Megamind: The Line Between Hero and Villain, Blurred in Blue

Megamind: Bad Guy Gone Good?


What happens when your dreams come true?

At  Christ Church Santa Fe, we began a intermittent ministry of hosting movie nights during the summer.  I would put together a brief write up (called REEL Conversations) to help people think through the movie with discernment in order to see the redemption offered in it, which is a true reality for any movie. This is the write up for the movie Megamind.

I admit that I love animated movies like Megamind. This movie might just be in my Top 10 of all time. This movie-story is one where the lines between hero and villain are blurred, albeit in blue, but blurred nonetheless.  Who is the “bad-guy” (antagonist) and who is the “good-guy” (protagonist), anyway?

 Central to the story is the theme of identity and hope, and what happens when your wildest dreams finally come true.  Will it be enough?  Will your ultimate hope – the thing that drives all that you do – satisfy you in the end?

Most of us tend to live with the functional philosophy coined by the Neal McCoy country song, that “If you can’t be good, be good at it.”  You can’t escape who you are, so just be the best you that you can be.  It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do; just be the best that you can be.  Megamind comes into this early in his life and bases his life on being the best bad guy he can be.

Until one day he reaches the end.  He has accomplished all his goals.  He has reached all his dreams.  He has become the best at being bad.  And the reality sets in that there not only might, but must, be something more.

At the end of the day, we have the story about how a bad guy becomes a good guy, and the journey he takes to get there.  And that sometimes, what we thought we were all along and what we thought we wanted, might not turn out to be the total truth after all.

Questions to consider:

  1. Who is the good guy, and who is the bad guy?  What makes them so?
  2. What led to Megamind’s conclusion that his destiny was to become the best bad guy ever?
  3. When did things start to change for Megamind? What happened to make him become something he was not previously (consider the quote below)
  4. How did Megamind end up, and is there something you can take-away from this story for your life?

Quote to consider:

Thomas Chalmers, an 18th century pastor preached a sermon titled “The Expulsive Power of a New Affection”, where he argues that lasting change can only be found not by the denial of a desire, but by replacing it with a new one. He begins by saying:

There are two ways in which [one] may attempt to displace from the human heart its love of the world; either by a demonstration of the world’s vanity, so as that the heart shall be prevailed upon simply to withdraw its regards from an object that is not worthy of it; or, by setting forth another object, even God, as more worthy of its attachment; so as that the heart shall be prevailed upon, not to resign an old affection which shall have nothing to succeed it, but to exchange an old affection for a new one. My purpose is to show, that from the constitution of our nature, the former method is altogether incompetent and ineffectual and that the latter method will alone suffice for the rescue and recovery of the heart from the wrong affection that domineers over it.

Thoughts on Thursday: Good Therapy!

Mad TV Bob Newhart Skit

This is just hilarious! Had to share it…

It does provide for an interesting commentary on  how we may deal with sins and patterns in our lives.

What do you guys think?  Besides just being funny, could this be good advice to listen to when dealing with sin and our sanctification?

Great Question

Why do we give some of these guys (like Rob Bell, Joel Osteen, Mark Driscoll) such a hard time (and I am in Rob Bellthis boat), when they seem to be the only ones at least and trying and in some ways successfully “engaging the culture” we live in? The original question posed by Anthony was:

Question: how come people who claim to have the best theology to deal with transforming and reaching “the culture” seem the be the most ill-equipped, uncreative, and unsuccessful at actually speaking to “the culture?”

I would have to say that I think Driscoll stands outside of Anthony’s critique – at least to some degree.  I included him because he takes alot of hits (at least it seems) from some of his Reformed brothers and sisters.  Thoughts, comments, suggestions?Check out the original post over at Anthony Bradley’s blog.

Great quote: Holistic Gospel-Reminder

Check out this great quote by Christopher J.H. Wright from The Mission of God, over on Of First Importance.

Bluntly, we need a holistic gospel because the world is in a holistic mess. And by God’s incredible grace we have a gospel big enough to redeem all that sin and evil has touched. And every dimension of that good news is good news utterly and only because of the blood of Christ on the cross. 

– Christopher J. H. Wright, The Mission of God, 315. 

Also, for an interesting discussion on just what the “gospel” is, go check out my friend Stephen’s blog over at Daylight

Thoughts on Thursday – Are adopted children real children?

Came across a great article this morning on adoption (much thanks to Justin Taylor for the usually good posts and links). This writer tells the story of their adoption of two boys and the myriad of questions they were asked regarding their newly adopted sons. It has some really great insights into the nature of adoption, the biases we all carry, and the radical truth that lies behind adoption – especially our adoption into God’s family in Christ. Check it out here. This is the part that got me hooked:

Maria and I had returned to Kentucky to wait for the call to return to pick up our children, and had only these pictures of young Maxim and Sergei, our equivalent of a prenatal sonogram, to show to our friends and relatives back home. But people kept asking: “Are they brothers?”

“They are now,” I replied. “Yes,” the lady snapped, “I know. But are they really brothers?” Clenching my jaw, I coolly responded, “Yes, now they are both our children so they are nowreally brothers.” The woman sighed, rolled her eyes, and said, “Well, you know what I mean.”

Of course, we did know what she meant. She meant did these two boys—born three weeks apart—share a common biological ancestry, a common bloodline, some common DNA. It struck me that this question betrayed what most of us tend to view as really important when it comes to sonship: traceable genetic material.

This is the reason people would also ask us, “So do you also have any children of your own?” And it is the reason newspaper obituaries will often refer to the deceased’s “adopted child,” as though this were the equivalent of a stepchild or a protégé, rather than a real offspring.

If you want to read some more great thoughts on the topic of adoption, both practical and theological, check out Carolina Hope Adoption Agency and Dan Cruver’s blog Eucatastrophe.

Ask Anything

driscollGo to this site and vote for your favorite questions. This is for an upcoming series that Mars Hill Church in Seattle will preach through in the beginning of the year; we pick the questions, which will then be turned into topics and then Mark Driscoll and his teaching team will preach on those topics the first few weeks of 2008.

There are some great questions that would be interesting to hear Driscoll preach on. I don’t think the one about the rapture will get knocked out of the Top 10, but there are some other really good questions that are in contention. I’m actually pulling for the questions concerning Election and Baptism – just because those are topics I am studying and wrestling with, so I’d love to hear a preacher I respect and admire to address those issues. But figure out your own issues, go to the site, vote up to 10 times (either all different questions, or 10x for 1 if you wanted to), and lets see what Mark will preach on come 2008.

Click here to go to the Ask Anything site.

It’s Been a While

I have to say that I have been a bad blogger lately – and justifiably so.  School has ramped up, and I have been unusually stressed out.  So this past week was a great opportunity to practice an area of much needed sanctification in my life, something I like to call rest!  It was absolutely fabulous Us as a Family at Halloweento take several days “off” – no school work, no running out to study, or meet with anybody, or be anxious about how much I have to do in the next two weeks (which is alot). Instead, I got to roll around on the floor with my two children – Maya and Alex, re-arrange our living room to decorate for Christmas, lay on the couch without a Systematic Theology book resting on my belly, and spend some time on the couch with my wife.  I also spent very little time on the internet, and think that I might need to make that a recurring practice every so often.I do have some things in the works though for the blog that I wanted to preview for you all.Pierced for Our Transgressions  Sometime in the next few weeks I am going to posting several reviews of books.  One of my joys is sharing resources, and as I come across good books from class, or from generous folks (thank you Michele!), I’d like to tell you all about them, and recommend to you the ones that are worthwhile.  So, be on the look out for a post or two on Pierced for Our Transgressions (a great book on Penal Substitution), as well as something on Piper’s (and others) recent works, The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World and The Future of Justification.Early on next year,  a friend here at seminary and I will be trying to read Communion with the Triune Godthrough some good stuff by some older generation, godly men.  We’ve talked about starting off with Communion with The Triune God – the recent adaptation(?) of John Owens’ classic.  I hope to make that a regular posting.  In addition, I’ll keep posting thoughts on faith, life, culture and preaching, because it seems those are the things that occupy the free space of my mind these days.

Mark Driscoll on Humility

Man, I really liked Mark Driscoll before. I loved his ability to communicate truth clearly and fiercly. I can’t wait to see how God continues to use him as a man pursuing not only orthodoxy with strength and conviction, but also growing in humility. Not only is this video just a great 5 minute gut-level reality check for myself, it is also probably one of the most powerful forms of public repentance I’ve seen or experienced. Enjoy!