Friday, July 31, 2009

Music Makes The Scene


I usually leave music as one of the last elements I add to a scene, but this week I've been working on two action sequences in "Pilgrim's Progress" that run back to back in one scene and the music just HAS to run the show.

It's a little trickier to mix this way and takes a lot more time than it normally would, but the result is extremely dramatic and I can't wait for you all to hear it!

-Paeter Frandsen

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Green Lantern: First Flight (DVD Movie Review)

After Lauren Montgomery's excellent "Wonder Woman" animated movie, I was excited to learn that she would be directing "Green Lantern: First Flight", which was released on Tuesday. Green Lantern is, without question, my favorite superhero of all time. Always has been. So I entered into my viewing experience with some "fanboy baggage", making every effort possible to have an open mind. I tried not be either too easily pleased or too easily offended by the choices made in this movie's production. But I'm still a Green Lantern geek, so bear that in mind however you wish.

The basic story revolves around Hal Jordan, a test pilot chosen to join an intergalactic peace-keeping force known as the Green Lantern Corps. Each Green Lantern is given a ring that allows them to create solid constructs made of green energy, formed by their imagination and given strength and substance by their force of will. Jordan proves to be a natural and even uncovers a plot to destroy the Green Lantern Corps.

The character designs (including the changes to the GL uniforms) were excellent with just the right amount of detail. The animation was great, combining traditional cell animation and computer animation with great effect. The energy constructs created by the rings were both cool and sometimes humorous. And Hal's first transformation into Green Lantern almost made me wet my pants. Visually, this movie is extremely enjoyable to watch.

The score contained a grand flavor with a hint of electronic edge. I do, however, wish they had used the Green Lantern musical theme from the Superman and Justice League animated shows. It was perfect for the mythos and they missed an opportunity to use it here. I don't recall the sound effects being anything special, though the movie sounds great in 5.1 with a good subwoofer!

As a fan of the tv show "Alias" (at least the first two seasons) I was thrilled to learn that Victor Garber would be voicing Sinestro. He brings a cold sophisticated quality to the role that couldn't be more appropriate. Though one or two lines of dialogue didn't seem to support this interpetation of the character. Still, a wonderful take on Sinestro. Garber brought to life the voice I've had in my mind for years of comic book reading. Christopher Meloni does a nice job with Hal Jordan, though this character could be voiced by any number of actors and come out fine. Tricia Helfer also did well, though didn't stand out as Boodikka. Part of the reason for this is because this version of the character had little resemblance to her comic book counterpart. Michael Madsen delivered a Kilowog that brought the comic character to life almost perfectly, though I wish we could have seen the character in his role of GL trainer in this film.

The story held my interest throughout and though the run-time clocks in at 77 minutes, I felt like I'd had a full feature experience by the end. The scripting and plotting is so tight. Nothing feels rushed, but no time is wasted. Very efficient storytelling. The "origin story" is dealt with almost completely before the opening credits even start, so the bulk of the movie is out in space with Hal as a newly established member of the corps. Though fans are familiar with Sinestro and his character development, they will see a take on the story that is both faithful and fresh. I was very pleased at the story elements that surprised me!

The extras on the 2-disc DVD were pretty good, though not the best I've seen on DC animated movies. Geoff Johns, current writer of Green Lantern and fanboy favorite, is featured in a few documentaries. The first is about "Blackest Night", a big event story currently running in DC comics. A nice feature, but not very informative. It's there mainly to get people to buy comics. Another feature on Sinestro was kinda cool, but what the set was missing was a historical documentary on the origin and development of Green Lantern. And given that Green Lantern has had very different incarnations between the Golden Age and Silver Age in comics, his origins and evolution would have made a very interesting documentary in my opinion. Add to that the fact that similar documentaries have been on the last three DC animated movie releases and I'm left feeling just a little let down.

In terms of relevance, this movie doesn't break any new ground. Themes of fascism and justice are present along with the age old question of "ends justifying the means", but none of these themes are presented in a way that will likely lead to meaningful conversation.

At the end of the day, this is an action packed, visually arresting flick that excites the imagination and leaves you feeling good at the end. For those not familiar with the concept of Green Lantern, this is a fun introduction to the mythos. For longtime fans it will likely scratch an itch they've had for years.

Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action violence

Quality: 8.5/10

Relevance: 6.0/10

Investing In People


My wife and I have been reading a book together and discussing it as we finish each chapter. We came across a chapter this week that cut to the core of who I am. The chapter was titled "Invest" and was all about the importance of investing time in relationships. This is something I really struggle with. I'm very goal oriented and can easily vanish into my cave for days on end without feeling any desire for human interaction. I enjoy being around other people and have even been known to be the "life of the party". Being extroverted is something I can definately do, but it's like a gas tank feeding an engine with zero fuel efficiency. When that tank is empty, I'm done and NEED to be alone so I can recharge.

I've also learned to be pretty self-sufficient, which is great for the work I'm doing, but also bad for my long-term goals. Relationships are ultimately our source of fulfillment. To love others and to be loved. To support others and feel that support in return.

I can so easily fool myself into thinking that sending a superficial "hey how ya' doin" e-mail to someone is the same as really connecting with them. Real relational investment takes time and it slows down completion of some items on that "to do" list. But I'm aiming to remember that relationships are what life is really all about and have more value and purpose than all those "to dos".

-Paeter Frandsen

Monday, July 27, 2009

In Search Of Truth, 1st Corinthians 14:20-33


Paul appeals to the Corinthians now, urging them to use their minds. A call that goes out to Christians today as well. Regarding sin, we should be like infants, but in our thinking be adults. (v. 20)

In my preparation for this week’s study, I looked a little more deeply into the Greek language as it relates to the word “tongue” or “tongues”. Some of my chief tools for examining Hebrew and Greek in my study of the Bible include the Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible edited by Spiros Zodhiates, the New American Standard Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, and Zodhiates’ Lexicon To The Old And New Testaments. I also occasionally make use of Thayer’s Lexicon, available at (a great website with lots of free tools and resources!).

As I’ve mentioned before, when the gift of “tongues” is referenced in the Bible, it can refer to either ethnic languages that the speaker does not normally know, or it can refer to an “ecstatic” language not known by the speaker or anyone else in the world.

Some quick housekeeping first, however. In our study of 1st Corinthians 12:10, I said that the occurrence of the word “tongues” in that verse “can refer to speaking in human languages the speaker normally does not know or speaking in non-human languages known to God.”

After looking more closely at the Greek, I need to correct that statement. In 1st Corinthians 12:10, the word “tongues” specifically refers to existing ethnic languages and not an ecstatic language.

Concerning this passage, Paul provides perspective on the nature of “tongues”, both ethnic and ecstatic.

He paraphrases Isaiah 28:11-12, in which God announced a form of judgment on Israel, who had been rejecting and rebelling against him at the time. God had made efforts to speak to Israel and guide its people, but they were so wrapped up in their own lives and pleasure that they were in no way open to hearing him, and even mocked his words as if it were nonsensical babbling. So God said that he would speak to them instead through a nation(Assyria) and language that they would not even be capable of understanding linguistically. It was God’s way of saying, “Fine. If you’d rather not hear my words then I’ll make it impossible for you to understand them.”

You may remember from last week that when the singular Greek word "glossa" is used for "tongue", it refers to an ecstatic language normally unknown to anyone in the world. Paul also makes use of this word in the plural with a singular pronoun in this chapter. When this occurs, “tongues” refers to an ethnic language normally used by humans.

From the example in Isaiah 28, Paul deduced that ethnic tongues(existing languages that the speaker does not know) are a sign of God’s judgment on unbelievers. Without translation, that is the function they serve, and in a church setting this is inappropriate and will only result in confusion. (v.23)

By contrast, prophecy provides something that everyone can understand and be affected by in a positive way. (v.24-25)

Paul’s general “rule of thumb” for all activity in the church is for it to edify or “build up”. The activities listed in verse 26 include sharing a psalm (which usually refers to the Old Testament Psalms, but here may refer to sharing scripturally themed music of another origin.), teaching, a revelation (which refers to sharing a previously hidden truth and explaining it’s meaning, similar to or possibly synonymous with “prophecy”), a tongue (referring now to ecstatic tongues) and interpretation of tongues.

Paul continues giving instruction regarding the ecstatic variety of tongues. They should be used in an orderly way and never publicly without interpretation. (v.27-28)

Prophecy does not remain unchecked, either. The other prophets listening are meant to carefully discern what is said to determine its truth or falsehood.(v.29, 32)

If a sudden revelation comes to someone who is seated, they are given momentary priority to express what they believe has been revealed to them. (v. 30)

Again, the idea behind this structure is to enable teaching and encouragement and to reflect God’s nature, which is that of order and not confusion. Peace and not conflict. (v. 31, 33)

You might wonder at this point why these kinds of activities are not the normal experience at your church. It’s important to remember that the church in Corinth was extremely gifted, spiritually. (1 Corinthians 1:4-7) And while we should pray that God will strengthen our churches with spiritual gifts, we should not conclude that possession of outwardly impressive spiritual gifts is a sign of spiritual maturity. The Corinthians, in addition to being gifted, were also constantly battling pagan influence and severe moral corruption among their church members as detailed in Chapter 5 and 6.

So each church community will be a little different. And for those who have a large amount of spiritual gifts among their members that are utilized while gathered together, this chapter provides very helpful instruction.

Now to some even MORE controversial material! In fact, it’s SO controversial, we’ll need to wait until next week for it!

Next Week- The Role Of Women In The Church!

Coffee House Question

In what way do you think God may have wired you to “build up” other Christians?

Friday, July 24, 2009

"Pilgrim's Progress" Preview!


Although I haven't spent any time mixing for "Pilgrim's Progress" this week, I'll be playing a clip from the project on the podcast this weekend! So be sure to stop by this weekend and listen to the Super Size 100th Episode to whet your appetite for the next project from Spirit Blade Productions!

-Paeter Frandsen

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

100th Podcast Episode, This Weekend!


Work on "Pilgrim's Progress" is taking a bit of a break this week as I prepare for the 100th episode of The Spirit Blade Underground Podcast this weekend. I'm having a blast compiling some of the more interesting moments of the podcast's last two years and I think you'll get a kick out of it!

If you've never checked out the podcast before, be sure to go to this weekend to join the celebration and see what you've been missing!

-Paeter Frandsen 

Monday, July 20, 2009

Learning Rocks!


This has unexpectedly turned into a full day of studying for me. I had originally intended to do a Bible study I'm doing with a friend and then "In Search Of Truth", but both studies took me much more time than I had anticipated. I've learned so much today and can't wait to share some of it with you guys!

This might sound odd to some of you, but studying the Bible is sometimes like discovering another world for me. Learning something new can be an interesting bit of insight, or change the way I view major facets of my life and the world!

I'm not quite finished with my study for the next installment of "In Search Of Truth", but the podcast will feature different material this weekend anyway for our 100th episode. (Be sure to join me at!) But next week I look forward to digging into the trenches of history and God's word and hope you guys will join the exploration!

-Paeter Frandsen

Friday, July 17, 2009

Harry Potter And The Half-blood Prince (Movie Review)

Although I read and enjoyed the Harry Potter books, I'm not a fan by any means and ultimately have found the stories forgettable. Still, whenever a "Potter" movie comes out, I make it a priority to see it, as a fan of the fantasy genre. As the books and movies advanced, I've appreciated the darker, more mature themes and story elements and this movie was no exception.

Character performances were some of the best yet, as Harry, Ron and Hermione continue to grow, along with the actors portraying them. Though I'd imagine these actors would not be cast in their roles if the studio decided to find all new actor's today, their lack of the usual Hollywood polish almost serves as a reminder of what real kids are like at this age: A little awkward and lacking that artificial charm that embodies far too many characters in American films.

Since my memories of the book are dim at best, I feel I can basically review this flick as a fresh observer. It had some wonderful effects put to good use and each scene held my attention. But the whole is somewhat less than the sum of it's parts. When the movie is over, I feel as though I really only needed to see the last 30 minutes or so. Though the love triangle subplots were carried out charmingly, they served no purpose in advances the overall "Potter Mythos". And despite the title of the film, the revelation of the identity of the "Half Blood Prince" seemed irrelevant. If the title were based on the events given focus in the film, I would rename it "Harry Potter And The Teenage Love Triangles Plus Somethin' Bad Happens Near The End".

Action was sparse in this flick, especially compared to the last two films in the series. Magic was also lacking. In many ways, this story could have been about normal kids. For a "fantasy" movie, it could have been much more "fantastic".

Virtually nothing of social, moral or cosmic relevance jumped out at me in this movie. I'd be surprised if viewing it led to any meaningful conversation afterward. From a "love potion theme in the film, someone might pull out a brief reference to love and it's difference from infatuation (which Hollywood and pop culture confuse a lot) but you'd have to work pretty hard to arrive at that topic after this movie is done.

In the end, I greatly hope for some deleted scenes on the DVD that focus on plot elements serving the greater narrative of the franchise. This movie does not stand well on its own. It starts in the aftermath of the last film and leans heavily into the next film. At least in the last 30 minutes or so.

Rated PG for scary images, some violence, language and mild sensuality

Quality: 8.0/10

Relevance: 5.5/10

The Right Music


Well, I've dunked two guys into water this week and so far only one of them has made it out. Before I get the other one out of the swamp I need to find the right musical theme for his exit. Sound a little strange?

For the most part, I leave scoring until the end of my audio drama projects. One of the last steps before mastering a project. But in some cases, I can tell (or even decide) that music will be just as vital to storytelling as dialogue or sound effects. In fact sometimes, it's even more important.

The right musical theme can paint a picture of that royal throneroom better than any sound effects or descriptive dialogue. A deeply moving theme can capture the inner anguish of a character that no amount of voice acting can evoke.

I'm at one of those moments today. I need a theme that expresses emotional stress and danger without sounding like an "action scene". And I need it to culminate in a musical release that speaks of the rescue that my character will experience at the final moment.

I haven't found it yet, but there are several great resources for me to take advantage of. And since I haven't done any searches for new music resources in awhile, I think I may spend some time searching the web again today.

Have a great weekend!

-Paeter Frandsen 

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Free Is Awesome!


I've gotta get two guys falling in the water and struggling to stay afloat. I've only got a couple water sound effects that I used in "Spirit Blade", and they were of water being dumped on the floor. I didn't feel like spending money if I could avoid it, but I needed high quality sound effects to fit my needs for this scene!

Good thing someone told me about the "Free Sound Project"!

It's a website where people can upload their original sound effects for anyone to use (commercially or otherwise) for free, provided they give credit to the creator of the effect. The effects found there are numerous and in various degrees of sound quality, but sorting through to find the good ones has already helped keep my costs down a bit, which ultimately gets the project out to you more quickly!

Can I get a "woohoo"?


Monday, July 13, 2009

In Search Of Truth, 1st Corinthians 14:1-19


Paul commands the Corinthians to pursue love, as he had just defined it in chapter 13. But he also wanted them to desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy. Paul spends some time here pointing out the superiority of prophecy in a Christian community over the gift of tongues.


When the gift of tongues is referred to in the Bible, it's important to recognize that it has two potential meanings. The first refers to an existing ethnic language that the speaker does not normally speak or understand. The second is an "ecstatic"(characterized by overpowering emotion) language understood only by God and those who are gifted by God to interpret it. When the singular Greek word "glossa" is used, as it is in this chapter, "tongue" refers to this kind of ecstatic language.


Although "ecstatic" tongues may be exciting to witness and may be an encouragement to the speaker, they don't accomplish anything of substance for those listening unless someone present is able to interpret them. For this reason, Paul values prophecy in the church community setting more than he values speaking in tongues. The value of tongues is equal to prophecy in a church setting only if someone can interpret what is being said in the ecstatic tongue.(.v. 4-5)


Prophecy is naturally useful to a church community by serving the purpose of edification("building up"), exhortation (encouraging) and consolation(comforting). (v.3) But if prophecy or other teaching are brought to the church through a tongue, without interpretation, it serves no purpose. (v. 6)


Paul illustrates his point in a few ways. If someone plays a musical instrument, but only plays one or two notes, how will anyone know what song they are playing. (Ever play "name that tune" with a tone-deaf person? Not fun.) Horns were used in Paul's time to give battle instructions in war. But if the rhythm or notes are not precise, the army will be confused and unable to do their job. Paul is not content for tongues to be an emotional spectacle. He wants them to serve others instead of just speaking "into the air". (v. 9)


In verse 12, Paul sums up his desire for the Corinthians in the realm of spiritual gifts. "Try to excel in gifts that build up the church." And in the realm of tongues, Paul encourages those with this gift to also pray for the ability to interpret. Even when alone, someone praying in a tongue is not producing the language with their mind. It is only a spiritual and emotional experience. But worship is not meant to be this way. Our worship of God is meant to engage both our hearts and our minds.


John 4:23-24

"But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

So Paul tells those with the gift of tongues to pray for the ability to interpret, so that they can be encouraged by their own words and so others may be encouraged by them as well. (v. 13)


No matter how beautiful or sincere a prayer in tongues may be, no one nearby can say "Amen" (meaning "it is true" or "so be it") and participate or be "built up" in the moment if they can't understand what is being said. Paul could evidently speak in tongues extensively (v. 18) but would rather speak five words that instruct and make sense than ten thousand words that mean nothing to those who hear them. (v. 19)


We can pull an important general principle for worship from this chapter and from John 4:23-24. Our worship should fully incorporate both the mind and the emotions. Many churches are steeped in one or the other, but few make a purposeful effort to incorporate both. We should share and contemplate the truth, and then respond to it emotionally. Without emotion, the life and worship of a Christian is only a detached, empty shell and a true relationship with God is impossible. Without the mind, our lives can quickly move away from God and end up focusing on things completely counter to his will for us.



Next Week- More On Prophecy And Tongues


Coffee House Question


If your life as a Christian neglects one element more than the other, would you say it is your mind or your emotions?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Award Nomination and New "Dark Ritual" Commentary!

Just Plain Folks nominee

This week I released part 3 of the "Spirit Blade: Dark Ritual" Interactive Commentary and you guys had some great questions! Be sure to get the inside dirt about "Silence", the torture scenes, and AIA at:

This week I was also very honored to receive a "Just Plain Folks" Music Awards nomination for "Dark Ritual"! JPF is a music organization and annual host of the world's largest independent music awards, so this is a great honor and I'm thrilled to have this project counted among the work of so many great musicians and creators.

My wife and I hope to attend the award show in Nashville near the end of August and will be sure to keep you posted!

-Paeter Frandsen

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Knowing (Movie Review)

I feel I need to formally apologize to any who might enjoy my reviews for having not seen this movie when it came out. When I saw previews for “Knowing” it looked interesting, but with “Push” in theaters at the same time, I only had so much time on my hands and chose to make room for the movie that looked more “sci-fi” oriented. I wish now I had seen this film instead of Push.

First, it’s directed by Alex Proyas (The Crow, Dark City) which would have put me in the theater on opening day if I had known that in advance. Second, it deals with so many relevant philosophical issues that I would have loved discussing it with others at the time of its release.

The movie is about a widower and his son who come across a page of numbers that signify future events. Throughout the movie they are on a race to solve the mystery of these numbers before the final “prophecy” is fulfilled. That’s the non-spoiler version and I greatly hesitate to say much more.

Nicholas Cage, an acquired taste for many, turns out a very good performance as a father and scientist. The child actor playing his son does a decent job, though not remarkable. The remaining cast is filled out by relative unknowns who all do adequate work, though Cage and the story are the true co-stars of this flick.

Though not an action movie, “Knowing” moves forward at a great pace and includes some of the best sequences of destruction I’ve ever seen. A particular airplane crash is incredible to watch and I’m sure my mouth was open most of the time.

Be forewarned that this movie does not end in the way you think it might. Like “Dark City”, this movie starts out as one kind of movie, and ends as something very different from what you may have rented it for. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it may be helpful to know that going in.

In terms of relevance to the important issues in life, this movie tackles, or at least references several. Is there a heaven? Does life have any purpose? Were we created by design or random chance? This movie not only implies these questions, it includes them in actual dialogue!

Although in a few lines, rational thinking is inappropriately contrasted with belief in the supernatural, the movie largely marries logical thinking and exploring the supernatural.

Cage’s character is the son of a pastor and has a strained relationship with his dad. Although the portrayal of his presumably Christian family gives off a somewhat traditional, stereotypical vibe, to the movie’s credit it did not go so far as to make Cage’s dad a clichéd cruel legalistic preacher. He seemed to genuinely want reconciliation with his son and the rift seemed to be the fault of Cage’s character. I found this genuinely loving, non-hypocritical example of a Christian family to be a nice change of pace in mainstream cinema.

Before I get into the philosophical/theological issues this movies plays with, I’ll sum up my review by saying that the movie is very enjoyable, though some may be disappointed with the ending. I’d recommend renting it, however, as it provokes a lot of thought on some of the most vital issues for humanity to ponder.

Rated PG-13 for disaster sequences, disturbing images and brief strong language

Quality: 8.5/10

Relevance: 9.0/10

Now, on to some of the thought-provoking issues in this movie. If you have not yet seen the movie, DO NOT read any further until you’ve have watched the entire film.


Although the movie ends with a somewhat clichéd use of aliens, I’m not confident we should see the “strangers” in that light. Based on the commentary for the DVD, Alex Proyas viewed the strangers not as necessarily as Aliens, but as possibly literal angels. He aimed to make the strangers natural forms look somewhere between alien and angelic so that the audience could make up their own mind.

So, although the film SEEMS to follow the old cliché of turning angels and biblical visions into descriptions of aliens that would falsify biblical claims, Proyas was not specifically aiming for this. Instead, he was actually trying to challenge our mental picture of what angels LOOK like, while not necessarily challenging what they truly are. His level of success depends on the viewer, but knowing this does put the movie in a different light.

A few quick theological/philosophical references:

According to Proyas, the strangers are based on the creatures in Ezekiel 1 and Revelation 4:7, though in these passages, the creatures serve the role of attendants to God’s throne and don’t necessarily have a connection to the end of the world.

The movie suggests a judgment on humanity. Near the end of the film, people everywhere are panicking, looting and behaving like animals, and the film seems to hint that it is just this kind of behavior that keeps any adults from being saved from the planet’s destruction.

In the final shot, there is a clear reference to the Garden of Eden and the Tree of Knowledge.

Despite several biblical references throughout the film, Proyas states in the commentary: “I was trying for a universal symbolic spirituality rather than anything specific.” He used Christian imagery because he believed that western audiences would immediately feel what he wanted them to, given that these ideas are “so ingrained in our minds”.

There’s a problem with this approach, however. The story makes the assumption that what it presents is compatible with the Bible, while it really isn’t. While there are several views on how the biblical “end times” play out, a complete, instant and global holocaust without any warning is not compatible with any well-supported scholarly view of the Apocalypse.

The writers have fallen into a typical mode when it comes to using biblical end-times prophecy or symbolic vision as a basis for storytelling. They’ve assumed that because prophecy is described in symbolic language, that any number of wild interpretations are equally valid or likely. However, by doing just a little research into ancient Jewish culture we can see what most prophetic symbols mean literally. Only in ignorance can we make biblical prophecies mean whatever we want. But this is usually the road that fiction writers take and “Knowing” is no exception.

I’m no expert in biblical prophecy, by any means, but even knowing the little I do makes the basis for fiction like this very flimsy and oddly unbelievable compared to the more researched elements of the film.

I might compare it to a musician watching a drama about musicians and in the movie it is explained that all musicians can play the piano. I suppose that the piano is a very common instrument that many musicians do play, so I can understand how someone might make that leap if they didn’t get out much, but…um…huh? Really? That’s a bit what these kinds of stories feel like to me.

Proyas touches on this some in the commentary. He acknowledges that he pulled a lot from Christian “mythology”, but he sees the “end-times” ideas conveyed in Christianity as “symbolic rather than specific” and drawing from a larger archetype.

The idea that all religions point to the same “higher truth” is a popular one, but it’s not an idea that supports itself with viable evidence. And arbitrarily viewing the Bible as symbolic and incomprehensible is a choice that makes no sense. But apparently it makes for good fiction. Still, can modern Americans tell the difference between an interesting, creative idea and an idea that is likely to be true? I’ve got my doubts.

Proyas makes it clear on several occasions that he wants his audience to interpret the movie how they would like to. He even says that he doesn’t absolutely know what’s happening at the climax of the film. (Really? Then why are you trying to tell me this story?) While there is room for this device in storytelling, and it does often make for thought-provoking fiction, it also caters to our desire to construct our own reality and pretend the world is whatever we want it to be. It’s one thing to enjoy this mental exercise in fictional entertainment, but it’s another to apply this kind of mentality to our view of reality, which we too often are guilty of doing.

“Knowing” is a fun ride and a cool flick, but it will likely be thought of as logically inconsistent by those with an interest in studying the Bible.

In Search Of Truth, 1st Corinthians 13:8-13


After defining love in this chapter, Paul goes on to affirm it's "staying power". Love is never replaced or made obsolete. Yet in God's eternal kingdom, prophecy will not be needed because God will be known by all and communicate his will directly to our minds.


Jeremiah 31:33-34-  "But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the LORD, "I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

"They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the LORD, "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."

Speaking in tongues will not be used because God's people will presumably speak a single language. (The multiplication of languages was originally put in place to keep us from uniting and combining our capacity for evil. (Genesis 11)

The Greek word used for "knowledge" in verse 8 is "gnosis" and refers to experiential, incomplete and fragmentary knowledge. Paul is not saying here that all knowledge will pass away. More likely, by using the word "Gnosis", he is indicating that the knowledge we gain in God's future kingdom will be so much greater then our greatest knowledge today, which is fragmentary by comparison.

The gifts of prophecy and knowledge in the church are only partial today, but they will eventually be replaced by perfect counterparts. (v. 9-10)

Paul compares this difference to childhood. The Greek word used for "child" here actually refers to an infant or toddler. The difference between our knowledge now and our future knowledge in God's kingdom is comparable to the difference between a baby's knowledge and an educated adult's knowledge.

Next, Paul compares our ability to see truth to looking in a mirror. In Paul's day, mirror's were made of polished metal, not glass, and the reflected image would have been blurred or dim. Far from a clear reflection of reality. We can certainly see some truth today, but our ability to see and understand truth will be perfect in God's kingdom.

The implication at the end of verse 12 is that those in God's kingdom will know him with a completeness similar to God's knowledge of us. We are finite beings, and God is infinite, so we will always have more to explore and learn about God, but our "aquaintance" with God, as this Greek word for "knowledge" implies, will be full and unhindered by our sin, which keeps us from a complete relationship with God right now.

Paul affirms three things as "abiding", meaning that they persevere and stand firm.

The first is faith. A word greatly misused and misunderstood by Christians today. The biblical use of the word "faith" implies assurance based on sound reason and knowledge. It has a closer connection to our modern concept of "trust" (which must be earned) than to the American pop-culture concept of "blind faith" that requires no logical reasoning or evidence.

The use of the word faith here also refers specifically to a trust in Christ and his sacrificial death and resurrection. This is the foundation for humanity's eternal rescue from death.

The second "abiding" element is hope. Another word used very differently today. Far from "wishful thinking", the biblical concept of hope refers to a confident expectation. A biblically hopeful person is not crossing their fingers and gritting their teeth. They are secure and confident in their "faith", which has been supported by sound reasoning and evidence.

When we are willing to live as Christians who have "faith" AND "hope", our lives are lived with new perspective and purpose and our happiness is not based on our momentary circumstances. We come alive in the way God has always intended us to because our minds are fixed on a purpose of eternal value! It's no wonder that both faith and hope are two of Paul's three pillars. Perseverance is virtually built into their definitions!

But greater even than both faith and hope, is love. Love, in its perfect form, is an expression of who God is. (1 John 4:8,10) Love is not an attribute that God possesses. God actually IS love! When we aim to love those around us more effectively, we reflect the very nature of God!


Next Week- The role of "tongues" in the church community


Coffee House Question

What is something about God you would like to see or know more clearly than you do today?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Off To Vacation!


Boy, it is really hard for me to "vacate". Especially when my vision for the future keeps expanding and I have so many plates to spin. My deadlines are all self-imposed, but that doesn't make them any less motivating. I hate to run off for a long weekend when my target release date for "Pilgrim's Progress" (September 1st) looms in front of me.

I'm also working on the page of our main site that will host the audio projects produced by The Spirit Blade Underground Alliance! ( Not to mention the Spirit Blade enhanced audiobook I'm more than halfway through recording and the upcoming 100th episode of the Spirit Blade Underground Podcast that I'm making preparations for. (

This is almost the worst time to be taking a vacation, but also probably the best. I'm no good for anything if I burn out. And I certainly need my play time. That's where I get all my ideas!

All that to say that we'll be leaving Friday morning and returning sometime on Monday. There will be no posts here Friday or Monday and I'm also taking this week off from the podcast.

Have a great 4th of July weekend and I'll catcha later!

-Paeter Frandsen