People Are the Economy, The Economy Are the People

COVID-19 has rocked the world. It’s upended life as we know it and continues to be a menace upon humanity. There are plenty of reactions to be found in its wake. The Church has its own set of voices rising to make sense of it. 

Here’s something for the Church, as a whole, to consider in this trying time. 

How Times of Crisis Force People To Talk About God

In times of crisis, people reveal what they rely upon. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many of us out of hiding. Personal convictions and underlying comforts have become public. Thanks to social media, people across the world are sharing their thoughts, their memes, and ultimately, what it is (or what it is not) that gives them comfort in a time such as this.

And it’s moments just like this when God enters our conversations. Or at the very least, enters into our private thoughts. God descends upon the masses as if to say, “Remember me?”, and many ponder just what God is going to do. Will God put a stop to what’s happening? Or is God the one to blame? And even more so, is God even there? A bevy of questions arises and discussions that normally get passed off have the opportunity to become commonplace. 

Why is that? Is it because we face an invisible enemy and therefore must call upon a seemingly invisible God to fight it? 

For one, the enemy is not entirely invisible – and neither is God. Yes, one could argue how COVID-19 is invisible. We can’t see it outright. But we can identify the virus via its effects. Our inability to see it coming creates a lot of duress though. For underneath the surface of what we see is where the virus is operating. We know it’s there. We just can’t see it straightaway. 

God operates similarly. Since God embodies a supreme ethic, we recognize that God sits somewhere beneath the surface of every action. The intangible nature of God becomes tangible through godly action. When we are calling upon God, we are also calling upon something deeper. Something bigger, even. We are acknowledging that what we have before us is not something we can beat with our own fists. Or with our own machinations.  

This runs alongside a second reality: our limitations. There are barriers we face as human beings. So when an enemy appears that’s beyond our understanding, we quickly look for someone with the proper insight. Someone who might have the intuition and know-how to defeat what we are up against. Someone outside ourselves who can intervene on our behalf if we are to beat what’s in front of us.

Which reveals yet another shortcoming: our inability to exert complete control over any given situation. When resources are plentiful, people forget about what it’s like to not live in abundance. The illusion of control begins to take root. Short-sightedness and “living for the moment” becomes the norm. Then something happens, and our control – what we thought we had – is taken abruptly. Or to put it another way, our lack of control is exposed.

That brings about fear and confusion. We fear our control might never return. You might say it’s an opportunity to learn about humility. How we aren’t actually the center of the universe. But I would argue that it goes even deeper. For having some measure of control over something – be it an illusion or real – does not always equate to things being “good”. A good outcome isn’t a guarantee. As such, a call to God is more than a call for control – it’s a call for something good.

And we need to look outside ourselves for that sort of goodness, don’t we? Because when we own the reins, we don’t have a clear picture of what’s entirely good. There’s a reason why post-apocalyptic stories and fictional zombie outbreaks are so popular and attractive. It’s because deep down, we know if all of our control and tangible comforts were taken, then it’d be no-holds barred. We’d struggle to share or do what’s right. Our natural bent, despite what we’d like to believe, is not altruism. That must be learned (if it’s ever learned at all). 

Our tangible comforts aren’t bad either. But it’s clear we cannot rely on them for every situation.

We have to go somewhere that’s external, somewhere beyond ourselves, for the best possible outcome. That’s why God surfaces in a time of crisis. Only God could extend a hand to quell the enemy – invisible or not – from destroying us. So that hopefully this question of “remember me?” is not a question we have to answer. 





The Writer’s Lens – Narrative Wars 10: “Should We ‘Bend the Knee’ to Our Critics?”

The Narrative Wars returneth….

You may have never heard of Amelie Wen Zhao (or maybe you have?) but just in case you did or didn’t, this episode was catalyzed by a recent ordeal involving the up-and-coming YA fiction writer. Ms. Zhao was the subject of some harsh criticism for her new book, Blood Heir, which hadn’t even hit the shelves yet. Her book, as described by her earliest of critics, was said to be “racially insensitive” and was encouraged to the point of not releasing her book. Here’s the catch though: many of her detractors had not even read the book. Apparently hearsay and a few buzzwords had caused many to take to the social media to block the Blood Heir release. Much talk and discussion over Zhao’s ordeal followed.

Yet after the social media mob settled, she decided to move forward with her book anyway and not give in to earlier pressures to not publish it. Her book was published mid-November 2019.

This episode is an attempt to talk through artistic expression and how creatives can face a lot of external pressure – even before their idea is off the ground.

Hope you enjoy.

For more on this situation, you can check other sources such as this one here.

The Writer’s Lens – E63: “The Fellowship of the Ring” and Finding Your Place in a Group

The Writer’s Lens returns!

In my first episode in over a month, I take a look at one of my all-time favorites: Tolkien’s first of three stories in the Lord of the Rings trilogy: The Fellowship of the Ring.

Lovers of the fantasy epic recognize LOTR for its dramatic visuals, beautiful descriptions, and downright awesome story. For this episode, I take a deeper look at Tolkien’s theme of fellowship. As a man who lived through some of the most horrific wars in human history, Tolkien understood the need to band together for the sake of a larger cause. As such, his first entry into the series explores the dynamics of group membership and how it can unravel when leadership is lost or when selfish desires take hold. And even more so, how do we even get into the group in the first place?

These ideas and questions I attempt to tackle in about 30 minutes – which is a significantly less amount of time than the extended edition on DVD or Blu-Ray. Enjoy!

The Writer’s Lens – Interview 18: Despite Popular Belief, “Story and THE Story Are Connected”

My latest interview is with a couple of gents I got connected with recently. Erik Marti and Stephen Lauterbach are the voices of Despite Popular Belief, a podcast that tackles several interesting topics, like the Leviathan, the Salem Witch Trials, and predestination; doing so through a Biblical worldview.

I was on Despite Popular Belief talking about the power of storytelling. Now, I get to ask Erik and Stephen about their own stories. How they came together, how they developed the idea for Despite Popular Belief, and how they see the podcast in the future.

You can check them out on Spotify, Google Play, and iTunes. Or follow them on Facebook and Instagram @DespitePopularBelief.

The Writer’s Lens – E62: “It” and Fear Through the Lens of Children and Adults

I’m not a big fan of scary stories. They aren’t the type of story I indulge regularly.

However, that’s not to say that I’m antagonistic towards scary moments. If a story is good; if a story is intriguing; if it seems to be headed somewhere other than just another scare, then I’m better at accepting the scares when they come.

That being said, I wanted to comment on the recent reimagining of Stephen King’s “It”. Not the story necessarily, but whether or not the onset of terror is more intense when a) it’s a child or b) it’s an adult. The answer might be obvious, but what does this mean outside of fiction? What is the truth behind a child’s helplessness and the responsibilities we have as adults to watch out for them? This episode is an attempt to scratch the surface on perhaps several more conversations.

Check out my latest episode here.

The Writer’s Lens – E61: “The Lion King” and What Redemption Looks Like

One of my favorite films of all time. Arguably one of Disney’s greatest works from the past 30 years, The Lion King is the coming-of-age tale of Simba, a lion cub destined to be King of Pride Rock, who is framed for murdering his own father, Mufasa. Whose evil uncle, Scar, takes over in Simba’s absence, runs the Pride Lands into famine and death, but is confronted by an aged and courageous Simba, who has spent years running away from his problems.

It’s a great story, further accentuated by its iconic music and iconic voices (James Earl Jones, Jeremy Irons, and Nathan Lane, to name a few). And though its popularity is undeniable, does The Lion King truly offer up a redemptive narrative? Simba regains what was rightfully his – the throne of Pride Rock – but is that all there is to a good redemption story? This is my analysis episode for Disney’s The Lion King.

The animated one. Not the live-action-which-wasn’t-live-action version of 2019. Enjoy.

The Writer’s Lens – Interview 17: Sam Eldredge, “Our Stories Are Epic, Not Perfect”

A few years ago, I read through a book with several friends called Killing Lions, a coming-of-age book for young men, co-authored by John Eldredge and his son, Sam Eldredge. Today, I am fortunate to interview one of the voices behind that book, Sam, and pick his brain on the genesis behind it.

Sam is co-host of the podcast, And Sons, which continues the spirit of Killing Lions by focusing on the rites of passage young men face. Sam is a lead content creator for their magazine publication of the same name as well. My interview with Sam covers his story as a budding writer, his initial struggle with co-authoring a book alongside his already-published father, John (author of bestseller Wild at Heart, among others), and how imperative it is to learn from our own stories, lest someone else define our stories for us.

You can find more about Sam and his work at andsonsmagazine.com or follow him on And Sons, which is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcasting platforms.

The Writer’s Lens – E60: “Dark” and What If Time Travel Was Possible?

In the first episode of a new series, I take a look at themes supporting popular books, shows and films.

First up is the Netflix original, “Dark”; a show that puts a twist on time travel. Or rather, puts its audiences minds in a twist with its complex characters and increasingly complex plot developments. Great writing aside, it made me wonder something – which became the catalyst for this episode – What would we do if time travel was possible?

The Plight of Religious Influencers and Their Followers

Some outspoken Christians have recently renounced their faiths. What does that mean for the ones following their work? Should people of the Christian faith start jumping ship? This piece is an attempt to address the situation, as it isn’t anything new (unfortunately).