Wednesday, July 29, 2015

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

In Search Of Truth, Hebrews 11:6-7



v.6

Last time we looked at this chapter I made the observation from verse 5 that we can actually give pleasure to the infinite Creator and Ruler of all reality by trusting (having faith) in him. Verse 6 takes it a step further and tells us that pleasing God is IMPOSSIBLE without faith!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Free Games and a Great Game Channel (SBU Podcast)

The official podcast of Christian Geek Central! 
(http://www.christiangeekcentral.com)


Some free video games, a free PnP RPG and a great video game channel!



In Search Of Truth, Hebrews 11:5



v. 5

We know very little about Enoch. In the Bible he is mentioned only briefly in the Bible and usually as no more than a detail of genealogy or geography. In Jude 1:14 he is called “the seventh from Adam”, likely only because his name appears 7th in order in two Old Testament genealogies beginning with Adam. (Genesis 5, 1 Chronicles 1)

 Jude, in talking about people who have entered the Christian community and warped the truth, said: 

It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” (Jude 1:14-15)

 Jude is actually quoting “The Book Of Enoch” here. This non-canonical book has never been considered scripture by mainstream Judaism or Christianity. It's not a book that Jesus would have considered scripture. But authors of scripture occasionally quote non-scripture that contains an element of truth, which apparently this portion of the Book Of Enoch does.

 So from this we can see that Enoch's faith involved an absolute sureness regarding the justice of God and his unstoppable plan to make right all the wrongs of the world, dealing with ALL sin, once and for all, and silencing all the voices that pridefully speak against God.

 I really enjoy digging into the themes, virtues and philosophies being presented in geek entertainment. Creative types in all mediums, myself included, often inject their worldviews, intentionally or not, in the entertainment they create. Some of these themes are so thought-provoking to audiences that the creators themselves, and popular commentators, are given a platform to voice their opinion and teach or inform others regarding their beliefs and values. Entertainment is a useful and powerful tool!

 However I go back and forth between being saddened and angered as I see these voices of geek entertainment neglecting or even boldly rejecting Jesus. I think about those who already reject Jesus and the encouragement this give them to continue in that. I think about those on the fence or close to it who are swayed further from the truth by these voices that are well-read with strong vocabularies who, despite these attributes, have chosen to selectively ignore truth. 

I feel the urge to fire off a long-winded Youtube comment, dismantling their weak arguments and foolish assumptions. And maybe there's a place for that sometimes. But not without first remembering to have faith like Enoch, who knew that he didn't have to fix the world. Yahweh has a day for that. He's going to take care of that.

 So my plans to rip apart the worldview of a popular Youtube voice in the comments change to a simple book recommendation and a “thank you” for the content they produced. Because God has a day set aside. And my defensive, anger-fueled attempts to save the world one person at a time on Youtube are more likely to muck things up than do any good.

 We also see from Genesis 5:22 and 24 that Enoch “walked with God”. The Hebrew word for “walk” in these verses is often used to describe a manner of life. It was Enoch's way of life to just do things “with God”. He probably didn't compartmentalize his activities as “religious” and “non-religious” or “spiritual” and “non-spiritual”. He did life “with God” by default.

 And apparently because of his faith or “by faith”, Enoch did not experience death, but was simply “taken” by God. (Hebrew manuscripts of Genesis do not necessarily imply this, but the Septuagint, the Greek translation quoted by Jesus and New Testament authors, more specifically suggests this, which the author of Hebrews confirms.) What an amazing reward for this man's unshakable trust in Yahweh!

 If God has a “love-language”, it's trust. God loves us no less if we don't trust him. But consider for a second that we can give pleasure to the infinite God of all reality by trusting in him! He feels pleasure when we trust that he really is good and really will provide rescue from this world. Or when we trust his love for us enough to not become defensively angry when we feel attacked. Or when we trust that involving him in the details of our lives will ultimately bring more fulfillment and not less.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Terminator: Genisys Review (SBU Podcast)

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A review of Terminator: Genisys, some discussion about CG in movies and a further look at "faith" in the book of Hebrews!



Friday, July 3, 2015

In Search Of Truth, Hebrews 11:2-4



Hebrews 11:2-4
v.2
The word for “commendation” here is a bit elusive to me. The original Greek word means “to be a witness, to bear witness, i.e. to affirm that one has seen or heard or experienced something”. So some scholars say the idea communicated here is that these “people of old” had witness borne TO them because of their faith, the idea possibly being that because of their faith, these people experienced revelation of knowledge about God. However the English word often used to translate this word is “commendation” or something similar, implying that because of their faith they were in some way positively labeled by God.
The King James takes a middle road approach saying “they obtained a good report”, which could mean that they either heard a good report about God in the form of revelation, or that good things were reported about them because of their faith.
In the Hebrew language and writing style, it is often the case that multiple, non-contradictory meanings are intended, so this may be the case here in a book written by a Hebrew, for Hebrews.
v.3
The Greek word translated “the universe” here more literally means “the ages”. This seems significant to me, since it includes not just all that is and has been but time itself as a creation of God. Scientists have since come to agree that time itself has a beginning, which would seem to once again place the word of God ahead of the curve when it comes to our understanding of life and the realities around us.
In this immediate context, the author seems to be refuting an idea circulating in the first century that there was no God and yet there WAS some kind of “creation” event. The author affirms the creation event and identifies its source as God. This perception and understanding comes, as the author says, because of faith.
People often think of faith as something we hold on to when we don't understand something. And at times that's certainly true when life hits the fan. But as the author points out here, faith also facilitates understanding. For example, there are many scholars who subscribe to very late dating of the Old Testament books. But as we track down the specific reasons they give for dating the books these ways the logic is flimsy and the reasoning manufactured out of a seeming desire to deny the possibility of predictive prophecy and other miraculous events described in the Bible. But as faith allows for even the possibility of the miraculous, self-imposed mental barriers are destroyed and data comes together to reveal things that should have been more obvious before.
v.4
While Cain simply brought an offering of “the fruit of the ground”(Genesis 4:3) to give to Yahweh, Abel more specifically and sacrificially gave “the firstborn of his flock”(4:4). The very first “profit” Abel gained from his work as a shepherd he gave to God. By not protectively clinging to his first profits, Abel showed trust that God would provide for him. He also communicated something about the worth of God by giving something so precious.
Because Abel gave in this way, God considered him to be “righteous”, meaning that he was fulfilling the standards set forth by God. It wasn't the gift itself, but the trust and love it communicated that counted as “righteousness”. And this example of “faith” still speaks to us today.
Unlike the trends in sci-fi storytelling that present faith as a barrier to knowledge and discovery, faith in what God has revealed actually allows us to think and perceive more clearly, understanding reality better.

And although it may be a tendency among us geeks to keep a tight grip on our hobbies and comforts, faith also results in love and risk-taking sacrifice for God.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Is Faith "Illogical"? (SBU Podcast)

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Free Games, more of Paeter's Bookshelf and an examination of whether or not faith in God is "illogical".



Friday, June 19, 2015

E3 2015 Reactions (SBU Podcast)

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Thoughts and reactions regarding announcements from E3 2015!


Friday, June 12, 2015

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Flash Finale, Supergirl Pilot and Torchwood (SBU Podcast)

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Flash Finale, Supergirl Pilot and more Torchwood! Plus our return to the book of Hebrews!


Friday, May 29, 2015

In Search Of Truth, Hebrews 10:26-39





In the first 10 chapters of the book of Hebrews, the author has been establishing the superiority of Jesus and his sacrifice on our behalf to justly pay for all of our sins so that we can be reconciled with a perfect, and uncompromisingly holy God. Beginning in verse 22 of chapter 10, the author now describes how we ought to see the world and live our lives in light of what Jesus has done for us. In verses 23-25 he says that we should hold firmly to our faith and express it to others, encouraging each other as we commit to living in community with other believers, and as we look forward in anticipation to “the Day”, an expression which refers to the future judgment of Yahweh, in which evil is punished and wrongs are made right. (See Obadiah 1:15-17, where “The Day” Of Yahweh involves justice, and setting wrong things right.)

Friday, May 15, 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road Review and Torchwood (SBU Podcast)

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What Mad Max: Fury Road says about us, some thoughts on Torchwood and the announcement of "Agape Geekout"!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Sex, Nudity and Fantasies, Ant Boy and What Voyager Should Have Been (SBU Podcast)

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A review of Ant Boy and "Trek Talk" about what Voyager should have been. Plus, a look at the question "What's So Bad About Sex, Nudity and Fantasies in entertainment?"

Friday, May 1, 2015

Avengers: Age Of Ultron Review (SBU Podcast)

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(http://www.christiangeekcentral.com)

A review of Avengers: Age Of Ultron and a look at the question "Is Bad Language Really Bad?"!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Bloodborne Play Session: Uncut - I LIKE GAMES




The full- 90-minute play session, now with more blood and random discussion of geek culture!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Thursday, April 9, 2015

In Search Of Truth, Hebrews 10:19-23
















Hebrews 10:19-23

Up until this point in the book of Hebrews, the author has been explaining and then emphasizing the absolute sufficiency of Jesus' sacrifice to pay the penalty for our sins once and for all, contrasting his work on our behalf with the Old Covenant's ultimately ineffective sacrificial system.

AD: The Bible Continues (SBU Podcast)



Some reactions to "AD: The Bible Continues"! Does the TV series live up to its name?


Why Bloodborne Is "Stupid"

Friday, April 3, 2015

Friday, March 27, 2015

Sunday, March 15, 2015

In Search Of Truth, Hebrews 10:11-18



The author of Hebrews has been explaining the superiority of Christ's sacrifice for sin in comparison to the Old Covenant, with its repeated animal sacrifices, which by their very repetition exposed their ineffectiveness to truly and justly deal with sin once and for all.

In verses 1-10 of chapter 10, the author shows how both prophecy in scripture and the Old Covenant itself, foreshadowed a New Covenant, carried out by the Messiah (or “The Christ”), that would replace the old one.

The final thought in verse 10 is that those who trust Jesus to pay for their sin are uniquely “set apart for the purposes of God” (the meaning of the word “sanctified”).

What this means is possibly explained in just a little more detail in verses 11-18.

v.11-13

The author contrasts again the work of the Old Covenant priests with the work of Jesus. They continually stand day after day, constantly busy at their work to provide mediation between God and humanity. Jesus did his work once... and then sat down! Done!

Not only that, but he sat down “at the right hand of God”, and has been there (physically or metaphorically we can't be sure) ever since, waiting for the time when God the Father will make all the enemies of Jesus like a foot-rest he can prop his shoes on. (This is imagery of the Messiah taken from Psalm 110.)

v.14

The sacrifice of Jesus makes all believers perfect! Obviously we still experience sin in our lives every day. But sin no longer defines believers. Instead it is only a remnant of the old self, (which the Apostle Paul calls “The Flesh”). But beneath this frustrating sticky residue, the true essence of the believer is perfection!

It should also be noted that the word “sanctified” here is used in the literal sense of “being set apart for the purposes of God”, not in the sense that modern theologians use it to describe the concept of a believer becoming increasingly like Jesus in character. In other words, this state of perfection is true of EVERY believer! And the single sacrifice of Jesus is continually “perfecting” new believers every day!

v.16-17

The author quotes again from Jeremiah 31:33 (which he did previously in chapter 8) but paraphrases and quotes selectively to bring out the specific aspects of that passage that he wants to emphasize here.

Under the New Covenant (which we have seen begin but that is not yet completely fulfilled), God will internalize his will for his children. As believers we have already begun to experience some of this through the continual presence of the Holy Spirit, which reminds us of the truth we are meant to live our lives by.

Also under the New Covenant, God has “forgotten” and each day “forgets” our sins. This probably doesn't refer to a literal erasing of knowledge from the mind of God, but instead to a complete forgiveness on his part, in which he doesn't even consider our sins when evaluating who we are.

v.18

Under this kind of forgiveness, there isn't any room for any other sacrifices or compensation to be made. We are not even capable of earning the smallest fraction of our forgiveness, nor do we need to.

So What's In This For Geeks?

There are some hugely important truths here for me, and I think for many geeks, to remember.
The first is that our shortcomings do not define us. Instead of living defensively in denial of our weaknesses, or entering into depression over them, we can and should remember that God “has perfected” us. Past tense. Done deal. Yes we still have this sticky substance coating our skin that constantly annoys us and causes us to stumble around. But it's not what defines us.

This isn't fluffy positive thinking. This is reality. And God's perception of reality is perfect, so we ought to trust him when he tells us, “We'll get this crap washed off you in a little while, but until then know that you are PERFECT”.

The second important truth here is that we cannot contribute in anyway to our forgiveness. We are not responsible for it in the slightest. When we've been in a season of sin or if we've just recently fallen back into an old sinful pattern or habit, it can be easy to feel like God can't use us, or that he needs us to fix ourselves before we can get involved in opportunities to serve that are available to us.

And while it's true that some sin, on obvious and practical levels, can rule us out for some types of service, anyone can be a part of what God is doing no matter what sins may be beating them down.
The more we trust and apply these reality, the more our lives will have less stress, the more we'll be able to relate well with other people, and the more we'll generally be able to engage in what God is doing. (In fact, this response from readers is one of the main goals for the author of Hebrews!)

I am the type of person who is almost daily haunted by memories of conversations I've had with others in which I don't think I came across as wise or intelligent as I want to. I'm obsessed with myself and how others perceive me. By default, I easily let my identity get wrapped up in how well I “perform” in conversations.

This way of thinking and living only brings me stress and wastes a lot of time and mental energy. But I've increasingly found freedom from this when I silently pray “Thank you, Jesus, that is not who I am”, and remind myself that God's righteousness is now placed on top of my record.

We are not defined by our shortcomings OR our successes. And the more we remember that, the more energy we'll have to engage in what God wants us to do in our local Christian communities and in the lives of people around us.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Machine Review (SBU Podcast)



A Review of "The Machine" and some thoughts on A.I. and the nature of human life. PLUS, what makes geeks "perfect", as we continue through the book of Hebrews!


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday, February 20, 2015

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Justice League: Throne Of Atlantis Review (SBU Podcast)



A review of Justice League: Throne Of Atlantis, some "Trek Talk", and why Christian Geeks should think about animal sacrifice!


Friday, January 30, 2015

In Search Of Truth, Hebrews 10:1-10





v.1-4
“The Law”, which here includes the entire sacrificial system, was only a “shadow” of something to come. The Law presented truth, but not in full. It illustrated the problem of sin which was severe enough to require payment in life blood. But through necessary repetition the sacrificial system itself acknowledged that it wasn't truly getting the job done. The blood of animal sacrifices couldn't truly take away sin. However the sacrifices did serve as a valuable reminder of our sin problem.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Predestination Review and The Last Action Hero (SBU Podcast)



A review of "Predestination" and why introversion may not be our biggest problem! PLUS, Ken From Honolulu reviews "The Last Action Hero"!


Friday, January 23, 2015

In Search Of Truth, Hebrews 9:23-28




Having built a case for Jesus being an infinitely more qualified “go-between” for God and humanity than anyone before him, in chapters 8 and 9 the author of Hebrews compares the method of Jesus' mediation with the methods of the old covenant. Under the old covenant, sacrifices only dealt with sin superficially and temporarily. They used animals (creatures of great, yet limited, worth) as objects of sacrifice and the sacrifices were performed by flawed, limited humans in a place built by flawed and limited humans.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday, January 9, 2015

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes Review (SBU Podcast)


A review of Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes and a thought for geeks who dream big as we jump back into the book of Hebrews!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Should Christians Use Emulators And Abandonware? (Part 3)

In Search Of Truth, Hebrews 9:15-22, (Part 1)



Hebrews 9:15-22

(ESV) 15Therefore he is the mediator of a new diatheke(covenant), so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first diatheke(covenant). 16For where a diatheke(will) is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. 17For a diatheke(will) takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. 18 Therefore not even the first diatheke(covenant) was inaugurated without blood. 19For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20saying, “This is the blood of the diatheke(covenant) that God commanded for you.” 21And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. 22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.