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Mike hopes to see the world turned upside down through local communities banding together for social change, especially churches which have recognized the radical calling to be good news to the poor, to set free the prisoners and oppressed, and to become the social embodiment of the reign of God on earth as it is in heaven. He lives with the blessed memory of his wife, in Durham, NC, and has three adult children living in three different states. He also shares his life with the Mt. Level Missionary Baptist Church in Durham, the faculty and students of Shaw University Divinity School in Raleigh, NC, and the faithful fans of Duke and Baylor Basketball in his neighborhood.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Dan Schweissing pointed me to an excellent remark on pop theology at a blog called Mental Slavery. In a post called "You Have the Power," Ward Minnis comments on Pat Morita as Mr. Miyagi and Morgan Freeman as God as examples of a certain kind of character in movies, and I guess in other stories.

They play the minority figure as "wise and enlightened sidekick." It takes one back to the days of yesteryear, the Lone Ranger and Tonto. The major action and making a difference is left to the white protagonist, but the wise minority sidekick plays an instrumental role in helping the whites reach their destiny of world changing and world managing.

In modern, or should I say post-modern, culture, God is often thought of as the wise sidekick who may occasionally give a tip or some advice that helps the white protagonists achieve their destinies. They, not God, are really running things. So Minnis points out that a black God figure in the movies may not be so clear a statement of the goodness and capacity of blackness as some might think. When God becomes quaint enough, then no longer is it necessary to portray God as the dominant cultural icon, a white male.

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