Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Time and Time Again: The Complete History of DC's Retcons and Reboots - ComicsAlliance | Comic book culture, news, humor, commentary, and reviews

One of the reasons why I like comic books is because it shows fundamental fact: keeping track of a universe is really difficult. Both Marvel and DC publish stories of fictional universes, populated by thousands of characters and told in multiple books every single month by variety of talented people over years since 1938! How do you keep such stories continuous and consistent? Well, being human, they can't! So when characters and stories become unwieldy and confused, what do you do? Reboots and retcons!!! Basically, you start over and ignore past stories that contradict what you do now. At least, in current times, you write huge events across multiple bkooks to explain and give reasons why the history of characters change! Sometimes these things are well done and don't make longtime readers feel cheated. DC Comics is going through such changes now in which they are rebooting nearly all of their books and starting over coming late August. Comics Alliance has posted a great article giving a history of DC's reboots. Turns out that it's happened a lot more than I've thought.

Makes me even more grateful for God because He knows everything and in his soveriegnty he doesn't need to reboot any of our lives to ensure consistency and to fulfill His purposes. Retcons not necessary if you are God.

Time and Time Again: The Complete History of DC's Retcons and Reboots - ComicsAlliance | Comic book culture, news, humor, commentary, and reviews
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Beggars All: Reformation And Apologetics: Submit or Die! Early Islamic Da'wa

This is an interesting  article. This post has a clip from Iran in Farsi. She is talking about the
Letter of Omar, the second Khalif of Sunni Islam, to Yazdegird III, the Shah (King of Persia)
The post translates what the woman in the clip says:

It is interesting how in history that the name of Allah is again proclaimed and spread. This historical document of the letter of Omar, the second Khalif of the Muslims, to Yazdegird III, the Sassanian King of Persia, and then the letter of Yazdegird back to Omar, after the battle of Qadesiyeh and before the battle of Nahavand, that took place over a period of about four months.

The video gives the letters. This post not only translates the video so you can understand what she is saying but we get historical insight into how Islam spread into Iran. We also gain an understanding of why Omar, the second Khalif of Sunni Islam, is so disliked in Iran. This is a great post!

Beggars All: Reformation And Apologetics: Submit or Die! Early Islamic Da'wa
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Debunking Christianity: A Quick View to the Evolution of the Trinity

I saw multiple FacePalm-worthy post on Debunking Christianity today. I decided that this one was bad but not the worst so it's not gonna get a FacePalm. TGBaker keeps churning out material that makes me doubt if he ever even picked up a Bible. So here we go again.

The idea of trinity was not found in the original manuscripts of the New Testament. The pronouns that refer to the holy spirit were neuter meaning "it" not "He." By the fourth century copies of the Greek started showing some of the pronouns changes from 'it" to the masculine, He. (such as Ephesians 1:14). Even in the Gospel of John the Paraclete (Advocate) is referred to by neuter pronouns and is itself a neuter noun.

The word "Trinity" is not in the New Testament, but it's wrong to say the "idea" is not in it. The Father is called God. Jesus is called God (and it's more than just in the Pauline letters and John) . The Holy Spirit is called God. TGBaker insinuates that no neuter personal pronouns, referring to the Holy Spirit, exist in any manuscripts before the 4th Century, yet he provides no reference.  Besides the point is moot because Christian doctrine does not include that the Holy Spirit has gender - only personhood.

The idea of holy spirit in the New Testament is demonstrated by Paul's statement in I Corinthians 2: 10

these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.

The understanding of the Spirit of God is that God has a spirit like any human has a spirit. This is why we see the term is neuter throughout the New Testament.

No, not at all. The relationship between the Holy Spirit and the rest of the God-Head is more complimented than that. Recall what Jesus told the woman at the well

21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” - John 4:21-24

God doesn't just have a Spirit. God is Spirit. TGBaker shows a complete misunderstanding of what the Trinity is. God is one being! Monotheism. We experience and interact with God in a personal way. Three Persons in the one being. I completely agree with what Paul wrote, but it doesn't go against Acts 5:    I' am surprised that he left it out of this discussion.

3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”  Acts 5:3-4

So the  Apostle Peter said that Annanias lied to the Holy Spirit and equated the Holy Spirit to God. On rtop of that, can you lie to an "it"? No, you can only lie to person(s).

This changed when Jesus began to be viewed as divine:

John 1:18, Θεν οὐδες ἑώρακεν πώποτε ὁ μονογεν θεός, ὁ ὤν εἱς τὸν κὀλπον τοῦ πατρός, ἐκεῖνος ἐξηγήσατο.

No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten god which is in the bosom of the Father has declared Him.

With Jesus as Logos and therefore the only begotten god monotheism was compromised. For two centuries the churches wrestled with the problem. Arianism which stated about Jesus, "There was a time when he was not" and several Trinitarian theories of co-eternal existence were competing . A plethora of Trinitarian formulas were running a muck. One won politically in part because Constantine bullied the counsel to come to a conclusion so that there would be one type of Christianity. One type won. Everybody else ran or was killed as heretics over the next several years.

People like TGBaker love to try to point out that the deity of Jesus is only supported by the Gospel of John, and many such individual want to date John as late as possible so they can conclude the belief evolved. Their problem is that  You don't need John to conclude that the first Christians did believe Jesus was God incarnate.

One of my favorites is the accounts (it is even in John) of  Jesus walking on water (see Matthew 14:22-34; Mark 6:45-56;  John 6:16-24). So why did Jesus walk on the water? To get to the other side, of course!!!  (Joking) The Old Testament says that God walks on water so by doing it, Jesus is identifying himself.

He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea. - Job 9:8
Not to mention most of the epistles wicho all these skeptics also want to date before John;'s Gospel.

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.- Colossians 1 :15-20

5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
 6 Who, being in very nature God,
   did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
   by taking the very nature of a servant,
   being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
   he humbled himself
   by becoming obedient to death—
      even death on a cross!

 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
   and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
   in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
   to the glory of God the Father.- Philippians 2::5-11

And there are others passages outside of the Gospel of John!

Debunking Christianity: A Quick View to the Evolution of the Trinity
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Euthyphro Dilemma Excuriated by Mariano Grinbank on Vimeo

Remember the article Mariano Grinbank wrote for Apologetics 315's series on the objective truth of Christianity? Well the audio from the series plus some real snazzy slides have been put together into a real nice video presentation! Mariano explains how the Euthyphro Dilemma actually supports Christian Theism.

Euthyphro Dilemma Excuriated by Mariano Grinbank from Papa Giorgio on Vimeo.

Euthyphro Dilemma Excuriated by Mariano Grinbank on Vimeo
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Unbelievable? Is God a Moral Monster? Paul Copan & Norman Bacrac | MandM

Several Weeks ago Dr Paul Copan was on Unbelievable? and  it was an interesdting dialogue between him and Dr Norman Bacrac. I've posted a followup on the encounter, but I don't think I posted this article where Madeline Flannagan puts a link to the discussion and comments on it. The discussion was on Paul Copan's book
Is God a Moral Monster?  - n which the events of the Old Testament is recounted for us are discussed and an aplogetic is offered to counter claims of genocide against God. Take a look at the article and listen to the program if you missed it.

Unbelievable? Is God a Moral Monster? Paul Copan & Norman Bacrac | MandM
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Peregrinations: Dinosaurs and the Age of the Earth

Rick Gerhardt posted an interesting video on what the Bible has to say on the age of the Earth and dinosaurs. I think science has adequately shown that the earth is quite a bit older than 6K years. However that does not imply that macro evolution is true. The bible does not give us enough information to set dates for the beginning or the end.

Dinosaurs and the Age of the Earth from :redux on Vimeo.

Peregrinations: Dinosaurs and the Age of the Earth
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FacePalm of the Day #87 - Debunking Christianity: I Do Believe, I Do Believe ( Wizard of Oz)

Yet another post has gone up Debunking Christianity from TGBaker and yet another FacePalm. Instead of more eisogesis and scripture twisting, this time he opts for bare assertion without any shred of substantiation. Let's look at his post carefully:

It's sad and dangerous that people continue to fall for myths of Christianity. What is worse is the intentional affirmation and legitimating of these myths as absolute truths that are an imposition upon the activities of humankind. In seminary when I was a theological neophyte there was a worse myth. The neo-orthodoxy of World War I evolved into a theology that would make truth claims that the bible IS a collection of myth and fable as a positive thing.

Presupposition: Where is TGBaker's proof that Christianity is a myth? This is important. If he's right about the Bible being full of myths, then he has a leg to stand on, yet he offers nothing but an assertion.

BUT these myths and narratives are the way that god truly reveals himself in time. They are the revelation of truth in narrative. The virgin birth was not historical but it was more truthful than fact in that it revealed Jesus as both god and man. The resurrection was not historical because the transcendent intersected at that point in history whereby god manifested in the story. In other words the body stayed dead but the spirit of Jesus spread through the world in the mythic story. Die Sache Jesu geht Weider... The cause of Jesus lives on. (Willi Marxen ) Jesus rose into his on kerygma (gospel or preaching) Rudolf Bultmann, the resurrection occurred as revelation at communion after Jesus's death as disciples began to understand the meaning of the bread and wine Rudolf Schnackenburg (Catholic).

The above paragraphs illustrates where modern "Christianity" often falls off the wagon and the wheels of their wagon fall off. Where is TGBaker's proof that there was no virgin birth or resurrection? How does he know that these were not historical events? He says nothing but asserts it. I understand that TGBaker is merely descsribing "neo-orthodoxy" but I do not recognize my understanding of history or scripture in this at all. People who think this way cannot be truly born-again Christians according to what the Bible says a Christian believes.

These examples show why it is important to end the dysfunctional systems of these types of Christianity, Judaism or Islam. There is nothing sophisticated about such theologies. They actually reflect a desperation to cling to the security of a past life of delusional answers concerning questions about living rather than to face the responsibility of finding the real answers in living itself. The problem we face, however, is as my examples demonstrates, the intent to believe regardless of the facts.

I do agree that such theology is dysfunctional because it's not based on what the Bible teaches...that makes it worthy of disregard not sophisticated. It's at the end of this that TGBaker misses the fundamental point that the Bible does offer real answers for living and it is based on evidence and facts. I say this without offering proof since TGBaker did not offer any. I can make assertions too. If anyone would like to discuss the reasons why we can trust the Bible is true, I'd more than welcome it.

Debunking Christianity: I Do Believe, I Do Believe ( Wizard of Oz)
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