Archive for ‘Culture’

April 7th, 2014

Just another review of Noah: “It’s just annoying…”

by Max Andrews

Look, I don’t have a problem with people taking liberties with narratives and stories in order to extract certain elements. For example, I absolutely loved The Shack. It’s horrible when it comes to the Trinity but it’s not teaching that–it’s about the problem of evil.  It made the problem of evil real to the readers and it taught a relational aspect with God. (Spoilers)

(Potential not-so-big spoilers.) Also, here’s the trailer for Noah: Trailer, Featurette, a Clip, and more videos.

I’d like to think I have an open mind about many of these things and I’m a huge movie fan. I love them. I was looking forward to Noah even though I kept reading reviews hating it. Well, I don’t hate it but I don’t necessarily like it. It was just annoying to watch…

One thing that drove me nuts [that probably shouldn't have] is wondering why the heck there were so many supernovae in the sky? All those bright stars during the day? Yeah, those could only be supernovae. The Watchers–fallen angels–are painted as being sympathetic to man’s fall in a good way. Backwards just are somethings think I. THEN… these fallen light, lava, rock, transformer autobot angels are redeemed after building the ark? Liberties are okay but that’s just weird…

April 6th, 2014

Reasonable Faith in an Uncertain World

by Max Andrews

This year’s Unbelievable conference is 12 July 2014. I haven’t scheduled out my summer yet but there’s a likelihood I’d be able to attend and I would love to meet fellow lovers of reason, truth, and Jesus at the conference. If you see me there please come up and introduce yourself!

  • This year’s conference will help ordinary Christians like you be equipped to:
  • Be confident in your faith and share it effectively
  • Engage with atheism, Islam and other worldviews
  • Give good reasons for God and the truth of Christianity

Contributors:

Conference Host: Justin Brierley

Justin hosts the popular UK discussion show and podcast Unbelievable? on Premier Christian Radio. He also writes for Christianity magazine.

 

William Lane Craig

Dr. Craig is one of the world’s leading philosophers of religion and has debated many of the world’s leading atheists around the world. He is Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University. 

March 18th, 2014

Why LOST is the best TV series… Ever

by Max Andrews

Before I start ranting about the glories of LOST I need to put up a disclaimer first: I’ve been told that me watching LOST over and over is a PTSD thing. I started watching it while recovering from a major surgery and watched it during the four month recovery. I know someone who does the same thing (continuously watching something they watched whilst in the hospital for something traumatic). So, there may be personal bias due to those circumstances but I’ll try to be as objective as possible. There are six seasons (121 episodes and an epilogue) and I’m currently on my ninth time through the whole series since I started for the first time late July 2011. (Judge all you want. Many times it have it playing in the background while I do work. I’ve managed to complete an MA and my first year of a PhD so you can go for a walk if you started jumping to negative judgements about me… This qualification was primarily for Fred… a hater of all things me… but he really loves me, he just doesn’t know it.)

Also, I haven’t seen every TV series in history so I’m making an inductive conclusion based on what I know. Take it hyperbolically if you wish. I’ll do my best to not give away spoilers but I’ll share enough to eventually convince the masses that hate LOST that they’re wrong, lack philosophical rigor and a broad imagination, and that they’re about as useful as a limp noodle.

-END DISCLAIMER-

So, here’s the synopsis. Oceanic Flight 815 crashes on a mysterious island with unique electromagnetic/magical properties. It’s science fiction so if you’re already upset by “magic” then go away. (I’d hate to hear your thoughts on Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, etc.) The plane was off course by over 1,000 miles so that’s why they aren’t rescued right away.

March 18th, 2014

Celebrities with Crohn’s Disease

by Max Andrews

Original  source Fox Health.

Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that can be incredibly challenging. In Crohn’s disease, a rogue immune system attacks the digestive tract, causing inflammation and tissue damage.

Crohn’s disease symptoms include abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever, and fatigue. Like many autoimmune diseases, symptoms tend to cycle, getting worse during flare-ups and then subsiding.

Here are 11 people who achieved celebrity for their deeds—not their Crohn’s disease diagnosis—and how they dealt with the condition.

Cynthia McFadden
ABC News correspondent McFadden first experienced the excruciating pain of Crohn’s disease, which her friends euphemistically dubbed “George,” in her sophomore year of college.

“They weren’t going to say, ‘Did you have 15 diarrhea attacks today?’” the journalist says in a 1994 People magazine interview. “So, instead, they’d ask me, ‘How’s George?’”

March 5th, 2014

“Under Our Skin” – The Must See Documentary

by Max Andrews

Under Our Skin is an amazing documentary about Lyme Disease and those who suffer from it. It’s available to watch for free on Hulu (I know many places around the world don’t stream Hulu so you may want to try to find it somewhere else). It doesn’t talk about the conspiracy behind Plum Island (US government animal testing facility off the coast of Lyme, Connecticut… There may be good reason to blame the government for this disease but I won’t discuss that issue here). It focuses on the problem of healthcare in the US, the imbalance of the government and insurance companies, the corruption of policy makers, and the greed of those who patent advances and not make it available for others to benefit from. Here’s the trailer.

February 28th, 2014

The Monuments Men: A Dialectic not to be Ignored

by Max Andrews

I’ve heard mostly negative reviews over the film The Monuments Men and, as it currently stands, has a rough 6.4 rating on IMDB. The film isn’t anything like Good Will Hunting or in the category of any film prestige but it does stand out as something more than a pic based on a true story–it portrays the aesthetic dialectic of the beautiful and the profane.

There are several scenes that capture the dialectic in amazing ways and if you haven’t seen it then watch for these scenes and if you missed the point try to go back and recall it. A quick recap… a dialectic is the meeting of seemingly contradictory metaphysics. First, there’s the thesis, which meets it’s antithesis in opposition. Hopefully, there’s a harmony, the synthesis.

The Monuments Men Review

February 20th, 2014

“The Problem of Existence” E-Book on Feb 26 and Giveaway

by Max Andrews

The Problem of Existence Amazon CoverOn Feb. 26 my first e-book, The Problem of Existence: Existential Reflections on Pain and Suffering, will be available for Kindle download for $3.99. I’ve been working on this project for over a year and I’ve recently delving back in to finishing it. Essentially, the book is for those who are suffering or in pain and for those who may know someone who is going through hardship and suffering. We find ourselves thrusted into existence and we observe so much absurdity around us. This is the problem of existence. It’s the why questions.

Regular readers over the years will recognize a lot of the content. I’ve compiled everything in what will, hopefully, be an easy read formatted in an understandable way. Some of it is story telling and other parts are serious philosophy and theology. This e-book is a bit different than my normal topics related to science and philosophy. I found that while composing and editing it I was really just speaking to myself. Like the psalmist does so often, “Why are you cast down, O soul?” Sometimes we need to preach to ourselves and this is really just a glimpse of my heart.

February 18th, 2014

Q&A 39: Ethical and Epistemic Dilemmas in Education

by Max Andrews

Q&A GraphicQuestion

Dear Max,

I understand you are very busy but this is very serious and if you could please spend some time reading this email it would be appreciated. You helped me about a year ago greatly through Reasonable Faith with regard to philosophy of the mind. I truly appreciated your words.

Please allow me to share a little about my background before I get to the point. I am a Christian who lives in Australia, I have a deep passion for apologetics and philosophy and have been teaching myself in my spare time for almost 2 years nearly every day. I have worked as a software developer for almost 20 years, these skills have greatly honed my analytical thinking.

Recently I learned that our school is implementing the PYP & MYP program from the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) also known as the World School. I had suspicions of this program because of its heavily secularized origin. This alerted me to do some research and suffice to say my findings are alarming. The problem with it is illustrating its deceptiveness via its pragmatic methods.

February 14th, 2014

Watching The Sunset Limited

by Max Andrews

So, my pal JT told me about this film The Sunset Limited, which is free on YouTube. The whole film takes place in the dank apartment of a subway janitor (Samuel L. Jackson) and a professor (Tommy Lee Jones). The professor is an atheist who tried to jump in front of a train but the janitor stopped him.

The prose begins in the apartment and the rhetoric is fantastic. The whole movie debates morality, the Bible, angels, God, the problem of evil, sin, etc. It’s a conversation and not an academic debate. They each have good points to make, which is why both Christians and atheists should watch it. For instance, the professor says, “Why not give up? God gives up. As far as I know there’s no ministry in hell.” Now, that objection has answers but rhetorically, wow, that’s hot! Also, the story about how the janitor became a believer (spoiler: beats a man badly) and the professor questions if disfiguring a man was worth his belief in God. It’s amazing.

The janitor isn’t the most educated person, scholastically speaking, but he’s very intelligent. Just watch out for his semi-Pelagian switching around in his rhetoric when they discuss original sin and the Bible.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a98W-vW0sh4

February 3rd, 2014

Q&A 37: Homosexuality and Ethical Semantics

by Max Andrews

Question

Hello. I just read your answer concerning whether homosexual acts are sinful even if homosexual attraction is innate. I agree that the question of innateness doesn’t touch the moral issue. Your main reason for regarding homosexual acts as sinful appears, in that essay, to be scriptural.

My question is this: Do you think that in all cases, moral imperatives indicated in scripture also have an adequate secular defense? The current problem about homosexuality appears to be the difficulty of formulating a reason to condemn it that doesn’t rest on scripture. People will argue, correctly, that homosexual acts are no more harmful than other behaviors that no one regards as immoral. And harm, or the clear potential for harm, appears to be the tripwire that makes an act subject to moral scrutiny in the first place.