Is Diversity Good?

A few weeks ago, in our company’s break room I saw a newspaper with a story about company boards needing to hire more diverse staff. To some of us, this might sound good, but it becomes an increasing concern of mine. Why hire diverse staff? Now I’m not saying that right off it’s wrong. The question I am wanting to ask is why should the staff be diverse?

Our society is one that has taken several means and considered them as ends in themselves. We look at pleasure, for instance, and see that as the end in itself. Pleasure is instead meant to point us to what is good in itself. We have so many little ends set up that are merely means. They are such things as sex, money, power, etc.

In the realm of society, we see tolerance and diversity as ends in themselves. Why should we have diversity? Because diversity is a good thing. To what end? For a company board, it’s not necessarily the best. If all of the best applicants that can get the job done right are white men, then let it be white men. If they are black women, then let it be black women. For business, it is the best that should have the position. If I go to a doctor, I want to go to one who got hired because he’s good at what he did. Not one who got hired because they needed a minority on staff. If a minority is the best though, then hire a minority.

Diversity is good for discussion as well. Discussion is to be a search for truth where we all bring forward perspectives and ideas. In order to do that, we need all the ideas we can get. This is one area where religious pluralism fails. Religious pluralism assumes that once we have a diversity of religious views in discussion, then we have reached the goal. The goal of having such discussions though should be to find out which view is true and which is false.

In fact, religious tolerance makes no sense in this regard. You do not tolerate what is good and true. If my roommate decides to bring home pizza for us, his treat, I don’t tell him I tolerate that. I accept it and enjoy it. If, instead, he were to damage one of my books, I would tolerate that. You tolerate things that are not favorable to you and not what is good and true.

As a Christian, I take it as an insult to think my worldview is just as good as anyone else’s. (In truth, I see the position as saying all religions are equal. They’re equally wrong.) Try saying the same thing to a Muslim. Tell him Allah is the same God as the Trinity we Christians worship. See exactly how much your tolerance and understanding is appreciated?

If diversity is treated as the end in itself, then something will be sacrificed. In the case of business, that’s often the good. In the case of ideas though, it is much more serious. The truth is sacrificed at the altar of diversity. For people today, it is better to have a lot of ideas than to have true ideas. No one asks any more hardly about ideas “Are they true?” We get questions instead like “Do they work?” or “Do they make people happy?”

Diversity is a good. No doubt about it. It’s good as a means to something else though and not as an end in itself.

I Love The Jews

I was thinking on writing about something else tonight, but my last customers at work got me to change my mind unknowingly. It was a family talking about a trip. I asked where they were going and they said “To Israel.” I wanted to know why and was told that they lived there. I noticed some disdain when I said that I wanted to go there to to walk where Christ walked so I decided to touch base with the Old Testament then.

Thus, I had a good conversation as I think they were quite pleased that a Gentile knew some of the locations in the Old Testament. I heard them speaking in a language I didn’t know so I wanted to be sure. I was thinking it was Hebrew and sure enough, it was. I said I wanted to learn that language someday to which they taught me a few basic words. I’m hoping I left a good impression that not all Christians are anti-Semites.

Unfortunately, we’ve got that rep before and in some cases, it is justified. There are some things that were said by some of the church fathers and by people like Martin Luther that there is just no defense for. If you call yourself a Christian, you have no place in your worldview for anti-Semitism. Instead, we should have Philo-Semitism.

Why? I don’t believe in showing love to the Jews for eschatological reasons. I believe in it because first off, they are still human beings created in the image of God. They’re people that Jesus died for just like Gentiles are. Christ came to be the savior of the world and that is a world that includes both the Jew and the Greek. His offer is there for all.

Second, I value the Old Testament. Unfortunately, while I do believe strongly in the New Testament, it rests on the Old Testament and many of us are quite ignorant of the Old Testament. We can tend to look at it as an inferior testament. May it never be! Much of our theology and doctrine comes out of the Old Testament! We cannot understand the New Testament as we should also without a thorough knowledge of the Old.

It was the Jews who spent years preserving that Old Testament. It was the Jews that recorded the words of Moses and the prophets and copied them down throughout the centuries. Because Jews held a fierce devotion to these texts, I am able to read the Old Testament today. In fact, Paul says in Romans 3 that this is an advantage. The Jews are the ones through whom the oracles of God came.

Last though, their line was the line that brought me a savior. Let’s always keep this in mind. Christ was and is a Jew. The Messiah of the world was born of Jewish parents in a Jewish world from a Jewish bloodline. He lived in a Jewish culture among Jewish people where he observed Jewish laws. Christ’s whole world was thoroughly Jewish and so was Christ. He fulfilled the law after all!

If we are prone to anti-Semitism, let it be reminded of us that Christ was born a Jew. Now I will say I do not grant the Jews special privileges in soteriology. Being Jewish will not get them bonus points at the pearly gates. They need the Jewish Messiah just as much as anyone else does. Jew and Gentile alike are guilty before God and in need of a savior, Jesus, the Jew from Nazareth.

So my customers left today and I was quite pleased. I had a reminder of the roots of the Old Testament and where my savior came from. We Christians should face up to the fact that many in our history have not been kind to the Jews. It is a sin and we should acknowledge that and show our love for the Jews, for they will know that we are Christians by our love.

Thus, I must simply say that I thank God for the Jews and again for those reasons. They brought me my Old Testament and they were the ones through whom my savior came.

Abortion: Anti-Female

I was talking to a really good friend of mine who’s a good and godly mother of older children. She is also a schoolteacher and was telling me about watching some boys that were, I think eight years old, talking about why it’s better to be a boy. However, a young girl stood up and said though that the girls have an advantage. They can have babies.

This friend told me what was already on my mind. A child already sees the truth of that statement. Today, many women seem to view having babies as a punishment.

Ironically, abortion is one of the most anti-female acts that there is today. If we were to castrate a man, we’d see that as a punishment on him. If we make it so that we destroy the fruit of a lady’s womb, we can see that as her moral right. What has happened?

The fight was for a woman to control her own body. Women have often complained of being seen as simply baby-makers. They’re to supposedly stay home and be barefoot and pregnant. Women should not be seen as just sex objects. If that’s the goal, then I agree, but what is going on with abortion. Why this demand to control sexuality?

Let’s suppose first off someone raises the objection about rape, incest, or the life of the mother. Now I think abortion is still immoral in those cases, though I understand the thinking on those who disagree on the last one. However, I would gladly accept a law that said that all abortions except for in those cases are declared illegal.

The only other reason I can think of then is that a baby is an inconvenience. Well yes. A baby often is. That also doesn’t cease. Getting up at 2 A.M. for feedings I’m sure is an inconvenience. Having to take kids to school is an inconvenience. Having to buy clothes for them is. Having to save up for their college. Having to teach them how to drive. Whatever you want, it can be an inconvenience.

How many parents though would trade away that inconvenience?

Could it be instead though that a baby is an inconvenience to a sex life?

Oh no. Our nation is not obsessed with sex at all! It’s only on public TV and in the movies and in the music and in the magazine rack and in the literature in the bookstores and on the radio and on broadway and in our school system! There’s no obsession though! Sure, we have people living together without marriage increasing and a rising teen pregnancy and a huge problem with STDs and the pornography industry, but there’s no sex obsession in America.

Pregnancy can kind of get in the way of that.

This is one reason I’m against birth control. I have a problem with separating intercourse from its final purpose. I’m not saying it doesn’t have other purposes. I’m all for pleasure and intimacy between a married couple. I’m just saying that it was designed to be the way to produce children. There are many other ways to have pleasure and intimacy also. Sex may be the best, but pleasure and intimacy are not its primary purpose.

Consider though if I am right, and I am sure I am, and giving birth is the most feminine thing a lady can do. If that is the case, then abortion is an attack on womanhood. It’s not pro-women. It’s anti-women. It is not allowing them to do what they were uniquely designed to do. Only a woman can bring a new life into this world.

Now naturally, I also think abortion destroys a human life each time, but at this point, I simply want to point out that this is not something good for women. Others have written of the after-effects of abortion on women and the medical and psychological problems. That’s not my area and not my point. I only want to point out that if a lady truly wants to stand up for women, she can start by standing up for the unborn against abortion.

Accepted As You Are

I was driving home listening to the John MacArthur program today that was actually talking about homosexuality. That has lately been a blog topic here and so I was listening with keen interest. MacArthur’s announcer spoke about churches that are coming to homosexuals and telling them that Jesus Christ accepts them as they are.

I thought about that statement and thought “That’s not worded the best.”

Why? Because that is the honest truth and we shouldn’t hide it! Jesus Christ does accept homosexuals just as they are! He doesn’t ask them to become heterosexuals before they come to him. He asks them to come as they are! The difference is that he does not want to leave them as they are. He will work to bring about change in the homosexual’s life.

Why? Homosexuality is a sin. It’s clearly shown to be such in both testaments and in both testaments, it’s shown to be a moral principle that all people should know innately. It violates the nature of sexuality. This has been shown in other blogs though and I have no desire to repeat it now. I will be glad to defend it if need be though.

Of course, we in the Christian community have to realize other truths. Gluttony is a sin. Sloth is a sin. Lust is a sin. Pride is a sin. Adultery is a sin. Lying is a sin. We have so many other sins. Now I do realize that we are told homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of Heaven. (I take this to mean also, active homosexuals. I think the Christian who struggles with this and remains celibate knowing that homosexual intercourse is a sin is not under the wrath of God.) However, we have a fair number of sins too.

The good news is that the same applies to us. Christ accepts us as we are. However, he also refuses to leave us as we are and we are under the hand of the Potter constantly being reshaped into what we are to be. Unfortunately, many of us are very stubborn to change and we resist it at every opportunity that we get. (I am far more like Monk in this regard than many realize.)

If only we could step back and see the end goal. In the end, we will be a product that will look like Christ. Read Romans 8:29-30 sometime. We will be conformed to his likeness. There’s no might. There’s no “Those who work hard.” There’s no “Hopefully.” We will be conformed. It is presented as if it was a certainty. This is one of those passages that I wish I could grasp the reality of it for some time and really think that “Yeah. One day, I’m going to be like Christ.”

If only we could see that.

Yet I dare say it church. It will not start until we see the beginning truth. If we see we are loved as we are now and that this process of transforming us is an act of love, maybe we’d be more willing. Being sanctified is not so we will be accepted. It’s because we already are.


Today, I walked into our local bookstore and saw in the mystery section finally in paperback, “Mr. Monk in Outer Space.” I love the Monk TV series and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the novels. I honestly didn’t care too much for the last one though of “Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants.” That’s part of what I’m writing about. So far though, this one has my attention and I think I am onto something in it as to who committed the crime.

Maybe you’re a mystery fan also. I’m going to be using Monk as my example, but you can easily fit in whoever you wish. If you’re watching a mystery program on TV, you watch and you’re trying to find out how everything fits together. You’re sure that X committed the crime and maybe you know why. Maybe you don’t know who committed it instead. Maybe you think you’ve got the case nailed. Either way, you love it when the summation happens.

That’s when the scene changes and everything goes into black and white. On Monk, that part begins with the legendary words “Here’s what happened.” Then, the crime is shown again and you see how everything fit together and all of those loose pieces you couldn’t figure out make sense and if you didn’t get it, you sit back and kick yourself and say “I should have known!”

At least, that’s how it should be.

That’s one reason I was disappointed by “Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants.” That one just didn’t piece together. I got to the end and said “That doesn’t make sense. There’s so much left unexplained.” If that happens to us in a mystery, we are disappointed. If there’s a solution to the mystery, it should have explanatory power.

I am amazed that we approach reality the same way. We look at the world and see so many things and think there needs to be an explanation. A naturalist will point to evolution and a Christian will point to the hand of God. We see the empty tomb of Christ and no one says “It’s empty. So what?” Instead, everyone tries to come up with an explanation. As a Christian, I side with “God raised Jesus from the dead.” Our skeptics have their own theories, but everyone tries to explain it.

This is particularly interesting when we get to the Problem of Evil as it’s called. We immediately see evil and think “There has to be an explanation.” Please note that. The only reason one objects is to find an answer. If there is no answer, then we simply end up with nihilism. Everything is meaningless in the end. We complain about evil because we want there to be an answer and deep down, most of us think there is. We don’t believe this is senseless madness.

Why do we approach it that way? Because we believe there is order here. We believe that somehow, everything in this universe is supposed to fit together. Even the evil that we don’t understand is supposed to fit in somehow. This event that seems so foreign to our world will make sense in some way. There must be an explanation.

This is one thing I try to do in my apologetics. I don’t want shallow answers. I want answers that fit and explain things. Too often, we can give minute answers to questions. Now I realize there are times you have to give a basic answer due to time constraints or something of that sort, but there are times that you need to give more and you should give more. Souls are too important to give just simplistic answers to.

Thus, as I go through this mystery book, I think about that. How good is the book? That will depend on how well the explanation coheres together. No matter how many funny scenes there are with Monk in it, the overall grade will be based on the question “Does it make sense?” What about our explanation? Are we looking for an explanation of life that makes sense or not? This is the greatest adventure of all after all, and it has the greatest author of all. Do we not trust him that it will make sense in the end?

My “Spiritual” Life

I prefer the term, Christian Life, better, but I figured some people would understand more if I said spiritual life. Let it be known that I am equating the two. I am thinking about this after talking to a friend of mine this morning who sent me an MP3 of a program Greg Koukl of STR did where he interviewed J.P. Moreland in the last hour on the book “The Lost Virtue of Happiness.” (Definitely one I want to buy now.) For those interested, the date of the podcast was March 26th, 2006. You can become a member at STR for free and listen to it. (And for the record, Greg Koukl is a really great guy and I highly recommend STR resources.)

I was quite comforted by what Koukl and Moreland both said. Moreland spoke of how someone was a great pianist and while this guy was practicing, Moreland was watching TV. Hey! I can relate to that! Koukl spoke of how when he read in Moreland’s book about a survey to measure your spiritual life, he didn’t want to take it because it wouldn’t come out good! I can relate to that!

Moreland also spoke much about his personal struggles and issues throughout his life including a time of deep depression where he was even on anti-depressants. For my readers who want my opinion on the topic, I am in favor of anti-depressants because I do believe there are bodily problems at times that can be affected by our moods and anti-depressants can help correct that. I’ll also say that I’ve been on anti-depressants before.

When you go into ministry, whether you like it or not, for good or for worse, people automatically make judgments about you. Skeptics will assume that you’re someone who’s brain-dead often and buying into this religious nonsense and you’re going because God told you to and you talk to him every day as he’s on your speed-dial.

That’s not too hard to deal with as problematic as it is.

Christian assumptions are worse.

Christians assume you are one who has it all together. You’re so intimate with God that you know the perfect thing to say every time. If you’re an apologist like I am, all your answers are perfect dug out of years of research. You’re always on the up and up. You don’t struggle against the flesh. Your prayer life is rich and vibrant. You open your Bible with joy every day and find hidden pearls every single day. Everything makes sense to you.

Now it might not be the case for all of those, but some of them I suspect get in there at times.

I wish to set the record straight for me.

My prayer life first. Can you really call it that? I’m lucky if I can focus for fifteen minutes. I’ll go in for prayer and in about 2 or 3 minutes think I’ve said all I can. This is why I was thankful for Koukl and Moreland suggesting minute prayers and praying throughout the day maybe when things get stressful, “Lord Jesus, have mercy on me a sinner.”

That I can do! I was doing it today and it does seem to help me focus more. I was pleased to hear two apologists I respect in the faith talking about the difficulties they have with a prayer life. (In fact, Greg Koukl and I have spoken about this before on his program and I was pleased to hear him say he needed to improve his prayer life also.)

Bible study? Not something I can really focus on. It’s like I read the text and think “Where do I go from here?” My ideas from Scripture come mainly from reading the text and knowing it well and just bouncing around ideas in my head and then seeing what someone else says, hearing what a speaker says, reading in a book a comment, and then seeing that idea hit the Scripture in my mind and lo and behold, insight!

For my focus, I could use a lot more! Sometimes, doing the blog each night can be a chore. I have papers to write for school and I can put them off. I have books to read and I can put them off. I have so many things I need to do and I keep putting them off. I come home from work and I’d rather do something enjoyable. On my day off, it’s a day off from work so why spend it working?

I hear people speak about me as if I have a deep love for Jesus. I wish I did at times. I probably do, but oddly enough, I don’t feel like I do or that I’m the shining light for Christ that I should be. Already though, that that has me concerned should indicate that there is a love for Christ. I have to realize every day that love for Christ does not necessarily mean strong emotions.

As for struggles with the flesh, rest assured they are there! I have sins I struggle with and I have more fears than you can shake a stick at. I had a former counselor who I am still on good terms with but lives a few hours away now borrow the premiere episode of “Monk” from me and he came back and said “Oh yes! You’re right! That’s you!”

Yes. Those struggles are there and if you asked me if I was a good Christian, I’d probably say I wasn’t. If you asked me if I was devoted, I’d probably say I wasn’t. This is where it gets odd. I’d probably point to several people and say “Look how they are! I wish I was like that!” I’ve found that those same people look to me and say the exact same thing.

So this is my being honest about it. Maybe if we were all more honest, we could build each other up more and if the world saw an honest church, they’d be more likely to listen to the message.


Thoughts On Independence Day

Seeing as here in America, today is the Fourth of July, I figured I’d write some thoughts on Independence Day.

Well, I thought the special effects were really awesome. The alien spaceships looked so realistic and the laser beam attack was just incredible. Of course, one wonders how everything was rebuilt at the end and we never did get the sequel we wanted. Still, I did enjoy this movie and I was glad that when it came out, that I did go and see it.

Oh wait.

I should probably write about the day and not the movie.

I really think our patriotism isn’t what it should be. I include myself in that. I haven’t really thought much about the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution today. For me, it’s been like another day off. That’s the kind of thing that saddens me. It’s me going through my day and thinking I should be doing more, but never doing more.

For many of us, it’s simply a day off and a chance to shoot fireworks. I can hear several going off outside my apartment, but unfortunately where I am, there are so many trees in the way that I can’t see these wonderous sights. Then part of me kicks in and says “Maybe you should appreciate the trees a bit more.” Maybe I should.

Still, do we really realize what happened? People died so that we could be free today. Blood was shed. Where I am sitting now, maybe within the past 250 years men were shooting at each other simply because they wanted to be free. How many people died in this area? How many revolts took place? What were the people on the street talking about? Was the thought of revolution beating in their hearts?

What stories were being told in the local newspapers? What sermons were being preached in the local churches? What influential people were around at the time that might have been household names then but who we might not know about at all today? How many men my age and maybe even younger signed up for the service because they saw there was a cause they were willing to die for?

Yeah. What about them? How many kissed their new brides good-bye as they went out to fight? How many of them forsook their education simply to stand up for freedom? How many of them never went hunting with friends again? How many mothers were up late at night praying for their sons? How many widows were made during that period?

And why aren’t we thinking about that?

This is something I’ve had to realize in coming to a new town. People were living here and doing things long before I arrived. I stepped into a story that was already in progress, much like being born in some ways. There was a story back there in time also though. That story is being continued today. How are the actions of those men and women affecting my life today? How are my actions going to affect the lives of people tomorrow?

Do I respect the price they pay? Are my future descendants and the future descendants of those around me going to look back on me as one worthy to emulate or one who brought shame? Am I going to leave the world a better place than I found it or am I just simply going to leave the world? We have independence today because some people took action. Am I going to take action?

And what is this freedom? Freedom does not mean I do whatever I want. Freedom is for a purpose. Freedom is so I can be free to be good. I do this by my own free-will. I am not material only and thus bound by laws of nature. I have a soul. Am I going to develop a good soul or a bad soul? That will depend on how I act. Naturally, that will mean trusting in Christ more for a good soul.

After all, Independence Day this year falls on a Friday. It makes me think back to Good Friday. Real independence was won there. The kingdom of the devil was broken into and the Kingdom of God has been taking over. We are here in the already/not yet period. It is growing like a mustard seed did and filling the world. The actions of one man back then, the God-man, gave freedom from the tyranny of sin to all people. We are not slaves of sin. We are slaves of Christ.

May I remember the sacrifice of Christ on Independence Day and not take that for granted as I rest tonight. May I also remember the sacrifice of numerous men and women. It is because of them that I have the place to sleep in tonight freely. It is because of them I worship where I want and I go to school where I want and I live where I want.

And though we don’t often deserve it, may God bless America.

Was Women’s Lib A Good Thing?

I ask my female readers to please read this whole thing through before leaving comments about me being sexist or anything of that sort. I am not advocating the devaluing of women or the idea that women should be barefoot and pregnant. I am simply looking at our culture today with the homosexuality debate and our treatment of men and women and how we view marriage.

I think about this recently with a friend asking me about female athletes for instance. I remember watching several times when I was younger “A League Of Their Own.” I thoroughly enjoyed it. As I ponder now though, I wonder if it was really a good thing. What was trying to be established? What is really to be meant by women’s liberation?

Let’s get some things clear. Women are equal to men in that both bear the image of God. (I do believe we both bear different aspects of that image though.) I do believe biblically that a lady is functionally subordinate to the male, but that that is not meant to be tyranny nor does it say anything about the value of the lady. (After all, the Son is functionally subordinate to the Father.)

If Women’s Lib means that women are to cease being seen as sub-human, I’m for it. If it means they’re no longer inferior, I’m for it. If it means seeing that we’re all equally human, I’m for it. However, if it means that women don’t need men, or that women can do anything that men can do and equally well, or that women are superior to men, then I’m not for it.

If a woman is liberated, she should be liberated to be a woman and live out what the feminine lifestyle really means.

I have this strong belief that men and women are different. When a Harvard President made statements to show this, everyone was in an uproar. How dare he say men can do some things better than women! There is just one question no one seemed to be asking. “Is it true?” I will say there are some things men can do better than women. I will also say there are some things women can do better than men. Instead though, the response to Summers was “We don’t like it, so it’s not true!”

When I see society today though, I think we are increasingly trying to eliminate any distinction between the two. This is seen in the homosexual debate on whether we should allow homosexual marriage or not. I wonder how long it will be before we are pushing the idea of unisex. We are more and more wanting to show men and women are exactly alike. Thankfully, this isn’t the case.

For instance, some of you might think I’m discriminatory, but I only date women. Is it because I hate men? Not at all! I live with one as a roommate and he’s my closest friend in this world. I know though that if the right woman comes along, he’ll be my second closest friend. He knows this also and I would hope the same would be true in reverse.

Sorry, but I just think women are a whole lot more attractive and my head turns definitely when I see a pretty lady pass by at work. I can look up and notice a beautiful lady at the opposite end of where I work and just be stunned for a moment. Again, the reason is that men and women are different and I desire those differences that are in the woman.

Looking back though over what has happened, it seems we’ve lost what it means to be a woman and a large part of this is in the abortion movement. If there is anything in this world that is truly feminine, it’s the bringing forth of new life in the world. Every woman should be honored at the thought of pregnancy in that she gets to be the one to bring into the world a new life.

Today, a new life is a hindrance to a sex life.

Isn’t that odd? Women get sick of being treated like just bodies and so seek to control their bodies through abortion and for what purpose? So that more sex can be had. Isn’t that having themselves treated as just bodies? Maybe it’s not by men, but it’s certainly by themselves. In fact, that’s even worse. If someone misuses you, that’s their problem. If you misuse you, that’s your problem.

It is a shame there is not delight in pregnancy. This is something only women can do and truly feminine. The best job any lady can have in this world is to be a mother. Instead, it is often seen as a punishment. A woman wants to work many times and in many cases, that can be a necessity, but if it isn’t, the best thing a lady can do is raise up the next generation.

My fear is that in the idea for women to be liberated, they have ceased to be women. In that case, it is not liberation. It is just imprisonment of another can. I fear today’s women have gone from being imprisoned by men, which I will say we haven’t always been saints to the women in the past, to simply taking over the jail cell and keeping themselves imprisoned.

Do we men play a part? Yes! We honor the women in our lives and we honor our femininity. Men that have treated women as sex toys have not helped. If a man treats his lady as anything less than a lady, he has devalued her. This can even happen in marriage. Because you both have rings on your fingers, you must never lose sight of who this is with you. This is a treasure of God.

Why do I question what happened in the past though? Because I believe that the envelope was pushed too far. We can take things that are good and push them too far. I am pleased with how far women have advanced in our culture and I cheer them on, but I do not wish for them to advance at the loss of their femininity. That is their gift from God and it should be honored by men and women both.

He Brought The Father Back

It doesn’t take long after people know me, read what I say, and read my blogs, to realize that I am one of the leading Smallville fans out there. In all honesty, I would say my knowledge of the series at least borders on Encyclopedic. It was a series my Dad and I watched together when I was living with my folks and when I moved to an apartment near them, I’d record them and he’d join me. Well now, we’ve had to end that tradition since I live hours away, but I still love the series.

If there’s one character I really enjoyed though when he was on, it was Jonathan Kent. In so many TV shows today, the father is often seen as some sex-crazed beer-guzzling, sports addict who sits around all day and does nothing and is a complete idiot and the woman has to come and be the voice of reason every time. It wasn’t that way in the Kent household.

Now granted there were some difficulties. Jonathan Kent, played by John Schneider, was not perfect nor was he meant to be. He was particularly stubborn about Lex Luthor for instance and he and Martha did have their disagreements as well as he and Clark. Most noted between him and Martha comes in Season 2, Episode 6, Redux and between him and Clark it’s Season 1, Episode 17, Reaper.

Still, he was the father and he had the say about what went on at the household. At the same time though, he wasn’t domineering. He was a man who was loved by his wife and adored by his adopted son, Clark Kent. It’s something quite important to keep in mind that Clark Kent is no ordinary kid. He is practically invincible and can do things that no one else can do.

When it comes time to tell Clark Kent the truth about where he comes from, Jonathan Kent is the one who does it. When Clark gets scared in “Metamorphosis” when he wakes up floating above his bed, he talks to his Dad about it. When he plays for the football team in “Jinx” and defends his actions to Jonathan, Jonathan tells him he’s starting to sound more and more like his father to which he says “I hope so Dad.”

In “Leech”, when Clark gets his powers taken away temporarily by a kid named Eric, he tells Jonathan later after he recovers them that Eric didn’t get his two strongest gifts. When Jonathan looks confused Clark answers “You and Mom.” While this family has several ups and down, the beautiful thing about them is that they are a family unit.

In fact, Jonathan shows himself to have very traditional values when in “Hidden” Clark and Lana took their relationship to a whole new level and ended up falling asleep at Clark’s place in his bedroom. (I hope I don’t have to explain that for anyone.) When they come downstairs trying to avoid the parents, they find they’re already in the kitchen.

Jonathan takes a strong stance and one I admired saying that it didn’t matter if it was safe or not. There were just some things that shouldn’t be done under their roof. Jonathan was always a strong disciplinarian and a viewer of the show can tell that Clark didn’t really like to disappoint Jonathan or his mother and if there was anything Clark feared or fears more than kryptonite, it could be the displeasing of his parents.

I don’t mean it lightly when I say that the day Jonathan Kent died was the saddest moment I think I’ve ever seen on TV. I was still with my folks at the time and my mother came upstairs afterwards and said “Are you going to be alright?” It was one of those times when I was less than honest and said “Yeah” when I really felt like my world had shattered. I went to bed that night wondering how to make sense of it all.

Naturally, I did and still enjoy the series today, yet I saw Clark go through it in the next episode asking “How can I make it without Dad here?”

In an age where the father is often made to be less than a man, Jonathan Kent truly was a man and a father. Here’s to you Jonathan Kent. Thanks for bringing back the role of the father.

The Problem of Introspection

I had meant to write on something else tonight, but I decided that this was more important and as it were, it was something I wanted to get off my chest. There are other nights to write on other things. (And besides that, it’s my blog. I write about what I want to write about and if anyone has a problem with it, they can complain to the manager of this blog, which happens to be me of course.)

I’m one of those people that when I go to bed at night, my mind doesn’t really prepare to enter sleep mode. Instead, my mind just instinctively goes to theological matters and when I wake up in the morning, I usually start pondering them all over again. Unfortunately, I also notice that much time is spent in another kind of pondering, and that is self-pondering.

My personality type is quite introspective and quite wrong usually about what it introspects. I am guessing many of you will be familiar with this kind of thinking. I have this suspicion that a lot of us that are of the intellectual bent are also incredibly introspective. The problem is, we never seem to sit down and notice that this introspection doesn’t seem to do us much good.

Usually, you’ll get some new attitude or feeling in response to something or maybe just seemingly out of the blue and then think “Whoa! Where did that come from?!” Then, it involves tracing it out. “What situations in your past did that? What situations in your present? What does this say about you? What kind of person are you really?”

If you’re like me further, you’ll also notice you rarely get good conclusions. If my introspections were always true, I would be one of the most wretched creatures on Earth I think. It’s the tendency of being incredibly hard on oneself and seeing things that aren’t there based on evidence that is flimsy but at the time, is treated as the most important of all.

I’m going to coin a new word I suspect, but what we need is extrospection.

I think back to a time I was in love for instance as it were. All of those problems and situations I was having just seemed to fade away. The world was in harmony. What I had been worrying about a moment before I fell for the lady was absolute nonsense once I had. It was a short time for me, but a thoroughly happy time and I notice my argumentation style was far better then and I had far more confidence because I wasn’t really thinking about me so much.

I also think about when I really do get caught in a deep philosophical and theological mindset. When that happens, I do lose track of the world and I am caught in a game as it were trying to find the prize. Many of us know what this is like whenever the time comes that we sit down with a good book for instance or watch a good movie and we find that time passes and we aren’t even aware. At times with reading even, the rest of the sound outside us can be drowned out.

What if instead we focused on the outer world around us? What if we say things as they are? If we saw them as exciting and worthy subjects of consideration? We get so caught up at times in our own internal struggles that we forget the world around us. That world is okay, but we have to solve these problems now, never realizing that we’re simply running in circles as we try to argue and that it never does us any good.

This is also important when we come to prayer. We can have so much going on that we pray only about those situations we’re dealing with. Perchance if we did pray more for others things would be better? I do remember a time I prayed specifically for the joy of my roommate and ended up finding out that I had my own joy restored as well. The great wonder I’ve had in life has not come mainly from internal things but from external things.

What’s my goal then? To see the world as it is, something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, and find out that God is a whole lot more wonderful than I’ve thought about and that my inner struggles pale in comparison to him. In fact, the solution to solving them could simply be to learn more about him and as I do so, his truth will enter my life and make me the person I ought to be.