Superman Meets Miami Vice

So last week I saw two movies and each left me with the same feeling. Christians need to become part of saving the world instead of selling to the world.

Superman’s message was captured in this dialogue from Lois Lane with Superman.

Lois Lane: “The world doesn’t need a savior…”
Superman says, “Listen”…
Lois Lane: “I don’t hear anything.”
Superman: “I hear everything. You wrote that the world doesn’t need a savior, but every day I hear people crying for one¢â‚¬¦”

WHO saves the world? Underlying Superman’s superhero admonition was another obvious message made clear in this storyline–the world needs a lot of supermen (or at least ordinary men and women performing extraordinary deeds) because even Superman can’t be everywhere at once.

HOW IS THE WORLD SAVED? The salvation of the world is at one level an evangelistic enterprise–introducing people to restored relationship with God. so they can enjoy eternity in a better place than this world..but salvation is also a practical exercise that involves EACH of us using our talents to make THIS world a better place!

You see this theme Miami Vice another “good versus evil” story featuring a couple of members of the Miami Vice squad taking on the drug cartel. The drug cartel to the South exploits the poor to harvest and distribute the crop so the drug dealers in the US can exploit rich & poor in feeding their life-diminishing dependency on drugs. In Miami Vice our heroes were able to fight crime at great personal risk and sacrifice.

This fictional story deals with a very real situation in today’s world. Everywhere along the food chain good people are needed to intervene and fight for justice¢â‚¬¦ What would happen if our privileged Christian kids in the US took their financial, educational and natural (ala talents) resources and invested them en masse to transforming the world instead of living the American Dream?

Could happen¢â‚¬¦but it is unlikely unless their parents are willing to invest in kids who will not gain a financial return on college costs, nor will it happen if these kids don’t de-prioritize their daily lattes, consumerist practices and 401k’s and take up a cross.

WHEN DO WE SAVE THE WORLD? I love Bob Buford’s concept expressed in “Second Half” in which he describes his personal transformation from seeking a life of success and then in his early 40’s trading it in for a life of significance,. But too often the next generation sees Bob’s pattern as theirs to imitate: spend 40 years becoming financially set¢â‚¬¦then do something significant with what is left of your life.

We’ll never change the world until we see significance as the definition of success and seek significance first. Seeking a meaningful life from the get go requires making God central and when the disciples did that everything changed.

(Check out David Buckna’s Superman Savior? quiz)
(Copyright 2006 by David Buckna. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Buckna is the author of “The Pop Gospel,” a quiz feature that has appeared in publications including The Calgary Herald, ChristianWeek and Baptist Press. Buckna reads email at (

A personal footnote: I sometimes realize many of you reading my columns don’t know me personally and I appreciate the chance to explain myself. This came out in a question one of you asked recently. Ihad said in a recent column “Conventional wisdom sees power concentrated like maggots in rotten meat in sophisticated strategic cities like Hollywood with its glitter and glamour or DC with its power and pageantry. Ministries are clustering there like flies on honey. Visions are cast. Money is raised. Programs are launched. Prayer breakfasts are held (You know the ones where big shots show up to see and be seen and nobody prays.)” Our reader asked the following question:

Q: Dick, What turned you off at a prayer b-fast to cast the comment that nobody prays? Andy

A: Have you ever been to the national prayer breakfast? I have and have also been the emcee at a governor’s prayer breakfast. They usually involve a lot of show and little prayer…Speakers….music…saluting the flag…etc But very short, mostly ceremonial prayers…

I’m sometimes asked for strategic advice by “big name” evangelical leaders and I’ll suggest they get a group of us together for a weekend with no white boards, no planning calendars… just to pray and try to hear from God….They all love the idea and not one has ever done it!

Pray for me that I can see the humor and communicate more like Mark Twain who saw things clearly but made his point with a twinkle in his eye, Right now in my discouragement about our situation I feel I’ve slipped into Jeremiah…whose eyes were ablaze with anger and frustration. “The Kindlings Muse” wants to spark fire for illumination not destruction! (Go there today to see the latest posting-an interview with National Book Award Winner Edward Jones.).

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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