Friday, October 26, 2018

The Robots are Coming

I got the idea to write about a game show host who becomes a superhero after learning about transhumanism. A story about the world’s first transhuman would make a fun read, I thought. So, I forged ahead with my megalomaniac celebrity and turned him into a loveable, humbled, truth-seeking robot. Sort of. He’s entirely human, only better.

After finishing and contracting book one, Wake the Dead, I discovered many of the “betterments” gifted to my hero, Chase Sterling, were actually in the works, planned for our future. Chase evolves into more than his creators had planned. And he rebels against them. In book two, Killswitch, he goes underground. In book three, Transfusion, he resurfaces for battle. So, how do you stop a rogue transhuman? You make more transhumans. In the final pages of my trilogy, an army comes against Chase. An army I invented in the weird layers of my imagination. And now, a year after that book’s release, I find this:

Here’s an excerpt:
If you think mutant soldiers with unstoppable physical and mental powers sound like nothing more than science fiction, you may be in for a shock.
A chilling Government report today warns that the breeding of genetically-modified troops could be a reality within a generation.
The creation of bionic soldiers would allow countries to increase their military capability and improve performance of fighting forces.
Within 30 years, mutant soldiers could be able to lift huge weights and run at high speeds over extreme distances, the report by the Ministry of Defence’s think-tank says. They could also have infra-red night vision and be capable of transmitting their thoughts through electronically-aided telepathy.
The article suggests the army is coming in thirty years. I had them marching a decade earlier. Other than the timing, they're pretty much how I wrote them. To read the rest of this slightly terrifying commentary, just click on the article's title. I consider it only slightly terrifying because there is a hero who will save the day. When a writer spends a thousand pages with a character, that character becomes real. Sort of. While I do enjoy the company of those I meet in Fiction Land, I am fully aware that Chase Sterling will not rise up to defeat a transhuman army. But there is another hero in my story. I didn’t forget Him when I wrote about the transhumans. Even Chase comes to the realization that the battle is the Lord’s.
We might be headed into a world we don’t understand, and it might prove to be more than slightly terrifying. But we can trust in Christ, the real hero of the story of the world.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:38,39

Friday, October 12, 2018

Jesus is My Chainsaw

I once heard a gentleman tell a study group about how he chops down trees with an axe. A tiresome chore, he said, and when it becomes clear the work is too hard, he gives up. He throws down his axe and quits. He is defeated. The tree still stands. But then he gets out the chainsaw. And a tree is no match for a chainsaw. He made his point with this statement: Jesus is the chainsaw.

Another man showed fast appreciation and cheerfully proclaimed, “Jesus is my chainsaw.”

We all laughed and agreed to allow Jesus the classification of a power tool, and it brought to mind this verse:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Mathew 11:28-30

So what does that have to do with a chainsaw? The disciples to whom Jesus offered rest were bound by the law, weary of struggling to keep its demands. Burdened by the toil of insufficient sacrifices. Jesus—the fulfillment of the law—wanted them to know their lives about to be radically rectified. The sin they couldn’t escape was about to let them go. Their destiny of death was about to take a strike ending its grip forever. The tree they couldn’t topple was about to come down.

We can wear ourselves out trying to take care of our own sin problem. We can strive to make ourselves acceptable to God. But it can’t be done. When we lay down our axe, when we see our tree hasn’t fallen, that’s when Jesus comes with great power. Like a chainsaw. A sinner swinging an axe is weary and burdened. A sinner with a chainsaw can rest.

Okay, we’re not really talking about chopping down a tree here. And some may say there’s nothing gentle and humble about a chainsaw. Analogies only go so far. But here’s what I know: I was weary and burdened and Jesus gave me rest. The yoke of my sin was too great. The yoke of redemption is easy. Sin is grueling and stern. Jesus is graceful and tender. But He’s also infinitely powerful.

I imagine dropping my axe to the cold hard ground and watching Jesus approach my tree with a chainsaw in his strong hands. And cutting it clean to a stump in no time flat. And framing it into a cross. It must have been my tree He hung upon. Thank you, Chainsaw Jesus. Thank you.