Oh, the Humanity!

the_walking_dead

I’ve been watching The Walking Dead since the second season. Admittedly, I didn’t really catch onto it until then because I thought it was just another zombie movie. I’m not really into zombie movies. In my mind, they are all pretty much the same movie re-wrapped in a different package.

Dead bodies have somehow been reanimated and they have to be destroyed in order to save mankind. Eventually, all the zombies are killed. However, unbeknownst to the survivors, one of them was bitten…or scratched…or something. So now, he/she is infected, and when they turn, it’s going to start all over again. Roll credits. Movie over.

But, as I heard more people talk about it and read various reviews of the show, I gave it a shot. And man…I haven’t turned back since.

The show is truly good. It’s not the same old storyline. There is even character development. Personally, what I’ve come to like about the show is the fact that it’s not just week after week after week of killing (or deanimating?) zombies. Every scene isn’t filled with pointless dialog and incessant complaining about how they are going to survive. There is heart to the show. There is sincerity. There is meaning in the lives of the survivors and for 60 minutes, you are drawn into their world. When I’m asked why I watch it, I can’t give any other reason than the humanity that the show projects.

In the show, there is a group – sometimes multiple groups – of people whom are bound together through suffering and loss and displacement, in a world that has obviously gone wrong, and all they have left is their humanity and the constant struggle to maintain it. Week after week we see people who, in the midst of catastrophe and ruin, are trying to rebuild their world with what little bit of life they still have in them, in efforts to make their day to day existence some kind of semblance of what they have all lost. In a show that is heavy on death, it life is what keeps it going.

That is why I was excited to come across the writings of Pastor David Dunham of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Detroit. He is also a fan of The Walking Dead, and with a biblical lens, he writes about the show and how we as believers can see a part of ourselves in their daily struggles. His articles are truly thought provoking and, in my opinion, capture a significant amount of what I like about the show – the humanity.

His articles are located here on the Christ and Pop Culture website. Take some time and read a few of his articles. If you’re a fan of the show, I think you’ll enjoy what you read. If you’re not a fan, maybe this will be your gateway into looking further into the show.

If you like what you’ve read, he usually blogs here. Enjoy.

Grace and Peace.

Our Needs Are Met In The Cross of Christ

desert-cross

If perfect obedience to the law of God is the divine standard of righteousness-and it is-then there is not a single person who does not need to be justified before God. And if a single sin is sufficient to condemn us to eternal punishment, as the Bible says it is (see James 2:10), then everyone who has committed sin needs to be justified above all else. And if Solomon was right when he said that “there is no one who does not sin” (1 Kings 8:46)-and our universal experience confirms that he was right-then God sent His Son to the cross to provide the solution to the greatest need of every person.

- “What’s So Great About the Doctrines of Grace”
Richard D. Phillips

My Friday Favorites – 14 Mar 14

Happy Pi Day! Yeah, it took a minute for me to get it as well – Pi = 3.14 (March 14)……I don’t like math. Anyway, here are a few links I’ve found interesting over the past week.

1. SBC Annual Meeting, 2014

- The Southern Baptist Convention’s Annual Meeting is being held in Baltimore, MD this year: 10 – 11 Jun 14. Excited would be an understatement.

2. The Most Difficult Ministry Decision I’ve Ever Made by Thabiti Anyabwile

- Emotional post from Pastor Thabiti. Please keep him, his family, and FBC of Grand Caymon in your prayers.

3. Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus (Book Review) by Tim Challies

- Great summary/review of Nabeel Qureshi‘s book. I’m reading this one now and I am thoroughly enjoying it. If you don’t have it, I recommend picking it up.

4. How Churches Can Care for Their Pastor’s Children by Chap Bettis

- Insightful article on caring for the children of the family who is shepherding your family.

5. Darrell Bock on Fox News Talking about the Resurrection of Jesus

- Short but interesting video of Darrell Bock giving proof for the resurrection of Christ.

6John Piper GIFs

- Just funny.

7. Tracing the Line of the Promised Seed

- Pastor Voddie Baucham is just masterful at explaining the Bible. I so appreciate his passion for the gospel.

G.O.S.P.E.L. by D.A. Horton (Book Review)

3300_G.O.S.P.E.L.inddI first heard of D.A. Horton from a YouTube video in which he was promoting ReachLife Ministries. – the ministry/educational arm of the powerhouse record label, Reach Records. Horton had recently taken over as the Executive Director of ReachLife and was explaining the intentions and some of the goals of the ministry, to include where he was praying God would lead it.  He was very purposeful in his statements and his presentation of, not only the message of ReachLife, but the message of the gospel.

This was a brother whom I could tell knew the gospel and was able to communicate such truths to brothers and sisters on the block, as well as brothers and sisters in the church. When the opportunity to review his first book presented itself – I had to take it.

Horton has written an extremely easy to read book. At only 77 pages, someone should be able to make it from cover to cover in less than two or three sittings. However, to take the brevity of the book as a weakness would be a discrediting to the author – I think Horton did a great job with his first effort as a published author.

As with any book, there are some aspects I liked better than others. And although they are few and far between, there are some specifics that I didn’t like at all. However, at the end of the day, I don’t think anyone would be upset investing time in reading this book.

When reading this book, you can’t help but wonder who the book was written for – someone wanting to communicate the gospel to urban dwellers or urban dwellers who want to know more about the gospel.

It’s actually both.

The book is written in such a way that if the reader can already explain the gospel in a clear and concise manner, this book provides the tools needed to be able explain it to someone in an urban context. The slang and terminology that Horton uses in this book is used in such a way that someone unfamiliar with the meanings might be able to understand the words if they heard them in person. On the reverse, the book is written in such a way that if someone from the urban context had questions about the gospel, aside from someone walking along side them one on one, this would be a good resource for them to read. Again, the slang and terminology Horton  uses to explain complex theological truths is right on par with how brothers and sisters in the urban context speak.

Which leads to one of the few issues I have with the book. Horton defines the slang and terminology he uses in the book as “Thebonics” and he defines it as “the presentation of theological truths in the language known as ebonics, the rich slang that is part of our urban neighborhoods, especially African-Americans, to describe people and situations in the hood.” Basically, it’s a term he created to explain his use of slang to express theologically specific terms and ideas.

That kinda bothers me. I would have liked for him to have chosen a better descriptor for the terminology he uses in his book. I don’t know too many African-Americans, Hispanics, etc., whom are comfortable with the term “ebonics” – if they remember the controversy when the term was first introduced to be used in a school setting. This, I believe, is the only shortcoming of the book. (I am sure that there was no ill-intent in its use. I believe Horton only used it as a means of identification to the target audience whom would most likely read the book. He is a man who has an apparent and sincere love for all of God’s people. This instance is just something that I personally didn’t like.)

Aside from that, which is far from distracting, the book is good. I would not hesitate in recommending it to anyone, especially teens and young adults. I think it would be a great youth group study or even a personal study.

Pick it up a few copies for your youth group or just one copy for the teen in your family – it’s well worth it.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Moody Publishing through the Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review.  I have not received payment for a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Guest Post on “Grace for Sinners” Blog

On February 17, 2014, Mathew Sims gave me an opportunity to guest blog on his site. The post I wrote is titled “For The Men Who Will Hold Their Hearts”. Here is an excerpt -

After we have prayed as a family, the girls will go to their respective rooms and get into bed. After a few minutes, usually after my bride and I have prayed together, I will go to each of their rooms, kneel beside their beds and take their hands. This is a time for us to pray, one on one, together. At this time, I pray a variety of things for them. I pray that they get good rest and wake up ready to serve the Lord, for their protection from the evil one (1 Thess 3:3), that they one day be saved (Rom 10:9); I thank the Lord for their life and their spirit, etc. I’m sure there are many things that I don’t think about that I could be praying for my daughters. Some of the things I currently pray about are ideas I’ve heard that other fathers pray for their daughters, so I added them to my prayers.

Read the rest of the post here.

“Illusions, Dystopia, and Monsters” by Kermit Heartsong (Book Review)

I requested to review this book on a whim.illusions-dystopia-monsters-final-book-cover2

I usually read books in the Christianity/Theology genre, so in efforts to branch out and read new things, I saw a blog post advertising this book. It sounded interesting and maybe something that I wouldn’t mind reading. I was certainly correct in my assessment of the book being interesting.

The book is extremely well written, which makes it an easy read. Moving through the pages isn’t too much of a challenge if you’re interested in the subject matter – that being conspiracy theories. Those that enjoy this genre of reading will definitely enjoy this book. Personally, I am not into conspiracy theories. I used to be back when I was in high school. However, I wasn’t so outlandish that I believed there was a cover up behind every single action the government performed, but I felt a good majority of the government’s action were corrupt. I felt they were only out for themselves and the elite few that had influence in society. It is quite bit obvious that Heartsong feels even stronger about it. In fact, that is where I believe this book would site in a bookstore – in the conspiracy section.

Heartsong has most certainly done his homework and provided reference upon reference through this entire book. I’d honestly like to know how long this book took him to write. The facts and statistics and quotes contained in this book are overwhelming.

The book has four chapters, 1. Illusions, 2. Dystopia, 3. Monsters, and 4. Solutions – each chapter consisting of more than five sections. Some sections have as many as 15 sections. I appreciate what Heartsong is trying to do with this book. He is trying to raise the awareness of the reader in regards to things going on, not only in our country, but the world and how these things affect society. I wish him well in his efforts.

If you’re interested in something new and you have an open mind – pick this book up. You won’t be disappointed. If you’re looking for the same old subject matter – I would skip this title.

 

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