Monday, March 25, 2013

The Annunciation & The Fall of Barad-Dur

For all you Tolkien fans, go here for an excellent article.

A brief excerpt:

What am I saying? To the Christian March 25th is the day that Lucifer is defeated by means of the incarnation and death of Christ.  Likewise, the day Sauron is defeated is also March 25th when the Ring was cast into Mount Doom.  One might argue that Tolkien is preparing his reader for Christ by means of a story. After all, he does write of a pre-Christian world.  It would only makes sense that there are foreshadowing of Christ to be found in it like there are in other pre-Christian cultures.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Watch the Movie, Read the Book

Yes, I have watched a bit of The Bible on the History Channel, but since I do not watch that much TV, and Sunday Evenings are usually otherwise accounted for, I have not seen as much as I would like.  Having said that, the little I have seen, it is well produced and accurate, yet reading the overviews of each episode leaves me scratching my head at the leaps and edits made.  I know that there is a tremendous amount of material in the original, but so much has been left out, so it is a bit of a teaser.  Oh well, maybe it will send some folks who have never read the Book to the Book.

With this in mind, I had to laugh at the latest add from Church Publishing’s partner company Cokesbury.  For those who may not know, CP has downsized a bit and is using Cokesbury for distribution of resources.  Anyway, they sent out an ad for the “Companion Novel” to the Mini-series The Bible.  No seriously, they have a novel written in the way the series is written.  I thought we already had a book that the movie was based off, now we have a book based on the movie based on the Book?  OK, I am certain the novel will be useful, but what would you wager that the response would be to read the novel and skip the Book?  How many times have you said, “The book was not as good as the movie”?

Frankly, I wish they had added a spit take warning as I choked on my coffee when I read this: “Historically and theologically accurate, many prominent biblical characters are dramatized in the story: Moses, David, Daniel, John the Baptist, and, of course, Jesus. A 10-hour miniseries on the History Channel is the basis for the novel, and the script has been reviewed by seminarians for authenticity” (emphasis added).  That is a real corker.  I know seminarians, I was a seminarian, and most of us were in no position to make a judgment on the accuracy of a script.  There is a reason we were called “Semi-Arians” and the place of study, the “Semetary”, as in the place where good faiths go to die.  All joking aside, why use seminarians as the test audience and make them the authorities on the script?  Seminarians are being educated, they are not yet fully educated and formed, no offense intended to seminarians, but it would be like asking an accounting student to make authoritative comments on your tax situations.

Of course, the seminarians may not have been asked about the theology, they may have been asked about authenticity.  This word is a new favorite in the church as we should be authentic, but I believe it is overused. So did the seminarians say it was authentic? I hope so, it is a real authentic script written on paper or in digits!  Other than that, I do not know how authenticity could be judged.  I do believe the word means something other than accurate.

Anyway, watch the movie, it looks good, it has received good reviews, then read the Book.  Four out of 5 seminarians agree.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Bishop of Rome

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires was elected Bishop of Rome on the second day of the Conclave.  He has taken the name Francis to set the tone of his papacy.  There is some question of whether he has taken the name after St. Francis or Francis Xavier, or both.  He was the runner-up in 2005 to Benedict XVI.

There is an old joke that goes, "I know you are a Jesuit, but are you a Christian?"  In this case, the evidence seems to be that Francis is both.  He is a theologian of great depth, and has a heart for the poor.  He also appears to be a humble man, as his first official act was to lead a prayer for Benedict XVI, and bowed before the gathered masses to pray for him before blessing them.

He is also quite acquainted with suffering, as he lost a lung as a small child.

It will be interesting to watch this papacy and this new Bishop of Rome.  As members of the One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, I encourage all of us to pray for our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters, and their spiritual father, Francis.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Very Interesting

A new post from Philip Jenkins on the historic connection between the Coptic (Egyptian) Church and the Church in Ireland.

Hie thee hence.