Sunday, May 31, 2009

N.T.Wright's Justification


N.T. Wright (2009), Justification: God's Plan & Paul's Vision, Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic.

N.T. Wright is Bishop of Durham and was formerly Canon Theologian of Westminster Abbey and dean of Lichfield Cathedral. He taught New Testament studies for twenty years at Cambridge, McGill and Oxford Universities. Wright's full-scale works The New Testament and the People of God, Jesus and the Victory of God, and The Resurrection of the Son of God are part of a projected six-volume series entitled Christian Origins and the Question of God. Among his many other published works are The Original Jesus, What Saint Paul Really Said and The Climax of the Covenant. He is also coauthor with Marcus Borg of The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions and the volume on Colossians and Philemon in The Tyndale New Testament Commentary series.

This is an interesting book because it is mainly written in response to John Piper (2007)'s The Future of Justification: A Response to N.T. Wright which was in turn written in response to N.T. Wright's perspective or the so called "new" or "fresh" perspectives on Paul. So when two theological giants goes into the ring with each other, the rest of us mortals should sit back and enjoy the show. Unfortunately, many have decided to get into the ring with them thus making what should be a theological dialogue into a free-for-all melee.

In this latest round, Wright was forthcoming in saying that he wrote this book in response to Piper and that he needed to defend himself to avoid being branded a 'villain' in this dialogue.
In the preface itself, Wright lays down his thoughts about Paul. He seek to frames the argument by structuring it as,
(1) the nature and scope of salvation (which he has dealt within his Surprised by Hope , 2008 , San Francisco: HarperOne).
(2) the means of salvation
(3) the meaning of salvation

It is mainly in the meaning of salvation that the main focus of this book is about or rather what the Pauline understanding of salvation is. Wrights identifies these themes,
(1) Paul's doctrine of justification is about the work of Jesus the Messiah of Israel
(2) Paul's doctrine of salvation is about covenant (God's covenant with Abraham)
(3) Paul's doctrine of salvation is focused on divine law court terms
(4) Paul's doctrine of salvation is bound up with eschatology i.e. Paul's understanding of God's future for the whole world and God's people. Or more specifically present justification and final justification.

The issue lies in the exegesis and hermeneutics of key texts and Wright went into a few of the key ones in this book. I believe he has dealt with the key texts fairly and accurately. It is not so much in the exegesis itself but in the nuances in the hermeneutics. In the Reformed tradition, theology is always forming and reforming. This means that there is always room for dialogue and it is the height of arrogance for anyone to think that they have the full understanding of all theological truths. Also it is folly for anyone to think that all Christians have misunderstood Paul for the last two thousand years. I prefer to see it as expanding our understanding of Paul's writings in light of our latest scholarship. Personally I do not think that Reformed theology is being threatened by this argument that has been going on for the last two decades. If it is so easily toppled, this means there is something wrong with it. I believe that Reformed theology is big enough for such dialogue to take place without too much emotionalism and mud-slinging.

This is a good book to read in the series of books that Wright is writing in defending his thinking about Paul. As he takes pain to point out it is a work in progress. I am looking forward to his coming fourth book (about Paul) in his Christian Origins and the Question of God series.

.

N.T.Wright's Justification


N.T. Wright (2009), Justification: God's Plan & Paul's Vision, Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic.

N.T. Wright is Bishop of Durham and was formerly Canon Theologian of Westminster Abbey and dean of Lichfield Cathedral. He taught New Testament studies for twenty years at Cambridge, McGill and Oxford Universities. Wright's full-scale works The New Testament and the People of God, Jesus and the Victory of God, and The Resurrection of the Son of God are part of a projected six-volume series entitled Christian Origins and the Question of God. Among his many other published works are The Original Jesus, What Saint Paul Really Said and The Climax of the Covenant. He is also coauthor with Marcus Borg of The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions and the volume on Colossians and Philemon in The Tyndale New Testament Commentary series.

This is an interesting book because it is mainly written in response to John Piper (2007)'s The Future of Justification: A Response to N.T. Wright which was in turn written in response to N.T. Wright's perspective or the so called "new" or "fresh" perspectives on Paul. So when two theological giants goes into the ring with each other, the rest of us mortals should sit back and enjoy the show. Unfortunately, many have decided to get into the ring with them thus making what should be a theological dialogue into a free-for-all melee.

In this latest round, Wright was forthcoming in saying that he wrote this book in response to Piper and that he needed to defend himself to avoid being branded a 'villain' in this dialogue.
In the preface itself, Wright lays down his thoughts about Paul. He seek to frames the argument by structuring it as,
(1) the nature and scope of salvation (which he has dealt within his Surprised by Hope , 2008 , San Francisco: HarperOne).
(2) the means of salvation
(3) the meaning of salvation

It is mainly in the meaning of salvation that the main focus of this book is about or rather what the Pauline understanding of salvation is. Wrights identifies these themes,
(1) Paul's doctrine of justification is about the work of Jesus the Messiah of Israel
(2) Paul's doctrine of salvation is about covenant (God's covenant with Abraham)
(3) Paul's doctrine of salvation is focused on divine law court terms
(4) Paul's doctrine of salvation is bound up with eschatology i.e. Paul's understanding of God's future for the whole world and God's people. Or more specifically present justification and final justification.

The issue lies in the exegesis and hermeneutics of key texts and Wright went into a few of the key ones in this book. I believe he has dealt with the key texts fairly and accurately. It is not so much in the exegesis itself but in the nuances in the hermeneutics. In the Reformed tradition, theology is always forming and reforming. This means that there is always room for dialogue and it is the height of arrogance for anyone to think that they have the full understanding of all theological truths. Also it is folly for anyone to think that all Christians have misunderstood Paul for the last two thousand years. I prefer to see it as expanding our understanding of Paul's writings in light of our latest scholarship. Personally I do not think that Reformed theology is being threatened by this argument that has been going on for the last two decades. If it is so easily toppled, this means there is something wrong with it. I believe that Reformed theology is big enough for such dialogue to take place without too much emotionalism and mud-slinging.

This is a good book to read in the series of books that Wright is writing in defending his thinking about Paul. As he takes pain to point out it is a work in progress. I am looking forward to his coming fourth book (about Paul) in his Christian Origins and the Question of God series.

.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Richard Schmidt's God Seekers


Richard H. Schmidt (2008), God Seekers: Twenty Centuries of Christian Spiritualities , Grand Rapids, MI:Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / Hardcover


This is an interesting book to read because it gives an overview of Christian spirituality by focusing on the biography of a certain person as representative of that spirituality. It is appropriate that the book should be entitled Christian spiritualities as each of the person mentioned represent a type of Christian spirituality. I am beginning to recognise and appreciate that there is not one Christian spirituality but many Christian spiritualities.

Schmidt offers the definition of Christian spirituality as "any spirituality which sees God in Jesus Christ." That's a great definition but it does not mention the role of the Holy Spirit and the telos of Christian spirituality.

There are 32 short biographies followed by a few quotations from each of the the person mentioned. Each forms a chapter and a type of spiritualities. The first biography is of Irenaues (early Christian spirituality) and ends with Rosemary Radford Ruether (Feminist spirituality). These make interesting reading but is just too brief. What make the chapters come alive is the beautiful line portraits of the persons mentioned drawn by Dean Mosher of Fairhope, Alabama where he drew from imagination, many of the the early spiritual writers who did not have any surviving portraits.

A good book for a general introduction to Christian spiritualities.

Richard Schmidt's God Seekers


Richard H. Schmidt (2008), God Seekers: Twenty Centuries of Christian Spiritualities , Grand Rapids, MI:Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / Hardcover


This is an interesting book to read because it gives an overview of Christian spirituality by focusing on the biography of a certain person as representative of that spirituality. It is appropriate that the book should be entitled Christian spiritualities as each of the person mentioned represent a type of Christian spirituality. I am beginning to recognise and appreciate that there is not one Christian spirituality but many Christian spiritualities.

Schmidt offers the definition of Christian spirituality as "any spirituality which sees God in Jesus Christ." That's a great definition but it does not mention the role of the Holy Spirit and the telos of Christian spirituality.

There are 32 short biographies followed by a few quotations from each of the the person mentioned. Each forms a chapter and a type of spiritualities. The first biography is of Irenaues (early Christian spirituality) and ends with Rosemary Radford Ruether (Feminist spirituality). These make interesting reading but is just too brief. What make the chapters come alive is the beautiful line portraits of the persons mentioned drawn by Dean Mosher of Fairhope, Alabama where he drew from imagination, many of the the early spiritual writers who did not have any surviving portraits.

A good book for a general introduction to Christian spiritualities.

The Pentecost Spirit



The latest from Thinking Faith...


The Pentecostal Spirit
How did the feast of Pentecost develop into the form that our celebration of the coming of the Holy Spirit now takes? In the first part of an article in which he unfolds our understanding of Pentecost, Nicholas Lash describes how a Jewish harvest feast gradually acquired new significance and changed over time to become Christian Pentecost, which we will celebrate on Sunday 31st May. Read >>

The Pentecostal Spirit: Part two
What does the account of the ‘descent of the Spirit’ in the Acts of the Apostles tell us about the place of the paschal mystery in the life of the Church? In part two of a study of the feast of Pentecost, Nicholas Lash explains that we cannot comprehend the sending of the Holy Spirit without recognising how it relates to the Easter event. Read >>

The Pentecost Spirit



The latest from Thinking Faith...


The Pentecostal Spirit
How did the feast of Pentecost develop into the form that our celebration of the coming of the Holy Spirit now takes? In the first part of an article in which he unfolds our understanding of Pentecost, Nicholas Lash describes how a Jewish harvest feast gradually acquired new significance and changed over time to become Christian Pentecost, which we will celebrate on Sunday 31st May. Read >>

The Pentecostal Spirit: Part two
What does the account of the ‘descent of the Spirit’ in the Acts of the Apostles tell us about the place of the paschal mystery in the life of the Church? In part two of a study of the feast of Pentecost, Nicholas Lash explains that we cannot comprehend the sending of the Holy Spirit without recognising how it relates to the Easter event. Read >>

Pentecost Sunday



For the Feast of Pentecost, I present the collection of slides starting with Holy Trinity picture, followed by the image of dove representing the Holy Spirit and collection of art clips of the Holy Spirit descending on the Apostles and Our Lady gathered in the Upper Room after Our Lord Ascension. The next several images show descend of the Holy Spirit as hand painted in the manuscript of the Holy Scriptures. These are followed by Holy Spirit stained glass collection. The slide show is concluded by the vintage Holy Card of children receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. The background music is Veni Creator Spiritus and Veni Sancte Spiritus chants by Benedictine Monks of San Domingo Silos Monastery and Come Holy Spirit hymn from the track "God of Loveliness" by Singing Nuns from Spokane, WA.

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jpitera123

Pentecost Sunday



For the Feast of Pentecost, I present the collection of slides starting with Holy Trinity picture, followed by the image of dove representing the Holy Spirit and collection of art clips of the Holy Spirit descending on the Apostles and Our Lady gathered in the Upper Room after Our Lord Ascension. The next several images show descend of the Holy Spirit as hand painted in the manuscript of the Holy Scriptures. These are followed by Holy Spirit stained glass collection. The slide show is concluded by the vintage Holy Card of children receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. The background music is Veni Creator Spiritus and Veni Sancte Spiritus chants by Benedictine Monks of San Domingo Silos Monastery and Come Holy Spirit hymn from the track "God of Loveliness" by Singing Nuns from Spokane, WA.

Channel Icon

jpitera123

Friday, May 29, 2009

Movie Review on Terminator Salvation

Terminator Salvation also known in short as Terminator 4 continues the hugely popular Terminator series which started with the movie, The Terminator (1984).

The year is 2018 and the "future" largely anticipated in the three movies, comics, novels, and a television series is here. John Connor is a leader in the Resistance movement against Skynet, an artificial intelligence intent on the annihilation of all human beings on earth. Those who are familiar with the Terminator storyline will know that Skynet achieved consciousness in 2004 and launched all nuclear missiles causing massive destruction in a day called "Judgment Day."

I enjoyed this movie. The story telling is fast paced, with lots of boom and mayhem, plenty of new Terminator machines and a thought provoking plot.

[warning: movie spoilers]

Basically this is about redemption. What will redemption involve- for a person and for humanity on the whole? The movie begins in 2003 when death roll Marcus Wright, a convicted repentant prisoner signed over his body to Cyberdyne for research purposes. Marcus was executed by a lethal injection. Judgment Day happened the next year.

Marcus was awakened in 2018 by a Resistance attack on the lab which stored his body. As the story develops, he found that he was a cyborg with a human heart and mechanical body and a chip implanted in his brain. Unwittingly he was part of Skynet's plan to trap John Connor, who has by now became an influential voice of the Resistance, though not one of its upper echelon leaders.


Marcus Wright is the hero of this movie. He was given a second chance for life by Skynet. He used his life well in saving Kyle Reese, a teenager he befriended (the future John Connor's father) and John Connor. In doing so, he shows how human beings are different from machines. Human beings have free will, compassion and moral conscience. By saving John Connor, Marcus actually offers salvation for John Connor himself, and through Connor, the human race. Though the movie is appropriately named Terminator Salvation, it may also be titled Terminator Redemption.

Most if not all of us have regrets in this life. By our actions or inactions, we have hurt people and cause undesirable consequences. I wonder how will we redeem our regrets if we are given a chance. And if we are given a second chance at life, how will we live the new life?

As I have mention in finding biblical allusions in apocalyptic stories there is much we can learn from the Terminator series. John Connor is often taken as the archetype of Jesus Christ, the saviour of humankind. Personally the message I have is not that of John Connor at all. The message is our present civilisation that seeks to turn us into machines in the name of efficiency, calculability, predictability and control. This is closely linked with our embrace of technology. In a way Judgment day have occurred because we have surrendered our individuality and humanity. Neil Postman mentioned 20 years ago that the media is entertainment. Well, the media have become entertainment with short sound bytes and talking heads.


More than that, we have become the media. We given up our individuality when we give up our privacy. Through social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook, and through out blogs we open our privacy for the world to view. Through technology we also gave up our humanity. Social policies are determined by statistical analysis programs that determine the cost-benefits. People has become a number, a statistic in the enormous database, the ones and the zeroes that define our humanity in the digital era.

As the human fought back in post-apocalyptic Judgment Day, we need to fight back against the dehumanisation of our society. I am not a Luddite. I love technology as much as the next guy. However we must be aware of what technology is doing to us as individuals and as human beings.






"but we will stand against Skynet's army as one. And we will win as one. My name is John Connor, and if you are listening to this, you are the resistance."

Movie Review on Terminator Salvation

Terminator Salvation also known in short as Terminator 4 continues the hugely popular Terminator series which started with the movie, The Terminator (1984).

The year is 2018 and the "future" largely anticipated in the three movies, comics, novels, and a television series is here. John Connor is a leader in the Resistance movement against Skynet, an artificial intelligence intent on the annihilation of all human beings on earth. Those who are familiar with the Terminator storyline will know that Skynet achieved consciousness in 2004 and launched all nuclear missiles causing massive destruction in a day called "Judgment Day."

I enjoyed this movie. The story telling is fast paced, with lots of boom and mayhem, plenty of new Terminator machines and a thought provoking plot.

[warning: movie spoilers]

Basically this is about redemption. What will redemption involve- for a person and for humanity on the whole? The movie begins in 2003 when death roll Marcus Wright, a convicted repentant prisoner signed over his body to Cyberdyne for research purposes. Marcus was executed by a lethal injection. Judgment Day happened the next year.

Marcus was awakened in 2018 by a Resistance attack on the lab which stored his body. As the story develops, he found that he was a cyborg with a human heart and mechanical body and a chip implanted in his brain. Unwittingly he was part of Skynet's plan to trap John Connor, who has by now became an influential voice of the Resistance, though not one of its upper echelon leaders.


Marcus Wright is the hero of this movie. He was given a second chance for life by Skynet. He used his life well in saving Kyle Reese, a teenager he befriended (the future John Connor's father) and John Connor. In doing so, he shows how human beings are different from machines. Human beings have free will, compassion and moral conscience. By saving John Connor, Marcus actually offers salvation for John Connor himself, and through Connor, the human race. Though the movie is appropriately named Terminator Salvation, it may also be titled Terminator Redemption.

Most if not all of us have regrets in this life. By our actions or inactions, we have hurt people and cause undesirable consequences. I wonder how will we redeem our regrets if we are given a chance. And if we are given a second chance at life, how will we live the new life?

As I have mention in finding biblical allusions in apocalyptic stories there is much we can learn from the Terminator series. John Connor is often taken as the archetype of Jesus Christ, the saviour of humankind. Personally the message I have is not that of John Connor at all. The message is our present civilisation that seeks to turn us into machines in the name of efficiency, calculability, predictability and control. This is closely linked with our embrace of technology. In a way Judgment day have occurred because we have surrendered our individuality and humanity. Neil Postman mentioned 20 years ago that the media is entertainment. Well, the media have become entertainment with short sound bytes and talking heads.


More than that, we have become the media. We given up our individuality when we give up our privacy. Through social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook, and through out blogs we open our privacy for the world to view. Through technology we also gave up our humanity. Social policies are determined by statistical analysis programs that determine the cost-benefits. People has become a number, a statistic in the enormous database, the ones and the zeroes that define our humanity in the digital era.

As the human fought back in post-apocalyptic Judgment Day, we need to fight back against the dehumanisation of our society. I am not a Luddite. I love technology as much as the next guy. However we must be aware of what technology is doing to us as individuals and as human beings.






"but we will stand against Skynet's army as one. And we will win as one. My name is John Connor, and if you are listening to this, you are the resistance."

Thursday, May 28, 2009

PhD Dissertation Writing

Spent the last 5 days in my study writing my dissertation, all 277 pages of it.




Kids, don't try this at home. It's hazardous to your health!

.

PhD Dissertation Writing

Spent the last 5 days in my study writing my dissertation, all 277 pages of it.




Kids, don't try this at home. It's hazardous to your health!

.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Science and the Mystic

Top Story
Image by Amanda Duffy
Science and the Mystic
What are we to make of the variety of spiritual experiences?

Science and the Mystic

Top Story
Image by Amanda Duffy
Science and the Mystic
What are we to make of the variety of spiritual experiences?

Downward Mobility

The Case for Downward Mobility
Why did Francis insist that his followers live in absolute poverty?


Francis was the son of a cloth merchant, yet after his conversion he wore a miserable, threadbare patched tunic.

When his father begged Assisi's bishop to stop his crazy son from giving away family property, Francis stood in front of the bishop and stripped himself naked to proclaim that he had no father but God.

Finish this article from ChristianHistory.net.

Downward Mobility

The Case for Downward Mobility
Why did Francis insist that his followers live in absolute poverty?


Francis was the son of a cloth merchant, yet after his conversion he wore a miserable, threadbare patched tunic.

When his father begged Assisi's bishop to stop his crazy son from giving away family property, Francis stood in front of the bishop and stripped himself naked to proclaim that he had no father but God.

Finish this article from ChristianHistory.net.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Goodbye Ralph Winter

Reposted from Christianity Today liveblog

May 23, 2009 6:49AM
Missiologist Ralph D. Winter (1925-2009)

His vision for world evangelization was "breathtaking" and his influence "globally seismic."


by David Neff
ralph%20winter.jpg

Veteran missiologist Ralph D. Winter passed away last Wednesday, May 20. (Hat tips to @jhgrantjr and @edstetzer for alerting us via Twitter.)

According to the US Center for World Mission website, Winter died peacefully at home in Pasadena, California, "surrounded by three of his four daughters, his wife Barb, and a few friends."

Winter had been battling cancer and had been weakened by radiation treatments. He was 84.

In 2005, Winter was named by Time magazine as one of America's 25 most influential evangelicals. His speech at the 1974 Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization is credited with focusing evangelical mission activity on "unreached people groups."

Time commented:

Even at 80, Winter generates new strategies from his California-based Frontier Mission Fellowship.

Trained as a civil engineer, linguist, cultural anthropologist and Presbyterian minister, he describes himself as a "Christian social engineer." Working through the William Carey International University and the U.S. Center for World Mission, which he founded, he is producing a new generation of Christian message carriers, some native, ready to venture out to places with such ready-to-be-ministered flocks as Muslim converts to Christianity and African Christians with heretical beliefs. Says Winter: "It's this movement, not the formal Christian church, that's growing. That's our frontier."

An abundance of information is available at ralphwinter.org, including a timeline of "milestone events" and an extensive autobiographical account of his engagement with modern missions and missiology.

Also worth reading: Pastor John Piper's personal tribute to Winter. "His vision of the advance of the gospel was breathtaking," writes Piper, calling Winter's emphasis on unreached peoples "globally seismic in the transformation of missions."


.

Goodbye Ralph Winter

Reposted from Christianity Today liveblog

May 23, 2009 6:49AM
Missiologist Ralph D. Winter (1925-2009)

His vision for world evangelization was "breathtaking" and his influence "globally seismic."


by David Neff
ralph%20winter.jpg

Veteran missiologist Ralph D. Winter passed away last Wednesday, May 20. (Hat tips to @jhgrantjr and @edstetzer for alerting us via Twitter.)

According to the US Center for World Mission website, Winter died peacefully at home in Pasadena, California, "surrounded by three of his four daughters, his wife Barb, and a few friends."

Winter had been battling cancer and had been weakened by radiation treatments. He was 84.

In 2005, Winter was named by Time magazine as one of America's 25 most influential evangelicals. His speech at the 1974 Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization is credited with focusing evangelical mission activity on "unreached people groups."

Time commented:

Even at 80, Winter generates new strategies from his California-based Frontier Mission Fellowship.

Trained as a civil engineer, linguist, cultural anthropologist and Presbyterian minister, he describes himself as a "Christian social engineer." Working through the William Carey International University and the U.S. Center for World Mission, which he founded, he is producing a new generation of Christian message carriers, some native, ready to venture out to places with such ready-to-be-ministered flocks as Muslim converts to Christianity and African Christians with heretical beliefs. Says Winter: "It's this movement, not the formal Christian church, that's growing. That's our frontier."

An abundance of information is available at ralphwinter.org, including a timeline of "milestone events" and an extensive autobiographical account of his engagement with modern missions and missiology.

Also worth reading: Pastor John Piper's personal tribute to Winter. "His vision of the advance of the gospel was breathtaking," writes Piper, calling Winter's emphasis on unreached peoples "globally seismic in the transformation of missions."


.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Reformed Perspectives Magazine Volume 11, Number 21

Reformed Perspectives Magazine Volume 11, Number 21 (May 24 to May 30, 2009), is now available. The following articles are featured in this issue:

1 Timothy 2:8
A Sermon
By: Scott Lindsay
Webpage PDF Word

A Sermon on Isaiah 57:15
An Article
By: Geehardus Vos
Webpage PDF Word

The Doctrine of Original Sin
An Article
By: Jeremy T. Alder
Webpage PDF Word

Gilead's Balm
A Sermon
By: Murdoch Campbell
Webpage PDF Word

Freedom of the Will, Part I
An Article
By: Jonathan Edwards
Webpage PDF Word

They Will Rest from Their Labor
An Article
By: Kim Riddlebarger
Webpage PDF Word

Reformed Perspectives Magazine Volume 11, Number 21

Reformed Perspectives Magazine Volume 11, Number 21 (May 24 to May 30, 2009), is now available. The following articles are featured in this issue:

1 Timothy 2:8
A Sermon
By: Scott Lindsay
Webpage PDF Word

A Sermon on Isaiah 57:15
An Article
By: Geehardus Vos
Webpage PDF Word

The Doctrine of Original Sin
An Article
By: Jeremy T. Alder
Webpage PDF Word

Gilead's Balm
A Sermon
By: Murdoch Campbell
Webpage PDF Word

Freedom of the Will, Part I
An Article
By: Jonathan Edwards
Webpage PDF Word

They Will Rest from Their Labor
An Article
By: Kim Riddlebarger
Webpage PDF Word

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Finding Biblical Lessons in Apocalyptic Stories


In his Christianity Today online article, Jesus and the Terminator, writer Peter Chattaway looks for biblical allusions in the Terminator stories. He notes,

In the first Terminator, Kyle is sent back in time to protect Sarah, and although he does not know it, he will also become John's father. Thus, the film portrays an annunciation of sorts. As the Terminator robot kills everyone who comes between itself and Sarah, the film evokes parallels to the slaughter of the innocents in Bethlehem. And just as the birth of Christ took place against the backdrop of a cosmic war in which the final outcome was never really in doubt, so too the birth of John Connor is soaked in the blood of battles he is destined to fight. (It's also tempting to suggest that John Connor's initials might have messianic parallels, but they are also the initials of writer-director James Cameron, so who knows?)

The sequels complicate matters in a number of ways, as more robotic assassins and more protectors go back in time to fight over John's life, but the allusions remain. The second film reveals that the day the war with the machines began is called Judgment Day. A spin-off television series, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, also makes explicit use of biblical themes, partly because one of its lead actors, Richard T. Jones, who plays fbi agent James Ellison, is an openly devout Christian. Read more

I have been a fan of Terminator stories since the first movie (you may ask what I am not a fan of. Well, I must confess I am not a fan of watching football. No, don't throw that stone!). I have been reading Terminators novels, have my collection of the Terminator movie DVDs and Terminator comics. I even played Terminator computer games which I have truly enjoyed.

Sarah Connors remains an enigma in the series. According to Chattaway, Sarah Connors is responsible for the whole war! He derived this from watching deleted scenes in the T1 DVD.

Just as the Terminator came back in time to kill Sarah and prevent the birth of John Connor, thereby inadvertently drawing Kyle Reese back in time and guaranteeing the birth of John Connor, so too Sarah Connor tried to destroy Cyberdyne and prevent the birth of Skynet, thereby inadvertently drawing the Terminator towards the Cyberdyne factory and guaranteeing the rise of Skynet. And this point -- this similarity between the two characters' actions, and the consequences of their actions -- is underscored by visual motifs such as the phone-book scanning.

Read his article and link to YouTube to watch the deleted scenes and decide. For me, the Sarah Connors Chronicles now showing on television is giving me headaches in the way the Terminator story universe is being abused. Nevertheless, as a faithful fan, I shall continue to watch the television series.

All this to prepare me for the Terminator movie, Terminator:Salvation. Look for my coming review of the movie in this blog. In the immortal words of the Terminator, "I'll be back!"




Finding Biblical Lessons in Apocalyptic Stories


In his Christianity Today online article, Jesus and the Terminator, writer Peter Chattaway looks for biblical allusions in the Terminator stories. He notes,

In the first Terminator, Kyle is sent back in time to protect Sarah, and although he does not know it, he will also become John's father. Thus, the film portrays an annunciation of sorts. As the Terminator robot kills everyone who comes between itself and Sarah, the film evokes parallels to the slaughter of the innocents in Bethlehem. And just as the birth of Christ took place against the backdrop of a cosmic war in which the final outcome was never really in doubt, so too the birth of John Connor is soaked in the blood of battles he is destined to fight. (It's also tempting to suggest that John Connor's initials might have messianic parallels, but they are also the initials of writer-director James Cameron, so who knows?)

The sequels complicate matters in a number of ways, as more robotic assassins and more protectors go back in time to fight over John's life, but the allusions remain. The second film reveals that the day the war with the machines began is called Judgment Day. A spin-off television series, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, also makes explicit use of biblical themes, partly because one of its lead actors, Richard T. Jones, who plays fbi agent James Ellison, is an openly devout Christian. Read more

I have been a fan of Terminator stories since the first movie (you may ask what I am not a fan of. Well, I must confess I am not a fan of watching football. No, don't throw that stone!). I have been reading Terminators novels, have my collection of the Terminator movie DVDs and Terminator comics. I even played Terminator computer games which I have truly enjoyed.

Sarah Connors remains an enigma in the series. According to Chattaway, Sarah Connors is responsible for the whole war! He derived this from watching deleted scenes in the T1 DVD.

Just as the Terminator came back in time to kill Sarah and prevent the birth of John Connor, thereby inadvertently drawing Kyle Reese back in time and guaranteeing the birth of John Connor, so too Sarah Connor tried to destroy Cyberdyne and prevent the birth of Skynet, thereby inadvertently drawing the Terminator towards the Cyberdyne factory and guaranteeing the rise of Skynet. And this point -- this similarity between the two characters' actions, and the consequences of their actions -- is underscored by visual motifs such as the phone-book scanning.

Read his article and link to YouTube to watch the deleted scenes and decide. For me, the Sarah Connors Chronicles now showing on television is giving me headaches in the way the Terminator story universe is being abused. Nevertheless, as a faithful fan, I shall continue to watch the television series.

All this to prepare me for the Terminator movie, Terminator:Salvation. Look for my coming review of the movie in this blog. In the immortal words of the Terminator, "I'll be back!"




Speak the Gospel

Top Story
St. Francis Preaching before Honorius III, Giotto di Bondone (1267-1337)
SOULWORK
Speak the Gospel
Use deeds when necessary.

Speak the Gospel

Top Story
St. Francis Preaching before Honorius III, Giotto di Bondone (1267-1337)
SOULWORK
Speak the Gospel
Use deeds when necessary.