The writer of Ecclesiastes once said, “There is nothing new under the sun.” Such a statement has never been truer than in the case of movies. As we endure the endless onslaught of prequels, sequels, remakes, etc, we strongly suspect that our age is derivative and has nothing new to say. It appears as if our time has lost the ability to create stories and has the talent only for taking the stories of and adding CGI, explosions, and tedious dialogue by performers who are easy on the eyes. Though there is truth to such an excoriating critique, it deserves noting that these movies also function as our culture’s mythology. What stories we keep retelling and how we choose to retell them provide glimpses into what we as a culture find most meaningful and valuable.
To a Roman man, the exemplum of fatherhood was Aeneas. One image in particular summed up the expectation and burden Roman men felt. The image of Aeneas fleeing the burning city of Troy on his was to Italy gets repeated throughout the ancient world in sculpture, painting and coins. Every instance contains the same 3 elements.
- Aeneas is carrying Anchises, his aged and crippled father, on his shoulders.
- Aeneas is carrying the household gods.
- Aeneas is leading his son Ascanius by the hand.
(Note: In order to make sure Aeneas has enough hands, sometimes Anchises is shown either holding the household gods himself or clinging to Aeneas’ back piggy-back style.)
Though the story of Aeneas contains things easy to find fault with (ie. where is Aeneas’ wife…answer: he lost her on the way out of Troy…Sorry, not enough hands for her to hold). This image does offer a window into how manhood and fatherhood were conceived of in Ancient Rome….and perhaps a little wisdom for a world losing its way.
I smell a rat. As basketball season winds down, and baseball enters the dog days of summer, the hearts and minds of people everywhere turn to tailgating and the return of football. As I joined in longing for the rhythmic return of the autumnal member of the Holy Trinity of American Sports, I came across an article arguing that Tim Tebow has probably played his last down in the NFL.
Here are my thoughts on why I believe Tim Tebow is being blackballed.
I am a follower of Jesus. I think you should be one too and would love to talk with you about it, but if you don’t want to talk about it, I still hope we can maintain our friendship.
I have grown up around the world, lived in a variety of places with a wide range of people from a whole host of backgrounds. In all that time, I have learned how to understand and be understanding, how to love and share with people who see things different than me.
The reason I begin this way is because I want to give my view on a difficult issue of current cultural importance. From the title of this blog, you know my topic. I do not intend to answer all objections to traditional Christian views of sexuality. I simply want to deal with one: it has been said that Jesus does not mention homosexuality or gay marriage anywhere. Such a statement is misleading. For though Jesus never says the words “homosexuality” or “gay marriage,” he does give his definition of marriage.