Early in 2009, we introduced some of you to veteran Christian cartoonist Kevin Frank as he launched the book Balaam’s Chicken. Then last year, we showed you just a portion of larger illustration of the Cornerstone Festival. (In an earlier lifetime, Kevin appeared regularly in Cornerstone Magazine.)
But this week, we heard from Kevin, and on the occasion of his website makeover, he allowed us to splash some new panels on the wall here at Thinking Out Loud. So we’ll definitely do one on next Wednesday’s link list, but I thought we’d also do something today.
When you arrive at the site you have eight choices, but my favorites are True North (a somewhat autobiographical story about an American transplanted in Canada that appears in Canadian newspapers) and Heaven’s Love Thrift Shop, a story about a… well, you get it. That’s where the one below is from, but honestly, there were so many to choose from. (If you’re in children’s ministry, this one was my runner up.)
So which dies faster, New Year’s resolutions or Lent promises? If you’ve failed to give up something you can take some consolation in the fact that nowhere in scripture is this particular ritual sacrifice taught.
Which brings us to today’s infographic. The people at Twentyonehundred Productions — a division of InterVaristy — come up with these on a regular basis on their Facebook page. We thought we’d borrow this one in exchange for telling you to that, if there’s an IV chapter in your city or town, be sure to support them. If not, buy an IVP book or two!
If you liked that one, check out the latest Worship Poses: Olympic Figure Skating Edition.
This is oh so very realistic. Sourced at Cake or Death in case you want to contact Alex Baker about using it.
Last week I was trying to explain the basics of grace to someone who is searching through a number of spiritual options. I alluded to the story of the woman caught in the act of adultery, and also the story of the lost (prodigal) son, and realized in both cases that the person I was speaking with was not conversant with either story, so I had to backtrack and fill in the details.
Honestly, it felt strange to have to go back and say, “So there was this woman who was caught in the very act of adultery;” or “A man had two sons and the younger wanted his share of the father’s estate without having to wait around for his father to die;” especially in the environment that I was in sharing the story. I was cutting directly to the punchline as it were, but the person on the other end of the discussion had no idea who these characters were.
Once upon a time
It was a dark and stormy night
It all started with
The first thing that happened was
To begin with
I’ll never forget that first week
On the first day
In the beginning
In the beginning!
This is adapted from the book, YHWH is Not a Radio Station in Minneapolis: And Other Things Everyone Should Know, by Craig McNair Wilson,published in 1983 by HarperCollins.
I’ve also seen this performed as a (very short) live skit. A man sits a typewriter and inserts a fresh piece of paper. That’s necessary to get across that it’s an opening sentence he’s typing. He says each phrase as he types. But today you could also have a word processing program displaying live on a screen as he types. In the live version, he types ‘In the beginning,’ and then he stops typing, repeats the phrase out loud with more enthusiasm and then with greater passion says, ‘This could be the start of something big.’
Of course, it was the start of something big. The cartoon below is from the same book.
If you remember Cornerstone Magazine after which the festival was named, you might remember the Oboe Jones comic by Kevin Frank which appeared 27 times in the mag. In 2011, Kevin uploaded all the comics. You choose an edition and then click on the image, and then click the little magnifier thing to see it full size.
Now, I know Kevin doesn’t like it when bloggers embed his stuff — physically impossible with these anyway – so you’re going to have to click through for this one, but the particular link here is a great memory of the Cornerstone Festival, in this case the one from 1994. (But somewhat representative of all of them, the last one I attended being 1986.) If your internet connection can handle something 5,000 pixels wide, click through for Postcards from the Web. (The teaser sample here is just a very small part of a much larger scene.) You might even find Waldo, though I’m not sure if Waldo is there to be found.
You can also catch up with Kevin’s more recent work at KevinFrank.net
So despite everything I wrote here yesterday about posting cartoons and comics on the blog, I’m forging ahead with this one, largely because illustrator Richard Gunther seems to actually want his material to be viewed by as many people as possible.
What you see above is actually page 16 (the middle page) of Why Trials written by Ray Comfort at the blog MightyMag.org . You can see the panels in the correct order by following this link, or if you’d rather browse the whole blog click the first link and then scroll down to the posts for July 30th. Take a few minutes to do this, you might find you want to send this to someone you know. (You can also click the image.) Or perhaps you yourself are facing trials, spiritual attacks, anxiety or simply find yourself in a ‘desert’ season in life. Click the image to read Why Trials.
Note: If a keyword search online brought you here and you’re not sure why, the post tags for today are all taken from the 32 cartoon pages. Click here to see it in its entirety.
About the artist: New Zealand writer and illustrator Richard Gunther is the author of dozens of children’s books. He is perhaps best known for his provocative cartoons about God, the Bible and the Christian life. He provides daily cartoons for the blog site of evangelist Ray Comfort. Over the years Richard has produced a mountain of free Christian material for people to use. He has the desire to make Jesus Christ known in all the world because Jesus is the source of life.
There’s never a dull moment at the blog, Naked Pastor
They go to church on Sunday. Wait, delete that. They dress up and go to church on Sunday. Mom. Dad. Four kids. Including Chip whose gotta be in his teens and is wearing a tie.
And mom sings in the choir. And the choir sings “Hallelujah.” Wow! Thanks, Brian Walker, Greg Walker and Chance Browne for this panel from September 18th. (Not the first time either, check the bottom of this link list from last June.)
While searching for the first of three cartoon panels below from the Bizarro comic strip drawn by Dan Piraro, I suddenly realized the number of times he’s waded into religious themes and/or the degree to which certain Biblical imagery is part of the broader culture. Anyway, I felt this is as good an explanation as any for what happened to the dinosaurs:
In the process, I stumbled across this little hiccup that may have befallen Noah during the early stages:
Hopefully God would have been sympathetic, because the creation of the world was no small task…
You can read more at the Bizarro website.
I believe Christians can take it as a compliment when Bible themes make it into the broader cultural media, especially if the writer or artist doesn’t necessarily claim to be a believer. But some Christ-followers take everything so seriously that they feel that in comic panels like these the Bible is somehow being mocked or ridiculed; or that Biblical imagery belongs to us and cannot be expropriated by them.
Do you feel that as a Christian you are easily offended? I Cor. 13 may have something to say about that.