A lesson on suffering from the Batman

January 26, 2015

this_american_lifeYesterday’s sermon on the Lord’s Prayer dealt with the petitions, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” My sermon ended up being mostly about God’s sovereignty. After all, we don’t pray, “God, what can we do to bring your kingdom to earth?” Or even, “God, how can we accomplish your will on earth?” We trust that God will ultimately see to both of those things, regardless of whatever role he wants us human beings to play in it. The inescapable conclusion—which so many Methodist clergy resist saying, for some reason—is that God is in control.

But to say that God is in control is to risk being misunderstood. I referred to this recent interview with physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, whose biggest objection to belief in God is human suffering. If God is in control (and good), and everything that happens is enfolded into God’s sovereign purposes, then he thinks that we theists must believe that everything that happens—even evil things—must somehow be good. He said he’s not willing to go there.

And I’m not either. As I said in my sermon, there’s an important difference between God’s permitting evil and God’s causing it or approving of it.

But we still have to deal with why God permits evil and suffering to occur. After all, we believe God has the power to grant our petitions in prayer. If we pray for God to give us something—even for God to enable us avoid suffering—and God doesn’t grant our petition, do we say that God is capricious in answering our prayers, or that God has his reasons? And if God has his reasons, we can only trust that those reasons are good—that he’s using our suffering for some good purpose.

Daniel Kish is blind, yet he rides a bike.

Daniel Kish is blind, yet he rides a bike.

To help illustrate this, I used the story of Daniel Kish, who was featured in this intriguing This American Life story. Daniel lost both his eyes to cancer when he was an infant, but using “echolocation”—the same ability that bats have—he has learned to find his way in the world without assistance. He can—amazingly—even ride a bike! As I said in my sermon,

Daniel learned to do these things because, for whatever reason, his mother wasn’t afraid to let him get hurt—she wasn’t afraid of her child getting bumps, bruises, scrapes and even broken bones if these things helped him find his way in the world. Most parents of blind children, by contrast, are afraid to let their kids experience this pain; they want to protect their children from suffering. According to one blind man who uses echolocation to get around, this desire to protect their kids from suffering ends up hurting them.

The reporter of the story kept saying that the parents’ love gets in the way of their blind child’s ability to overcome their disability. But I disagree. Maybe fear and ignorance get in the way, but not love. Because love doesn’t always mean protecting children from pain and suffering—not when pain and suffering would help us grow and become everything we’re capable of becoming.

God our heavenly Father loves us perfectly, which means he loves us enough to let us experience pain and suffering sometimes. Because it’s good for us.

Anyway, I hope you’ll listen to Daniel’s story. It’s astonishing.


The “terrible paralysis” from believing “it’s all up to us”

January 23, 2015

Lord_teach_usAs you may know, I’m currently preaching a sermon series on the Lord’s Prayer. I preached a similar series five years ago—a lot of water under the bridge since then—and used a book on the Lord’s Prayer called Lord, Teach Us, by Will Willimon and Stanley Hauerwas, as one resource. As I’ve revisited this book—on the other side of my “evangelical reawakening”—I find that I’m far less sympathetic than I once was with both the book’s tone and its substance.

For example, I’m now a convinced “just warrior” who believes that violence can be good and necessary under some circumstances. I oppose Christian pacifism. I believe strongly in the police’s role in maintaining law and order, even through violence (as perhaps even Hauerwas now does—the big softie!). I deeply love my country, warts and all—and I don’t believe I’m kowtowing to “empire,” or the world’s “domination systems,” or whatever, by doing so. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, take a few classes at a mainline Protestant seminary.)

Don’t get me wrong: Like the good Candler graduate that I am, I believe that the gospel should liberate people in the here and now, not just in the sweet by and by, and that the Church should take the lead to make the world a more just place, as it has for two millennia. But even if the most oppressive nations on earth were suddenly as egalitarian as, say, Sweden, these nations would still need Jesus to save them from their sins. The Swedes still need Jesus!

Nevertheless, while I was tempted to throw the book out the window after re-reading their chapter on “Your kingdom come,” their chapter on the next clause, “Your will be done, on earth as in heaven,” is strong. I especially like the part in which they relate this petition to the story of Joseph and his brothers at the end of Genesis. As part of a discussion about the “amazing resilience of God’s purposes,” which “cannot be stumped by our plans,” they write:

We modern American people are so accustomed to thinking life as a choice or chance. Life is what I do and decide or else life is a roulette wheel of sheer luck. Is that why we often feel so helpless and hopeless? If life is all up to us, then we know enough about ourselves and our brothers and sisters to know we are doomed. A terrible paralysis comes from thinking that it’s all up to us. If the fate of the world, the outcome of the future is solely of my doing, or even yours, then—a good freshman course in the history of Western civilization should convince us that we are without hope. No wonder we feel frail and fearful before the bomb, AIDS, the ecological crisis, thinning ozone, or even the department of motor vehicles—it’s all choice or chance.

William Willimon and Stanley Hauerwas, Lord, Teach Us: The Lord’s Prayer and the Christian Life (Nashville: Abingdon, 1996), 63.


Are natural disasters proof against God?

January 22, 2015
"I do not want to take on William Lane Craig in a debate about God!"

“I do not want to take on William Lane Craig in a debate about God!”

As he usually does when confronted with skeptics’ arguments against God’s existence, Dr. William Lane Craig ably refutes the arguments of physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who is quickly becoming the most powerful celebrity skeptic out there. (Eat your heart out, Richard Dawkins.)

In Part One of Craig’s response to this Tyson interview, Tyson objects to God’s existence on the basis of morality: How can we believe that God is all-powerful and all-good in the face of natural disasters that kill thousands in one fell swoop? As Craig says,

He enunciates, you’ll notice, a version of the logical problem of evil, based upon so-called natural evil in the world… But what our listeners, I think, need to understand is that this version of the problem of evil (that it is impossible for God to be all-powerful and all-good) is rejected by virtually everyone today – both theist and non-theist – because it lays upon the non-theist so heavy a burden of proof that nobody has been able to sustain it. The non-theist would have to show that it is impossible logically that God could have morally sufficient reasons for permitting the evil and suffering in the world that is due to natural disasters. There is simply no way that the non-theist can justify such a claim. He can say, as Tyson does, Well, I don’t see why these things would occur. But that doesn’t even take one step toward proving that it is logically impossible that God could have morally sufficient reasons for allowing these disasters to occur.

Tyson also seems to think that if God allows so-called “natural” evil to occur, then we believers are required to say that these things are really good: “I refuse to allow someone to say, ‘I’m going to give you cancer, birth defects, and shorten your life, and somehow call that good.’ I am not going there.”

Craig responds:

He is assuming that what ought not to be ought not to be permitted. That doesn’t follow. I think that there could be cases which one permits evil or suffering to take place because even though that event is evil or bad there can be some greater good that would come out of it, or the prevention of some even worse evil in the future… Say that you got a choice between either allowing one person to be shot and killed or three people to be shot and killed – you can’t do both. You can only prevent one. If you prevent the three people being shot and killed, you’ve permitted the one person to be killed. But that doesn’t mean you’ve done something evil.

For me, the most enlightening part of Craig’s response comes when Tyson accuses us believers of being presumptuous and hypocritical in our knowledge of God. When, for example, God permits tsunamis to wipe out a quarter of a million people, Tyson says that we believers shrug our shoulders and say, “God works in mysterious ways.” On the other hand, when things go our way,

you did understand [God]. How are you saying this is the handiwork of God? You are doing God’s work. God wants you to do this. Somehow you know God’s motives every other way, but when a quarter-million people get wiped out, God works in mysterious ways. Why do you even claim to have access to God’s mind in some context and not others? Just admit you have no clue and get on with life. That is how I look at it.

I would remind Tyson that inasmuch as we “have a clue” about God, we do so because we believe that God has revealed something about himself to us. That’s why, for example, we can assert even in the face of tragedy, evil, and suffering that God is good. But, as Craig points out, it shouldn’t surprise Tyson or anyone else—based on logic alone—that we are unable to say why God permits something to happen. We believers aren’t being irrational; we’re merely recognizing the limits of our finite minds.

Craig says:

When something good happens, the theist doesn’t, I think, necessarily say, “I know that God did it for this reason.” How do you know what reason he did it for? The reason might not emerge until hundreds of years from now through the reverberation this event sends through human history. We can be thankful for the good things that happen, but I don’t think any informed theist would be so presumptuous to think that we know all of the reasons for which God permits things to happen whether good or bad because these are simply beyond our scope of knowledge as finite creatures limited in time and space and in intelligence and insight…

So I would simply say that in going through life we don’t have the ability to make any kind of guesses about why things happen in the world. We are just not in a position to make those kind of judgments. Rather, our responsibility, I think, as the book of Job emphasizes, is to trust God and live faithfully for him through the circumstances that we go through. Maybe some day in heaven looking back we’ll see the reasons why good and bad things occurred, but while we are here in the midst of life, that knowledge is simply not within our grasp.


Billy Graham on Vinyl, Part 9: “The Cure for Loneliness”

January 20, 2015

graham_friend01

In honor of Billy Graham, a hero of mine, I’m digitizing some of his sermons from long out-of-print records and making them available as MP3s. This sermon is found on an LP called Jesus, My Friend Unfailing from 1986 (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, JMA0986).

In today’s sermon, from a Crusade in Washington, D.C., in May 1986, Rev. Graham preaches about loneliness, whose root cause is sin.

We are born in sin, the Bible says… The seed of sin started at the moment of conception. And it goes on and on and on and on, until, tonight, in the sight of God, you are a sinner. And the word “sin” means lawbreaker. You’ve broken the laws of God. And if you’ve broken the laws of God, you are under the sentence of eternal death. All that’s implied in the word eternal death—all that’s implied in judgment, all that’s implied in hell—is yours. Unless, of course, you repent of you sin and turn to the cross, where you can find wonderful forgiveness. Because, you see, God is a God of love, a God of mercy. He loves you. He has the hairs of your head numbered. He knows all about you. And he wants to come into your and take away that loneliness. And he wants to come into your life and give you new hope and new assurance, no matter what your condition is!

graham_friend03

From the back cover of Jesus, My Friend Unfailing.

He says that Christ, in his atoning death, experienced loneliness more severely than anyone.

Even at the end the scripture says all the disciples forsook him and fled. The crowd who on one day were shouting “hosannas” and throwing palm leaves down deserted him, and began to yell, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” What loneliness he must have felt! Then they hung him on a cross, and his blood was flowing, and they taunted him, “Come down, come down, you’ve saved others. Save yourself!” And they said that, 72 thousand angels in heaven pulled their swords ready to go rescue him, and he said, “No! I love them. I’m dying for those people in 1986 in Washington, D.C. I’m dying for those people in generations unborn. I’ll stay here and bear their sins. I know they’ve committed every type of sin. I know they’ve broken the laws of God. But I’m going to bear their penalty and their punishment and take it upon myself. And the loneliness of that moment when he said, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”—no theologian quite understands what happened there. But in that moment God took your sins and mine and laid them on Christ. And he became guilty of our sins. The loneliness of it all! For you… and for me! And how anyone can reject the Savior I do not know. Christ hanging on the cross experienced the ultimate loneliness.

We also experience a kind of loneliness when we decide to place our in Christ.

And then, eighthly, there’s the loneliness of your decision. You cannot depend upon parents or friends. You must make this decision for Christ yourself. And that decision means this: that you repent of sin. And what does that mean? You say, “God, I have sinned.” Will you say that tonight? Sure you will! You know you have. Then the next part of repentance is, I’m willing to turn from my sins. The word “repentance” means change your mind. Turn. I’m going in one direction in my life… I’m willing, Lord, if you’ll help me—I can’t do it alone—but I’m willing to turn and change directions. And any attempt to deal with sin apart from that will not work.

graham_friend02

Graham’s words about “punk-rock kids in England” received well-deserved applause:

There was an article in the press about punk-rock kids in England. And this lady that was writing the article says, “They’re a generation of alienated young who are going nowhere and looking forward to nothing.” I don’t know. I’d say that they’re young people for whom Christ died, and he loves the punk-rock kids, and died for them, and he would receive them and love them.

To listen to the sermon, click the play button above or right-click here to download as a separate mp3 file.

Click here for Part 1.

Click here for Part 2.

Click here for Part 3.

Click here for Part 4.

Click here for Part 5.

Click here for Part 6.

Click here for Part 7.

Click here for Part 8.


United Methodist worship in Kenya

January 18, 2015

I was talking about the words, “hallowed be thy name,” in today’s sermon—the second part of my series on the Lord’s Prayer. Since the focus of the sermon was worship, I showed the following movie in the service at 9:00, although technical difficulties prevented us from showing it at 11:00. It’s a worship service I was part of in Nakuru, Kenya, in September 2012.

As I said in my sermon,

I’m about a thousand times wealthier than my fellow pastors in Kenya, but, brothers and sisters, I realized that I was poor in comparison to them! And I felt my spiritual poverty most acutely when I worshiped and prayed alongside them! Honestly, I felt like a fraud! My praise was play-acting in comparison to theirs.


Sermon 01-11-15: “Basic Training, Part 1: Basis for Prayer”

January 16, 2015
Basic Training Series

Our new six-part sermon series on the Lord’s Prayer.

Our scripture begins with Jesus’ warning against praying like the “pagans,” by which he means praying as if God rewards good behavior. Instead, if God is truly “our Father,” and we’re adopted into God’s family through faith in Christ, then the basis for prayer and our relationship with God is one of pure grace. This sermon explores what it means to call God our Father.

Sermon Text: Matthew 6:6-15

The following is my original sermon manuscript.

A year ago, a high-profile former pastor and seminary professor out in California named Ryan Bell made headlines by announcing publicly that he was going to take a “year off” from being a Christian and live his life as if there were no God. He said, “I will not pray, read the Bible for inspiration… I will… live life for a year as an atheist”—after which he’ll decide whether or not to become an atheist or remain a Christian. Of course, from my perspective, you can’t conduct that kind of “experiment” and still be a Christian a Christian in the first place, so I believe that Bell’s mind was already made up.

ryan_bell

Why would a Christian even need to take a year off to know what it’s like to live without God?

Still, my question is, Why would this guy need to conduct an experiment to know what it’s like to live without God? I certainly wouldn’t! I mean, I’ve known days without God. Maybe weeks. I’ve gone through stretches of time when I’ve lived as if I were practically an atheist—even as I was going through the motions of church and Christian faith. Fortunately, when I’ve wandered off, God has always gotten hold of me and brought me back safely into the fold.

But my point is this: during those times in my life when I’ve lived as if I were practically an atheist, I believed I was mostly hurting myself. I was robbing myself of happiness, joy, peace, and contentment. I never considered what my “practical atheism” was doing to other people until I heard Christian philosopher William Lane Craig speak about this ex-pastor’s publicity stunt. He said, “What about all these people that God would have had him pray for during that year?” Read the rest of this entry »


The Lord’s Prayer and the “deadly peril of familiarity”

January 16, 2015

kellerPastor and author Tim Keller reminds us how easy it is to take for granted the greatest single resource for spirituality that we possess! His train analogy fits perfectly, as anyone who’s spent time at Hampton United Methodist Church (which sits a few dozen yards from the train tracks) can attest. I remember being startled when it passed by on my first Sunday at the church. It feels like an earthquake. Now I don’t notice it.

Imagine you are, for the first time, visiting someone who has a home or an apartment near train tracks. You are sitting there in conversation, when suddenly the train comes roaring by, just a few feet from where you are sitting, and you jump to your feet in alarm. “What’s that?” you cry. Your friend, the resident of the house, responds, “What was what?” You answer, “That sound! I thought something was coming through the wall.” “Oh, that,” she says. “That’s just the train. You know, I guess I’ve gotten so used to it that I don’t even notice it anymore.” With wide eyes you say, “I don’t see how that is possible.” But it is.

It is the same with the Lord’s Prayer. The whole world is starving for spiritual experience, and Jesus gives us the means to it in a few words. Jesus is saying, as it were, “Wouldn’t you like to be able to come face-to-face with the Father and king of the universe every day, to pour out your heart to him, and to sense him listening to and loving you?” We say, of course, yes.

Jesus responds, “It’s all in the Lord’s Prayer,” and we say, “In the what?” It’s so familiar we can no longer hear it. Yet everything we need is within it. How do we overcome the deadly peril of familiarity?[†]

Timothy Keller, Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God (New York: Dutton, 2014), 109.


Christians are “dead to sin,” and, no, it isn’t wishful thinking!

January 15, 2015

Roman Road series

If you’ve ever invested time in watching a soap opera, then you know that virtually nothing happens from day to day. You can watch an episode, take a couple of months off and watch another episode, and it’s, like, two days later on the show. The plot has advanced very little in your absence.

My Romans Bible study on Wednesday night seems like that! We’ve been at it for fourteen weeks now, and we’ve only gotten through the middle of chapter 6. Not that I’m complaining. I’ve certainly learned a lot, and I believe my students have as well.

Even last night, when we covered Romans 6:1-14, I learned something new, and I’m excited to share it with you.

In 6:1 Paul asks a question that Jewish opponents to the gospel had undoubtedly asked him as he debated them in synagogues around the Mediterranean: “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?” This question follows on the heels of Paul’s words in 5:20: “Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.”

It’s easy to see, therefore, the devilish logic in Paul’s question in verse 1: Grace is good. More grace is better. Since the consequence of Christ’s atoning sacrifice is that sin, abundant though it was and is, has been overwhelmed by an even more abundant amount of grace, let there be even more grace by first letting there be more sin.

In verses 2 and following, Paul explains why this logic doesn’t hold: We believers are now “dead to sin”: “We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin” (Romans 6:6).

I’ll be honest: I have at times read these words with skepticism—almost as if it were wishful thinking on Paul’s part. “Yeah, right! We’re dead to sin! Our old sinful self was crucified with Christ! Maybe on the other side of eternity that will be true, but not in the here and now. In the here and now, my struggle with sin bears witness to the fact that sin is alive and well in my life!”

Or I imagined that Paul were saying that we ought to be dead to sin—if we really, truly understood what Christ has done for us. I didn’t doubt that Paul was dead to sin, but I was sure that wasn’t. Therefore, the fact that I’m obviously not dead to sin means that I’m a failure, and our enemy, the devil, takes yet another opportunity to make me feel guilty.

Or, finally, I’ve read these words as if our “death to sin” were a gradual process, which takes place only as we’ve been sanctified and perfected in love (as our Wesleyan tradition emphasizes). This death takes place, but only over time as we try really hard to make it a reality. (Please note that this is the point at which our Calvinist brethren accuse us Wesleyan Arminians of being “semi-Pelagian.”)

While it’s true that we ought to sin less and less over time—indeed, to become holier—Paul is not saying anything here about holiness. Nor is he saying anything about the extent to which believers continue to fall victim to sin—except it’s clear from Paul’s words here that they do, otherwise why bother raising the issue in the first place? Clearly, Christians continue to face temptation and continue to sin.

No, Paul says, in spite of whether or to what extent we’ve been sanctified, we are still, at this present moment, “dead to sin.” This is, Paul says, an objective fact that is true of all Christian believers.

Why? Because of what Christ has done for us! “For the death [Christ] died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God” (Romans 6:10). In other words, we are dead to sin not because of anything we’ve done, or do, but because of what Christ did, “once for all” (all includes all humanity) on the cross!

Christ, please remember, represents us—sinful human beings though we are—throughout his life, death, and resurrection. He substitutes for us. I often say the following—and even though it’s a cliché, I love it because it’s true—”Jesus lived the life we were unable to live and died the death we deserved to die.”

But Christ doesn’t merely die on the cross for our sins (although that’s saying quite a lot), he dies to our sins. Since we die with him, as represented by our baptism (as Paul says in Romans 6:4), we also die to sin. His death to sin has become our death to sin. And this is true, regardless of the fact that we remain sinners.

What does that mean for our present sinfulness? As N.T. Wright says in his For Everyone commentary, Paul wants us to view our baptism the way we view Israel crossing the Red Sea. We are now set free from our slavery to sin on the other side of baptism, just as Israel was set free from slavery to Pharaoh on the other side of the Red Sea. We’re in a new world now. We haven’t yet arrived in the Promised Land (which happens in our future resurrection), but we’re on our way. When we believers sin today, it’s almost as if we’re the Israelites in the wilderness, grumbling to Moses about how good life was back in Egypt.

Sin is something that belongs back in the old world. It no longer fits who we are today.

Wright gives an illustration to help us make sense of Paul’s words, which I would quote directly if I had the his book with me. He asks us to imagine living on the property of a bad landlord, who mistreats his tenants, extorting rent from them, making outrageous demands, and failing to live up to his end of the lease agreement. Later, we find a new place to live under a good landlord who settles our debts with the previous landlord. We have a new lease. Our old lease is null and void.

Suppose, however, after moving into our new place, the old landlord comes back. He barges in and starts ordering us around again. Old habits die hard, of course. We might still obey him, even though we don’t have to. But we have piece of paper—a contract with a new landlord—that proves that the old landlord has no authority over us whatsoever.

Instead, we should ask him to leave—and call the cops if he doesn’t!

Being dead to sin, therefore, is like this new lease. It doesn’t necessarily change our behavior right away. But it’s objectively real. And with practice—availing ourselves of the means of grace, submitting to the life-changing work of the Holy Spirit—our behavior will change.

I find Paul’s words deeply reassuring. I hope you do, too.


To call God “Father” is to become God’s apprentice children

January 13, 2015

tom-wright

In Sunday’s sermon, the first in my new series on the Lord’s Prayer, I talked at length about what it means to call God “Our Father.” One point in my sermon outline that, in the interest of time, didn’t make it to my final sermon manuscript was the reason we say our Father and not my Father: Jesus directs us away from ourselves and our own needs and interests and toward others. To say “Our Father” means that Jesus isn’t giving us access to a private kind of spirituality. It means that God wants to be Father to others who don’t yet know him as their Father. In other words, to say “Our Father” rather than “My Father” reminds us of our mission.

In his book on the Lord’s Prayer, N.T. Wright makes the same point but in a different way. In Jesus’ culture, a father apprenticed his son in a trade, just as Joseph undoubtedly apprenticed Jesus in carpentry.

[The son] learns his trade by watching what the father is doing. When he runs into a problem, he checks back to see how his father tackles it. That’s what Jesus is doing in Gethsemane, when everything suddenly goes dark on him. Father, is this the way? Is this really the right path? Do I really have to drink this cup? The letter to the Hebrews says, with considerable daring, that the Son ‘learned obedience by what he suffered’ (Hebrews 5.7-9; compare 2.10-18). What we see in Gethsemane is the apprentice son, checking back one more time to see how the Father is doing it.[1]

Consequently, in inviting us to share in his relationship with his Father, Jesus is inviting us to share in his mission.

We, too, need to learn what it means to call God ‘Father’, and we mustn’t be surprised when we find ourselves startled by what it means. The one thing you can be sure of with God is that you can’t predict what he’s going to do next. That’s why calling God ‘Father’ is the great act of faith, of holy boldness, of risk. Saying ‘our father’ isn’t just the boldness, the sheer cheek, of walking into the presence of the living and almighty God and saying ‘Hi, Dad.’ It is the boldness, the sheer total risk, of saying quietly ‘Please may I, too, be considered an apprentice son.’ It means signing on for the Kingdom of God.[2]

1. N.T. Wright, The Lord and His Prayer (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1996), 18.

2. Ibid., 19-20.


Sermon 01-04-15: “He Will Make Straight Your Paths”

January 9, 2015

jet_pack01

Today’s scripture is relevant for today because it speaks of acquiring things like health, prosperity, money, relationships, love—areas of our lives that we often resolve to improve every new year. More than anything, today’s scripture promises us God’s peace—shalom—if only we can live it out. This sermon focuses on three things necessary to realize this promise: priorities, practice, and persistence.

Sermon Text: Proverbs 3:1-12

The following is my original sermon manuscript.

I’m so glad that 2015 is here. Because it means, of course, that the future depicted in Back to the Future II will be arriving before the end of the year. Which means flying cars, skateboards that hover above the ground, and the nineteenth sequel to the movie Jaws. As someone said on Twitter, that doesn’t give filmmakers much time to make Jaws 5 through 18, but still… flying cars and hover boards. I’m all over that!

What I can’t get over is that back in 1964, at the 1964 World’s Fair, there was a guy flying around in a rocket pack, and here we are—50 years later—and still we don’t have one. Now I get that the one back in ’64 was far too dangerous for the average consumer, but they could have kept innovating, right? By now we should all have one! I want my rocket pack! Or my flying car! Or my hover-board!

back_to_the_future01

The truth is, we are always looking for faster, easier ways to enable us to travel from Point A to Point B. We’re always looking for shortcuts, and if technology can help us out with that, we’re all for it. This is that time of year, after all, when we make our New Year’s resolutions, when gym memberships and gym attendance skyrockets, and we become very optimistic about finally getting in shape. The gym I go to has recently invested in all kinds of new equipment, which supposedly makes it easier to get in shape. But regardless of all the equipment, I’ll bet that come March or April, gym attendance will drop back down to pre-New Year’s levels. Read the rest of this entry »


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