Feb 6, 2013
In fairness, I should mention that Himes makes a response to my critique in the same issue of JETS. In a future blog post, I plan to answer his response.
Jun 19, 2012
Mar 20, 2012
Dec 26, 2011
For all those out there who are enamored with Ron Paul and his foreign policy, I ask you to consider some implications of his views. Specifically, I ask you to imagine what would be the case if Ron Paul had been President of the U.S. in 1941 when the U.S. (in actual history) was attacked by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor and subsequently entered into World War II. Think about it: If Ron Paul had been President in 1941. . .
- China would probably still be under Imperial Japanese occupation.
- The Philipines would still be under Imperial Japanese occupation.
- Some of the Aleutian Islands in Alaska would still be under Imperial Japanese occupation.
- Korea, Burma, and most of SE Asia would be under Imperial Japanese occupation.
- Australia would very well have been invaded by Imperial Japan and would still be under its occupation.
- Nazi Germany would still exist and would still be occupying most of continental Europe and problably Russia too and possibly Great Britain.
- Nazi Germany would still occupy most of North Africa and would likely have extended its rule to Palestine and other parts of Arabia.
Ron Paul supporters might object to all this by saying, "Wait a minute! Paul does believe in military responses to agression against the United States. Japan attacked the U.S. Navy at Pearl Harbor. And then the Nazi's declared war on us. So, Paul would not have objected to our participation in World War II." However, this response falters on the fact that if Ron Paul were President in 1941, we would not have had any naval or military bases in Pearl Harbor for the Japanese to attack in the first place! And even if we had military bases in Pearl Harbor, the Japanese would not have attacked us given Paul's non-interventionist policies. They would have gone about their business and invaded the Philipines, Australia, etc., and not had to worry about our naval fleet in Pearl Harbor.
Ron Paul's foreign policy would have been naive and dangerous then (not to mention cruel), and it's naive and dangerous now.
Oct 13, 2011
Jun 29, 2011
Jun 17, 2011
May 9, 2011
What struck me most about the storyline is the almost unmistakable parallel with Philippians 2:5-11. Not a perfect parallel, mind you, but a parallel nonetheless. According the the Apostle Paul, the Second Person of the trinity, Jesus, was fully divine and had every right to "grasp hold" of his divine prerogatives. He was/is the king of all creation. Yet, out of deference to the Father's will and for love of humanity, he did not grasp hold of his divine privileges, but humbled himself and took on human flesh. He bacame a man, and even humbled himself to the point of dying on a cross for the salvation of the human race. As a result, the Father has now highly exalted Jesus to his former status as the divine king, even giving him the "name that is above every name."
Now think about the Thor movie (spoiler alert!). Unlike Christ, Thor (Chris Helmsworth), the thunder "god," is arrogant and egotistical. He thinks his father Odin is foolish and that he can do a better job as king of Asgard. Up to this point, Thor is anything but a parallel to Christ. But to teach him a lesson, Odin banishes Thor to the Earth and "empties" him of his god-like powers. Thor becomes a man. Though unwillingly, Thor experiences, like Christ, a kenosis and an incarnation. He takes on the humble status of a human being. In the course of the film, Thor comes to realize that there are bigger and better things to live for than himself and that he doesn't necessarily have all the wisdom that he thought he did. And when his evil brother Loki sends a giant, flame-throwing robot to earth in search of Thor and which threatens humanity, Thor sacrifices his life (yes, he dies!) to save the human race. In giving his life, Thor even pleads with Loki to take his life instead of the humans' lives. So, in Thor, we interestingly have the motifs of kenosis/incarnation as well as a substitutionary death. Then, of course, follows resurrection and exaltation. In response to Thor's new-found humility, Odin gives Thor back his life and his "divine" status, returning to him his famous hammer, Mjolnir, which allows him to go on to defeat Loki. Not only this, but before he leaves the Earth, Thor promises his human love-interest (Natalie Portman) that he will return to Earth after he defeats Loki. As events would have it, though, the technology that would allow Thor to return are destroyed in the battle and the movie ends with both Thor and his human friends on Earth wondering when (and if) he will make his return--though all are hopeful.
So, ironically, what we have in Thor is the story of a pagan, Norse god, re-telling the Christian story of the incarnate God dying for the fallen human race, rising again to achieve victory over the forces of darkness, and ascending into heaven, from whence we eagerly anticipate his return. It's kinda funny (and actually gratifying) where the gospel turns up these days!