Christian Identity Disorder

This disorder is commonly known as sin. Well, it is slightly more
complicated. It is Christian sin.

Truth vs. Peace

As you may have read, I have been reading The Da Vinci Code. I finished it last night, so I thought I would record at least one thought about the much read novel. The religious outlook The Da Vinci Code has me somewhat confused. On one hand, it seems that Sophie, Langdon, and Teabing are all in a search for truth. However, in the end, it is only Teabing, and perhaps the Church, that are really seeking truth. Sophie and in the end Langdon, are seeking what might be called peace. In some ways, the book shows the dichotomy that most people see when looking at religion in a pluralistic world. You can either search for truth, or you can search for peace.

A search for peace is only concerned with metaphor and mystery. It is not concerned with truth. Hypocritically, most seekers of peace make no claims to exclusive truth, except that there is none or at least that it cannot be found. Instead, they seem to see the essence of faith as believing without thinking. This is postmodern religion. "How it affects me," is the most important criteria for religion. They have given up on the idea of truth either because they are frustrated by all of the competing claims or the idea of exclusive truth is morally repugnant.

A search for truth, on the other hand, is concerned with how the claims of a religion correspond to reality. These usually end up being either radical atheists out to prove all religions false or religious zealots eager to prove their own superiority. This is modern religion. "How it aligns with objective(scientific) reality," is the most important criteria for religion. Confused about humanity's humble original condition and subsequent fall, they pridefully make all kinds of exclusive claims and gladly divide up humanity between those that are in and those that are out.

Christianity, and in truth all religions I have studied, make truth claims, and they all make exclusive truth claims. Islam claims that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet. Buddhism claims nirvana can be reach by following the eight-fold path. Hinduism makes claims about reincarnation and law of karma. Christianity claims that Jesus Christ is the second person of a Triune God. Judaism claims that YHWH is the one true God. While some of these claims may be compatible, no religion is entirely compatible with another. In fact, most religions have further subdivisions based on irreconcilable interpretive disagreements.

I can hardly believe the statement in The Da Vinci Code that, "those who truly understand their faiths understand the stories are metaphorical." Surely Brown would not have us believe that the only true believers in a religion are those that espouse his own religion, one that rejects all claims to absolute truth. This is truly the height of arrogance.

It is certianly true that there have been some dastardly religious people in human history. There are so-called Christians that rank among the top. However, if one truly understands the scriptures one can see that the writers did not intended to put down women as Brown claims but to move their cultures to the ideal of equality. They did not seek to hold up current political or societal power structures, they stood outside of and usually against them.

Christianity invites all those with a critical mind to investigate its claims and experience true peace. Grace and Peace begins many of Paul's letters. Grace speaks of the objective fact that Christ has paved the way for the adoption as sons for all that will believe. And Peace speaks of the ever widening harmony God desires to pour out upon humanity. True seeks of truth and peace will be both satisfied and challenged if they would humble themselves and look for one outside them selves for safety. He eagerly awaits.
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Interview with a Vampire


3

My first thoughts were that this movie is really not worth the violence it includes. Now, I don't usually complain about well-used violence, but I have become more sensitive as I think about my two boys and explaining things to them.

Like most elements of a film, violence when used well and responsibly can be a powerful story-telling device. Deer Hunter is a good example of a movie where violence is well-used to tell a story.

After futher reflection, I am not sure if Interview is worth the trauma or not. One of the mysterious parts of the movie is the way Armand, the oldest known vampire seeks to draw Louis into a relationship. Armand sees Louis as a tie to the modern world, and he is ready to ditch all of the vampires from the old world. He wants to understand how to be a modern vampire.

I believe this is the key to understanding the theme of the movie. Armand later claims to want to teach Louis one part of being a vampire he has not learned: how to not have remorse. What Armand does not realize, is that this lack of remose is part of the old world, and Louis uneasy concsience is essential to his modernity.

Louis is forced into what the movie sees as a uniquely modern problem. Like Louis, we chose our destiny. How could we not choose technology and industrialization? It was a choice for live instead of death. However, there was a hidden cost. We now bear the burden of preying on others to sustain our livleyhood, and our consciences are continously beset with this weight.

Creation and Evolution

I have been thinking lately about creation and evolution.  I am listening to a very interesting lecture series on anthropology, a subject just brimming with evolutionary theory. In addition, I am running up against many references to old earth and evolution theories in preschool science material.  I need to start figuring out exactly how to talk to my kids about this.

I am wondering about how to integrate the insights into biology, sociology, psychology, and anthropology we learn using evolutionary theories.  Evolution is not without merit, but it is not without problems either.  I working on a theory that adds some aspects evolution to creation at the fall.  We will see how it turns out.

New Book

On vacation I started a new book: The Da Vinci Code. It is certainly interesting. Much of it is patently false. Some of it is true. He is not a bad writer, and it definitely keeps your interest.

I have put off reading it for too long. It is more interesting than I thought it would be. While it is often aggravating, the story pulls you along quite well. In addition, it is a good conversation piece. I will need to do some research, but I have already seen many holes in Brown's theories.

More to come if time permits.

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Vacation




Rusty and Sobo

Originally uploaded by bheathr.

Here is a good shot from our vacation. Visit flickr to see the set.

We had much fun with each other and our friends and family. I can't wait for Christ to come. I think we will be able to teleport so that we can be with all the people we love.

TFC - July Movie Night

The Temple Film Club will be viewing The Story of Us.


The Robinson's

Life's Not Fair and...

Life's not fair, but God didn't make it that way.  He made it fair, and he is appalled at the current state of justice.  Life should be fair, and one day it will be fair again. 

Courtney's Response

A week or so ago, I wrote a little on 'Bonfire of the Vanities' It was difficult to write, and I somewhat dreaded the reaction of Courtney. However, knowing her forgiving heart and the forgiving heart of my Father, I went for it.

If you are interested in her reaction, look here http://midnighthour.org/blog/index.php/archives/12.

It pains me to have hurt her so, but I know the path to righteousness leads through confession and repentance. And, I know this is what she truly desires of me.

You Never Know

You never know what is lurking behind the seemingly benign and harmonious relationships. I shot a wedding video for my father-in-law this weekend. Except for one sentence, I would have thought it was one big happy family.

There were smiles all around. The families were all intact as much as I could tell. Brothers and sisters seem to all love each other. There were no knock-down-drag-out fights about flowers or the service or anything.

Everyone was cordial to the help (me). There was no unusual nervousness on the part of the bride or groom throughout the wedding. In fact, at one point the bride laughed out loud.

The only odd thing I noticed was that the mother of the bride decided it was time to pick up the church in between the pictures after the wedding and the reception. We waited twenty minutes for her to arrive. That was a little frustrating.

I had to stay probably 30 minutes over my time to record the necessary rituals of cake cutting, etc. When I finally left, I realized that I was missing my jacket. I had laid it down on some bushes while waiting to get the shot of the couple exiting their limo. It was hot, and we were waiting on the OCD mother. I decided to drive back to the front and pick up my jacket.

As I drove up to the front of Cultural Activities Center, there were two people I recognized from the wedding. One was a groomsman and the other his wife. They were smoking outside near my jacket. I wondered if the thought it was strange for someone to park in the middle of the street and walk up to them. However, they kept talking as I walked up and picked up my jacket. The only words, I heard were, "It's horrible, ya know, it is the happiest day of Lori's life, and it is divided..."