Salvation


iStock_000011683229SmallIt’s a good thing RTB theologian Kenneth Samples has an end times booklet in the works because the apocalypse is making a big cultural splash at movie theatres. Doomsday is a perennial topic of interest, but it seems to be getting extra attention from Hollywood this year. There are post-human Earth stories (Oblivion and After Earth); Brad Pitt fighting zombies (World War Z), and this week presents a crass comedic take on the rapture.

The raunchy This Is the End isn’t my cup of cinematic tea, but an online description of its plot caught my attention (spoilers ahead). (more…)

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MOS_1920_capeIn case it’s not already on your radar, the highly anticipated reboot Man of Steel releases next week. Most are familiar with who Superman is—understandable considering this cultural icon (and first comic book superhero) has been around for 75 years.

For nonnatives to the comic book world, here’s a quick recap: Young Kal-El is placed in a rocket ship and transported to Earth just before his home planet of Krypton explodes. Taking the name Clark Kent, the child grows to become Superman. With his superpowers, Superman protects the earth and its people.

What might be less familiar to some are the religious analogies drawn from Superman. (more…)

101397504“Without God, life has no purpose, and without purpose, life has no meaning. Without meaning, life has no significance or hope.”
Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

Cemeteries filled with faded tombstones and crumbling mausoleums pepper the city of Edinburgh, Scotland. While exploring some of these burial sites (by daylight), I tried to examine the dates on the stones—but time and weather had rubbed away many of the inscriptions. Even these grave markers, perhaps the only memorials dedicated to the people buried beneath them, could not last forever. This experience led me to ponder the futility of life on Earth. (more…)

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me….” (John 14:6)

If you ask Christians what they are most thankful for out of everything in their lives, you’ll likely find that Christ’s “amazing grace” tops the list. For those willing to accept the offer, Jesus’ sacrificial death paid the way to heaven even though humans do not deserve it and cannot repay it. Salvation by grace is an idea unique to Christianity. In 7 Truths That Changed the World, RTB philosopher/theologian Kenneth Samples writes, “Christianity at its heart is a religion not of self-help but of divine rescue.” (more…)

Next Saturday night (September 29) we’ll have a full moon over Southern California. As the legend goes, a full moon means an increase in lycanthropy—more commonly known as werewolf transformations! Monster-movie fan Sandra finds plenty of theological meat to chew on while watching her favorite creature features (like 1941’s The Wolf Man). She explains, “Werewolves are both human and monster. In a sense, they outwardly represent the inward struggle we all have between our greatness and wretchedness (the imago Dei and our sin nature).” (more…)