Before I go any further, I should confess that I have no idea what I am talking about when it comes to great “literature.” High-school English classes were a nightmare for me early on, mainly because I did not know that fictional stories and novels were about more than characters and dialogue. As you can imagine, this confusion led me to hate the so-called “classics,” which always felt like they were *hint-hint-nudge-nudge*-ing me to think about something which was not all that clear from a cursory glance at the text.
Everyone loves Spider-Man. Well, I’m sure most of you do. Perhaps the reason Spider-Man is such a popular character is because of the reader’s ability to relate to him. We have all experienced juggling too many jobs, or not having enough money to pay for things, or relationship issues. Or maybe we’ve been trashed publicly by someone when we know that we were in the right. When we see Spidey struggling to do these things on top of saving the world, it provides a connecting point to each of us and we immediately know what it must feel like to have the weight of the world on our shoulders.
Robert Ward makes up exactly one-half of the CrossPointe “Finer Things” Club. Well, he would if such a thing existed, which it almost did… maybe. I came to know Robert at CrossPointe Church in Columbus, GA, where he is an associate pastor (or is it associate *to* the pastor?). Robert truly has a love for finer things: theology, fiction, film — and he’s also one of the wittiest guys I know. With his first post based on Tolkien’s classic trilogy (another reason I like him), please help me welcome Robert Ward to the Clement Arts blog. — Brad
If you ever get the chance to converse with Jeff Jackson over soup and a sandwich at 12th Street Deli, I say you should take it. What you will learn is that Jeff is a lover of all sorts of things, an eclectic bunch of things that seem disconnected at first: the beauty of nature, comic books and graphic novels, the people of St. Nicholas Episcopal Church in Hamilton, GA, and indie music even you hipsters have never heard of. But keep listening and you’ll find that the source of his love for all of those things is his love for Jesus Christ, who took on flesh and came into a world filled with all our eccentricities. Jeff has blogged often about the relationship between comics and religion, and he does so in a way that engages readers wherever we may fall in the spectrum of belief in God. He now joins the Clement Arts blog to continue the conversation. –Brad