Is Kevin Swanson going to maintain that nothing questionable would slip out of his mouth while battling a genocidal Artificial Intelligence on the cusp of perpetrating an extinction level disaster?
The radical homeschooler’s critique of the film went beyond questionable dialog selections on the part of the screenwriters.
Tony Stark in particular was condemned as an individualist and not being much of a team player.
But isn’t that the characteristic of Robert Downey’s interpretation that has made his performance endearing over the course of the interlocking Marvel films and one with which sarcastic loners with a tendency to dance to the beat of their own drum have been able to identify?
As the review progressed, Swanson finally revealed the nature of his ultimate disapproval with the film.
For you see, with the exception of the archer Hawkeye, the protagonists are to be condemned because the are SINGLE (as in unmarried) for a variety of reasons.
For the most part, shouldn’t these characters be applauded for that decision because of the particular vocations in which they find themselves?
Captain America was in suspended animation for over 70 years while the woman he loved, Agent Peggy Carer, aged at a normal rate and if developments in her own TV miniseries are any indication, eventually moved on to marry somebody else as she didn’t even know those many decades that he was even still alive.
So in the eyes of the radical homeschoolers, is Steve Rogers not supposed to work through that profound emotional trauma before wedding someone else that he might not really love?
As to the Incredible Hulk, despite the slight sparks there with Black Widow, perhaps Bruce Banner has character enough to realize that he is better off without a relationship in which the normal stresses of which could set off his condition to the point where he wouldn’t simply snap at his wife in a less than courteous tone but instead level his entire neighborhood.
Though it was amusing to discover that Hawkeye had a secret family that he had concealed from his colleagues in the espionage and costumed adventurer communities and that served as a reminder of what these heroes are fighting for, these are action adventure films (not chick flicks).
While passing romance and flirtations add flavor to the narrative, the primary purpose for these films is to see robots and aliens blown up.
I don’t really care to see Superman flying Lois Lane from store to store looking for new drapes for the Fortress of Solitude.
Perhaps the most disturbing thing said by Swanson in his analysis was that we must be careful not to limit the designation of witchcraft to those claiming to be witches.
Instead, anyone whose power comes from a source other than God is guilty of this grievous offense.
An argument can be made as to the technical accuracy of that claim.
However, it must be remembered that Swanson advocates a political philosophy known as theonomy or Christian Reconstructionism that calls for the implementation of Biblical law as the nation’s comprehensive social policy and statutory code.
Since that is the case, how ought and to whom should the Biblical injunction of “Suffer not a witch to live” be applied?
For if definable limits are not placed upon such a principle, it could certainly be manipulated as a clever way to justify executing your political and philosophical opponents.
Vigilance is required whether one is dealing with a maniacal artificial intelligence or a podcasting minister that hasn’t fully considered the implications of his theological pronouncements.
By Frederick Meekins
If Independent Baptists insist that their practices are derived from sola scriptura, where is the precedent for the described classroom procedure described in the pages of Holy Writ?
If a church requires such rigmarole, doesn't the church run the risk of alienating those with social anxiety?
For I know I'd go running out of there at the end of the class like Chiroptera fleeing Ghenna.
Some churches require potential members to endure lengthy interrogations and questionnaires that go beyond determining whether or not the catechumen ascents to the basics of the Apostles or Nicene Creeds before being granted that particular status.
If failure to answer in the preapproved manner will result in a denial of membership, what is to prevent the applicant from simply answering in the manner that the leadership expects to hear?
For example, is it really the business of a Christian school administrator whether or not your child has a TV in their room in the privacy of your own home.
Furthermore, who can blame these applicants for fudging their answers when across Christendom the believer is berated and beaten over the head homiletically on a regular basis if one is just an attender and not necessarily a formalized member?
By Frederick Meekins
Fundamental to the creed of the contemporary skeptic is the notion that everything is relative and that there are no absolutes. However, that is itself an absolute. And no matter how cool it is to feign the attitude that one exists beyond right and wrong, no one wants to be treated as if right and wrong did not exist.
Of this universal truth, Lewis observes, “Whenever you find a man who says he does not believe in a real Right or Wrong, you will find the man going back on this a moment later. He may break his promise to you, but if you try breaking one to him he will be complaining 'It's not fair' before you can say 'Jack Robinson' (15).”
Since law exists whether we like it or not, it must have a source beyond us in order to be binding upon us and to avoid degenerating into a matter of mere preference or opinion. Since this universal law represents the codification of a set of principles, it could not have come about as a result of random choice, but rather through some kind of purposeful intelligence. Thus, a second issue confronting the skeptic in “Mere Christianity” is whether the source of this law is personal or impersonal.
The views regarding God can be divided into two basic viewpoints. On the one hand, pantheism believes, in the words of Lewis, that “God animates the universe as you animate your body: that the universe is almost God (30).” Traditional monotheists, on the other hand, believe that God is distinct from creation in a manner similar to “...a man making a picture or composing a tune...A painter is not a picture (30).”
From our understanding of law as a set of principles established for determining right and wrong, the monotheistic conception would be the one most in keeping with the evidence. For if God and the universe were co-terminus as postulated by the pantheists, by definition whatever is, is ought. Only by being distinct from what He has made is God justified in pronouncing judgment upon it.
Since God is the source of perfection and man so marked by imperfection, there must be some way for these seemingly irreconcilable twains to meet. Since man is imperfect, there is nothing he can do of his own merit to bring himself to God's level. Rather, the imperfect can only be made whole and elevated to a higher status on the terms of the perfect.
Since God is the ultimate authority and source of power, it is up to Him to determine the method through which man can be reconciled to God. Of all of the religions of the world, orthodox Biblical Christianity is the only one where that particular belief's conception of salvation is not granted on the basis of the adherent's own merit or accomplishment but rather as a result through the realization that one's own works are as filthy rags and by throwing oneself on the mercy of a loving God willing to extend forgiveness to those embracing what God has done for them rather than on what they have done for Him. In the Christian tradition, this eternal pardon is granted to those believing that Jesus as the only Son of God lived the perfect life that we could not, suffered and died upon the cross for the sins of the world, and rose in bodily form from the dead.
Thus, the most important issue the skeptic is forced to confront is exactly who do they think Jesus is. Impressed with the morals of Jesus but not wanting to admit that they themselves are sinners, most unbelievers think they are broadminded enough by giving Jesus an esteemed status as an ethical teacher from the past with no present claim on their lives.
However, as Lewis points out, a moral person would not say the things about himself that Jesus said about Himself. Lewis writes, “A man who...said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would be a lunatic --- on a level with a man who says he is a poached egg --- or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice (41).”
Much of the spiritual danger of the contemporary world lies in the numerous distractions available to those preferring to avoid those fundamental questions nagging at the human soul. C.S. Lewis, in “Mere Christianity”, forces the reader to confront these issues in an engaging and forthright manner.
By Frederick Meekins