I’m sad that October is almost over. I love this time of year. Fall is here and with Halloween in a few days, we all have an excuse to indulge in some spookiness. As such, I decided to draw the themes for our first XLM weekly Bible studies from horror stories.
I love my job.
My notes are below.
Cosmic Horror: the Universe Does Not Love You
H.P. Lovecraft was a pioneer of what’s called weird fiction. The bad guys in his stories are often these unspeakable cosmic horrors — vastly old, utterly alien creatures that cause trouble for humanity. Among them is Cthulhu, one of the Great Old Ones. He’s gigantic and has a squid head. Very creepy.
Lovecraft worked with that theme of alienness a lot. Much of the scariness of his stories comes as his characters learn unimaginable secrets about the universe. Because of that, one of the other themes that crops up a lot is madness. In the Cthulhu Mythos, when you learn the truth, the truth will drive you insane. Cthulhu and other figures in the mythos have evil cults that worship them and do terrible things. Their presence corrupts their followers. One of the things that happens in Lovecraft stories is that, if they don’t go nuts, people slowly become monsters.
Lovecraft’s work reflects his personal beliefs about the world. His philosophy is called cosmicism, which holds that the universe is an impersonal, chaotic, mechanical place. The universe was born of chaos, and produced only more chaos.
If that were so, what would it imply?
- Our lives are completely and totally insignificant.
- Good and evil are meaningless.
- Life has no purpose.
- There is no justice.
- We could all be wiped out at any moment.
- Suffering is arbitrary.
- Love is, at best, a chemical reaction.
Ever feel like that? Ever doubt that your life, your experiences have any meaning? Isn’t it horrifying to think that they might have no meaning at all? Ever get the feeling like no one cares about what you’re going through and life is nothing but chaos?
Let’s look at some contrasts between the universe of the Cthulhu Mythos and the universe that Jesus describes. Read the rest of this entry
The last XLM Bible Study was great. Thanks to everyone who came out! And thanks once again to Adventures in Comics and Games for hosting us!
We’ve got more events coming up soon. We’ll post more details soon on the Facebook page, the Twitter feed, the Google+ page, and here at the blog.
Below are my notes from the Bible study.
Last time, we talked about how God can change us into new people, how he can move us past things that we think are insurmountable. We can grow beyond what we are now.
In Extra Life Ministries, and at Crossroads in general, we talk about growth a lot. We encourage people to really engage what God wants to do in our lives. So, the question is, how do we do that? What can we do to grow spiritually?
I want to talk about three areas we can grow: knowledge, faith, and practice. And as I was thinking about those, I realized there were some parallels to the Matrix.
Think about Neo at the beginning of the Matrix, before he’s really Neo. He goes through life with these lingering questions he can’t ignore. He’s literally enslaved, but he can’t do anything about it because he doesn’t even know he’s enslaved. Something in him knows it, and knows he needs to do something about it, but he has no idea what.
When we lack knowledge, we are left without answers to the questions that bother us. Sometimes, we don’t know enough to even ask the right questions. Read the rest of this entry
I’ve gone back and updated all the posts on my apologetics series with my notes. You can now read the lessons as they were written.
And as an extra bonus, here are the notes from the lesson that didn’t get recorded.
“Because the Bible says so” isn’t going to cut it with many of the people we talk to. Here are a few reasons why.
We claim not only that our God is the only god, but that the Bible is the Word of God. These are outlandish claims in a relativistic culture. People may be tempted to dismiss them outright – how could they possibly be true in a world with so many religions and holy books? Read the rest of this entry