If you are a Marvel fan, then “The Avengers” will feel like Christmas. Thanks to the merry doings of the director, Joss Whedon, all your favorite characters are here, as shiny and as tempting as presents under the tree. You get Tony Stark, better known as Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.); Steve Rogers, or Captain America (Chris Evans); Natasha Romanoff, or Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson); Bruce Banner, or the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo); and Thor (Chris Hemsworth), whose real name is Thor. None of the weirdos from “X-Men” make the grade, nor do half-pints like Ghost Rider or the Silver Surfer, though I think that Whedon missed a trick: for old times’ sake, why not zip back to the first Marvel movie and wheel out Howard the Duck?
The enemy of humanism is not faith; the enemy of humanism is hate, is fear, is ignorance, is the darker part of man that is in every humanist, every person, in the world. That is the thing we have to fight. Faith is something we have to embrace. Faith in God is believing absolutely in something with no proof whatsoever. Faith in humanity means believing absolutely in something with a huge amount of proof to the contrary.
A short time ago blogger and author Rachel Held Evans wrote an article she titled “Thou Shalt Not Let Thyself Go?” She began it this way: “In my quest for biblical womanhood, I’ve found that sometimes there’s as much to learn from what the Bible doesn’t say as there is to learn from what it does say.” Her article, she suggested, reflected something the Bible doesn’t say. She looked to Mark Driscoll, Dorothy Patterson and Martha Peace and pointed out how each one of them has at one time suggested that a woman has to be careful that she does not “let herself go” after having children or after being married for some time.
R. C. Sproul, James Boice, and J. I. Packer were already stirring many evangelicals with the vision of a great God who saves sinners by a grace that is amazing from start to finish. Out of the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology, chaired by Dr. Boice, a host of annual conferences sprouted up across North America. Ligonier Ministries gained a national platform. Inspired and nourished by these efforts, several of us started the White Horse Inn and Modern Reformation 20 years ago out of a concern that we need to recover the riches of the Reformation, with the gospel of justification in Christ alone, by grace alone, through faith alone, at its heart.