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(Almost) Everything I Need To Know About
Spirituality I Got From Epic Movies
Caféchurch 23/7/13
A Preliminary Question
What draws you to
Christianity?
Everything I Need to Know about Spirituality
I Learned from The Lone Ranger
•Religion - boring,
prudish, moralistic,
hysterical, gormless,
helpless and probably
racist
•Spirituality – cool,
worldly, seeking, ironic,
witty, efficacious and
you get to be Johnny
Depp
You Restlessness Is What Is Right
With You
You live a good life. You pay
your taxes, give to charity,
have compassionate
intentions, try to vote with
your conscience, are kind to
your friends, are careful
around your carbon footprint
and recycling. You even pay
for online music.
Why isn’t this enough?
Orthodoxy or Spirit Walker?
An itinerant preacher is
stomping around the
back blocks of a semi-
failed state, claiming he
can heal the sick, re-
write moral laws more
or less at will,
surrounded by a
disparate group of
hopeless cases
Then someone came to him and said, ‘Teacher, what good
deed must I do to have eternal life?’ And he said to him,
‘Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one
who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the
commandments.’ He said to him, ‘Which ones?’ And Jesus
said, ‘You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery;
You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness;
Honour your father and mother; also, You shall love your
neighbour as yourself.’ The young man said to him, ‘I have
kept all these; what do I still lack?’ Jesus said to him, ‘If you
wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the
money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven;
then come, follow me.’ When the young man heard this
word, he went away grieving, for he had many
possessions.
Ethical Life Is Not Enough
A Risky Spirit Quest
God gives Godself to you for
free. But, paradoxically, like
falling in love, it is the sort of
free gift which costs everything.
A Question
Do you think you are
engaged on a Spirit
Quest?
It Begins With The Summons To Adventure
For Bilbo Baggins, it was
Gandalf.
“But to all who received him,
who believed in his name,
he gave power to become
children of God, who were
born, not of blood or of the
will of the flesh or of the will
of man, but of God.”
John 1:12-13
Fellowship
•You need all the help
you can get.
•That’s what “church” is
– fellow adventurers.
•(aka “community” to
use a hackneyed word)
Spirit Guide
•Achilles had Mentor
•Luke had Obi
•Frodo had Gandalf
•Harry had Dumbledore
•We have the Great
Tradition (i.e. Scripture,
Theology, Reflection) –
4000 years of reflection
and experience of the
Divine.
Lightsabers and Jedi Mind Tricks
•Any worthwhile
enterprise needs
preparation.
•Spiritual training is
what you need to
complete the quest.
The Way
•It’s not a physical road,
obviously, but an inner,
spiritual quest.
•(Though it might
require a bit of travel)
•The further you go, the
more you get out of it.
The End You Are Looking For
God with us, which means a
new self which is
simultaneously the “me” I
was originally meant to be.
“You have formed us for
Yourself, and our hearts are
restless till they find rest in
You”
Confessions St Augustine
Obligatory C.S. Lewis Quote
“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that
house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He
is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and
so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not
surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a
way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense.
What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building
quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out
a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up
towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made
into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends
to come and live in it Himself.”
Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis
A Question for Reflection
How far are you prepared to go?

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(Almost) Everything I Know About Spirituality I Learned From Epic Movies

  • 1. (Almost) Everything I Need To Know About Spirituality I Got From Epic Movies Caféchurch 23/7/13
  • 2. A Preliminary Question What draws you to Christianity?
  • 3. Everything I Need to Know about Spirituality I Learned from The Lone Ranger •Religion - boring, prudish, moralistic, hysterical, gormless, helpless and probably racist •Spirituality – cool, worldly, seeking, ironic, witty, efficacious and you get to be Johnny Depp
  • 4. You Restlessness Is What Is Right With You You live a good life. You pay your taxes, give to charity, have compassionate intentions, try to vote with your conscience, are kind to your friends, are careful around your carbon footprint and recycling. You even pay for online music. Why isn’t this enough?
  • 5. Orthodoxy or Spirit Walker? An itinerant preacher is stomping around the back blocks of a semi- failed state, claiming he can heal the sick, re- write moral laws more or less at will, surrounded by a disparate group of hopeless cases
  • 6. Then someone came to him and said, ‘Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?’ And he said to him, ‘Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.’ He said to him, ‘Which ones?’ And Jesus said, ‘You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honour your father and mother; also, You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ The young man said to him, ‘I have kept all these; what do I still lack?’ Jesus said to him, ‘If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ When the young man heard this word, he went away grieving, for he had many possessions. Ethical Life Is Not Enough
  • 7. A Risky Spirit Quest God gives Godself to you for free. But, paradoxically, like falling in love, it is the sort of free gift which costs everything.
  • 8. A Question Do you think you are engaged on a Spirit Quest?
  • 9. It Begins With The Summons To Adventure For Bilbo Baggins, it was Gandalf. “But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13
  • 10. Fellowship •You need all the help you can get. •That’s what “church” is – fellow adventurers. •(aka “community” to use a hackneyed word)
  • 11. Spirit Guide •Achilles had Mentor •Luke had Obi •Frodo had Gandalf •Harry had Dumbledore •We have the Great Tradition (i.e. Scripture, Theology, Reflection) – 4000 years of reflection and experience of the Divine.
  • 12. Lightsabers and Jedi Mind Tricks •Any worthwhile enterprise needs preparation. •Spiritual training is what you need to complete the quest.
  • 13. The Way •It’s not a physical road, obviously, but an inner, spiritual quest. •(Though it might require a bit of travel) •The further you go, the more you get out of it.
  • 14. The End You Are Looking For God with us, which means a new self which is simultaneously the “me” I was originally meant to be. “You have formed us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in You” Confessions St Augustine
  • 15. Obligatory C.S. Lewis Quote “Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.” Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis
  • 16. A Question for Reflection How far are you prepared to go?