To sin is to use a gift that God wove into his creation to point to his glory in a way that the Creator never intended. That’s how God’s good gift of relaxation degenerates into vacations that end in frustration because they fall short of our self-centered expectations. That’s how God’s gifts of food and drink are perverted into pathways to gluttony and addiction; it’s how sex becomes twisted into pornography and lust and homosexuality, it’s how the natural world is distorted into an economic resource to be exploited without regard for human communities or the beauty of God’s creation, and on and on it goes. Each of these acts pursues the same false promise that our primeval parents swallowed in the shadow of the tree of knowledge: “You shall be as gods” (Genesis 3:5). We all want to be God.Continue reading.
If you’re a parent, what’s your goal for parenting?
The parenting purpose statement in our household is simply this: Our purpose is to leverage our children’s lives so that people in every nation will receive multiplied opportunities to respond in faith to the rightful King of kings.
Data and arguments aren’t the strategies that do the best job of convincing people to change their lives. What convinces people best is the promise of a better story than the one they’re presently living. That’s why every leader should be—in the words of R. Albert Mohler—a
steward-in-chief of [the organization’s] story. … Leadership comes down to protecting the story, bringing others into the story, and keeping the organization accountable to the story. The leader tells the story over and over again, refining it, updating it, and driving it home. … Continue reading.
At the center of God’s story stands this singular act: In Jesus Christ, God personally intersected human history and redeemed humanity at a particular time in a particular place. Yet this central marvel of redemption does not stand alone. It is bordered by God’s good creation and humanity’s fall into sin on the one hand and by the consummation of God’s kingdom on the other.
This metanarrative of creation, fall and law, redemption, and new creation is the story that Christians have repeated to one another and to the world ever since Jesus ascended into the sky and sent his Spirit to dwell in his first followers’ lives. This age-old plot-line should frame every aspect of our lives. After I watch a movie with my older children, I’ve found that this fourfold lens is a helpful way of teasing out what was “true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable … excellent or praiseworthy” in the film (Philippians 4:8).
Over the past several weeks, I’ve been looking at each of the film’s in the Marvel Cinematic Universe through the fourfold lens of creation, fall and law, redemption, and new creation. Several readers have asked me for a full listing of these theological reviews and reflectionsContinue reading.
This exploration of Iron Man 2 is the fourth in a series of posts exploring theological themes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. You can find the rest of the series here. I recommend using VidAngel to filter the content of this film for your family.
Every part of Tony Stark seems to have been forged in brokenness.
A fractured relationship with his father birthed the man known as Tony Stark. According to Tony’s recollection of his father,
He wasn’t my biggest fan. … He…never told me he loved me, never even told me he liked me. You’re talking about a man whose happiest day…was shipping me off to boarding school.
Tony Stark the machine was born in brokenness as well.Continue reading.