On Wickedness and Righteousness

In my Hebrew III class we’ve just reached the account of Noah (which struck me as fitting considering my recent post). We were asked to write a short reflection on why Noah stood out from the rest of humanity.

Noah stood out because he was righteous, blameless in a wicked generation. But I think the key reason why he stood out was that he “walked with God.” He was distinct because he lived his life to follow the path God laid out for him. I think that’s why he was considered righteous. He believed in and trusted in God in a way that none of the other people alive at that time were.

I mean, sure, Noah was probably also a pretty good guy, and he probably sought to do good. But the story of the Bible says that we are not counted righteous by the things that we do, but by what Jesus has already done. Now, it was different for people in the OT because they didn’t have Jesus’ sacrifice to look back upon, but there was an established understanding of how man related to God through sacrifice, even as far back as Cain and Abel. Noah, and probably the other people alive, knew what God expected (I’m sure the story of the expulsion from Eden was shared from generation to generation, as well as guidelines and examples for how to relate to God). Yet Noah stood out because he chose to try to follow those expectations.

Aronofsky’s “Noah” and Masculinity

Aronofsky’s “Noah” and Masculinity

In 2014, Aronofsky’s representation of Noah created quite the firestorm in evangelical Christian American circles. Some people loved it because one of the most epic stories in the Bible finally hit the big screen. Others hated it, decrying it’s biblical inaccuracies (rock giants, a silent God, and evolution?). Still others tried to remain more neutral, saying it was a good conversation opener to spiritual things, and acknowledging that since Aronofsky isn’t a Christian (pretty far from it, actually) we shouldn’t expect him to present the story in a Christian way.

Glaring Biblical inaccuracies and misrepresentations aside, I think the most valuable conversation that we can pull from this movie is about masculinity. I’d like to unpack that a little bit, and I apologize in advance, because this will be pretty long.

****SPOILERS AFTER THIS POINT**** Continue reading “Aronofsky’s “Noah” and Masculinity”

Thankful for Community

Thankful for Community

For the American Christian, community is something that we can really easily take for granted. When you live in a place where there is a church on every corner, it’s easy to be picky and find little aspects to critique. But when was the last time we took time to be thankful for the community that we have?

For a little background, I just got off a video chat with a friend in Cambodia. She’ll be serving there with the Peace Corps for just under two more years. She’s way out in the middle of rural Cambodia and doesn’t really have a Christian community around her to support and love and encourage her. There is a local church, but the language barrier is causing issues, at least for now.

I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for her, and I’ll do my best to encourage and love on and support her from a distance. And it also made me take a moment to reflect on the community with which I’m surrounded. God has blessed me with several amazing groups of friends who love him and serve him. I have guys and girls who challenge me and encourage me. I have people whom I can always turn to for prayer. My family is always on my side, encouraging me as I journey to be a pastor.

God has given me so many blessings through the relationships he’s given me. Sometimes I just need to take a step back and remember.

Hello Again

Normally, I would have scrapped everything and started over. Started a new blog, a new platform, begun again from scratch. That’s the way I’ve always done this whole “blogging” thing. I get really excited for a few weeks, months, or whatever, then peter off and end up not doing anything for two years.

This time, I’d like things to be different. These past blog posts are a part of who I was and a part of who I am. I’ll update some things, sure. The look and feel of the blog will be different. Because I’m different now.

I’m hoping that this blog will be an outlet. I don’t write very often, probably because I’m writing so much for school. But as I finish up school this semester, I’d like to have a place to record my thoughts and share them with people. A lot of these posts are going to be pretty short, although I know I can get wordy. I’m hoping that I’ll just be able to dump some observations or interesting tidbits as I journey.

That’s all I’ve got for now. So…

Hello again.