Time Changer Movie Review

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Time Changer Movie Review

Postby RevSears on Sat Sep 29, 2012 7:28 pm

http://nerd4thelord.wordpress.com/2012/09/29/time-changer-movie-review/

I Saw an excellent Christian time travel movie recently called Time Changer anyone else seen it?
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Re: Time Changer Movie Review

Postby Wowboy on Sun Sep 30, 2012 2:07 pm

First, you might want to do an edit on your article and change "contraception" to "contraption."

This sort of brings me to the points I made in the thread in the Entertainment forum. You remarked that usually science fiction is set with no regard to religion whatsoever. It isn't just usually, but the very theme that makes science fiction what it is is counter to a religious theme. At it's heart science fiction is humanistic. Sci Fi heroes answer to no higher power and are completely self made. Any concept of destiny and definitely divine destiny is irrelevant.

This means that any notion of a divine plan and the very idea of the will of God are contraire to the underlying theme of sci fi.

Which brings me to my point... is it a good idea to take something that stands firmly against God and try to inject the gospel into it.

I am reminded of 1st Thessalonians 5:22 - "Abstain from all appearance of evil."

Another interesting thing to note, in your article you remark that as a Christian you would like to use the time machine to talk some sense into Christian leaders who were organizing the Crusades. This demonstrates a very modern secular notion that condemns Christianity for hypocrisy and sows the seeds of Western Christian guilt that has so paralyzed us when it comes to teaching newer generations of church history -- something that I believe is important in establishing a continuity that our young people can be proud to continue.

Think about this... If the pope hadn't changed church doctrine and used Christianity to unify the kingdoms of Europe into a cohesive army to strike back at the Islamic caliphates, it is quite likely that Christian Europe would have fallen and become a caliphate itself. The Byzantine Empire (A Christian nation) was losing territory to the Muslims almost daily. Before Islam, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Asia Minor, and much of Iraq were Christian lands governed by the Byzantines. The Muslims conquered all of this territory, the rest of North Africa and even Spain, and were pushing into both France and Italy. There was no stopping them because Europe itself was so fractured and rarely came to one another's aid. The only way to unite the armies of Europe was to give them a symbol and a cause... something they could all agree upon as a just goal. Nothing short of liberating the holy land would accomplish this.

The strategy worked. By forming massive armies and striking a territory that had been secured by the Muslims over a century earlier, it finally put the Muslims on the defensive. The Caliphs and Sultans instantly shifted their priorities from expanding their territories to retaking Jerusalem. The ability of the Crusader armies to hold Jerusalem for a century enabled the kingdoms of Europe to consolidate their power more deeply and go back on the offensive closer to home. The Muslim armies were pushed out of France and Italy, and Spain was eventually reconquered. Had Eastern and Western Christianity been on better terms (or never had split at all) it is likely that the tide would have turned in the east as well.

The Crusades were also just one chapter in the ongoing conflict between Western and Eastern Civilization. This conflict began when Paris seduced Helen and a thousand ships were launched in retaliation and it continues to this day.

My point in all of this is that the Crusades were wars like any other, just part of a deeper conflict that has raged for millennia. Christians should not feel guilt over the crusades or any remorse whatsoever that they occurred. Basically, if the pope hadn't used Christianity to unify the petty kings of Europe and raise an army, we would be attending Mosque rather than church.
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Re: Time Changer Movie Review

Postby chad_ghost on Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:54 pm

Thanks Wowboy! That is a great explanation of the Crusades (and one we, as Christians, can be proud of).
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Re: Time Changer Movie Review

Postby Wowboy on Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:53 pm

chad_ghost wrote:Thanks Wowboy! That is a great explanation of the Crusades (and one we, as Christians, can be proud of).


It's definitely a different point of view than what we routinely get thrown at us both in textbooks and when pop culture references those events.

They seem to skip the part in world history when mid-eastern cultures became unified under the banner of Islam and went on the offensive for the first time since the days of the Persian Empire. It's as though they go straight from the fall of Rome to the Crusades. It gives the impression that the world was at peace until those war-mongering Christians and that evil pope decided to pick a fight and murder and plunder their way to Jerusalem.
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Re: Time Changer Movie Review

Postby RevSears on Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:26 pm

Wowboy wrote:First, you might want to do an edit on your article and change "contraception" to "contraption."


Done thank you for pointing that out.

This sort of brings me to the points I made in the thread in the Entertainment forum. You remarked that usually science fiction is set with no regard to religion whatsoever. It isn't just usually, but the very theme that makes science fiction what it is is counter to a religious theme. At it's heart science fiction is humanistic. Sci Fi heroes answer to no higher power and are completely self made. Any concept of destiny and definitely divine destiny is irrelevant.

This means that any notion of a divine plan and the very idea of the will of God are contraire to the underlying theme of sci fi.

I think you mean contrary to the Gospel. I would greatly disagree with the broad strokes you paint all of science fiction with. I admit the majority would seem to fit your theme, but do you know where science as we know it comes from? Science is the pursuit of Knowledge, and originally came about as Christians sought to understand the world God had made (Sir Issac Newton for example) The political incorrect guide to the bible traces the history of early science, and it's origins only in those countries touched by Judeao Christian thought, that saw the world as a created system. Other religions saw no need to connect the physical reality to spiritually reality at all. Science fiction is only further explanation of whats possible with what God has given us. The secular humanists have taken it from us but that doesn't not mean it's origins aren't Christian or that we should let them have it!

Sci-Fi is going to become increasingly important to young Christians when they will soon have to ask, can a clone have a soul? What impact do Aliens have on our faith? etc. Don't get me wrong that is a tangent for another topic, Aliens aren't there, but folks are see something (demons) and need a biblical explanation. Sci-Fi can tell truth in story.

Let me be clear again, Christianity isn't artificially inserted here, this is a Christian movie by a Christian director, about Christians. Have you seen it? I'd like to hear your thoughts afterwords.

Many have said the same thing about Fantasy, but can you deny the powerful imagry and scenes in Narnia? Eustace's transformation makes me weep everytime.

Which brings me to my point... is it a good idea to take something that stands firmly against God and try to inject the gospel into it.

I am reminded of 1st Thessalonians 5:22 - "Abstain from all appearance of evil."

A pretty broadly applied verse here.

It would be easy to point out that you are on a Christian G.I.Joe board, and many could say that would mean all of us are violating the example of Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:11, "When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things." (NASB) Or that the internet, choke full of porn (and rather futuristic and sci-fi like by it's nature) is something to be avoided.

Let's put things in context though. Here is 1 Thessalonians 5:12-23
"12 But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, 13 and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another. 14 We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people. 16 Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit; 20 do not despise prophetic utterances. 21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22 abstain from every [m]form of evil.

23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass."

The focus of this passage is relationships, not doing evil to others, respecting those with spiritual gifts etc. To interrupt as you do could send us into a legalistic hedge maze full of fence rules to keep us safe. Use of the net appears evil, reading books could be evil (any books, and this has been taught "from" the bible with verses like these) Spending time with the lost could be seen as evil because others may think are sinful when among (they said this of Jesus) , going to the movies could be seen as evil, owning a tv rather than feeding the poor and it goes on and on and on.

1st Samuel 16:7 reveals to us that, "God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

I'm rather glad we disagree here, as it without disagreements it's sometimes hard for Iron to sharpen Iron (proverbs 27:17) without differences. I think you don't mean to put a legalistic meaning to 1 Thess. , but instead are likely hurt by the turning away of your friend and may be overreacting, but out of love. I just want to lovingly warn you that it can lead into a type of legal bondage. Surely we should not cause our weaker brothers to stumble, but we must be careful where we each apply that balance, and leave it up to the relationship of the Christian and the Holy Spirit, too many fence rules and we become Pharisees again.

Another interesting thing to note, in your article you remark that as a Christian you would like to use the time machine to talk some sense into Christian leaders who were organizing the Crusades. This demonstrates a very modern secular notion that condemns Christianity for hypocrisy and sows the seeds of Western Christian guilt that has so paralyzed us when it comes to teaching newer generations of church history -- something that I believe is important in establishing a continuity that our young people can be proud to continue.


Wowboy, wishing to correct people who claim the name of Christ but don't like him doesn't reflect the world's teachings, but the bibles. Jesus tells us a process by which we can approach a brother who has sinned in Matthew 18:15 and the following verses, " “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother." (NASB) Here it is against us but Paul also expands this (under the guidance of the Holy Spirit) in 1 Corinthians 5 to discuss whole church discipline. The murder they did to protestant saints was vile and sinful. I will always affirm that what the bible calls sin, is sin.

Think about this... If the pope hadn't changed church doctrine and used Christianity to unify the kingdoms of Europe into a cohesive army to strike back at the Islamic caliphates, it is quite likely that Christian Europe would have fallen and become a caliphate itself. The Byzantine Empire (A Christian nation) was losing territory to the Muslims almost daily. Before Islam, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Asia Minor, and much of Iraq were Christian lands governed by the Byzantines. The Muslims conquered all of this territory, the rest of North Africa and even Spain, and were pushing into both France and Italy. There was no stopping them because Europe itself was so fractured and rarely came to one another's aid. The only way to unite the armies of Europe was to give them a symbol and a cause... something they could all agree upon as a just goal. Nothing short of liberating the holy land would accomplish this.


Your confusing the end with the means. The long and hard story of Joesph and the pit ends with him telling his brothers, "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good" (Gen 50:20 ESV) Their actions were evil, and no man should "Change church doctrine" unless it is back to the will of God. God did use their foolish evil, but how much more could he have used their pure belief or a zeal for evangelism?

The strategy worked. By forming massive armies and striking a territory that had been secured by the Muslims over a century earlier, it finally put the Muslims on the defensive. The Caliphs and Sultans instantly shifted their priorities from expanding their territories to retaking Jerusalem. The ability of the Crusader armies to hold Jerusalem for a century enabled the kingdoms of Europe to consolidate their power more deeply and go back on the offensive closer to home. The Muslim armies were pushed out of France and Italy, and Spain was eventually reconquered. Had Eastern and Western Christianity been on better terms (or never had split at all) it is likely that the tide would have turned in the east as well.

You seem to be forgetting what we are taught about war in the New Testament, 2 Corinthians 10:4 tells us "for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses." (NASB)
If the church had not grown corrupt, and instead focused on God and had been evangelizing, and had been lead of the spirit there would be no need for war. They also didn't make war on the Muslims alone, like I mentioned above it was the same church who also labeled true Christians heretics and burned them. Their actions were not biblical or faithful. I already have a very long response here, but I could take the time to run you through the Old Testament to show you that When God does go to War, he doesn't need our help!
The Crusades were also just one chapter in the ongoing conflict between Western and Eastern Civilization. This conflict began when Paris seduced Helen and a thousand ships were launched in retaliation and it continues to this day.

This will keep going to Christ comes back. We are just witnessing Isaac vs. Ishameal and Jacob vs. Easua etc.

My point in all of this is that the Crusades were wars like any other, just part of a deeper conflict that has raged for millennia. Christians should not feel guilt over the crusades or any remorse whatsoever that they occurred. Basically, if the pope hadn't used Christianity to unify the petty kings of Europe and raise an army, we would be attending Mosque rather than church.


We must remember the supposed "Christian" involvement in the crusades. We can not let it happen again! We can't let any man "use Christianity" for political gain even if it appears logical, or good in the end. We have to be familiar with it so we can use apologetics to give good answers to those who would attack Christianity, or draw immature Christians away form the faith. We have to know what the world thinks we are, because we need to remember the barriers we face when we allow God to use us to show them who he really is.

I could keep going, but I really need to get off the computer! Takes the counterpoints as a discussion with love WOWboy, Let us sharpen each other.

(Oops accidentally quoted ESV once, it reflects correctly now)
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Re: Time Changer Movie Review

Postby Wowboy on Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:05 pm

A very excellent post, I appreciate such a well thought out response.

I am also a big fan of man sharpening man. I think sometimes we forget just how beneficial a respectful debate is for all.


First off, I think you are combining science with science fiction. The two are only superficially related.

Science, as we know, is essentially a simple process of forming an educated hypothesis, making observations and gathering data from an experiment designed to test the hypothesis, and forming a conclusion based on that data as to whether or not the hypothesis is valid. It is a simple tool for discovering truth that is no more biased toward a biblical or secular worldview than any tool in your toolbox.

You are correct that so many scientists, from medieval humorists to enlightenment thinkers like the aforementioned Sir Isaac Newton employed the scientific method (or an earlier version of it... humorists played pretty fast and loose with the conclusions they made based on their observations) to explore creation.

However, there are other things to consider.

There have always been various modes of thought that shape society. In the medieval period it was considered good to submit to a ruler who acted in place of God and to not question. In medieval art you often see intricate patterns that weave together, intricately intertwined to form something beautiful. This symbolizes the interconnected relationship between all things. This philosophy reinforced the idea that a serf is a serf for a reason, and it is wrong to aspire to be anything else. All things are as God wills them to be, and it is not for us to question this.

Later we get to the Renaissance which saw a return to classical ideals of personal liberty and realism in art and architecture. Then in the Enlightenment we finally see the discarding of elemental science that empowered humorists for so long and led to who knows how many people being bled to death in an attempt to cure them. This is when we see the modern scientific method used and people begin truly using reason rather than superstition to define the world. However, that does not mean they had abandoned faith. It is this period that we see some very extraordinary literature embracing faith and celebrating reason. For a good example, check out John Donne... he's one of my favorites.

However, something happened after the enlightenment... the west entered into what we now call the modern and post modern periods. These are marked by a complete rejection of everything that came before. A modernist would reject any notion of realism... in fact, a modernist artist would claim that realist artists of the renaissance were not artists at all and the works not art. They would say that Michaelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci merely produced elaborate decorations for their patrons and were not truly inspired to do the work on the merit of inspiration alone. With an abandoning of realism, we also see an abandonment of concrete morality, and of course the introduction of modern atheism. This is when science, that benign tool of objectivity, became a tool of modernist thinkers to destroy faith. It is during this period and under this pretext that the genre of science fiction was invented.

Think about it... a scientist would say that it would be irresponsible to evaluate the merits or even morality of a hypothesis until that hypothesis had withstood enough experimentation to be regarded as theory. For example... if I hypothesized that under a certain set of conditions I could mix some chemicals in a bottle and produce a human being, would it be responsible of me to then go off and write a story about a changed world where the natural processes created by God are no longer necessary, and so God himself is now either dead or so insignificant that he might as well be deceased? Think I would be jumping the gun a bit?

Well, that's exactly what science fiction does...

When HG Wells' martians descend upon the world, they are neither good nor evil, they are just looking for a food source. Humanity, that special creation in the eyes of God, is reduced to cattle. And in the end, it was not God nor the ingenuity of those created in his image who could prevail against the invader, but simple bacteria. It wasn't God who struck down the aliens to protect his children, and he didn't empower his children to do it. Simple bacteria did it. While you could argue that God had prepared the bacteria for this purpose (as the old movie adaptation of War of the Worlds did,) Wells, himself an ardent atheist, would strongly disagree with you.

This is but one example. The entire genre of science fiction was conceived of as a way of telling modernist humanist fables using a veneer of science as a way of challenging one's perception of what is and isn't real. If we know that aliens are out there or that human beings will one day have complete control of their own reproduction or that humans will be able to use replicators to "cure" humanity of greed and even need, how will that affect how we view the universe or how we relate to God? Well, science fiction will show you, and because it is at it's heart a modernist genre, the answer is these things will prove once and for all that there is no God, so if we are in the future going to prove that there is no God, why believe in one now?

What happens here is a shift in faith... although no modernist would ever refer to their views as "faith." But let's face it... when you believe in something unknowable, you are demonstrating faith.

Rather than placing their faith in God that his will shall come to pass on Earth and that those who trust in him shall be forever secure, they place their faith in science and humanity to solve the problems of the world and to guide civilization into a better future.

In a way, it becomes a religion in and of itself, and when viewed as such, modernist literature (including sci fi) can be viewed as humanist sermons designed to shape the way it's congregation views the world.


You mentioned the genre of fantasy... I cannot stress this enough... fantasy and science fiction are polar opposites. Modern fantasy is a continuation of the heroic epic or legendary story. The basic theme of pretty much every fantasy story is that some hero is annointed/chosen/destined to combat some impossible to defeat evil and does so in some fantastic way only explainable by some supernatural (often divine) intervention. Your examples from CS Lewis certainly fit this bill, and I would add Tolkien to your short list as well. This theme would be insulting to a humanist. Humanist protagonists are always self-made or rely upon some man-made contraption to win the day. However, at around the first decade or two of the 20th century there actually was a movement whose goal was to revolutionize the fantasy genre and make it more humanist. The works of HP Lovecraft and Robert Howard demonstrate this, and to a lesser extent, Star Wars.

So, why did I just write this novel? Well, I wanted to give the very abbreviated cliff's notes version of a bit of literary history that firmly places sci-fi into it's proper context and points out that from it's very conception, science fiction is a genre of literature that actively seeks to undermine faith and especially Christianity in an attempt to deconstruct the very foundation of western civilization that modernist philosophy has deemed wrong (I've always found it interesting that people who subscribe to a philosophy where there are no absolutes can deem anything wrong, but they do, and good luck getting them to admit that logical fallacy.)

(continued)
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Re: Time Changer Movie Review

Postby Wowboy on Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:06 pm

All that being said, it brings me back to the verse I quoted "abstain from all appearance of evil."

I am well aware of the sheer amount of legalistic nonsense that pulling this verse out of context has caused. I shudder at some of my classmates in elementary school who weren't allowed to wear shorts in the summer, not allowed to participate in sports because the attire was inappropriate (basketball) and excluded from swimming in a pool because *gasp* the genders might be mixed!

I did mean it in it's original context... what I was trying to get at is how we relate to our brethren. Some people can handle different things. I apologize as I'm currently at work and don't have my Bible handy, so I can't quote verses with accuracy, but we also see in Romans where Paul tells us not to place a stumbling block before our brethren. By introducing my friend to science fiction, I feel that that is exactly what I did.

A lot of people can watch sci fi action stories and not think anything of it. It's all just fancy fx, shiny spaceships and lasers and lots of action with goofy looking aliens. There are some, however, who dig a bit deeper into just about everything.

My Dad could see from a pretty early age that I was one of those. I remember at a very young age (6-7 maybe?) we were watching a very B-movie, possibly C-movie, from the 50s called Hercules vs Samson. After seeing them slug it out to a standstill, I remember my Dad asking me, "If this was real, who would win their fight?"

I didn't know the answer (I was young) but my Dad told me "Samson would win, because his power comes from the one true God."

Of course, I then argued that if Hercules was real too then Zeus and all the other Greek gods would have been real... blah blah blah.

As I got older and we would watch things like Star Trek together, he would sometimes (not often) point out a fundamental flaw in a philosophical worldview being expressed and how it is counter to what we as Christians believe. He didn't let it go when Dr. McCoy said "According to MYTH, the Earth was created in six days."

Basically, during much of my formative years, when I was becoming who I am and developing the relationship I have with God, I had a Father who guided me through the minefield of the popular entertainment that has been so shaped by modernist and humanist philosophies that are the antithesis of all that a Christian should believe. He actually even paraphrased Aristotle at one point by telling me that "It is a mark of wisdom, being able to entertain a thought without accepting it."

When I was 18, I didn't quite understand what had happened. Because of my upbringing, I had developed a pretty fine tuned anti-Christianity detector and could easily identify in various shows when I was being preached to, accept the idea within the context of a fictional universe that couldn't possibly exist in reality, and then reject the notion of importing the idea into the real world. At this time, when I introduced my friend (who was 16 at the time) it did not occur to me that he did not have this same ability.

My friend's situation was different from mine. My Dad is a college professor. His job is to debate, to read, to write, to understand various philosophies and their origins. He could easily watch an episode of Star Trek and tell you what part of humanism that thesis for the story came from, but also what real world writer dreamed it up (or in his words, excreted it.) My friend's dad did not finish high school. He dropped out and entered the labor force and worked very hard to provide for his family. He is a very kind and loving man, but he understood pretty early on that he just wasn't as good of a performer at school as others, and that his future lied in labor. His son however, was very gifted. Today, he has a Master's degree in Biology. His entire life, he had always been as inquisitive and precocious as I was, but through no one's fault, didn't have the guidance that I did.

So, with me leaving for college and being out of the picture, I introduced an intellectually gifted teenager who was just about to start his rebellious phase to a subsersive, almost propaganda-like genre of entertainment that included movies, television shows, comics and books. It did not occur to me that his church was not one to teach very much doctrine and theology and certainly not apologetics. The chain of events that follows are pretty predictable. Internalizing the criticisms of a Christian worldview being presented in his new favorite form of entertainment, my friend began to question his beliefs and his very upbringing. His Dad wasn't prepared to give him any real answers, no one at his church could give him any answers other than "just have faith" and I wasn't available to give him my insights that could have enabled him to identify the flaws in the humanist philosophies that he was consuming.

So, in my opinion, this is what Paul was getting at when he was writing about abstaining from the appearance of evil and not placing stumbling blocks at your brethren's feet. We should know ourselves, know our brothers, understand what contains evil and why it is evil and lovingly guide them past it.

Basically, what is going on here with me, is the beginnings of a personal conviction. Kind of like my cousin with his conviction of not eating out or shopping on Sunday... he doesn't do it because he doesn't feel that people should be compelled to work on Sunday. He doesn't condemn anyone for it patronizing shops and restaurants on Sunday, but he will be happy to share with you his reasoning for not doing it himself if you ask him about it.

So with that in mind, I felt compelled to share this with everyone so that everyone is aware just how much this form of entertainment is against us. It has been conceived of as a way to supplant bible stories and morality with humanist stories and morality. At their core, the two are simply not compatible. In hindsight, I don't think I would not introduce him to Star Trek, but I would also have talked to him about his relationship with Christ.

A lot of times, and I've noticed men doing this more than women, we hang out with each other in a recreational capacity to watch sports, play games, etc. Because we are supposed to be good witnesses, we will ask the question "Are you a Christian?" When they say "Yes" we sort of drop it there and don't go any further. I don't mean that we should go further in a grilling sort of way where we begin asking them where they stand on specific doctrines, I mean take it further in the spirit of "Let's rejoice brother, and talk about the Lord."

While I can't change the past and can only pray that God will touch him and guide him back to the truth, I can change the way I interact with people in the future and not drop this sort of spirit crushing bomb on them.

So, that is what was meant in my initial reaction the concept of "Christian Science Fiction." Because of what Science fiction has always been from it's beginning, this apellation is very much a contradiction. I think that you are correct that this could be a great thing for believers to sort of co-opt something that has for so long been an enemy (redeem it, if you will.) I think we have to be careful to not allow this to act as a bridge to the more traditional and more subversive science fiction that is everywhere. From a Christian point of view, it really is not for those who are young in their faith.




As for your points on the Crusades... I think it all boils down to one thing... aren't we taught that governments exist to act in the place of God on earth? Having the power to bring people to justice and to wage war?

If this is the case, then the Crusades are easily justified. As I pointed out, they were just another series of wars within the context of a much larger and broader conflict.

On a side note, I would also challenge your assertion that the church had become corrupt and wasn't evangelizing. For one, one of the many rallying cries for war was the killing of missionaries travelling to Jerusalem. Also, if you read a lot of the histories of Northern Europe, Scandinavia, and Britain and Ireland, you will see that there was a LOT of missionary activity in those parts of the world. Missionaries who risked life and limb to see people accept Christ. For more info here, read the works of The Venerable Bede.

There is an interesting conundrum here however... if Christians aren't really supposed to pick up arms, because our weapons aren't of the flesh (also keep in mind that the church doctrine that I mentioned being changed was a prohibition on killing for any reason) then who is going to serve in the army? Well, Europe had run out of heathens to defend it, so they needed to get the Christians to fight too. While changing your stance on an important issue to save your own skin is pretty much the opposite of Christlike, it is understandable, and I think you hit the nail on the head by quoting from Genesis and the story of Joseph. Yeah, it might have been better had the brothers not committed an act of evil against their brother, but God used it to perform a greater good. I believe that it was the will of God that the church as it was then be allowed to survive to achieve a much greater good. Would the reformation have occurred under an Islamic caliphate? What about the massive amounts of missionaries the Europeans sent all over the world when they became the dominant world power a few centuries later?




You guys have also caught me at a bad time for this sort of thing... I'm currently suffering from "way-too-verbose-itis" and "over-analysis-itis" from working on a dissertation. In it, I assert that Beowulf is not a pagan story with Christianity overlaid onto it, but rather a Christian story with paganism overlaid upon it to be used as tool of synchrotism to bridge the gap between the pagan Anglo Saxons and the Christian missionaries trying to win them to the lord. Let me tell you, based on the reactions I've been overhearing, I have really kicked the hornet's nest with this one, and the fruit might be flying in November. It might even be worthy of pay per view.
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Re: Time Changer Movie Review

Postby RevSears on Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:11 pm

Wowboy wrote:A very excellent post, I appreciate such a well thought out response.

I am also a big fan of man sharpening man. I think sometimes we forget just how beneficial a respectful debate is for all.


First off, I think you are combining science with science fiction. The two are only superficially related.

Science, as we know, is essentially a simple process of forming an educated hypothesis, making observations and gathering data from an experiment designed to test the hypothesis, and forming a conclusion based on that data as to whether or not the hypothesis is valid. It is a simple tool for discovering truth that is no more biased toward a biblical or secular worldview than any tool in your toolbox.

You are correct that so many scientists, from medieval humorists to enlightenment thinkers like the aforementioned Sir Isaac Newton employed the scientific method (or an earlier version of it... humorists played pretty fast and loose with the conclusions they made based on their observations) to explore creation.


We seem to be operating with very different definitions of Science-fiction. I take it very literally, it is fiction that explores the possibilities of Science. I think you are reading too much into some authors and viewing the whole genre by that lens.

However, there are other things to consider.

There have always been various modes of thought that shape society. In the medieval period it was considered good to submit to a ruler who acted in place of God and to not question. In medieval art you often see intricate patterns that weave together, intricately intertwined to form something beautiful. This symbolizes the interconnected relationship between all things. This philosophy reinforced the idea that a serf is a serf for a reason, and it is wrong to aspire to be anything else. All things are as God wills them to be, and it is not for us to question this.

Later we get to the Renaissance which saw a return to classical ideals of personal liberty and realism in art and architecture. Then in the Enlightenment we finally see the discarding of elemental science that empowered humorists for so long and led to who knows how many people being bled to death in an attempt to cure them. This is when we see the modern scientific method used and people begin truly using reason rather than superstition to define the world. However, that does not mean they had abandoned faith. It is this period that we see some very extraordinary literature embracing faith and celebrating reason. For a good example, check out John Donne... he's one of my favorites.

However, something happened after the enlightenment... the west entered into what we now call the modern and post modern periods. These are marked by a complete rejection of everything that came before. A modernist would reject any notion of realism... in fact, a modernist artist would claim that realist artists of the renaissance were not artists at all and the works not art. They would say that Michaelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci merely produced elaborate decorations for their patrons and were not truly inspired to do the work on the merit of inspiration alone. With an abandoning of realism, we also see an abandonment of concrete morality, and of course the introduction of modern atheism. This is when science, that benign tool of objectivity, became a tool of modernist thinkers to destroy faith. It is during this period and under this pretext that the genre of science fiction was invented.


Your tracing art and philosophy to explain science? those are different fields.
Think about it... a scientist would say that it would be irresponsible to evaluate the merits or even morality of a hypothesis until that hypothesis had withstood enough experimentation to be regarded as theory. For example... if I hypothesized that under a certain set of conditions I could mix some chemicals in a bottle and produce a human being, would it be responsible of me to then go off and write a story about a changed world where the natural processes created by God are no longer necessary, and so God himself is now either dead or so insignificant that he might as well be deceased? Think I would be jumping the gun a bit?

Well, that's exactly what science fiction does...

There are huge holes in your argument here.
As stated above, this is a Christian science fiction movie, it doesn't do that so your broad sweeping definition of science fiction is broken by it's existence alone.

I am sure you are also aware of the Intelligent Design movement and scientists who are biblical Creationists. Not all science has wiped out a creator from the equation, your judging the whole by the majority again.

When HG Wells' martians descend upon the world, they are neither good nor evil, they are just looking for a food source. Humanity, that special creation in the eyes of God, is reduced to cattle. And in the end, it was not God nor the ingenuity of those created in his image who could prevail against the invader, but simple bacteria. It wasn't God who struck down the aliens to protect his children, and he didn't empower his children to do it. Simple bacteria did it. While you could argue that God had prepared the bacteria for this purpose (as the old movie adaptation of War of the Worlds did,) Wells, himself an ardent atheist, would strongly disagree with you.

This is but one example. The entire genre of science fiction was conceived of as a way of telling modernist humanist fables using a veneer of science as a way of challenging one's perception of what is and isn't real. If we know that aliens are out there or that human beings will one day have complete control of their own reproduction or that humans will be able to use replicators to "cure" humanity of greed and even need, how will that affect how we view the universe or how we relate to God? Well, science fiction will show you, and because it is at it's heart a modernist genre, the answer is these things will prove once and for all that there is no God, so if we are in the future going to prove that there is no God, why believe in one now?

These are fiction, any man getting their theology,philosophy, cosmology etc. from fiction is frankly an idiot. These stories aren't presented as fact but as a fantasy. These are envisioned as a possibility. Aliens will not be a real challenge to our faith until we encounter them!

What happens here is a shift in faith... although no modernist would ever refer to their views as "faith." But let's face it... when you believe in something unknowable, you are demonstrating faith.

Rather than placing their faith in God that his will shall come to pass on Earth and that those who trust in him shall be forever secure, they place their faith in science and humanity to solve the problems of the world and to guide civilization into a better future.

In a way, it becomes a religion in and of itself, and when viewed as such, modernist literature (including sci fi) can be viewed as humanist sermons designed to shape the way it's congregation views the world.

read my post about Doctor Who (2nd to latest on Nerd 4 the Lord) I am curious to know your thoughts.
You mentioned the genre of fantasy... I cannot stress this enough... fantasy and science fiction are polar opposites. Modern fantasy is a continuation of the heroic epic or legendary story. The basic theme of pretty much every fantasy story is that some hero is annointed/chosen/destined to combat some impossible to defeat evil and does so in some fantastic way only explainable by some supernatural (often divine) intervention. Your examples from CS Lewis certainly fit this bill, and I would add Tolkien to your short list as well. This theme would be insulting to a humanist. Humanist protagonists are always self-made or rely upon some man-made contraption to win the day.

But those are not Christian religions in fantasy, Lewis and Tolkien aside, we usually have multiple competing deities. Often dualism! Withcraft (or magic) runs rampant, and certainly the usual weapons are Carnal and not spiritual. An easier case could be made that Fantasy is inherently wrong than sci-fi, because sci-fi explores the world God has created, fantasy worlds were created by someone else entirely and often operate on rules that would completely go against God's design. But i think your taking it to an extreme here with sci-fi and i would be with fantasy, to block out all.

However, at around the first decade or two of the 20th century there actually was a movement whose goal was to revolutionize the fantasy genre and make it more humanist. The works of HP Lovecraft and Robert Howard demonstrate this, and to a lesser extent, Star Wars.

Game of Thrones could probably be added to that list (by G.R.R. Martin) so does that mean we should know avoid fantasy as well?
So, why did I just write this novel? Well, I wanted to give the very abbreviated cliff's notes version of a bit of literary history that firmly places sci-fi into it's proper context and points out that from it's very conception, science fiction is a genre of literature that actively seeks to undermine faith and especially Christianity in an attempt to deconstruct the very foundation of western civilization that modernist philosophy has deemed wrong (I've always found it interesting that people who subscribe to a philosophy where there are no absolutes can deem anything wrong, but they do, and good luck getting them to admit that logical fallacy.)


Pointing out wrong philosophy is good! We should do that, but all Sci-Fi writers to have ever lived are not part of a single philosophy or group. They have numerous ideas. It is wise to look at individual authors but if we blanket everything under a ban, we are heading into legalism.

(continued)[/quote]
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Re: Time Changer Movie Review

Postby RevSears on Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:21 pm

Wowboy wrote:All that being said, it brings me back to the verse I quoted "abstain from all appearance of evil."

I am well aware of the sheer amount of legalistic nonsense that pulling this verse out of context has caused. I shudder at some of my classmates in elementary school who weren't allowed to wear shorts in the summer, not allowed to participate in sports because the attire was inappropriate (basketball) and excluded from swimming in a pool because *gasp* the genders might be mixed!

I did mean it in it's original context... what I was trying to get at is how we relate to our brethren. Some people can handle different things. I apologize as I'm currently at work and don't have my Bible handy, so I can't quote verses with accuracy, but we also see in Romans where Paul tells us not to place a stumbling block before our brethren. By introducing my friend to science fiction, I feel that that is exactly what I did.

A lot of people can watch sci fi action stories and not think anything of it. It's all just fancy fx, shiny spaceships and lasers and lots of action with goofy looking aliens. There are some, however, who dig a bit deeper into just about everything.

My Dad could see from a pretty early age that I was one of those. I remember at a very young age (6-7 maybe?) we were watching a very B-movie, possibly C-movie, from the 50s called Hercules vs Samson. After seeing them slug it out to a standstill, I remember my Dad asking me, "If this was real, who would win their fight?"

I didn't know the answer (I was young) but my Dad told me "Samson would win, because his power comes from the one true God."

Of course, I then argued that if Hercules was real too then Zeus and all the other Greek gods would have been real... blah blah blah.

As I got older and we would watch things like Star Trek together, he would sometimes (not often) point out a fundamental flaw in a philosophical worldview being expressed and how it is counter to what we as Christians believe. He didn't let it go when Dr. McCoy said "According to MYTH, the Earth was created in six days."

Nor would I
Basically, during much of my formative years, when I was becoming who I am and developing the relationship I have with God, I had a Father who guided me through the minefield of the popular entertainment that has been so shaped by modernist and humanist philosophies that are the antithesis of all that a Christian should believe. He actually even paraphrased Aristotle at one point by telling me that "It is a mark of wisdom, being able to entertain a thought without accepting it."

Then why do you seem against others being allowed to do the same?
When I was 18, I didn't quite understand what had happened. Because of my upbringing, I had developed a pretty fine tuned anti-Christianity detector and could easily identify in various shows when I was being preached to, accept the idea within the context of a fictional universe that couldn't possibly exist in reality, and then reject the notion of importing the idea into the real world. At this time, when I introduced my friend (who was 16 at the time) it did not occur to me that he did not have this same ability.

My friend's situation was different from mine. My Dad is a college professor. His job is to debate, to read, to write, to understand various philosophies and their origins. He could easily watch an episode of Star Trek and tell you what part of humanism that thesis for the story came from, but also what real world writer dreamed it up (or in his words, excreted it.) My friend's dad did not finish high school. He dropped out and entered the labor force and worked very hard to provide for his family. He is a very kind and loving man, but he understood pretty early on that he just wasn't as good of a performer at school as others, and that his future lied in labor. His son however, was very gifted. Today, he has a Master's degree in Biology. His entire life, he had always been as inquisitive and precocious as I was, but through no one's fault, didn't have the guidance that I did.

So, with me leaving for college and being out of the picture, I introduced an intellectually gifted teenager who was just about to start his rebellious phase to a subsersive, almost propaganda-like genre of entertainment that included movies, television shows, comics and books. It did not occur to me that his church was not one to teach very much doctrine and theology and certainly not apologetics. The chain of events that follows are pretty predictable. Internalizing the criticisms of a Christian worldview being presented in his new favorite form of entertainment, my friend began to question his beliefs and his very upbringing. His Dad wasn't prepared to give him any real answers, no one at his church could give him any answers other than "just have faith" and I wasn't available to give him my insights that could have enabled him to identify the flaws in the humanist philosophies that he was consuming.

So, in my opinion, this is what Paul was getting at when he was writing about abstaining from the appearance of evil and not placing stumbling blocks at your brethren's feet. We should know ourselves, know our brothers, understand what contains evil and why it is evil and lovingly guide them past it.

Basically, what is going on here with me, is the beginnings of a personal conviction. Kind of like my cousin with his conviction of not eating out or shopping on Sunday... he doesn't do it because he doesn't feel that people should be compelled to work on Sunday. He doesn't condemn anyone for it patronizing shops and restaurants on Sunday, but he will be happy to share with you his reasoning for not doing it himself if you ask him about it.

So with that in mind, I felt compelled to share this with everyone so that everyone is aware just how much this form of entertainment is against us. It has been conceived of as a way to supplant bible stories and morality with humanist stories and morality. At their core, the two are simply not compatible. In hindsight, I don't think I would not introduce him to Star Trek, but I would also have talked to him about his relationship with Christ.

A lot of times, and I've noticed men doing this more than women, we hang out with each other in a recreational capacity to watch sports, play games, etc. Because we are supposed to be good witnesses, we will ask the question "Are you a Christian?" When they say "Yes" we sort of drop it there and don't go any further. I don't mean that we should go further in a grilling sort of way where we begin asking them where they stand on specific doctrines, I mean take it further in the spirit of "Let's rejoice brother, and talk about the Lord."

While I can't change the past and can only pray that God will touch him and guide him back to the truth, I can change the way I interact with people in the future and not drop this sort of spirit crushing bomb on them.

So, that is what was meant in my initial reaction the concept of "Christian Science Fiction." Because of what Science fiction has always been from it's beginning, this apellation is very much a contradiction. I think that you are correct that this could be a great thing for believers to sort of co-opt something that has for so long been an enemy (redeem it, if you will.) I think we have to be careful to not allow this to act as a bridge to the more traditional and more subversive science fiction that is everywhere. From a Christian point of view, it really is not for those who are young in their faith.




As for your points on the Crusades... I think it all boils down to one thing... aren't we taught that governments exist to act in the place of God on earth? Having the power to bring people to justice and to wage war?

If this is the case, then the Crusades are easily justified. As I pointed out, they were just another series of wars within the context of a much larger and broader conflict.

Were all of King Sauls acts justified? of the various evil kings in the North? (and south?) No and God punished them for their evil.

On a side note, I would also challenge your assertion that the church had become corrupt and wasn't evangelizing. For one, one of the many rallying cries for war was the killing of missionaries travelling to Jerusalem. Also, if you read a lot of the histories of Northern Europe, Scandinavia, and Britain and Ireland, you will see that there was a LOT of missionary activity in those parts of the world. Missionaries who risked life and limb to see people accept Christ. For more info here, read the works of The Venerable Bede.

Most missionary movements were not started within (and if so didn't remain in) the Catholic church. The Moravians are a great example.

There is an interesting conundrum here however... if Christians aren't really supposed to pick up arms, because our weapons aren't of the flesh (also keep in mind that the church doctrine that I mentioned being changed was a prohibition on killing for any reason) then who is going to serve in the army? Well, Europe had run out of heathens to defend it, so they needed to get the Christians to fight too. While changing your stance on an important issue to save your own skin is pretty much the opposite of Christlike, it is understandable, and I think you hit the nail on the head by quoting from Genesis and the story of Joseph. Yeah, it might have been better had the brothers not committed an act of evil against their brother, but God used it to perform a greater good. I believe that it was the will of God that the church as it was then be allowed to survive to achieve a much greater good. Would the reformation have occurred under an Islamic caliphate? What about the massive amounts of missionaries the Europeans sent all over the world when they became the dominant world power a few centuries later?

Self defense is different than war, and war is different than slaughter and torture in God's name.

You guys have also caught me at a bad time for this sort of thing... I'm currently suffering from "way-too-verbose-itis" and "over-analysis-itis" from working on a dissertation. In it, I assert that Beowulf is not a pagan story with Christianity overlaid onto it, but rather a Christian story with paganism overlaid upon it to be used as tool of synchrotism to bridge the gap between the pagan Anglo Saxons and the Christian missionaries trying to win them to the lord. Let me tell you, based on the reactions I've been overhearing, I have really kicked the hornet's nest with this one, and the fruit might be flying in November. It might even be worthy of pay per view.


Interesting idea.

I'll have more comments later, especially over being a stumbling block to a weaker brother.
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Re: Time Changer Movie Review

Postby Wowboy on Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:27 pm

Thanks again for your responses... this is one of the more interesting discussions I've had online in quite some time :) If we can ever make it to the same Joecon we (and all the other A41 guys should meet us somewhere and just spend a few hours discussing stuff like this.

RevSears wrote:We seem to be operating with very different definitions of Science-fiction. I take it very literally, it is fiction that explores the possibilities of Science. I think you are reading too much into some authors and viewing the whole genre by that lens.


It is very easy to take a literalist approach and see science fiction (especially the TV/movies kind) as what it often claims to be -- an exploration of the possibilities that science can open for us.

What I am in fact arguing, is what I posted earlier -- Science and Science Fiction are only superficially related.

What I mean by this is that whatever futuristic setting that the stories take place in is just that -- a setting. The stories themselves can be told without being set in space or a dystopic/utopic future or wherever. This setting serves to place the viewer at ease because "it's not real." While the values being extolled are very real and would sometimes be unpalatable if presented in a more realistic setting.

Think of the example of Star Trek. I'm sorry, but Star Trek is anything but scientific. The ship flies faster than light and we are offered next to no plausible scientific explanation as to how beyond nonsensical techno-babble. The warp drive is powered by dilithium - a futuristic stand in for oil and was often the subject of conflict between Starfleet and the Klingons - and again, we are offered no explanation as to how this would work. The transporter is another example of a device that is fundamentally ridiculous. It has little scientific basis and was only imagined in the first place to save the studio fx money so they didn't have have a shuttle landing in every episode!

The episodes themselves never have anything to do with science. They always deal with some philosophical aspect of being. Think of the episode where Kirk was split into two beings. A literalist view of the story would describe the episode as a story in which a transporter accident creates a duplicate, evil Kirk.

But think of how the story unfolded. Kirk was split into two beings, one possessing attributes associated with being "good" : compassion, honesty, integrity, intellect, while the other possesses attributes associated with "evil" : lust, anger, passion.

So what we have here is a clever way of anthropomorphizing the duality of man. Rather than being a philosophical theory, we get to witness two physical sides to one being and are taught in this episode that man in fact NEEDS both good and evil to be whole. Keep in mind, we are also told in a very proscriptive manner, exactly what good and evil are. While we can all agree that compassion, honesty, and integrity are good things, what exactly makes intellect in and of itself "good?" And, while lust is most certainly an evil thing, anger in and of itself isn't always evil.

Splitting Kirk into separate "good" and "evil" or "black" and "white" Kirks with the storyline showing us that the two cannot survive without the other, resulting in the need to fuse the two... is the ultimate way of demonstrating that humanity is best when it resides comfortably in a shade of gray, reconciling good and evil within each other.

The only science we see in this story is the completely implausible explanations of the transporter accident. For one, we have no idea how the transporter actually works in the first place, we also are not told what the chemical that adversely affects the transporter is or how it could affect the beam in such a specific way as to create two beings from one (the very idea of this is ridiculous) and split their psyches in such a specific way so that we get to be privy to the greatest psychological experiment in history.

Of course, none of this matters, because the transporter isn't a scientific device... it's a plot device. It exists to create the conditions for the story, which in and of itself has nothing to do with science.

This is but one example. There are a lot more Star Trek episodes, and a lot more pop-sci-fi out there that all explore similar themes using the same backdrop to drive the plot.

Anyhow, it is because our definitions of sci-fi differ that you see me viewing it all through the same lens.

Here's my short definition of science fiction (which my previous exposition was a much longer version of) :

Science Fiction is a genre of literature that uses plausible futuristic technology as a setting for modernist, post-modernist, and/or humanist stories.

I wish I could say that I made that up. We teach this in a science fiction course at the University of Oklahoma.

Your tracing art and philosophy to explain science? those are different fields.


Not at all... I defined science, then I used the block of text you quoted here to define the origin of science fiction. An origin that owes far more to art, philosophy and literature than it does to real science. Science is a mere incidental theme.

There are huge holes in your argument here.
As stated above, this is a Christian science fiction movie, it doesn't do that so your broad sweeping definition of science fiction is broken by it's existence alone.

I am sure you are also aware of the Intelligent Design movement and scientists who are biblical Creationists. Not all science has wiped out a creator from the equation, your judging the whole by the majority again.


Simply because the story has a futuristic scientific setting (Even if it takes place tomorrow, no one actually has a time machine today, it will have to be invented in the future) doesn't make it a science fiction story. I know given your literalist definition of science fiction you would disagree, but there are hoards of literary theorists all over the world who would disagree with you.

Why should you listen to a bunch of crusty old out of touch academians? Because even if you disagree with the majority of their personal conclusions on these ideas (and I usually do, which makes for some fun staff meetings), whether they be philosophical or theological, they do get it right when it comes to taking a work, stripping away all of the superficial and getting at what ideas are being conveyed. When you place those ideas within their proper context within a much greater societal dialogue, you can really develop an idea of just where civilization came from and where it is going. It will also give you insight to the values of the people who read/watch these stories.

As for your statement that not all of science has wiped the creator out of the equation... I don't believe that science itself is even capable of disproving the existence of God. However, people who are out to do so have, in the last two hundred years, tried to use science to do it.

It's like the old platitude on the use of statistics to prove a point... "figures don't lie, but liars can figure."


These are fiction, any man getting their theology,philosophy, cosmology etc. from fiction is frankly an idiot. These stories aren't presented as fact but as a fantasy. These are envisioned as a possibility. Aliens will not be a real challenge to our faith until we encounter them!


People have been having their worldview, opinions, etc. shaped by fiction for thousands of years. Ancient "histories" are very obvious attempts to impart some sort of heroic ideal to the people who read them. The plays performed in Ancient Athens were works of fiction designed to shape popular opinion on the important issues of the day. Medieval plays largely served the same function. Heck, look at how people today say that shows like "All in the family" or "Murphy Brown" made them see the world differently and changed their ideas on things they had always taken for granted.

You are right, the stories arent' presented as facts, but the ideas and values being imparted are being presented in a way that the reader/viewer is led to believe is universal.

Remember again the Star Trek episode I used as an example. The viewer is given the impression that Kirk's experience would be similar to everyone else's if they were split into their "good" and "evil" halves.

read my post about Doctor Who (2nd to latest on Nerd 4 the Lord) I am curious to know your thoughts.


It was a very good post and you were dead on in attacking the very definition used to define religion. Having a secular humanist define religion is like having Satan present the gospel. They completely miss the point in a very insulting way.

But I am not surprised at all by the idea that Dr. Who could be a new religion. While I also disagree with that definition of religion, it is one that has become accepted in the modernist/secular/humanist community. It is one that we will see crammed down our throats in all sorts of media... science fiction being one of them.

As for Dr. Who being a religion, that is something that is most definitely just another attempt by the secularists to openly mock and minimize religion.

But those are not Christian religions in fantasy, Lewis and Tolkien aside, we usually have multiple competing deities. Often dualism! Withcraft (or magic) runs rampant, and certainly the usual weapons are Carnal and not spiritual. An easier case could be made that Fantasy is inherently wrong than sci-fi, because sci-fi explores the world God has created, fantasy worlds were created by someone else entirely and often operate on rules that would completely go against God's design. But i think your taking it to an extreme here with sci-fi and i would be with fantasy, to block out all.


I think I didn't make myself clear enough here... I wasn't saying that Fantasy is a Godly alternative to science fiction. All I was saying is that fantasy (and heroic epic), by it's very nature necessitates some higher power. Whether that higher power is Dumbledore, the force, Ahura Mazda, or Zeus is completely irrelevant. A higher power is simply a necessary aspect of fantasy. It is for this reason that some Christian storytellers like Lewis and Tolkien have written within the fantasy genre.

Game of Thrones could probably be added to that list (by G.R.R. Martin) so does that mean we should know avoid fantasy as well?


I think you are misunderstanding me about my intent.

I am not advocating any sort of ban on science fiction or fantasy that doesn't strictly conform to a Christian worldview.

What I am advocating is an awareness of exactly what these forms of entertainment are actually selling to us. Some of us, like you and I, are perfectly capable of watching these shows, being entertained by them, and being secure enough in our faith to not internalize the contradicting philosophies being presented to us.

And remember, we have brethren who are younger in Christ and may not have the level of awareness that we do and can be led astray by these very forms of entertainment. Also, keep in mind all of those who are lost and adopt the philosophies and "theologies" presented in Star Trek, or from your article, Dr. Who.

I just believe that we need to firmly identify what we are up against in order to prepare ourselves and our brethren to stand against it and NOT be swayed by something that is so destructive.

But again, that is only a small part of the battle. The most important part is to be secure in our faith by having a strong relationship with our savior. And based on my experience, I see now just how important fellowship is so that we stand together.
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Re: Time Changer Movie Review

Postby Wowboy on Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:06 pm

RevSears wrote:Then why do you seem against others being allowed to do the same?


I am not against others being allowed to do the same, as I pointed out previously, I think we just need to be aware of exactly what we are reading/viewing when we partake of this form of entertainment.


Were all of King Sauls acts justified? of the various evil kings in the North? (and south?) No and God punished them for their evil.


But what was it that made King Saul's acts evil? Was it not that he, as head of state, was acting in a way that he knew was against the will of God?

So, was the pope (at the time a defacto head of all the Western Christian nations) acting outside of the will of God when he responded to a plea for help from the Byzantines? This and the killing of pilgrims and missionaries to the Holy Land were the immediate driving forces behind the call for the First Crusade.

How many other wars were fought for the same reason (an ally calls for help, your citizens are being attacked, so you form an army and go to war) and how many of those wars are condemned? Honestly... I can't think of any.

Self defense is different than war, and war is different than slaughter and torture in God's name.


Self Defense is indeed different than war. However, slaughter and torture have and always will be part of war. ESPECIALLY medieval warfare.

Here's what I've never understood... yes when the Crusaders took Jerusalem, they slaughtered every man, woman and child in the city. Many of them immediately went to the Holy Sepulchre and fell to their knees to worship... with their enemies' blood and entrails still dripping from their armor. It was a pretty horrific sight. However, this is no different than any other medieval war. The crusader army would have blushed at the atrocities committed during the hundred years war. Heck, after the Battle of Hastings, that "noble" battle that avowed the chivalrous heritage of England, the Normans basically committed a class based genocide against the Anglo Saxons, first slaughtering their surrendering army and then proceeding to kill any Saxon with any wealth and seizing it. It's estimated that as many 25,000 people were killed in William's first year alone. So why are the Crusaders singled out and these other conflicts often romanticized?

You also can't argue that this isn't how God would wage war... in fact, you can argue that these people were following God's pattern for warfare based on how it was conducted by the Israelites when they were conquering Canaan. Joshua and his armies were always commanded by God to kill every last man, woman and child in every Canaanite settlement that offerred resistance. Heck, in Judges, God even punishes the Israelites for showing mercy to some of the Canaanites and allowing them to live!

Most missionary movements were not started within (and if so didn't remain in) the Catholic church. The Moravians are a great example.


This is true in the second millenium. Not so in the first. Entire cultures spanning half of a continent (Danes, Jutes, Frisians, Saxons, Goths, etc) were evangelized and won to the Lord by missionaries sent by Rome.
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Re: Time Changer Movie Review

Postby Wowboy on Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:04 pm

I would also like to add that I am also not completely against the idea of a "Christian Sci-Fi" movie. Based on your synopsis it sounds like it would be a very good one to watch, and I'll look for it on Netflix.

Christians have often cannibalized the forms and genres of non-Christians in order to make the gospel resonate within a different cultural context. The early medieval poem "The Dream of the Rood" is an excellent example of this.

I mainly just think that care should be taken to ensure that when co-opting a genre like sci-fi which is not only non-Christian but very anti-Christian that all semblance of atheistic themes are expunged.
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Re: Time Changer Movie Review

Postby RevSears on Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:46 pm

I can't keep up but I am enjoying this!

Wowboy wrote:Thanks again for your responses... this is one of the more interesting discussions I've had online in quite some time :) If we can ever make it to the same Joecon we (and all the other A41 guys should meet us somewhere and just spend a few hours discussing stuff like this.

RevSears wrote:We seem to be operating with very different definitions of Science-fiction. I take it very literally, it is fiction that explores the possibilities of Science. I think you are reading too much into some authors and viewing the whole genre by that lens.


It is very easy to take a literalist approach and see science fiction (especially the TV/movies kind) as what it often claims to be -- an exploration of the possibilities that science can open for us.

What I am in fact arguing, is what I posted earlier -- Science and Science Fiction are only superficially related.

What I mean by this is that whatever futuristic setting that the stories take place in is just that -- a setting. The stories themselves can be told without being set in space or a dystopic/utopic future or wherever. This setting serves to place the viewer at ease because "it's not real." While the values being extolled are very real and would sometimes be unpalatable if presented in a more realistic setting.

Think of the example of Star Trek. I'm sorry, but Star Trek is anything but scientific. The ship flies faster than light and we are offered next to no plausible scientific explanation as to how beyond nonsensical techno-babble. The warp drive is powered by dilithium - a futuristic stand in for oil and was often the subject of conflict between Starfleet and the Klingons - and again, we are offered no explanation as to how this would work. The transporter is another example of a device that is fundamentally ridiculous. It has little scientific basis and was only imagined in the first place to save the studio fx money so they didn't have have a shuttle landing in every episode!

The episodes themselves never have anything to do with science. They always deal with some philosophical aspect of being. Think of the episode where Kirk was split into two beings. A literalist view of the story would describe the episode as a story in which a transporter accident creates a duplicate, evil Kirk.

But think of how the story unfolded. Kirk was split into two beings, one possessing attributes associated with being "good" : compassion, honesty, integrity, intellect, while the other possesses attributes associated with "evil" : lust, anger, passion.

So what we have here is a clever way of anthropomorphizing the duality of man. Rather than being a philosophical theory, we get to witness two physical sides to one being and are taught in this episode that man in fact NEEDS both good and evil to be whole. Keep in mind, we are also told in a very proscriptive manner, exactly what good and evil are. While we can all agree that compassion, honesty, and integrity are good things, what exactly makes intellect in and of itself "good?" And, while lust is most certainly an evil thing, anger in and of itself isn't always evil.

Splitting Kirk into separate "good" and "evil" or "black" and "white" Kirks with the storyline showing us that the two cannot survive without the other, resulting in the need to fuse the two... is the ultimate way of demonstrating that humanity is best when it resides comfortably in a shade of gray, reconciling good and evil within each other.

The only science we see in this story is the completely implausible explanations of the transporter accident. For one, we have no idea how the transporter actually works in the first place, we also are not told what the chemical that adversely affects the transporter is or how it could affect the beam in such a specific way as to create two beings from one (the very idea of this is ridiculous) and split their psyches in such a specific way so that we get to be privy to the greatest psychological experiment in history.

Of course, none of this matters, because the transporter isn't a scientific device... it's a plot device. It exists to create the conditions for the story, which in and of itself has nothing to do with science.

This is but one example. There are a lot more Star Trek episodes, and a lot more pop-sci-fi out there that all explore similar themes using the same backdrop to drive the plot.

That's an excellent example, but taking just Trek, want about the episoide of TNG where when the aliens they were visiting died, their "energies" went to orbit the moon above their planet? this showed their was an afterlife.

DS9 really got into religion. It was may favorite by far! It walked a crazy line both suggesting the aliens were indeed Gods and aliens that evolved inside a wormhole. It had functioning believers like Major Kira and they even had the Pahwraith demons. It was up for debate.

Even in the example you shared it could be pointed that believers often feel at odds with themselves, the new man vs. the old man etc.

So much of it depends on the story, it's the setting that makes it Sci-Fi, you can tell the same story in a magic boat on a fantasy based sea.

Going beyond Trek we have plenty of other sci-fi movies to choose from, some whose plot is razor thin and the focus is on action, starship troopers comes to mind, although like every story it has it's own messages, just not as pronounced. No movies exist of them, but C.S. Lewis had his own sci-fi book series as well.

every single genre and have movie will have some message.
Anyhow, it is because our definitions of sci-fi differ that you see me viewing it all through the same lens.

Here's my short definition of science fiction (which my previous exposition was a much longer version of) :

Science Fiction is a genre of literature that uses plausible futuristic technology as a setting for modernist, post-modernist, and/or humanist stories.

I wish I could say that I made that up. We teach this in a science fiction course at the University of Oklahoma.


Maybe that reflects the teachers understanding, teachers have a bias too.

Your tracing art and philosophy to explain science? those are different fields.

Not at all... I defined science, then I used the block of text you quoted here to define the origin of science fiction. An origin that owes far more to art, philosophy and literature than it does to real science. Science is a mere incidental theme.

There are huge holes in your argument here.
As stated above, this is a Christian science fiction movie, it doesn't do that so your broad sweeping definition of science fiction is broken by it's existence alone.

I am sure you are also aware of the Intelligent Design movement and scientists who are biblical Creationists. Not all science has wiped out a creator from the equation, your judging the whole by the majority again.

SImply because the story has a futuristic scientific setting (Even if it takes place tomorrow, no one actually has a time machine today, it will have to be invented in the future) doesn't make it a science fiction story. I know given your literalist definition of science fiction you would disagree, but there are hoards of literary theorists all over the world who would disagree with you.

Why should you listen to a bunch of crusty old out of touch academians? Because even if you disagree with the majority of their personal conclusions on these ideas (and I usually do, which makes for some fun staff meetings), whether they be philosophical or theological, they do get it right when it comes to taking a work, stripping away all of the superficial and getting at what ideas are being conveyed. When you place those ideas within their proper context within a much greater societal dialogue, you can really develop an idea of just where civilization came from and where it is going. It will also give you insight to the values of the people who read/watch these stories.



I've always been a rebel not listening to old foogies ! The key difference continues to be sci-fi, I still would classify Star Wars as Sci-Fi.

As for your statement that not all of science has wiped the creator out of the equation... I don't believe that science itself is even capable of disproving the existence of God. However, people who are out to do so have, in the last two hundred years, tried to use science to do it.

It's like the old platitude on the use of statistics to prove a point... "figures don't lie, but liars can figure."

Science isn't at it's heart an enemy of a believer but we agree, many have tried to use it against us.
These are fiction, any man getting their theology,philosophy, cosmology etc. from fiction is frankly an idiot. These stories aren't presented as fact but as a fantasy. These are envisioned as a possibility. Aliens will not be a real challenge to our faith until we encounter them!




People have been having their worldview, opinions, etc. shaped by fiction for thousands of years. Ancient "histories" are very obvious attempts to impart some sort of heroic ideal to the people who read them. The plays performed in Ancient Athens were works of fiction designed to shape popular opinion on the important issues of the day. Medieval plays largely served the same function. Heck, look at how people today say that shows like "All in the family" or "Murphy Brown" made them see the world differently and changed their ideas on things they had always taken for granted.

You are right, the stories arent' presented as facts, but the ideas and values being imparted are being presented in a way that the reader/viewer is led to believe is universal.

Remember again the Star Trek episode I used as an example. The viewer is given the impression that Kirk's experience would be similar to everyone else's if they were split into their "good" and "evil" halves.

They can be influenced, I'd accept that, but should be more influenced by what they know is real.

read my post about Doctor Who (2nd to latest on Nerd 4 the Lord) I am curious to know your thoughts.


It was a very good post and you were dead on in attacking the very definition used to define religion. Having a secular humanist define religion is like having Satan present the gospel. They completely miss the point in a very insulting way.

But I am not surprised at all by the idea that Dr. Who could be a new religion. While I also disagree with that definition of religion, it is one that has become accepted in the modernist/secular/humanist community. It is one that we will see crammed down our throats in all sorts of media... science fiction being one of them.

As for Dr. Who being a religion, that is something that is most definitely just another attempt by the secularists to openly mock and minimize religion.
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I love Doctor Who, but atheistic and pro-homosexual messages are clearly contained within. There are also positive messages of good vs. evil and self sacrifice as well. I always catch their references and enjoy the show but often not the ideas of it's creators. When I saw the video I thought of our discussion.

But those are not Christian religions in fantasy, Lewis and Tolkien aside, we usually have multiple competing deities. Often dualism! Withcraft (or magic) runs rampant, and certainly the usual weapons are Carnal and not spiritual. An easier case could be made that Fantasy is inherently wrong than sci-fi, because sci-fi explores the world God has created, fantasy worlds were created by someone else entirely and often operate on rules that would completely go against God's design. But i think your taking it to an extreme here with sci-fi and i would be with fantasy, to block out all.

I think I didn't make myself clear enough here... I wasn't saying that Fantasy is a Godly alternative to science fiction. All I was saying is that fantasy (and heroic epic), by it's very nature necessitates some higher power. Whether that higher power is Dumbledore, the force, Ahura Mazda, or Zeus is completely irrelevant. A higher power is simply a necessary aspect of fantasy. It is for this reason that some Christian storytellers like Lewis and Tolkien have written within the fantasy genre.

Sci-Fi too can use a higher power, although it is often aliens, or multidimesional beings, or the force etc.
Game of Thrones could probably be added to that list (by G.R.R. Martin) so does that mean we should know avoid fantasy as well?


I think you are misunderstanding me about my intent.

I am not advocating any sort of ban on science fiction or fantasy that doesn't strictly conform to a Christian worldview.

What I am advocating is an awareness of exactly what these forms of entertainment are actually selling to us. Some of us, like you and I, are perfectly capable of watching these shows, being entertained by them, and being secure enough in our faith to not internalize the contradicting philosophies being presented to us.
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And here we agree. I thinking teaching others to be aware is important as well.

And remember, we have brethren who are younger in Christ and may not have the level of awareness that we do and can be led astray by these very forms of entertainment. Also, keep in mind all of those who are lost and adopt the philosophies and "theologies" presented in Star Trek, or from your article, Dr. Who.

I just believe that we need to firmly identify what we are up against in order to prepare ourselves and our brethren to stand against it and NOT be swayed by something that is so destructive.

But again, that is only a small part of the battle. The most important part is to be secure in our faith by having a strong relationship with our savior. And based on my experience, I see now just how important fellowship is so that we stand together.


We do have younger brethren, and the point i wanted to return to there is that we should be teaching them. It sounds like we are on the same page there.

I think it's important to also remember though, 1 John 2:19 "They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that [a]it would be shown that they all are not of us."

Some are simply looking for a reason not to believe, and they will find it anywhere. A strong relationship with Christ is going to pull us closer to God and give us eyes to see deception. We need to train up new believers.

If you are not arguing for a total ban on all sci-fi for Christians, then we are much closer to agreement than I realized, but your initial posts entirely seemed that way.

I still see Sci-Fi as a setting, and seperate the plot from that, That appears to be our big difference.
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Re: Time Changer Movie Review

Postby RevSears on Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:52 pm

Wowboy wrote:
RevSears wrote:Then why do you seem against others being allowed to do the same?


I am not against others being allowed to do the same, as I pointed out previously, I think we just need to be aware of exactly what we are reading/viewing when we partake of this form of entertainment.

Since you clarified that's a moot point! Thankfully.

This whole discussion as also assisted, or become also, the discussion of what we would have told your friend. I would have pointed out to him the lack of reality of those settings, and pointed him to Christ again, I'd also go over the reality of the original decision. Did he ever really make one and why? If not you have your answer, he was never one of us, if he says yes, he still may not have got everything figured out. I'd take him back to square one and within reason attempt to answer any questions he had. A good way to know what in reason is, ask them, "if all your questions are anwersed would you believe?" if they say no, don't waste your time. I know someone who asked, "If Jesus himself walked in and witnessed to, would you believe?" when he felt he was being led around in circles, and if they said no, he would excuse himself.


now as for Rome... well I gotta get some sleep but we will come back to that.
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