Friday, January 07, 2011

John and Paul

Last night I finished watching the HBO series presentation of John Adams. I got it for Christmas in a nice CD case. Since we don't have HBO on our cable plan, I'd been wanting to see it since I had heard some good reviews from some other history buffs like myself. It was really good - if you really like history. It's certainly not an action series, but a serious look at the life of an incredibly important contributor to the founding of our country, not to mention - our second President. It's dark, gritty, and depressing - in a lot of ways, but still exciting. It's like getting to be the proverbial "fly on the wall" when so many historical changes where taking place. It certainly isn't very flattering in its betrayal of our iconic Founding Fathers. One of the toughest parts of interpreting history is the challenge to see and know the real people. Once someone is recognized as a "hero" of the past, they are - with time - turned into larger-than-life supermen or women, without foibles, faults, and weaknesses. Our Founding Fathers were some exceptional men, but they were politicians and businessmen, and most were successful and wealthy. I have no doubt that there was more than enough egotism, pride, and profiting to go around - along with the wisdom, courage, and love for liberty that guided this country during its infancy.
That just reminds me, as a student of history and the Word of God, to remember that men and women of history and print were real people. Paul didn't glide along three feet about the ground and have a glowing aura around his head. He was a man of God, but still just a man. He was well aware of his weaknesses, faults, insecurities, and insufficiencies. He tells us that there was something about him physically that others had to accept and put up with. No one knows what that "thorn in the flesh" was. He was a strong personality. If you had the chance to be around him a lot, you'd probably discover things that you didn't like, or that rubbed you the wrong way. He, like us, was saved by grace not his ability to be perfect. And, like our country's Founding Fathers, his legacy is his devotion to his mission - and his was on behalf of God.
If you are a real history nut, you'll enjoy John Adams. If you're a living and breathing human being, the message of Paul is definitely a "must have".

1 comment:

Deborah said...

We were playing "favorites" around the dinner table Thursday night, and the topic was "favorite New Testament character" (couldn't say Jesus). It was a no-brainer for me to choose Paul. You would love the Beth Moore study on Paul--it was a heart-changer for me!