BY PAUL DUNK
As many of you know, I enjoy film and I find the SuperHero genre stuff incredibly entertaining. I am, without question, a nerd.
However, it was brought to my attention by close friend of mine (who the biggest nerd I know) that there is a nerd class system. (He created it)
Level 9 is the highest. He scores me at a 4.5 and I score him at around an 8.1. At a meagre 4.5, it could be argued that I am unqualified to blog about this - but I'll go out on a limb here, though there may be hell to pay when I see him next. Here goes ...
It seems to me that both entertainment moguls DC & MARVEL have committed the same sin. They've both revealed more in their trailers than necessary.
From the viewpoint of the marketers, spoilers always make sense because they need the internet to keep buzzing. From a cinematic experience viewpoint, nobody wants "Luke, I am your Father" in the trailer.
First DC was all, "YO! THIS!!!!!"
Then Marvel was like, "OH YA???? THIS!!!!"
Girls, girls, you're both pretty. Please don't show us the films in 2:59.
I sat back and reflected on how both of these companies are competing for marketshare and concluded that garnering continual interest means committing to continual promotion - and that commitment results in a little thing called spoilers.
Given that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has taken the box office by storm since 2008's IronMan, my first thought was "tsk tsk - bad Marvel. You don't need to do that." Upon further reflection, my later thought was, "Actually I think I do the same thing."
As a man who's father left when I was young, I have daddy issues - plain and simple. While the gospel is healing my heart, my busy ego still runs around in self promotion, revealing that though God's grace is reforming me - I'm still on the mend. When I am not resting in the peace of the gospel, I fall back into the chronic need to be seen as important and interesting. I can ramp up my self promotion and take up all the oxygen in the room so fast, it would knock your underoos clean off.
United to Christ, my soul is at rest because my identity is found in whose I am. My struggle with my sin pulls me back into garnering my identity through the performance of who I am.
Identity based on performance leads to a tireless place of needing to have increasingly successful things happening in your life and increasingly interesting. The answer to "How's it going? What's new?" gives rise to the pressure to sound like a movie trailer that's constantly adding new exciting scenes to keep you watching. If your identity is based on performance, "Nothing's new ... how are you?" is a terrible answer - one that sends your internal marketing department reeling for something more inspired to say about yourself.
There are no grace graduates and I need the grace in Christ I'm preaching. It's like oxygen for my soul. The gospel draws me out of myself and I rest in Christ who hands me my identity. It's a liberating place of rest where more and more, I am being freed from the need to be interesting and freed to love other people and being interested.
May the gospel of Jesus Christ continue to reform our restless hearts so that our souls enjoy rest and peace in God. Our rest is found - not in who we are , but in Whose we are.
Paul is a graduate of Knox Theological Seminary and the founding pastor of KW Redeemer in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario. He is an MCO race school graduate, but presently his main hobby is drinking espresso because it's cheaper than fixing cars. Paul and Susan live in Waterloo with their three children.