The Irresistible Allure of Idolatry

Blogging The Institutes

Excerpts taken from The Institutes of the Christian Religion (1541 Edition) by John Calvin

Translated by Robert White

Chapter 1: The Knowledge of God

Post #3

The Lord has instilled in everyone some understanding of his majesty, so that all, having learned that there is one God and that he is their Creator, should be condemned by their own testimony because they have failed to honour him and to devote their lives to doing his will.

Just as birds, by instinct, build elaborate nests and even the smallest ants, by nature, construct labyrinthine underground cities, man has an innate understanding that there is a creator who is worthy of all honor and praise. However, unlike the animals, who do just as God has created them to do, the human race, made in the very image and likeness of God, does not give God the glory He is due. How this apparent contradiction exists will be discussed in detail later on in Calvin’s works. For now, it is important to understand that all people know God exists and the conscience is a constant reminder we owe him our whole-hearted allegiance. The problem is we suppress the truth by our unrighteousness (Rom 1:18). Calvin explains the most fundamental way man does this: Continue reading

Crowded – But spaced Out

Following closely on the heels of my post on Solitude, I offer this observation of our high tech society.

We live in a narcissistic world. Our tech gadgets, which have become increasingly portable, allow us to enter into our fantasy worlds no matter where in the world we might be. ‘Me time’ is experienced now anytime, anywhere and anyhow.

Sitting in an airport terminal, waiting on a delayed flight to resume? No problem, simply check the latest news and sports scores on your cell phone.

Waiting in a long line at the grocery store? Just whip out your MP3 player and tap your toes to your favorite tunes.

Bored with the Sunday sermon? Just crank up a favorite movie on your iPod and drift away.

Family get together at Grandmas? Forget about it! You have an appointment to take down the dragon’s lair with all your online buddies in a riveting massively multiplayer online RPG.

Itching to evangelize? No need to get your rear out of that chair. Just play on a virtual life simulation online, build a church and preach the gospel.

Notice what’s missing from all these scenarios? Continue reading

Why the World Doesn’t Need Superman

The other night I sat down to watch the latest Superhero movie, Superman Returns. I grew up dazzled by the man of steel’s heroic exploits. The second movie with General Zod and his cronies was my favorite. I generally don’t acknowledge the last two films in the series – for obvious reasons. The people who developed the latest incarnation of the man of steel apparently do not regard them either. Superman Returns takes place after the events of Superman 2, or so I’m informed.

The main thrust of this post is not a review of the film itself but about some concerns I have with its content. Mainly, I’m talking about the ramifications of purposely portraying Superman as a Christ figure. Wikipedia explains the term like this:

A Christ figure is a literary technique that authors use to draw allusions between their characters and the biblical Jesus Christ. More loosely, the Christ Figure is a spiritual or prophetic character who parallels Jesus, or other spiritual or prophetic figures. Continue reading