Posts Tagged ‘parousia’

The myth of progress and Christianity

September 22, 2010

Creepy animatronic dad, who looks frighteningly like Saturday Night Live's Will Forte, talks about how great life is in the 1940s. Never mind the Nazis, I guess.

In my sermon this past Sunday, I cast grave doubt on the idea that our world was becoming a better place. To be sure, science and technology advance, new political and economic solutions are implemented, and some people in in the world experience gains in their standards of living and life expectancy, but it’s not clear at all that we—as a species—are making “progress.” The success of the Enlightenment project over the past three centuries, with its emphasis on reason and science, is at best a mixed bag.

This may not be news to anyone, but it does go against the propaganda that we learned in school and was fed to us through popular culture. As I pointed out in my sermon, the implicit promise of Disney World’s “Carousel of Progress” never came to pass. Our world continues to be mired in sin and evil. Everything else may change, but humanity’s capacity for and inclination toward evil hasn’t.

Does this mean that Christianity failed—or the gospel of Jesus Christ failed? Read the rest of this entry »

“It’s the end of the world as we know it”

November 25, 2009

Do we feel fine? Since this Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent, we (along with most of the Church Universal) will be examining that topic as we look at Luke 21:25-36. Since it’s my favorite R.E.M. song, and the best “list song” this side of Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” now is a good time to link to a nice live version. I don’t know what the end of the world has to do with Leonard Bernstein, Lenny Bruce, Lester Bangs, or Leonid Brezhnev, but who cares? What a great song!

Seriously, how do pop-culture images of the end of the world (here’s one recent and popular example) compare and contrast with our Christian hope? The Bible, after all, doesn’t teach simply the end of the world, but the end of the world as we know it. That distinction means everything.

"Ryan started the fire!"Finally, wanna know what the worst “list song” ever is? Well, here’s a very funny parody of it for you “Office” fans out there.