When the God of Marvels Defeated a “God” of Marvel (Studios)

Editor’s Note: My apologies! Mr. Ryan Dawson submitted this earlier during the Holy Day season—an excellent meditation prompted by Marvel Entertainment’s current flirtation with the gods of Egypt and the fact that we’re observing a time when God demonstrated His superiority over those very gods. Still, the Days of Unleavened Bread aren’t over yet! And hopefully you will find this explanation of the revealed reality behind fiction to be helpful. Enjoy the rest of your days of not-fluffy-at-all bread!

It’s that time of year when we consider the Exodus of Israel from Egypt. We think about the plagues that God poured out—and, if we remember that these plagues were real, we are thankful that we did not get to see them. Sometimes we can fall into the trap of thinking about the Exodus as a story rather than as history, but this was a real event in God’s plan that brought the world’s biggest superpower to its knees. Let’s take a look at the final plague that put fear into those who occupied the land of Canaan—the plague that made the world marvel at the one true God.

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Podcast: Passover Thoughts for the Young and Not-Yet-Baptized

We hope you are having a wonderful start to your Spring Holy Day season! This podcast was recorded not long before Passover, and we focus on mainly three topics: Why the Holy Day cycle starts with Passover, some of the differences in seeing the need for baptism for those who have grown up in the Church compared to those who haven’t, and the commonly heard comment made by some who don’t feel ready for baptism: “I’m not good enough, yet…” We talk about them all in this episode, and we refer to two articles: One by Dr. Scott Winnail meant to help younger people help evaluate when they might be ready for baptism, and another I wrote about what lessons we need to take from Passover to fully understand that the Days of Unleavened Bread have to teach us. I’ll add links to both of those below the video.

Have a wonderful Days of Unleavened Bread!

Links to those two articles:

Thinking Biblically: Entertainment

As you’ve probably heard or read on this website, we hope to cover how to think biblically about any given topic. I appreciate that phrase, as it’s close to something I’ve said frequently in sermons and other messages: “Keep your brain turned on!” 

But what about entertainment? 

Sometimes the problem with thinking biblically about entertainment is that entertainment is usually designed to help us stop thinking. When I consider some of the entertainment I enjoy, like fantasy football or the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I know that part of the reason I enjoy it is because it’s not mentally taxing—I can transport myself to a happy, fictional place where superheroes defeat villains, or to an alternate reality where I know who will score more touchdowns. 

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Attack of the Unleavened Tacos

With the Days of Unleavened Bread right around the corner, it seems a good time to bring out this short story. During the Days of Unleavened Bread many years ago when I was pastoring congregations in Missouri, I had a trip out of town for a ministerial visit that saw me leaving rather hastily and not taking anything to eat with me, though the trip would end up keeping me out until far past dinner time. So, that night I eventually visited the drive-thru of a popular fast food joint to grab some cornflour (and unleavened) “hard shell” tacos. (I won’t mention the name of the place, but it rhymed with Spock Hotel…) I used the drive-thru because I didn’t want to lose any time on the road.

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Podcast: Let’s Talk About that Oscars Slap

No, we didn’t watch the Oscars. But whether you watched them or not, it’s hard to escape the footage of Will Smith’s now-infamous on-stage slap of Chris Rock after the comedian’s joke concerning Mrs. Smith’s shaved head. Frankly, the new Best Actor award winner could have used Mr. Robinson’s advice here in this podcast! What’s going on in our culture that enabled a moment like this? And how would you have handled it? Let’s do some biblical thinking! Click below to listen. (Scroll below the video for two related links.)

If you are interested, here is a link to the YouGov survey we refer to in the video. The results look a tad different than described in the podcast, partially due to changes in the age-group boundaries and possibly due to additional data since the early results we looked at, but the trend is still the same, illustrating a significant difference between the perception of younger and older individuals. Also, here is a link to that earlier post that unpacks and examines Will Smith’s statement “Love will make you do crazy things.”

The Promise of a Brand New Beginning

We published an old commentary by Mr. Jonathan McNair recently that was (1) related to Passover, (2) referenced recently in a sermon by Mr. Weston, and (3) so very, very encouraging. It highlights that Passover isn’t just about looking backward and that all of us can gain hope from the promise that’s available to us through God’s forgiveness and merciful aid—the promise that we can, at any time, create a brand new beginning.

We’d like to link to it here for you to consider reading as the Spring Holy Days approach. It’s a very short read and well worth the little time it takes: “The End of the Beginning.”

A Lesson from (sigh) the Oscars: “Love will make you do crazy things.” Really?

OK. This is not meant as encouragement to watch the Oscars each year. The audience levels for the Oscars are dying, and they should be allowed to die. But when something newsworthy (or “newsworthy,” with appropriate quote marks) happens during them, there is can be something to learn from it. Here’s a hot take about last night’s.

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