Wednesday, April 11, 2012

"I'm Not Doing Bond." -- Hugh Jackman

Hello again! Thanks for "dropping" by! BUAHAHAHA!!! I'm so funny! See, I posted the waterfall pic, see... and then I, like, said "dropping" with quote marks around it, sort of like dropping over the edge and plummeting to your horrific doom! And that's so funny, right? Because it happened to you and not me, right? Right?

OK, fine, it wasn't funny. I'd say I'll try harder next time, but I'm afraid that's the best I got...

That is a remarkable picture, however. A small part of the gold I've mined over at All That Is Interesting. You really need to bookmark that site and stop by every third day or so. Always great photos there. Trust me.

You do trust me, don't you? I mean, look at this face...

 Who couldn't trust that face?

OK, fine, that's not me, it's Yao Ming, the Chinese basketball star and walking internet meme... but close enough, right?

OK, so I'm in the middle of the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge, and I'm in what could be considered "the famine years", as far as content. Some letters I have a buttload of content for... others... not so much. See here we are at "J-Day", after a meager "I Day", and it isn't looking too good for "K Day" either... but if you could tighten your belts and be patient, "L Day" and "M Day" will bury you in good stuff... remember, weeping endures for the night, but joy cometh in the morning...

Yeah, I get all Biblical like that sometimes. And tonight is one of those times. I'm going to risk alienating the heathens in my fanbase by going with the totally unoriginal, yet totally important (to me) "J Day" stand-by and talk about Jesus... yes, I bet fully 1/3 of the entire A-to-Z Challenge blog list will be talking about Jesus for "J Day", and I do strive to be original as much as possible (keeping in mind the title of the previous blog post, lol), but in this case, I want to go with the crowd... but I'll try to put a Wagner spin on it...

First, the riff raff...

Favorite Performances (J):

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine: I'd say for the first two X-Men movies... the third one didn't do much for me, and I didn't watch the Wolverine stand-alone film from a few years back (my general rule is, if I can't get through a movie's trailer without stomach pains, I won't watch the movie itself). Wolverine is just a flat-out kick-butt raging animal... it must have been a great role to play, from an actor's perspective, since, obviously, you can't just rage on someone "in real life" and get away with it. Ah, the magic of movie making, eh!? Yeah, like I'd know, lol... well, who knows what the future holds. I just hope that if I ever grow my hair out, it looks as cool as Hugh's does in that pic there, lol. Then maybe my wife will love me again.

[Honorable Mentions: Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction]

Favorite Movie Characters (J):

Joe Jr. (Michael Rispoli) in While You Were Sleeping (1995): OK, I'll admit, if I had more content for "J Day", this would likely count as an honorable mention rather than featured prominently here, as though it were on par with Captain Jack, the Joker, Bill the Butcher or Captain Quint.... but still, I got a big kick out of this bit part... honestly, think what you will of me, but this movie is great. Very fun, warm, sappy, and most of all, very funny. Joe Jr. is a fairly stereotypical Jersey goomba type, and plays the neighbor of Sandra Bullock's character, in sort of a charming, harmless stalker-type capacity. Oh, heck, just see the movie. Yes, it's a chick flick - one of only two that I will freely admit to enjoying (along with Notting Hill), and it has tons of great minor characters and lots of memorable lines/moments.

So, yeah. Joe Jr. In fact, just GO HERE, skip to the 5:15 mark and watch him in action. Then, what the heck, just watch the whole movie, since, for some reason, the whole movie is on YouTube. Yeah, like you've got nothing to do for the next hour and 40 minutes, right?

[Honorable Mention: King Julian from Madagascar]

OK, now that that's out of the way, I'm going to segue into Jesus, and come at Him from a literary angle...

Favorite Uhh... Favorite Saviors? (J):

Jesus: OK, so I could wax long-winded about all the many facets of Jesus as presented in the Bible, from Gentle Shepherd to Man of War and everything in between, but I wanted to bring up a question that I've been pondering lately, and it applies to Jesus as well as to the Father...

If you were to undertake to read the Bible straight through, like a novel, and then write a book review of it, like it was a traditional novel, how would you describe the story? Not just the tract-friendly summary of the Gospels (the "4 Steps", etc.), but the whole book, Genesis to Revelation. Could you pull out the main storyline? The main characters? If the Father and the Son are the main characters, do you see character arcs for both of them? Do either of them develop, as far as who they are? Or are they the same at the end of Revelation as they were in the beginning of Genesis? It is said of Jesus that He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8)... yet it also said Jesus learned obedience through the things He suffered (Hebrews 5:8) - meaning he learned... matured? Developed? Changed?

Or is it impossible to view the Book as a whole, single, seamless story? Does it need to be looked at like a group of short stories, with many different characters, all set in the same story world? If you were to write a traditional book review of the Bible, how would you go about it?

Personally, I find the Bible to have a lot in common with Fantasy novels - and is likely the original inspiration for such tales. A world in peril, a dark lord, a savior from humble beginnings, foretold in prophecy, able to use special talents and abilities, sent on an impossible journey to save the world and it's occupants from unimaginable horror and destruction, ushering in an era of peace, destroying the evil, becoming King, sacrificing himself for the good of the world, holding to principles of righteousness in the face of strong adversity and scheming from those that should know better, betrayals, apparent defeats, glorious victory... I see similarities everywhere...

I'm certainly not saying the Bible is a fairy tale or a fantasy, I just think that perhaps it's in our blood, as human beings, to connect with tales that touch on what we know instinctively (even if it is subconscious). Good vs Evil. Jesus has so many fascinating facets and characteristics... still, I wonder how much of my picture of Him is actually found in the Book and how much is my own contribution, based on what I hope is true of Him. I suuuure want Him to be a merciful King when it comes to me and my nonsense... but I'd like Him to be ruthless when it comes to dealing with sin, either in me or "out there" in the tainted world.

OK, I have other places I could take this, but I'm sure most (if not all of you) have skimmed the last few paragraphs already, and the one or two that might have made it this far have better things to do with your time, I'm sure. Still, I'd be curious about your thoughts on the matter, one way or the other.


So, there it is. "J Day" is done. A light "K Day" tomorrow, followed by the open floodgates of L Day and M Day...

I'm off to read a bit before bed. Adios for now.

Dave the Jejune


logankstewart said...

Challenge accepted!

Summarizing the bible like a novel is pretty simple. Man once had communion with God, but through his disobedience, Man was forced out of paradise. But Man cannot sin against God without repercussions, and the affects of Man's first sin are devastating. Not only is the immortal man now changed into something mortal, but the entire world itself is cursed, tainted by the rebellion. But the story does not end there. God, for some reason, truly loves Man and His creation, and He establishes a way for Man to be redeemed from his sin and return again to communion with God. The story of the bible is the story of Man's redemption, with the majority of the arc showing that we are incapable of it on our own. At the crucial point, after thousands of years of rebellion and failures, the Messiah, the long awaited and prophesied Savior, finally appears with a message of redemption. The climax is brutal, ugly, and horrific, and it seems that Man has utterly lost the chance to return. But this Messiah, the Christ, has one last action left in Him, one that will completely change the world.

I'd go something like that. To me, the entire bible culminates at the cross and the empty tomb. Everything in the OT points to it, where every action can somehow be related to Jesus and His life. Everything after it reflects back to the events, as that is where victory was won.

As a side note, and continuing with your fantasy observations, is Jesus' resurrection the very definition of a Deus ex machina? I suppose in its true sense, no, as He had been prophesied and hinted at continually throughout the OT and His coming was expected. But then at face value, it sure could read like it.

Great post, Dave. Always thought-provoking.

Rory L. Aronsky said...

That is a remarkable picture, however. A small part of the gold I've mined over at All That Is Interesting. You really need to bookmark that site and stop by every third day or so. Always great photos there. Trust me.

Incredible! I'm definitely bookmarking this!

Rug Chick said...

I thought for sure J-Day would be JOHN DAY! =)

J, K, L, M .... John, Kate, Lisa, Marla.... coincidence? I think not!

Great post bro!

Mike said...

Great post Dave! I like Logan's summary answer to your question, but the 'story of the Bible' could be shortened even more by saying 'It is the story of God saving mankind.'

Just think. If Adam and Eve had not sinned, and necessitated a salvation in the first place, there would never have been any need for the Bible to be written. God would always have 'walked with us in the Garden' and all the history we might like to know would have been shared directly, either by God Himself, or by the people (eternally living) who had been there!

David Wagner said...

Logan: Pretty good summary, I think... however, it seems like it should go back even further, as far as why God even wanted to create the earth and mankind to begin with, and why He let sin infect it... I mean, what is He after, exactly? It definitely must be more than just purposely created an unprepared race so they could fail, just so He could save them... that alone doesn't really make much sense... what's He up to?

Rory: Glad you like that site. Great pictures over there.

Lisa: I guess I'll go back and edit that in... thanks for the idea...

Mike: Do you think it was even remotely possible for Adam and Eve to have avoided sin? Seems to me like it was a given, and all part of God's Big Picture Plan... but I guess that's grist for another discussion. Thanks for stopping by... tried to backtrack to your blog to return the favor, but hit a dead-end... do you have one?

Mike said...

I don't think I would impugn God's character (is that really how that's spelled?) that way, by suggesting he essentially forced A & E to sin. Personally, I know the nature of making a choice. Yes, it is way too easy to make the bad choice of disobedience, but the right choice is always possible.

And this NT verse makes it clear:

No temptation[a] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[b] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[c] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

And in James we are told that:

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;

No. I can't see how God forced sin into the world so He could implement an unnecessary scheme of salvation.

Yes, I have two blogs, one of which you visited I think.


David Wagner said...

Mike: I certainly wasn't trying to impugn God's honor. I'm just saying it's hard for me to believe He would create A&E without defense against sin and drop them into a paradise with a tempter, and then be surprised when they sin. It makes more sense to me that A&E falling into sin was part of His grand plan... perhaps the "mystery of gospel" (Christ in you, the hope of glory Col 1:27) could not have come about any other way. Maybe He needed a sin-tainted, cut-off environment to provide the right "ground" for the seed to take root (so to speak). I'm sure if He could have created us "one in Christ" from the get go, He would have. There must be a pretty strong reason He took mankind on this painful detour to begin with.

Anyway, thanks for the blog links, I'll drop back in soon.


Mike said...

Dave, I never meant to suggest that you were impugning. It is just the idea, in a sense, that does, however.

Perhaps our sinning was a 50/50 proposition, but there could never be a true love relationship between God and man if we were not 'free' to reject Him. I think that idea is enough to explain the whole deal.

Nice 'meeting' you! Mike