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The 1940 census, a flying car, and fallen humanity

Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is also the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens.

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{/source}The 1940 census came online yesterday. The government website registered more than 22 million hits in four hours, and 37 million after eight hours.  The “virtual traffic jam” virtually paralyzed the site.  It is still leading Google Trends this morning.

Meanwhile, a flying car will make its debut at the New York International Auto Show in Manhattan this week.  The “Transition” can reach speeds of 90 mph on the ground and 115 mph in the air, and can fly up to 490 miles.  The flying car costs $279,000 and will go on sale by the end of the year.

From technology to nature: Robert Biggs was hiking in northern California when he came upon a mother bear and her two cubs.  After watching the black bears, he turned to leave when a mountain lion pounced on his backpack.  He is convinced he would have died “when a blur on my left side grabbed the lion by its throat–turns out it was the momma bear.”  The cat ran away, and the bear made eye contact with Biggs before returning to her young.  “I’m 100-percent sure it did want to save my life,” Biggs says.

If only people behaved as well.  After Kentucky defeated Kansas to win the NCAA title last night, fans filled streets near the Lexington campus.  People set couches and at least one car on fire.  One man was shot and taken to the hospital.  Dozens of people were arrested.

And the Mega Millions lottery is unfortunately still in the news.  Mirlande Wilson is an employee at a Maryland McDonald’s restaurant.  She claims that she holds one of the three winning tickets, and that she bought it on her own.  Her coworkers claim that her ticket was part of their lottery pool and that she must share the wealth.  Since she hasn’t yet claimed the prize, lottery officials say there’s “no indication” her story is true.

We are a confusing species.  Our curiosity motivates us to research our past and build cars that can fly.  But we can turn triumph into tragedy and good news into greed.  Shakespeare was right: we “commit the oldest sins the newest kind of ways.”  Paul spoke for us all: “I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.  For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing” (Romans 7:18-19).  So do I.

As long as I’m writing this morning essay there will be fallen humanity to discuss.  Like the mountain lion who pounced on the hiker, “your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).  But here’s the good news: like the bear who saved the man’s life, “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).  As you face temptation today, will you turn to his strength or yours?