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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Iron Man's Science vs. Asgards Magic, or Faith and Reason

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Iron Man and Thor had an ongoing argument for an episode of Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes (such a better cartoon than the current Avengers run). Thor was tired of man-made technology and science causing problems that they had to deal with. Soon, the world was filled with winter as Maleketh opened the Casket of Ancient Winter. Iron Man was convinced that magic was far less useful and more dangerous while Thor kept declaring the opposite.

This debate goes on in schools, homes and coffee houses all over our world. And it is old. The Psalms refer to this debate ("The fool says in his heart, there is now god." Psalm 14:1) When Paul was in Athens, he found himself debating with stoic and epicurean philosophers. Now, as we read his discussion with them in Acts 17, we find something interesting: he uses the work of people who were not following Christ in his side of the discussion, including a description on a statue and a poem. Granted, this is more like a combination of faith and culture than faith and reason, but it is still an interesting note to make.

When Ezra and Nehemiah worked on the Temple and Walls around Jerusalem, they did so based on a faith in God and a love for His chosen people; but they built these with engineering ideas that are found in exploring our natural world. They used faith and science together.

We find many times in our narratives when these come together, although I feel like many of these are of bad guys messing with forces they shouldn't play around with. In the movie "Bulletproof Monk" we find the prophecy coming out through modern means (mechanical cranes instead of bird type cranes) and we find bad guys using technology to get the secret out of the Monk. In "Warehouse 13" our favorite team includes people who work with research and technology as well as a guy who just gets bad vibes about stuff. In "A New Hope", Luke uses the Force to aim but technology to fire.

So how did this all end for our mightiest heroes? While fighting Maleketh, they realized they were failing. Black Panther said something interesting: "In Wakanda, we use both mysticism and science". So Iron Man used the metal in his armor to weaken Maleketh while Thor sent his lighting to be the final blow. They had to use both faith and reason.

Put your faith in God and use the senses and the brain He gave you.

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