Sunday, April 20, 2014

Politics'n'stuff

First of all, you should watch this music video by Gungor.
"God is not a White Man" by Gungor

One of my favorite lines in the song is "God does not belong to Republicans". It really seems ridiculous to me when Christians act like the government and democrats are the root of all evil or something. You know what? You've done things just as bad as any person in the government, and complaining about what they've done to your friends who won't offer up a different opinion isn't going to fix anything. Hating on the government and not accepting the fact that they could possibly do something right won't help either.

Sometimes I think Christians act like the Great Commission was:
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. Oh, and vote Republican, make sure that everyone knows Democrats are of the Devil, and do your best to make everything right through politics, because while I was here on Earth I made sure to make the law the focus of my efforts."


So, like I urged in "Christianizing America", lets focus on loving those around us, and remembering that Jesus wasn't here to save a state, or a government, or a nation. He was here to save us and the people around us. I'm pretty convinced that trying to push laws and stuff through Congress isn't going to save anyone. Laws don't change hearts; love does.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Book Review #1: Raising Dragons

I believe I said in my first post that I want to do book reviews. Here's #1.

Book: Raising Dragons
Author: Brian Davis
Series: Dragons in our Midst
Sequel series: Oracles of Fire and Children of the Bard
# of books in first series: 4
Genre: Christian Fantasy

Yes, you could say there will be a couple of spoilers, but nothing too major that you won't learn by at least halfway through the book or earlier.

Christian themes rating: 10/10
Plot Rating: 7/10
Complexity Rating: 5/10 Not that its bad, its just less complex. If you like that, then it's great.
Length: 384 pages, easy to read.
Difficulty: Easy-Medium
Overall Rating: 8/10

It's tough to rate this plot, because really, you can read this book a couple different ways. You can read it for the story, and not think as deeply into the Christian themes and things in the book, in which case it probably deserves a 7/10. However, if you read it for the Christian themes and messages, then it gets more like a 9/10, because he really does weave the messages and faith journey of Billy and Bonnie (the two main characters) into the story quite well. However, it has nothing on books like Lord of the Rings or Mistborn (my personal favorite book/series).

The plot is about two 8th grade age kids, Billy and Bonnie, who are children of dragons. These dragons are from the time of King Arthur. They were turned into humans by Merlin, who in this book is portrayed as a great prophet of God. The dragons are basically immortal as far as aging is concerned, but will die from injuries/wounds. Each child of the dragons-turned-humans develops a couple of dragon powers. At around the age of five, Bonnie started developing wings, so her parents (her mom being a dragon-turned-human) had to tell her about her dragon heritage. Her mom was then killed by dragon hunters (a small group who believe themselves to be descended from knights of King Arthur), so she was put into the foster system, where she had to keep her wings a secret for fear of being called a freak. She enters the story a Christian, with a true, beautiful faith in God.

Billy, in 8th grade, begins to develop fire-breathing. It starts as just hot breath, and soon his parents begin to notice. They finally decide to tell him the truth about dragons, and he is extremely hurt because he feels his life is a lie. He meets a professor at his school who is a strong Christian, and he helps him through his faith journey.

So, after all that background, here's the real plot. A dragon slayer named Devin comes after Billy and Bonnie, as well as their parents, because he finds out their powers and who they are. They are forced to flee, blah blah blah, plane crash, blah blah blah, people dying everywhere (just kidding only like 1 person dies), blah blah blah, epic fights and stuff, good messages, dragons, fire, the end.

It's a good fantasy story even without the Christian stuff, so if you like fantasy, I'd highly advise it.

I would recommend for anyone over the age of 10-12, depending on their reading level.

Please give feedback on what I should change about the book review. I plan on doing more, and this is really a sort of prototype. I would like to develop a specific structure, so feedback about what you want to see is much appreciated.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Christianizing America

I've heard things like, "We want a return to a Christian nation" and such things. Now, of course, that would be good for the Kingdom if America did in fact return to being a nation where Christianity is pure, and truly sought after by millions of people. Currently a lot of Christianity has some corrupted views, or tends to be a stale, "yeah I go to church", kind of Christianity.

Yes, I think it would be great if America were re-Christianized,in a sense (not that it was ever 100% Christian, but it was built on Judeo-Christian principles). However, I think that when we have that as our goal, some things go missing. If we are aiming to bring Christianity back to our entire country, it can be quite easy to forget our one friend who we know isn't Christian. I've seen a meme saying something like "Duck Dynasty: Bringing Christianity back" or somethingish like that. However, I would bet that the Robertson family has someone close that they know who doesn't believe in Jesus, and probably a few whose faith extends to going to church on sunday morning.

A quote from Bryan Davis from Tears of a Dragon that I think is perfect for this topic: "If it is in our power to save lives, shouldn't we do it? Shouldn't we try to save [captive] and trust God to save the world? Shouldn't we try to free a wife and daughter and trust God to liberate the rest of mankind?" ... "God has long been in the business of providing the savior the world needs. Our part has always been to reach out to one soul at a time."

The general idea the way I'm using it being God can deal with his plans for America. Our goal should be to find those people around us who need Him, and through our ministry to our friends, God can spread to the nation.

To summate, God can save America. Let's focus on those closer to us.