“Back to the Future” hit the big screen in
1985. It starred Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly,
Christopher Lloyd as the energetic Dr. Emmett
Brown (Lloyd is 84 as of last month. That is crazy.
Who else among us remembers laughing at him as
“Reverend” Jim Ignatowski?), and the eccentric
and enigmatic Crispin Glover as George McFly,
Marty’s “nerdy” father. The movie became a
cultural staple for people of a certain generation. It
won one Academy award and was nominated for
three others (all a surprise to me, by the way).
More than that, it has surely done more for the
DeLorean brand than any amount of traditional
advertising could have done.
The gist of the film is this: With the help of
Dr. Brown’s DeLorean contraption, Marty travels
back in time—to 1955—and ends up “meeting” his
parents (although, because Marty is from 1985,
and because they are not even yet an “item,” they
obviously do not know that he is their future child).
Becoming entangled in their world, Marty soon
realizes that he must make sure that his future
mother and father end up together. If that does not
happen, he will never come to exist. In addition,
Marty has to figure out a way to get out of the past
and to get “back to the future.” The movie is filled
with paradoxes. Along the way, it consistently
connects the past with the future, which is
In John 8, Jesus encounters a woman who
has “been caught in adultery.” Some scribes and
Pharisees bring the woman to Jesus and,
recounting her very recent past, they question him
about her future. It is always fascinating to listen to
Jesus when he responds to questions and
challenges. It is also fascinating to watch him
interact with people who are ostracized,
marginalized, or otherwise denounced. More than
that, it is important to hear what Jesus has to say
about the future, regardless of the past.