Almost Time for the Doctor

The BBC just released a “trailer” for the April-dropping tenth series of Doctor Who.  You get a voice over, some books flying around, and a vortex full of enemy faces.  It’s something, at least.

Lots of questions surrounding this series, of course.  This is Steve Moffatt’s swan song season.  Peter Capaldi has also announced that this is his last run as the Doctor.  New companion Bill’s voiceover ends ominously, too.  So just how much of a clean slate will Chris Chibnall get when he arrives to start up season eleven?  Time, of course, will tell.

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Return of the Golden Age?

For the last few months, the folks at DC Comics have been building a story while unveiling a mystery.  After four years of continuity-gutted stories, the company decided to try and bring its 75 years of history back together.  As always, a Flash character (or two) stands at the center of the mystery.  A few months ago, that meant the return of the (literally) forgotten Wally West.  Now, as the “Rebirth” story moves towards its first anniversary mark, the Golden Age Flash (Jay Garrick) seems set to return.

flash-22-cover-jay-garrickThis character is no stranger to those who follow The Flash on the CW, though that character is tv-different.  In comics history, Garrick was the first person to bear the name of “the Flash” and fought during the second World War.  On the show, Garrick hails from another dimension entirely.  Even still, the sight of the classic costume and the Mercury/Hermes helmet is a sight for some eyes and is hopefully a sign that the folks at DC know what they’re doing.

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Gorillas Come Knocking

While much of this season of The Flash has focused on the oddly-reimagined Savitar and his threat to Iris Allen’s future, most long-time fans have been eagerly awaiting the two-part continuation of Gorilla Grodd’s story.  The first episode, “Attack on Gorilla City,” was a bit underwhelming (partly because of effects, partly because it felt rushed).  The second part, “Attack on Central City,” airs next week and brings the fight home.  Here’s the trailer.

Lots of speedsters running around (including a recently hinted-at fourth speedster from another Earth).  Hopefully the episode will build well and move the season forward in good ways.

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Waking Up in the Framework

Tuesday night’s episode of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD went exactly where the show needed to go . . . at least for me.  After supernatural and scientific storylines, the show second “pod” of episodes ended with a virtual reset button.  All of the agents, either by choice or by coercion, are part of the reality known as the Framework.  And this new “reality” looks to bring back absent characters while also revisiting story points like Hydra.  Here’s the last scene of the episode, which begins with Daisy “waking up” in the Framework.

As far as this fan is concerned, this is an amazing swerve.  Maybe this will be a way that they can bring Lance Hunter and Bobbi Morse back into the show, if only for a little while.

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Spelling a Kind of Funny Math

Today’s Frazz by Jef Mallett was another great play on academics and words, all while trying to articulate a good reason for learning.

spelling-and-math(image from gocomics.com)

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Anticipation and Participation

For years I was taught to see the kingdom of God as that which is now-but-not-yet.  It’s one of those teachings with tension, pointing to a reality as frustrating as it is fulfilling.  One of the best articulators of this approach is N. T. Wright.  I’ve been rereading After You Believe, Wright’s book on virtue and ethics.  A lot of water has passed under the bridge since first reading the book seven years ago, so I have really been struck by Wright’s assertion of virtue as a way of anticipating and participating in what God is doing.

Because of Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension, Wright asserts, “we can draw down some of God’s future into our own present moment.  The rationale for this is that in Jesus that future has already burst into our present time, so that anticipating that which is to come, we are also implementing what has already taken place.”

For Wright, this is evident in the New Testament picture of the new heaven and new earth found in Revelation (and more than hinted at in the writings of Paul and the teachings of Jesus).  Wright continues:

In the new heavens and new earth, there will be new vocations and new tasks, the ultimate fulfillment of those given to [Adam] in the first place.  Once we glimpse this, we will be in a position to see how the New Testament’s vision of Christian behavior has to do, not with struggling to keep a bunch of ancient and apparently arbitrary rules, nor with “going with the flow” or “doing what comes naturally,” but with the learning of the language, in the present, which will equip us to speak fluently in God’s new world.

Holiness, then, is “the learning in the present of the habits which anticipate the ultimate future.”

The question for many of us today, then, is how to we keep our heads and hearts in the right place.  How do we see the world rightly?  And how, in the midst of this, do we live into holiness with hope?  I think music, particularly the kind that reflects the language of Scripture, can help with that immensely.  That’s why Andrew Peterson’s “The Dark Before the Dawn” has stuck with me for the last couple of years.  Here’s a recent recording of the song.  It is a good reminder of the reality of the now, but also of the seeds and the hope of the not-yet, which we are already participating in as we faithfully follow Jesus.

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Sunday’s Best: Lucy’s Thought, Linus’s Action

Here’s today’s classic Peanuts strip by Charles Schulz.  It’s always interesting when Lucy shows some empathy.  But it’s Linus, in the end, who acts.

lucys-thought-linuss-action(image from gocomics.com)

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