Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Links - Advent, God, Amos, Tolkien, and more!

"Advent's Coming: Keep It Simple!":
One of the great things about any kind of Advent preparation is that, by definition, you have to keep it simple and spare. A lush, lavish, complicated Advent makes about as much sense as a simple, understated fireworks display on the Fourth of July.

"J.R.R. Tolkien and the Great War":
Tolkien's experiences in the Great War had a profound effect on his writing and stories. He left the war with most of his friends dead, and a personal view of the horrors that war wrought on the soldiers who fought it. Years later, Tolkien felt that the Great War "had come down like winter on his creative powers in their first bloom.” These views would translate into his writing, with his experiences on the front lines informing the epic conflicts between good and evil in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. His characters form close parties and alliances as they go off to face terrible adventures together, much like he did with his friends when evil arose in the world.
"God's Conduct" (on Romans 12):
But he is not really changing the subject. In fact, all of the commands he gives flow from the teaching he has just done. Any number of good commentaries can help you trace the connection, and any expositor who asks what 12:1′s “therefore” is there for is likely to come up with good answers.
"The Prophet Amos":
We do not know who wrote down the prophecies preached by Amos, though it may have been the prophet himself. The fact of it, however, is of enormous significance, because it implied that the prophet’s message was perceived to bear dimensions of meaning transcendent to the original circumstances in which he preached it.
"Pilgrim's Regress vs. Firefly":
 In other words, we all need to believe, but there is no ultimate basis for belief. Belief is a lie we tell ourselves to keep going in a world that is without objective meaning or purpose. There is thirst, and ways of pretending to drink, but no water.
Now this is simply a philosophical bias. Why believe that to be the case?


Willa said...

Jessica, I usually skip link-posts, but I always get pulled into yours, and very often follow the links, too. This one was no exception! I liked the ones about Tolkien and Firefly particularly.

Jessica Snell said...

Willa, I'm so glad to hear you like the links post! I enjoy putting them together. :)