Tag Archive: TV


Marketers and advertisers frustrate me.    They are brilliant in their jobs.  Over and over they convince me to want (and buy) something I never knew I wanted.

We’re consumers.

Or maybe…

We’re being consumed.  We’re consumed by television commericals and newspapers ads.  We’re consumed by a culture that tells us we need and want the next, latest, greatest thing.  We’re consumed by a desire to keep pace in the house/car/toys race with neighbors.

But…

What would it be to be consumed by God?  By a love for God?  By a love for God’s people, our neighbors?

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Saturday evening I found myself watching tv with two individuals who are, at best, remotely Christian.  In fact, one told me earlier in the day that he didn’t want to come to my church the following morning because “people like David [me] are all liars.”  Okay, at least I knew exactly where he stood!  Anyways, that evening the three of us settled into the living room and began watching a show on the History Channel called Decoding the Past.  Specifically, the show explored the various apocalyptic traditions of people/groups such as Merlin and the Mayans.  I would not normally watch this kind of show, but I figured it might be informative and provoke some interesting conversation.

For the first hour and a half, the two persons who joined me in the room were engrossed in the program.  Nodding, commenting, and agreeing with the show’s description of Merlin’s and the Mayan’s apocalyptic views, the two were on the edge of their seats.  Until…..a teaser before a commercial break announced that the next apocalyptic tradition to be discussed would be from “the most quoted, sought-after, and accurate apocalyptic work in history: The Holy Bible.”  Upon the mention of the Bible, the two other individuals vanished.  Gone.  Out of the room.  Suddenly uninterested.

Why?  What is it about people that make them so hostile to any sort of Christian perspective?  Or maybe, what is it about Chrisitanity that creates such hostility?  Why, at the mere mention of anything Christian-related, do some people shrink away?  Of course, I don’t think Merlin or the Mayans got their apocalypse “right,” but I will at least listen.  Why is this “courtesy” not often reciprocated?

Last night Anglican Bishop N.T. Wright made an appearance on Comedy Central’s, The Colbert Report.  For many, Colbert and his “news” show are entertaining and wildly popular.  For me, I’m still undecided on Colbert’s witty, (dis)respectful, (semi)funny interviews and commentary.

To sum up last night: First, Colbert, a Roman Catholic, quipped about not debating “the whole Henry thing,” a reference to King Henry VIII.  The two then discussed Wright’s book, Surprised by Hope.  In the book Wright argues for Christians to revisit their idea of heaven.  Specifically, Wright argues that heaven is just the first phase of life after death.  Later, he states, a new heaven follows the first heaven.  Wright claims that Christians are able to build/participate/prepare/contribute to the new heaven by doing things such as feeding the hungry and serving the poor.  Furthermore, this ‘building’ activity is made possible because of God’s desire to re-create the heavens and earth, a mission God initiated and enacted through Jesus.  Obviously, Wright’s argument has more dimensions and nuances than this, but that is why he wrote the book after all!

One of Colbert’s most interesting lines came in his response to Wright’s urging to revisit our idea of heaven.  Colbert joked, “My idea of heaven is getting a harp, drinking a mint julep and asking Ronald Reagan questions.”  Furthermore, the interview included references to Hilary Clinton, golf, Plato, obesity, and population crowding.

While I enjoy Wright and his work, I’m still unsure of Colbert.  What do you think of Colbert and his treatment of Wright and other things religious?  What about Wright’s claims and beliefs?

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