Spider-Man & Proverbs: The False Wisdom of Vices

I argued recently that Uncle Ben’s urgent plea to Peter Parker is quite similar to Solomon’s exhortation to his “son” in Proverbs. The Tobey Maguire Spider-Man movie really brought this out.

But there is another aspect to that franchise that also is quite similar to the warnings of Proverbs.

Peter Parker’s development of unexpected and profound new powers threatens to lead him to a bad end. For years he’s been bullied by stronger and faster jocks. Suddenly, they are in the inferior position and he has a chance (he imagines) to replace them and attract the female that he thought would never notice him. Continue reading “Spider-Man & Proverbs: The False Wisdom of Vices”

Spider-Man & Proverbs: Uncle Ben as Solomon Begging His Son to Pursue Wisdom

I’m so old, that I still think of Tobey Maguire as the “real” Spider-Man. Whether you share that flaw or not, this scene is a perfect thematic introduction to Proverbs and what Solomon is trying to say to his son:

Continue reading “Spider-Man & Proverbs: Uncle Ben as Solomon Begging His Son to Pursue Wisdom”

Why Wisdom Should Not Be Restricted to Making Judgments

There is a common conception or model of Biblical wisdom that portrays it as something that you use while seated and thinking. Solomon was a wise king and he certainly did just that. So we get Proverbs like: “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him” (18:17).

But many matters addressed in Proverbs seem pretty far from an official courtroom situation. Continue reading “Why Wisdom Should Not Be Restricted to Making Judgments”

“Jesus Is Lord!” A practical suggestion for struggling with sin

I wrote this back in 2001 and had forgotten about it. Someone brought it to my attention and it seems to me that, though not about Proverbs in any way, it actually shows I was thinking in ways that would eventually help me to understand Proverbs.

All Christians struggle with sin.

Many times even relatively mature Christians commit sins they thought they had long since left behind and end up struggling anew with sinful habits in thought, word, or deed. Naturally, this means they must rouse themselves to action in putting to death the deeds of the flesh. Continue reading ““Jesus Is Lord!” A practical suggestion for struggling with sin”

What would Solomon think about social media?

Let me just say at the beginning: I don’t know what Solomon would think about social media.

I’ve occasionally had fun with the question in the title of the post…

…but I don’t know the answer to my question and neither does anyone else. Continue reading “What would Solomon think about social media?”

Proverbs on Strength and Gender

I posted this image of the text of Proverbs 31:17 on Instagram back in February mainly because I thought female lifters, as well as male lifters, would find it cute.

Since then, I’ve begun to wonder about the significance of this verse. Why is there no passage in Proverbs commending a man who “dresses himself with strength” or “makes his arm strong”? Why is this said of the godly wife? Continue reading “Proverbs on Strength and Gender”

Getting Better Takes Time & Doing Well Requires Endurance

One of the enduring puzzles of human life is that a good start is better than a bad one… and yet a good start isn’t enough to finish well.

This is obvious in mundane circumstances. A person starts a well-planned health regimen (whether gym or diet or both) and makes great progress in a year. Yet he fails to continue and, four years later, the effects of the change have dissipated. You can’t tell that he ever made himself healthier. Someone else however, because he had many distractions or maybe some misinformation about how to proceed, showed much less progress that first year, and yet stuck with it, and is much healthier or stronger or a better runner five years later.

Every good thing has to begin but not every good beginning ends up becoming a good thing for the long term. Continue reading “Getting Better Takes Time & Doing Well Requires Endurance”