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Monthly Archives: March 2015

I sat with a gentleman at a local Starbucks recently and our conversation directed us down this path of asking, “Is there such a thing as an original idea?” Somehow we landed on the topic of Apple’s Phone Watch.  My friend mentioned the Jetsons Cartoon series; we both remembered watching this animated cartoon series as kids. According to Wikipedia, “the Jetsons family lived in a futuristic utopia of elaborate robotic contraptions, aliens, holograms and whimsical inventions.” Wikipedia goes on to say, “the original series comprised 24 episodes and aired on Sunday nights on ABC beginning September 23, 1962, with primetime reruns continuing through September 22, 1963. It debuted as the first program broadcast in color on ABC-TV. [And] following its primetime run, the show aired on Saturday mornings for decades, starting on ABC for the 1963–64 season and then on CBS and NBC. New episodes were produced for syndication from 1985 to 1987.” Italicizing and bolding the years was intentional. While my memory of the technological gadgets showcased in this cartoon series is faint, this show illustrates that someone imagined robots before robots existed in automotive factories or hospital rooms; and someone imagined “intelligent” or ‘smart’ wrist watches as a means to communicate before Apple’s Phone Watch debuted.  The ‘smart-watch’ (pictured below Apple’s watch) was worn by someone in the Jetsons cartoon community (1962); presumably, this watch was worn by George Jetson. It appears like Apple’s new Phone Watch has or will have the ability to display visual images (2015). So, I ask, “is there such a thing as an original idea?”

Another example. My wife has family that lives in Pawnee, OK.  Why is that important? Chester Gould hails from Pawnee and he is also the creator of the cartoon strip, Dick Tracy.  This cartoon strip made its debut on October 4, 1931, in the Detroit Mirror. And it was distributed by the Chicago Tribune New York News Syndicate.  Gould wrote and drew the strip until 1977.  Google the name “Dick Tracy” and you will likely find him listening to his ‘talking watch.’

One last example, I published my first book, “Living Salty and Light-filled Lives in the Workplace” (Wipf and Stock, 2014). Basically, it is an exposition of Matthew 5:13-16 and applied to a specific place: the workplace. My hero, Dr. David Clyde Jones, Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology and Ethics (Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, MO), wrote this review of my book,

“In December 1940, British church leaders looking ahead to post-war social reconstruction included among the necessary vital points ‘that the sense of Divine vocation must be restored to a man’s daily work.’ Luke Bobo shows how that problem persists in our contemporary world and offers an experience-based, theologically informed, practically oriented approach to the Christian walk in the workplace.”

In sum, I am not alone in ‘seeing’ that many Christians do not sense or regard their vocation as a divine vocation.  I have simply recycled or given voice to an idea or problem that has persisted for some time. British church leaders were ruminating over and wrestling with the subject of my book 74 years ago; and George Jetson was sporting a watch that looks quite similar to Apple’s Phone Watch 53 years ago. And if we assume that Gould imagined Tracy’s talking watch in 1931, this is 84 years ago! So, I ask, “Is there such thing as an original idea?”