Greetings friends! A new year is upon us. So much happened in 2014, it’s hard to fully recall the many social influences and trendy topics that reflected our culture over the last 12 months.
If you have not read any of my previous “Doyle’s Half Dozen,” my intention is to offer perspective on six popular subject matters on a weekly basis. This will be my first edition of “DHD” for 2015, so you’ve started perusing at a good time.
- Reviewing “Unbroken” Reviews
Over the Christmas holidays, people had the chance to see the biopic “Unbroken,” which tells the story of Louis Zamperini who was a WWII POW in Japan. I did see the flick and found it to be captivating.
I did think it should’ve received an R rating instead of PG-13. It is quite violent, has a lengthy scene showing nudity and shows moments of psychological torture due to isolation, which may be too much for young teens.
But I did enjoy it and found it most inspiring. Other movies that came to mind while watching it were “The Bridge on the River Kwai,” “Cast Away,” “Chariots of Fire,” “Memphis Belle,” and “Pearl Habor.”
As you may know, there have been many reviews on “Unbroken.” Many have criticized the movie because it does not feature a significant part of Zamperini’s life, when he made a profession of faith during a Billy Graham Crusade and went on to have a Christian influence. But as Kelly King’s review shares, what the movie does feature, it features very well.
I believe it would have been feasible to show Zamperini’s significant life-changing experience, and I don’t believe it would have caused non-Christians to be offended. I struggle with what Zamperini’s son Luke shared that the Gospel shouldn’t be shoved down people’s throats. This is a major part of his dad’s life story. Revealing how the Gospel changed his father’s life, along with the powerful events of forgiveness that followed, can be done in an appealing way and could even be a pleasant taste to the hardest of souls.
- Chronicling Creation
It has been a debate for years about the actual time frame of the Creation of the World. A friend of mine shared a blog post by Tim Challies he wrote in 2013 about why he is a six-day creationist. I agree with his conclusions, but I know there Christians who disagree, and they can provide convincing arguments on why Creation did not occur in six 24-hour periods.
My intention is not to open up the full debate. I want to inquire with such professing believers if they believe God is ABLE to create the world in such a time frame. Actually, I believe God holds amazing sovereign power that He could have created everything in much less time, even within day, within an hour. But God chose to use a six-day process for our purpose, for us to learn basic practical life essentials, including the model work week, time management and to take time to rest and reflect on Him, that we do rely on Him and should worship Him.
- My chat with Franklin Graham
Earlier this week I had the privilege I speaking with renowned evangelist Franklin Graham. It was through a phone interview I did for next week’s Baptist Messenger.
I enjoyed the experience, and it was so fascinating how much he sounds like his dad. Before I officially started asking him questions for the story, I let him know how much I appreciate his ministry and his father’s ministry. I told him about Oklahoma City hosting a Billy Graham Crusade in 1959, and it was at that Crusade that my father made a profession of faith.
Dad passed away in 2011, but he left a lasting influence on me and many others he encouraged in their faith through his example of Scripture memory and faithfulness in church work. All of this was possible due to Billy Graham sharing the Gospel 56 years ago.
- Be blessed
During my brief stint of living in Weatherford, Okla., I made friends with a man who had quite a jolly disposition. Many times I would ask him how he was doing, and every time he would respond, “I’m blessed.” It always encouraged me, and he and I both knew Who was responsible for him being so blessed.
For almost a year now, an article has been shared through social media about why Christians should stop saying they are blessed. I realize this article is pointing out the powerful messages Jesus shared in the Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount and how many Christians around the world do not have the privileges we in America may have, yet they demonstrate these blessings Jesus taught. Their testimonies are influential and humbling.
However, the writer of such article, I thought, was quite pedantic. To command such a limited description of what it means to be blessed by God disqualifies many other examples in Scripture. Originally, the writer attributed his material fortunes to “dumb luck” before a multitude of commenters called him out on it, and he changed his story.
So here’s what I would like to request. And notice, I’m asking nicely, not making a forceful command. If you ever come in contact with such a person like my friend in Weatherford who may give you a response that they are blessed, please don’t correct them. If possible, be encouraged by their acknowledgement that they have a grateful understanding of Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord who provides.
- An important conference coming to Oklahoma City
In October, I attended the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) national conference which addressed the issues of homosexuality and marriage. In a previous blog, I offered three things that I learned from this conference.
On March 9-10, church leaders in Oklahoma will have the chance to experience a similar event at Quail Springs Baptist Church in Oklahoma City called “The Gospel, Sexuality & The Church.” Keynote speakers will be Albert Mohler, president of Southern Seminary, and Russell Moore, ERLC president, who are excellent at addressing these problems I shared in my previous blog.
Though the emphasis of the March conference is for pastors and church staff members, those who want to hear more about the concerns of these critical societal changes and how to respond with convictional kindness are welcome. For more information about the conference, visit http://www.bgco.org/bgco-conference.
- Want to help me with DHD content?
The intention of Doyle’s Half Dozen is to offer thoughts on six current or relevant topics. What would you like for me to address? Is there an issue of which you would like for me to give a perspective?
Here’s what I would like to offer. If you leave a comment below or through my Facebook page or my email address email@example.com, I will sincerely consider your suggestions. One condition, if I do write on your suggested topic, you have to be willing to respond on my blog, sharing whether or not you agree or adding further commentary.
Hope to hear from you!