The Lord of the Rings, The Passion of the Christ, and the Highway of Holiness
I don't remember a time when the realm of popular culture has seemed more alive with divine purpose.
During the past year or two, how often have we been publicly reminded—through movies, books, and events—of vital truths about who we are and who God is? Through Peter Jackson's third Lord of the Rings movie, Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, and other prominent cultural events, we have been pushed off of the path of complacency and back towards the "highway" depicted by Isaiah:
"And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it. No lion will be there, nor will any ferocious beast get up on it; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, and the ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away" (Isa. 35:8-10; NIV).
Some of those pushes have come as punches: the Da Vinci Code book comes to mind. This novel slugged us right in the intellectual complacency, and many Christians and churches have been slugging right back. We've been reminded that we tend to sit comfortably in what we know—in our hearts as well as our minds—about the divinity of Christ and about the "exceeding greatness of God's power" (Eph. 1:18) in history. We have too often sat silent, without communicating that witness to people. It is only when a thinly veiled attack on the truths of the Gospel and Christian history climbs its way to the top of the bestseller lists that we begin to stir. It jars us into remembering ...