Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bible Illiteracy Gone Mad, #12

A survey [of 2,572 American adults] conducted on behalf of the American Bible Society found that 63 percent incorrectly believed that a verse found in 2 Corinthians was actually a quote from either Martin Luther King Jr., former President George W. Bush, or the patriotic superhero, Captain America.

The verse in question was 2 Corinthians 4:8, which in the Contemporary English Version reads, "We often suffer, but we are never crushed. Even when we don't know what to do, we never give up."

I'm more familiar with the NIV version, "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;" We used to sing a worship song at my old youth group with the verse as the theme.

Back To School

I’m going back to school as well this week. Registered to audit a 15-week, graduate-level apologetics course taught through Biola University, and facilitated online via Reasons Institute, called “World Religions and Science.” It’s always been a topic of interest of mine and am looking forward to my first “formal” tutelage on the subject. Such topics and lectures include:

• A Biblical Perspective on the World’s Religions
• Worldviews, Christianity and Science
• Judaism and Science
• Islam and Science
• Mormonism and Science
• Eastern Mysticism and Science
• Religious Pluralism

Promo for the course

Friday, August 26, 2011

Movie Trailer Thursday - August 25, 2011

A collection of the latest and greatest movie trailers from the ‘Net every Thursday.
The Rum Diary
Footloose Girls always go for guys that can dance.
Chasing Madoff I dig financial documentaries for some reason
Johnny English Reborn Rowan Atkinson has a McLaren F1. That alone gets his new movie on here.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

My favorite part is the directors' intro.

Iron Sky

I love alternate reality sci-fi!

Father of Invention

Bonus #1:
Track Time With Tom Cruise:
Who knew Tom Cruise looping and helicopters and going offroad in 1000hp F1 cars could make for such a cool 4-minute video
Bonus #2:
Top 10 Low Pass Flybys of All Time
Thanks to Marit.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Movie Trailer Thursday - August 18, 2011

A collection of the latest and greatest movie trailers from the ‘Net every Thursday. This week's trailers rating: 4.5 out of 10 (not in the mood, only because of The Immortals trailer)


Trailer 2

Red Tails
Trailer 2

The Woman in Black
Harry Potter guy

Trailer 2

Why Most People Don't Finish Video Games

Why most people don't finish video games (cnn.com)

I think this guy is spot on. I know as I’ve gotten older with more adult demands such as a job, house, etc., it’s been much harder to play any console games, let alone finish single-player stories or campaigns (last game I “finished” was Final Fantasy XII...still working on Halo 3).

I think this is part why I’ve gotten back more into my arcade machines, because games from back in the day are more “bite-sized” affairs. Playing a 10 minute game of Ms. Pac-Man is much easier for me than investing 30 hours in the lastest Elder Scrolls iteration. Not that I’m happy with this reality. I do wish I was back in the halcyon days of video gaming in my life when evenings consisted of free-living affairs of hours upon hours of gaming. Oh well, c’est la vie. Perhaps I’ll get back into it…just cracked open Final Fantasy XIII a few weeks ago :)

One of the best video gaming endings of all time. Nobody cried during this ending.

This gives me an idea for an article for my best video game endings of all time...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Sin of “Second-Coming Narcissism"

“Hidden” sins are very common in Christian (and of course secular at large) culture. Everyone has it…it’s just Christians tend to be a little better at trying to cover it up or hide it, or not. But apart from the common hidden sins of say affairs, pornography, or cheating-on-your-taxes lies a hidden sin that’s pretty much never talked about. What I’m talking about is the sin of Second-Coming Narcissism.

Narcissism is a standalone sin I believe, but it’s acutely specific to Christians and Christian culture when it’s attached to the Second-Coming of Jesus (i.e. “Armageddon”, “Rapture”, “End of Days”, “Judgment Day”, etc.). In short, Christians can be so focused on the Second-Coming of Christ (in and of itself not a bad thing to be focused on – aside from all the most likely incorrect dramatic interpretations that have manifested over the past 2,000 years)…but doing so to the point of thinking it just has to definitely happen in one’s lifetime, to the point that they’re ignorant to the narcissistic tendency they’re exhibiting by thinking so. (I’ve always felt that Christians very focused on the “End Times”, while not a bad secondary or tertiary pursuit in Christian-living, do so under the guise of fear of dying prior to the return of Christ.) This “me first” mentality on the outside looks as if they think they’re somehow special, or more special than the millions of Christians that preceded them in the past two millennia, and the millions that will follow. “Me first” mentality isn’t exactly a staple characteristic in the Kingdom of Heaven.

It actually was a short blurb from a reoccurring blog called Tuesday Morning Quarterback (the writer occasionally dabbles in philosophy, cosmology, and religion) over at ESPN.com that piqued my interest to the point of wanting to write about it…

End of World Postponed Due to Technical Difficulties: May 21, 2011, passed without incident. This was the day predicted by extremist evangelicals for Armageddon. The crackpot behind the prediction declared he had a "really tough weekend" when billions of people did not perish in flaming agony. Our hearts go out to him!

Supposedly, hidden messages in scripture said the end of days would commence on May 21, 2011. There is a long-standing tradition of persons who range from earnest believers to fast-buck artists claiming to have found within the Bible encrypted instructions, mystic dates and magic numbers.

Wouldn't the plain-words meaning of scripture come first? The Bible contains several covenants between God and humanity. At Genesis 9:11, God says, "I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth." Another covenant comes through the prophet Isaiah, who declares, "My steadfast love shall not depart from you and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the Lord." (Isaiah 54: 9-10). Another comes from the prophet Jeremiah, who, speaking for the divine, declares of men and women, "I will make an everlasting covenant with them, never to draw back from doing good to them." (Jeremiah 32:40.)

In plain words, God promises not to destroy the Earth, that a divine covenant of peace "shall not be removed," and "never" to stop trying to help humanity. Yet people insist on claiming scripture contains encrypted messages of doomsday. What part of "never" don't you understand? The Book of Revelation does depict an apocalypse. Scholars and theologians have argued for centuries whether Revelation is prophecy or symbolism. Since Revelation declares in its first verse that what is described "must soon take place," and 1,900 years have passed, symbolism seems likely. Which takes us back to the plain-words reading of scripture.

Yes, I can’t take a football blog writer too seriously regarding these deep concepts (though if you read some of his stuff, he surely holds his own in certain areas outside football), but he does bring up a good point (for the record, I don’t agree with all he says), and one that surely get’s “end times” fanatics’ blood boiling…not only the notion that the Second Coming of Christ may not come in their lifetime (a dreadful thought to someone struggling with “Second Coming Narcissism”), but the almost heretic idea that most Biblical eschatology (end times theology) is symbolism; if not almost all of it. Of course no true Christian would believe nothing will happen as one of Christianity’s main tenets is the Second Coming of Christ, but perhaps it will happen more like a simple wisp of the wind (for the record, I adhere to amillennialism)…and it’s over, rather than literal fire and brimstone mass hysteria, cats and dogs living together type stuff. I mean I guarantee the original generations of Xtians most definitely believed it would happen in their lifetime; the Biblical literature points too accurately to this mentality. So when it didn’t happen, Christians were forced to scramble around to re-interpret all the eschatological writings from Scripture. From that we got all these crazy notions about the end times, etc. (Did you know the modern “rapture” concept and word was invented by a 17th century Protestant pastor?)

But I digress; I’m not here to discuss Biblical eschatology, its validity, or its meaning. Regardless of its meaning, many Christians think, and I’d argue narcissistically and therefore sinfully, that the end of time, the Second Coming of Christ will and must happen while they’re still alive (and why so many end time prognosticators are wrong in their interpretations…they just want so badly for it to happen before they die they’ll try to fit the world around them into their personal agenda). Now I don’t blame them of course for wanting this. Not at all. I mean what follower of Christ wouldn’t want to be around while their meek sacrificial Savoir comes back riding on the clouds finally as a conquering king? It’s human nature to want to be around for that and opening up a holy can of whup@$$. I surely want to be around for that type of stuff. But I’m ok if I’m not. It’s also human nature to be afraid of death. It’s ok to be afraid. I’m afraid of the unknown for sure. But I’m also ok if Christ decides not to come back for another 43,207 years. I mean a lot of great Believers have come and gone with baited breath for the return of their Savoir…but it didn’t happen. Why would we be so special as to be the ones to see him return in glory? Have any end times peeps asked that question, instead of how the latest political banter between Israel and Palestine signifies the End is near? Who cares really? We’re gonna end at sometime, whether with a beating heart or not…and we’ll see him eventually in glory (not to mention be able to watch the Second Coming on divine DVR). Try not to be so narcissistic to think it’s just gotta happen while you’re alive and start fitting world events into your eschatology…instead of letting eschatology do its thing apart from your emotions.

It all sort of reminds me of that comical/sad/ironic sequence when Jesus is talking about important things like his death and his disciples are arguing about who will be the greatest in God’s kingdom.

An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.” -lk9:46-48

The disciples come off as selfish, narcissistic fools in this (big surprise). Here Christ is sharing about his most agonizing near future, and they’re worried about who’s the best. In a similar way I think Christians that focus so much on the Second Coming of Christ happening in their lifetime, instead of focusing on the primary mission of what it is to be a Christian, to share the Gospel to a lost and hopeless world without reserve, are doing a disservice not only to themselves but also to what really is important with the time that they have. Study eschatology, great. But don’t do it at the expense of sharing the Gospel, and be careful not to think too highly of yourself.

Now I’d be remiss to mention that those that believe, based on world events, etc., that the Second Coming of Christ is nearer than say, 878 A.D., aren’t crackpots for thinking so. There are many convincing arguments that prop up end time theories relating to world events of today. And the fact that globalization has occurred within the past 50 years or so has greatly increased the chances that events described in Revelations could in fact happen in this type of communication infrastructure that we now live in. That said, end times theorists with great arguments, in their times, are nothing new (simply type “end time prophecy” in Google) – and folks have been proclaiming “their generation” is thee generation for well…two millennia…literally since the day Christ floated up from a hill. Again, my issue isn’t speculation or eschatological pursuits. I just have a problem with those that are either convinced it will happen the way they, or the lastest and greatest end times celebrity prognosticator, think – and this, what I believe to be, narcissistic idea that Christ will come back in their lifetime. I think humility could go a long way in repairing many of our emotionally or cult-of-personality based eschatological views.

And finally…I’m gonna go out on a prophetic limb here and predict that the Second Coming of Christ will not come in my lifetime. It’s all good either way. As David said…

“God will redeem me from the realm of the dead;
he will surely take me to himself.” -ps49:15

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Corey Feldman on Child Stardom

Watch till the end...I really feel bad for him.

Movie Trailer Thursday - August 11, 2011

A collection of the latest and greatest movie trailers from the ‘Net every Thursday. This week's trailers rating: 2.5 out of 10 (lame week)

Looks intense. I like cars.

The Odd Life of Timothy Green
Um no. Just adopt people! Don't get so desperate as to grow kids in your backyard.

The Sitter
This guy plays the same role (frustrated, vulgar fat guy) in every movie he's in.

Suing The Devil
At first I was like "the production values are a little low it seems", then I was like "Well Malcolm McDowell is like a C, maybe B-list actor at least", then I was like "Wait a second, this is the longest trailer of all time", and finally I was like "Yep, it's a Christian movie" when the Christian music started playing in the background.

Archie's Final Project
Prolly something if you work with high school kids you'll want to see...just to stay in touch.

Like Crazy
2nd trailer. This movie is killing me.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Movie Trailer Thursday - August 4, 2011

A collection of the latest and greatest movie trailers from the ‘Net (every Thursday)

The Darkest Hour
I like Emile Hersch as an actor. Hot babes and aliens don't hurt either.

In Time
Interesting concept. Timberlake legit? Jury is still out.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Well cut trailer...and seemingly great cast
<a href='http://video.msn.com?vid=4eb189e9-5402-4080-be75-df5d3ed96b68&mkt=en-gb&src=FLPl:embed::uuids' target='_new' title='Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Exclusive Movie Trailer' >Video: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Exclusive Movie Trailer</a>

Knights of Badassdom
Has an endearing geek quality to it. Looks like it may get old quick though :/

Former UFC fighter turned female-Jason Bourne?

Red Tails
Could easily be Tie Fighters and X-wings going at it

Our Idiot Brother
Obligatory modern comedy trailer

Like Crazy
i like don't like this trailer...maybe it's the music, maybe it's the art imitates life part

Eating Healthy Worth It?

What do you think? Should the government subsidize healthier foods to make prices more comparable to not-so-healthy foods? Or should we just be ok with the premium, and even cut back in other areas to make up the difference?

Healthy eating adds $380 to yearly grocery bill, study shows

I say “yes”, and “yes”.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Wanted: Good Bloggers

In an effort to broaden EbbWorld Annex’s appeal, I’m soliciting bloggers and writers to become co-authors on my blog. I love contributing to this blog but time constraints sometimes limit me, so I would like to hire, for free of course, fellow writers to keep a flow of new material coming. Of course I would have the unilateral power to repeal anything I didn’t deem EbbWorld-worthy, but I’m pretty open to new ideas and content about life, love, and why.

So answer the following questions (sentence or two) in an email to me (kwojciec@vt.edu) if you’d like to contribute:

Why do you like EbbWorld?

What are your interests?

Give me 3 prospective ideas or content or articles you’d like to post?