Friday, March 29, 2013

Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl

When I set down Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl, I was amazed, stunned, and utterly confused on my feelings towards the book.  The storyline is non-existent and the writing not the best.  Everything about the book itself would lend me to believe I wouldn't like it.  Yet, in a strange way, it was a beautiful book giving me a new look on the world, God, and thoughts on many issues.  The author writes in a stream of conscience, about the poetry of life as he sees it throughout daily life.  The poetry of his writing throughout the book was incredible, and the way he intermingled all the storylines into one look at the glory of the Lord's creation was incredible.  Even though I found his theology different throughout the book, he still presented his message extremely well.  So I did like this book a lot, hence the ten+ bookmarks marking my favorite spots throughout, but I am still not sure if I would recommend it.

As my confusion is so widespread, two friends of mine were kind enough to write a paragraph with their thoughts on this book.  Their thoughts are very good and I hope they are helpful in the review of this book.  I do want to note that this book had a very, very minor amount of questionable language, so for the very young may need to be wary.
~ Matthew

"It is hard to stay focussed with so much swirling around me. God is distracting. He never stops talking, and I can never stop listening.  There is a reason we sleep." (N.D. Wilson, Notes From the
Tilt-A-Whirl).  While exploring the vast expanse of theological concepts that have been presented by so many scholars, N.D. Wilson skillfully works his own style and wonder into this work.  Based on Dostoyevski's Notes From Underground, Notes From the Tilt-A-Whirl wanders through the ideas of Descartes, C.S. Lewis, Augustine, Plato, and many others adding an edge to observing creation. Throughout the entire work, Wilson expresses diligent praise to God in scrutinizing man's views on creation, while simplifying even the most convoluted of modern concepts using truth, and a little humor.

"We cannot hope to reach the final chapter by dreaming, by holding our collective breath and staring at unshaded acrylic escape paintings. The only road to that final chapter began in the garden and led into the wilderness. It runs through these chapters.  Live now.  Relish the tensions, the challenges, and laugh at the petty pains." (N.D. Wilson, Notes From the Tilt-A-Whirl).
~ RW

Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl was the second most inspiring and entertaining book that I've ever read in my entire life. This book gives you a fascination for the world and its Creator...
and it makes you feel special to live in such a colorful, random, and breath-taking universe. It paints you a picture of really how random, how odd, and how diverse the universe really is... and makes you hungry for nature and its beauty. 

Sometimes, because many of us have heard about God and the gospel so many times in our life, we become overly familiar with it.. to the point that it becomes boring or ordinary.  N.D. Wilson really changed that for me. He reminded me how awesome and how powerful our God is. The author of this book really captures the concept that God is powerful, rare, surprising, and beautiful. This book also presents the gospel in a fascinating and unexpected way. 

By the end of the book, I had tears in my eyes. It was that amazing. :) 
~ AP

Thank you both for your review, I appreciate it!


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Christianity in... "The Lorax"

My friend Will gave me a most excellent idea recently.  He said that for Dedicated Christians we should do a series of posts explaining the truth and Christian principles in various movies.  Hopefully we can get him to do a couple, but for today you have me.  I do want you all to know that not all the authors agree or would watch the movies reviewed.  The opinion belongs to the individual author and not to Dedicated Christians as a whole.

I recently watched "The Lorax," and after viewing was struck with the incredibly hard challenge to find truth in, as a friend put it, "the vast amounts of propaganda and worldly thought."

I just knew there was truth in the movie, and here is what I discovered.

The Lorax is the story of a young man who leaves his home to make a fortune by selling a sweater/hat-like piece of clothing that was made from trees.  The propaganda in the movie is pushed to an extreme as the whole movie is focused on "saving the earth" and "tree huggers."  There were two parts in the movie that later struck me as truth we can take from this movie.

The first is truth itself.  After cutting down the first tree the Lorax, a magical critter, tells him he needs to stop and shows him what could happen.  Onesler, the main character, promises the Lorax that he will not cut down anymore trees, and instead starts to get the tops of trees by picking the leaves, something that is "good for the environment."  After his family gets there to help with his business they start to pressure Onesler until he caves in.  He decides it is okay to cut down a few trees, just not all of them.  This slowly changes until every tree is gone.

The truth of this is showing the consequences of a broken promise, which is lying.  A little compromise of a promise moved into something bigger and bigger until it created a catastrophe.  It is the same with us as Christians.  We need to realize that lying is a sin.  We see throughout the Scripture that we "should not bear false witness," and in the Revelation we see "All liars will have their part in the lake of fire."  A little lie might not seem like much, but it escalates in what it can lead to and how God sees it.  It escalates how, like in the movie, a little lie moved to a bigger lie.  But how does God see something as small as a lie?

The Evangelist Tony Miano put it this way (paraphrased).  Imagine you lie to your baby brother.  Chances are nothing will happen to you.  Now, if you lie to your Mom, you will most likely be punished.  But if you lie to the President, you can be sentenced to jail or death.  The crime did not change, but what changed was who the crime was against.  It is the same way with God, just a little lie to Him is a great offense, and worthy of being thrown into the lake of fire.  For this reason we can learn from The Lorax the consequences of a lie or broken promise.

The second lesson we can learn from The Lorax is the lesson of Stewardship.  The young man had in his power the fate of whether or not the trees would be cut down, and indirectly through that the fate of the animals living inside those forests, and the entire ecosystem surrounding it.  If you have ever heard Doug Phillips preach, you have probably heard what he calls the "Dominion Mandate."  This concept comes from Genesis 1:26-28, which says:

"Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”"

This is God telling man to take dominion over the earth and subdue it for His ultimate glory.  Now the Onesler did it so much he almost destroyed it.  He was like a man who plants apple trees in a garden, and in harvest comes and pulls up all the trees from the roots in order to harvest the apples.  He destroyed the whole ecosystem of the garden.

I am not personally a "tree hugger," but I do realize the importance of caring for the world God has given us.  In the example above the man was a fool to not care and nurture the trees in order to get a more bountiful crop, but instead focused on the immediate profit He would receive, which is not right.  So the second message I believe we can learn from The Lorax is that we need to take care of our world rightly, but also see that going overboard in either direction results in chaos.

So those are the two truths I found in The Lorax.  Hopefully if you ever have the misfortune to watch this movie you will see these two principles and apply them to your own life.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Most UNBELIEVABLE Bible Verse!

What is the most unbelievable Bible verse? Is it Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth His love toward us, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us?” John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life?” Though these verses are miraculous, I believe the most unbelievable verse is the first verse in the Bible, Gen. 1:1. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

First of all, this verse says that there was a beginning. A beginning for creation; a preordained date for the beginning of time; one that was preordained by God. Therefore, if God preordained the beginning, He must have been before the beginning and if He had the power to preordain it, He must have been all powerful before the beginning.

Next we see that God and only God created everything. He needed no one else to help Him. He needed no one else to guide Him. He did it by Himself, with no assistance. Our lives are useless to Him, because He is all powerful and all knowing, for His knowledge and ability go beyond what our finite minds can fathom, yet He lets us live to see the wonders of His work, because He loves us! 

Then we see what He created. God Created everything! God created everything from the entire outer space and all the incredible stars and planets to the Hydrogen Atom, the smallest measurable mass. He created the earth and all that is in it. All the plants and animals, and, most of all, he created man. He created man in His own image to be able to research His creation, to take domain over the plants and animals, but to ultimately glorify Him. He also created man to be able to build things and create things with what God has given us. But we often fail at this. We try to do things, yet they never seem to quite come out the way we planned. But God never has that happen to Him! God did not need to sit down and write out His plan, or stop and think about how everything would work, He spoke everything into existence and it works perfectly, just as He designed it to. He knew how Nuclear Fission worked before He created Uranium. He knew how far the Sun is from the Earth before He created them. He knew all mathematical equations before numbers were created. All was preordained, all was created to work without us knowing anything about it, all was created in the beginning, right when He wanted it to. 
So the verse could be translated: “At a time that was preordained by God, which God was before and all powerful before, God, and God alone, spoke into existence everything that was created in a certain order so that His creation would work flawlessly until the end of time.” From Gen. 1:1, we see that God is all powerful, all knowing, eternal, ruler of everything, loving, and demands our praise and allegiance! The message is clear, right in the first sentence in the Bible!
If you can believe the first verse in the Bible, you can believe any verse in the Bible.  


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Hitler, God, and the Bible

I was ecstatic when I saw our local library attained a Ray Comfort book, and even more excited when I saw which one it was.  Hitler, God and the Bible is the sequel to the movie "180" that talks about abortion. 

Comfort starts this book with the birth of Hitler, and proceeds to give a biography of his life, all the way up through the holocaust.  Through reading about Hitler's hard life, it gives you a more personal look at this man and the way he thought.  All of these culminated into turning him into the man we know him as.  

After fully learning about the history of Hitler, Ray tackles whether or not Hitler was a Christian during WW2.  He takes this topic and proves his point beyond a shadow of a doubt... showing that Hitler had not repented and put his trust in the Savior.  Ending this section of the book, he gives a clear gospel message.

He ends with a chapter on the modern day holocaust in our own America... abortion.  The thousands of babies murdered is horrible, just like the holocaust.  He compares the two and how alike they really are.  

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  I would like to say that this book should only be read by mature readers.  As you may imagine, with in depth information on the holocaust, abortion, and other topics, a young reader should consult his/her parents before reading it.   



I apologize that there have been no posts on this blog for some time.  This is because of the busyness of all its writers with school and other various activities.  

Starting tomorrow I am going to try firing this blog back up, and hope some of you are still around to read.

God Bless,