Archive for the ‘Movies and TV’ Category

super-bowl-2015-ad-4-milThis may come as a surprise to you, but I did not watch what many have called “the most exciting Super Bowl ever.” Yes, I know who won, and I have watched the final couple of big plays many times, but I just did not sit down to watch the game.

Like many people, I did, however, have some interest in the commercials. Amazingly, every thirty-second advertisement went for an incredible $4.5 million! I’m not sure how anyone can justify that kind of spending, but apparently “supply-and-demand” worked – at least for NBC and the NFL.

One commercial that I heard about advertising BMW features Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric are seen (hilariously) arguing about the new-fangled “Internet” in a 1994 clip from the Today Show. Think about it: 21 years ago, we didn’t know what the Internet was. I also remember learning in school that a google was a number with 100 zeros after it. Now we say “Google it” whenever we want to find something on the Internet. Our pastoral staff uses “Google Drive” to share information and to collaborate on projects. Do you remember whenever you wanted to find a restaurant; you looked in a phone book or you actually talked to somebody who had eaten there? Your “wall”? Probably made of sheet rock, and if someone posted on it, then they had better have used scotch tape. It seems like our world has changed in a flash with the advent of connected computers.

We could not have predicted it in 1994. What else is around the corner in the future, that for all our wisdom and knowledge we cannot see coming? Will we allow the uncertainty of days to come to point us to God?

Our only hope for the future lies in placing our lives in the One who knows the future. In Jesus, we have someone who does not change. The writer of Hebrews said, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb. 13:8). In a world that constantly changes and living in a culture that wants to change the values, we need to solid foundation that a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ will provide.

9781e9e0-c634-698e-112d-5c720e4c6430_TWDS4_Gallery_Rick-Fen.jpgA recent article in the Wall Street Journal says, “By all observable metrics, zombies are totally hot right now.” Another article claims that zombies have become “outrageously, staggeringly, mindblowingly popular … Not only do they top best-seller lists and video games and the iPad, the undead dominate television, too.” With nearly 16 million viewers, The Walking Dead, AMC’s hit TV show about a world dominated by flesh-eating zombies, nearly outperformed the 2014 Winter Olympics. World War Z, a movie about a zombie apocalypse starring Brad Pitt, has so far grossed over $540 million.

So what’s the big deal with this zombie craze? One expert on zombie lore, Dr. John Ulrich, Professor of English at Mansfield University, says, “At its most elemental level, of course, the zombie represents our fear of death.” Stephen Marche, a cultural critic who writes for Esquire magazine agrees, but as an atheist Marche offers some honest thoughts about zombies and our death-fears. In his article titled “Why Zombies Are Everywhere Now,” Marche writes:

“After seeing dozens of zombie movies, I’m convinced that the reason zombies are so powerful is that they capture an atheistic fear of the dead. I don’t just mean the fear of dead bodies, though that fear is there, too … materialistic atheism … does not provide a very comforting way to deal with the dead. Christians and others have prayer and visions of an afterlife … Atheists like myself have rotting corpses and oblivion. And zombie movies” [Esquire, 6/19/13].

While I do not wish to draw attention to the subject of zombies or the variety of unusual subject matter in recent movie releases, I believe that believers should capitalize on our culture’s focus on these matters. These are clear indications that many people in our culture want answers to the questions that are on their hearts. However, they cannot know the truth unless God draws them to Himself, and they cannot respond to God’s truth unless someone tells them.

Therefore, we must pray for those we know who do not know God through Jesus Christ. We must be ready to share how Jesus changed our lives (a less than 2-minute testimony) and how they can know God through Christ themselves. I believe that God wants all people to come to know Him; however, He has chosen to use people to carry this out.