Monday, October 24, 2005

Shiver Me Timbers! Hoist the Mainsail! My Virtual Seagoing Adventures and Much More!

Greetings to all who read this!

I’ve embarked on a new book.  Demon of the Waters: The True Story of the Mutiny on the Whaleship Globe, by Gregory Gibson.  It’s nonfiction!  Yes, it’s true: I read other things besides science fiction and fantasy.  It’s a very interesting, exciting true story, which is believed to have been the inspiration for Herman Melville’s Moby Dick.  Reading it has the strange effect of making me both happy and sad that I did not live in the Nantucket area in the mid-17th century.

I was amazed to learn that those people routinely sent their sons out on 3-year whaling expeditions around the world starting at the age of 14, and a man might be a captain by the age of 20.  I just love all that seafaring adventure stuff.  As I said, I’m torn between the fantasy of it all, and the horror of what it must have been like for most people.  Life aboard a whaling vessel was not a joy ride.  Especially for the “green hands”.  I don’t honestly think I could have survived that stage of my development, had I lived in that time and place.  I probably would have been hung from the yard-arm or made to walk the plank.

Now on to other things…

I haven’t seen any new movies since my last post (except to see Batman Begins again on DVD, which is awesome), so there’s nothing to report there.  Not much new to report in the music department either.  I’m still listening to Switchfoot’s Nothing is Sound.  I did briefly pick up Depeche Mode’s new CD called Playing the Angel at the bookstore and listen to the samples.  I don’t usually like Depeche Mode much, but there are a couple of tracks on Violator which I like.  I first heard the track World In My Eyes (click on that link and hear a clip!  Cool!) on some movie soundtrack or something, I think, and that got me interested.  The new CD really sounds good (which is to say that the tracks sound more like the two tracks that I like than the ones I don’t like).  I may have to pick it up when I have some spending money (which may be a while).

Now what to talk about?  I enjoyed Sunday School last weekend.  For some reason the  trendy leaders of the class have decided to give it a new name.  They’re calling it “The Jesus Code”.  I guess that’s supposed to call to mind Dan Brown’s novel The DaVinci Code, but it seems weird to me.  I’m afraid I’m never going to be able to call it that.  

The class is going to be basically a Bible survey class, covering the whole enchilada in about 4 or 5 months time.  Last week we raced from Genesis 1:1 through the end of Joshua.  It was interesting and fun, but there wasn’t much discussion, which is the part I really like.  There is something to be said for getting a bird’s eye view of the Bible sometimes though.  We Christians like to analyze each verse in minute detail, or each word, or even (believe me I’ve seen this too many times) each syllable or punctuation mark.  But a lot can be learned from looking at the broad strokes, as it were.

The teacher seemed to take a very literalist approach to everything.  Of course, many of my dear readers will probably take his side on things like the 6 days of creation and the world-wide flood and others, but I think this guy went even farther than many of you would.  For example, in the book of Genesis we read that God “was grieved that he had made man on the earth”, and that he “would wipe man that I have created from the face of the earth”.  After that, it goes on to talk about Noah, and how he found favor in God’s eyes and God decided to spare him and his family.  

Well, this teacher took the words of this passage extremely literally, to the extent that he said that God actually regretted that he had created mankind, and really and truly planned to completely destroy mankind, but changed his mind after considering Noah, who was the only righteous person on the earth.

To me, this seems absurd.  I cannot believe that God really thought this way.  In my opinion, the things written there in Genesis describe the events from a human viewpoint, but do not really reveal the mind of God.  God cannot be said to change his mind, or alter his plan based on things he did not think of, or anything like that.  What do you think, dear readers?  Am I off my rocker?

The best thing that happened at Sunday School was when a little discussion did get fired up.  The teacher was talking about when God told Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac on a mountain.  He described the whole story quickly, and made a great deal of all the soul-searching and heart-wrenching Abraham must have gone through the night before he was to journey up to the mountain with his son.  Of course, the Bible does not breathe a word about this night of agonizing, but I don’t doubt that it may have happened.  However the Bible does tell us one very important bit of information that the teacher completely skipped, which effects the story dramatically, in my opinion.  Of course, I had to call attention to this, which is what got the discussion started.  

I wonder if any of my dear readers can tell me what that element of the story was, that my teacher skipped over?  It’s so important to this humble blogger to receive comments from his readers.  Maybe this little challenge will inspire you to click that link and leave me something.  What was it?

(If my wife Molly reads this, please don’t leave a comment giving it away.  I know you know what it was!  I’m hoping to hear from other readers!)

Until next time!



At 5:33 PM, Blogger Carole said...

Was is that he told the servants that he and the boy were going up to sacrifice and that they BOTH would be returning?

At 12:07 PM, Blogger Tim said...

Carole wins the prize!!! Yay!

At 9:01 AM, Blogger tender arts said...

Yes, but what is the significance of that? That even at the time of making this huge sacrifice to God, he still cared about how he appeared to humans?

BTW, seeing your love of sci-fi, have you ever read A Creed for the Third Millenium by Colleen McCullough? She is best known for the Thorn Birds, of course, but I just loved this book. Part sci-fi, part spiritual quest. It's been years since I've read it and I keep trying to get daughter Carmen to read it. Maybe you will inspire her to finally try it if you like it and say so!

Bettsi (mother to Vienna's Vanilla Insanity)

At 1:48 PM, Blogger Tim said...

Hey Bettsi! Great to hear from you!

Abraham wasn't putting on a show for the servants. He was telling the truth. What he was REALLY doing in this story was putting on a show for GOD!

He said they would both be returning because he knew that's what would happen. He was aware of the trick God was playing on him. He knew he wasn't going to the mountain to perform human sacrifice.

This detail changes the story completely in my opinion. God did not want Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, and Abraham knew this. What God wanted was for Abraham to WRESTLE with him.

This is something that God does over and over in the Bible. He says and does things against character with the intent of getting us to stand up against him.

He did this to Moses, Abraham and Jacob. He did it through the prophets many times, and in the New Testament even Jesus does it!

As for your book recommendation, I've got the book-on-tape on order at the library and will let you know what I think when I get into it. Thanks!

This is so much fun!



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