Tuesday, March 21, 2006


I'm A Sci-Fi fan. I love the Sci-Fi channel, and it is probably the one I watch the most. I know it's a bit geeky, but hey, it fits.

Last week a new series, Dr. Who, premiered. Click on the link for the storylines if you want. I wanted to comment on the episode "The end of the world" which aired on March 17. In this episode Dr. Who, our time-travelling alien, takes Rose, an typical British young lady, 5 billion years into the future to see the end of the Earth, when the Sun expands. Much goes on that we don't need to discuss, but at the end Rose makes a telling statement.

She says "We were so busy saving our own lives that no one watched the end" or something to that effect. Then Rose is transported back to present-day earth and she stands among the pedestrians on a London street watching the people go about their lives. And she knows they have no idea of the coming apocalypse.

This resonated with me and the church. We know of the coming apocalypse. We just don't know the date. Yet so many of us, myself included, are so busy saving (and living) our own lives that we will miss it. And those around us will miss it if we don't do something.

I'm not advocating street-corner fire and brimstone preaching, but we do need a sense of urgency to tell others about Christ's love and how they can enter the kingdom of God right now. Not fear, but love. Urgent. pressing love that tells people that the Sovereign of the Heavens loves them. And wants to spend eternity with them.

People who have stared death in the face through illness, accident or war have an altered perspective on life. They often have a new respect for the mundane things others take for granted. Christians should be like that as well. We have received a pardon from a death sentence. And we need to show our gratitude.

God forgive us for our spiritual inaction. John the Baptist had a sense of urgency, as did Paul, Jesus and the disciples. We should have no less. Lord, help us.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


CBS is about to finally announce a replacement for the disgraced Dan Rather. It appears that Katie Couric, the perky diva from NBC's Today show, is the heir apparent to the chair that Walter Cronkite once held. And the CBS staff apparently is not in favor of the move.

I'm not going to get into the politics, or my like or dislike of Ms. Couric and her style of journalism. My bigger question is "Does it really matter who sits in the big chair?" Do Americans ascribe validity to the information they receive based on the talking head reading it off of a teleprompter? Seriously, do news anchors do any real reporting? Do they go out and beat the bushes for news? No. They read what their producers put on the teleprompter and they make inane chatter with the correspondents whose pieces are being used on the newscast.

I vote for bringing back Max Headroom. The folks who created him were way ahead of their time. If the news we receive is just some talking head reading off a script, why not have an animated character and save a boatload of cash? Plus, Max doesn't have bad hair days and he doesn't have attitude problems, like Mr. Rather's famous walking off the set incident.

Vive le Max!

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Sometimes a picture really does say it all. This is a bridge in Honduras that lost its purpose after Hurricane Mitch struck that country several years ago. In case it isn't clear, the bridge goes to nowhere because the river moved. The tremendous rainfall and flooding from the hurricane changed the channel of the river, and what is a magnificently constructed piece of engineering has no purpose.

Ever been to a church like that? It has a beautiful edifice, strong, stately columns, flying buttresses for support and by all measures it is a prime specimen of craftsmanship. But it is empty most of the time. Like the bridge, it is well constructed but not useful.

Rev. Jim Garlow, pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church, pointed this out to me in a chapel message he delivered at Asbury Seminary. Podcasts are available here. He spoke of the church being primed to fight the last war, the war on modernity. We have our columns of proof texts, legions of trained apologists, and an army of witnesses to go tell people that the Bible is not in conflict with science. Problem is, Modernity is dead, like the old Soviet Empire.

In its place, we have a world where proof texts are pointless, when the person you are talking to is biblically ignorant and apathetic. We have an army primed to fight the last war, and the new one is upon us.

In the new battle, we have to "win the hearts and minds" of the culture. We are no longer the favored player. Quite the opposite is true. Every religion but Christianity seems to get a better shake from the culture. So we have to start over and try to win people to Christ through our love, our lives, not our words.

Garlow challenged us not to become like the bridge in the photo. We can build bridges, but we have to be prepared for the ground to shift underneath us. Or we end up looking like a sad relic from the past.

Friday, March 03, 2006


Wow. I just finished watching one of the most visually powerful videos I have seen in quite some time. It is Johnny Cash's rendition of "Hurt", the old Nine Inch Nails song. Click on the link to take a moment and watch it.

The song, albeit written by someone else, still expresses the deep sense of regret that Cash has for the lifetime of bad decisions he has made. In a voice sapped of its volume, he speaks more clearly than I've ever heard him about his faith, his life and the regrets he has at the end of his life. I was in tears as I watched this moving performance.

What spoke to me most was his sense of regret. For all the hurt he had caused others. I share that too, and hopefully I am not near the end of my days. There are a lot of things I regret - things I've said, not said, done and not done.

What really spoke to me was our ability to change that life of regret before we get old and broken down. If we turn from our own path and follow what God has for us, we can begin to live a life we will not regret. It will still have hurts, but we have One who can heal the hurts walking with us.