of the devastating terrorist attacks that killed thousands in the city last winter."
          Read the rest here from the Onion.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Terrell Owens, Samson, Grace and Selflessness

image found on ESPN.com
          When one looks into the context of the story of Samson, some Sunday school curricula might need to readjust from portraying him as an exemplary and biblical version of Last Action Hero. And he probably wasn't a buff-looking guy either. Otherwise, why would people be searching for the "secret" of his strength? These were some surprising things to learn. Here's an excerpt from K. Lawson Younger:


          "Samson is by far the best known of all the judges. Sermons and Sunday School lessons often concentrate on his various heroic deeds as quite positive attributes. But the picture from the context —especially when the entire cycles section is considered —is very different. Many of Samson's heroic feats are seen as blatant acts of disobedience to the Law, acts of a selfishly motivated man who cares little for his spiritual calling."

          Even when Samson literally brings the house down while in captivity, sacrificing himself, it's not the redeeming work that some might make it out to be. Israel remained undelivered from the Philistines and relationally distant from God. Killing Philistines alone wouldn't solve either of those problems, though Samson killed many for personal vengeance. Regardless of where Samson's heart was as he, chained and with eyes gouged out, pushed the pillar, it was too little and too late to compensate for his past. That's why we have God's grace.  
          A curious thought popped into my head while I was on the way out of that grad school class: Samson is the Terrell Owens of the Bible. (I posted it as a status on Facebook and a Jewish friend of mine curiously "liked" it). Talented and strong, but with incomplete output and career due to selfish vanity and general disagreeability. At the time, Owens was with the Dallas Cowboys. 
          And now he's with the Seattle Seahawks.
          Owens has been with the Niners, Eagles, Cowboys, Bills, Bengals and an indoor football team, the Allen Wranglers, most-to-all of which released him due to some off-the-field issue. And it's gotten really hard for him to find an employer. In the meantime, he's rapped a single, written a children's book, done sports commentary, created breakfast cereal, made cameos, starred in a failed reality show, and appeared on Dr. Phil under allegations from three different women that he's behind on child support.
          I'm not going to be too optimistic, but I think this new contract with the Seattle Seahawks could be different. Owens will be catching throws, likely, from Aaron Rodgers' impressive former backup Matt Flynn, and he's seeming to be a changed man, no longer like Samson.
          Will his contract with the Seattle Seahawks and new lease on life redeem him and his legacy from his past? It could take awhile, and it may not happen, but that's why we have God's grace.       

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Remembering Marvin Hamlisch

          More people should know who Marvin Hamlisch was. Have you heard of Scott Joplin? Did you like the classic movie The Sting? If you answered yes to either, then Marvin Hamlisch is responsible for that.
          I actually had the privilege of being in a choir in college that worked with Marvin Hamlisch. He directed songs and spoke to us with a lot of musical/professional wisdom.
          You can read more about him here.
          If it were up to me, I'd say he left earth too early.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Brief Review of Christopher Nolan's Batman Trilogy


          Decades ago, Tim Burton had something going with a dorky-yet-eerie fistful of Batman movies, decent casting and all, but things went downhill when real-life penguins started marching Gotham’s streets with explosive rockets on their backs. That gave way to just plain dorky, with subsequent villain portrayals (to say the least) not given justice, and the bat-suit being given nipples. 
          But then a “reboot” happened. And now the series was over. What started in 2005 as one of the three most significant movies to start making comic book stories believable and truly entertaining to a broad audience (between X-Men (2000) and Iron Man (2008)) was followed by, arguably, the best portrayal of the Joker and then the highly-anticipated conclusion. Not only did it make believable the idea that a billionaire would double as an efficient hand-to-hand combatant of crime, with competent scientific prowess and a bat suit. It also taught old-school biblical values better than most action movies.
          Batman Begins showed us the story of Bruce Wayne’s journey in becoming the caped crusader. We learn about grief, forgiveness, the selflessness of justice, discipline,  and unconditional grace, the latter modeled by Bruce’s heart for his morally struggling hometown (dare I say, mission field?), Gotham City.
          The Dark Knight is the story of the terror brought to Gotham by Batman’s most popular villain, the Joker, who causes a lot of setbacks in Batman’s (and others’) project to reduce crime and improve morale in the impressionable city. The Joker fights to prove that all people, especially in trying times, are selfish and corruptible, abandoning any previously-held canon of morality or ethics for survival, vengeance, etc. At the very end is a strong analogical nod to penal substitution.
          The Dark Knight Rises tells the tale of Bane and his takeover of Gotham City, and Bruce, now 39, must come out of virtual retirement to outwit and outmatch his first physically-superior foe. We see Bruce’s aforementioned compassion for a seeming ramshackle Gotham City go to another level, involving ultimate sacrifice, and we see Bruce Wayne/Batman legacy end with city-inspiring acts of charity. His faith in the righteous people of Gotham changes cold hearts, and we also learn the importance of developing leadership for the future, as Batman passes on the proverbial torch.
          Which was the best movie? Most would say The Dark Knight, mainly because of the late Heath Ledger’s flooring performance as the Joker, which is arguably the greatest portrayal of a comic book villain, period. However, I’d put Batman Begins at the top. Neither of its sequels quite matched its brilliant story sequencing, diverse and balanced soundtrack (a good combination of Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard), philosophical and biblical depth and general acting performances.
          So, yes, this puts The Dark Knight Rises in third place, but that’s a bronze medal, not an insult. You should definitely see it. It’s lightyears above any third-in-a-series or trilogy closer that disappointed (e.g. X3: The Last Stand or Spider-man 3). It ends the story of the Dark Knight in a satisfying way. 
          Unlike the Hulk and Spider-man, Batman won’t need a reboot for at least 20 years, and I think this generation barely knows Adam West and Joel Schumacher as it is.     

Monday, August 6, 2012

Praying for the Sikhs of Oak Creek, Wisconsin

          Just an hour away from where I live and work, a man walked into a temple and shot six Sikh worshippers. We need to pray for all those involved. It's tragic, in the past few years, how much violence is happening in what are meant to be peaceful locations (e.g. movie theaters, schools, and places of worship.
          For some brief information on Sikhism, click here.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Striving for Bigger Perspectives and Seeing a Bigger God

          Christianity is more than just what happens in the blogging thinktanks of the Midwest and South of our country (myself included!). It's more than just an offensive partisan political stance. At this point, it's even more than a Western religion. God's Truth, as laid out in the Bible, is global.
          I've posted in the past about my powerful realizations of this reality, but I felt I needed to state this again. The geographical center of Christianity is in the southern hemisphere. The respective churches in Africa and China are arguably stronger than in the United States. A Christian ethnomusicologist colleague re-posted a profile of the global average Christian. Here's an excerpt:

          "The average Christian in the world right now is an African or Latin American female in her early 20’s.  She doesn’t read our blogs and she doesn’t read Christianity Today.  She doesn’t know or care who I am and she never will.  The names Piper, Driscoll, Chan, Bell, Stanley, Warren—mean nothing to her.  Like most Pentecostal women coming into the kingdom around the world, words like 'complementarian' and 'egalitarian' are not in her vocabulary, nor Calvinism and Arminianism.  Unlike some of my brothers would lead you believe (where their lunch table is the only one that cares about Scripture and THE GOSPEL while anybody who believes differently from them in these tired conversations are flaming liberals), she takes the authority of the Bible very seriously.  But more importantly, she believes in the power of the Bible in ways that are incomprehensible even for our most rabid 'conservatives.'  The western filter and language that frames these issues will not be determinative for her, unlucky as she is not to read our blogs." 

          Of course, not every American Christian is meant to be an overseas missionary, and we should be thankful for the opportunities we have in biblical education. But let's not forget how big God is, and that he works through people all over the globe. This gives American Christians good perspective, and challenges the cynics who wrongfully limit Christianity as the "white man's religion" and a bunch of other stereotypes that only make sense with very limited exposure to only some churches in America.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Who Will Be "Wicked" in the Next Oz?

          While watching the previews before The Dark Knight Rises, I noticed that Disney is releasing a prequel to The Wizard of Oz, the script of which predates the storyline of the popular Wicked on Broadway. The original Wizard painted the polarity of the two witches fairly clearly, where as Wicked portrayed the "good witch" as good-intentioned but complacent, and the "bad witch" as selfless and misunderstood, trying to rally against a greater villain: a power-crazed fascist Wizard of Oz. 
          So . . . what will Disney do with this script? If maintaining continuity with The Wizard of Oz and Wicked becomes difficult, which way will they lean? Toward the late author's seeming intent or toward the recent popular Broadway show?