PAGANTON: Rise of the Devil (Advice Request)

Hi, the novel, Paganton: Rise of the Devil, is a dark comedy infused with serious elements. The premise involves God and the Devil fighting for power in modern society. The events turn amusing as upstanding residents of the affluent suburb of Paganton, Illinois succumb to penetrating impulses forcing them to abandon all morals. The pattern soon includes most of the nation, and eventually, all the world.

Why is the Devil’s plan advancing so easily? Has God decided humanity has raged to destructive levels beyond redemption? Satan persists in his plan to alter Earth’s destiny with the tainted soul of superstar actress, Hailey Barker.  While Hailey rages to scary extremes, Earth’s population emulates her actions until a decisive point when it seems definite Satan shall triumph. Is everything an illusion, all reality a fantasy, and is the Devil’s reign of power real or imaginary? The answer arises in an admission from the enlightened teen actress, Hailey Barker, the erotic nymph with the power to lure Satan into her grasp with entrancing allure.

This post includes all of the first chapter. Also, the preview for this novel includes the first thirty-five pages, if anybody wants to read further to get more of an idea about character development and the flow of events destined to alter reality. Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/rsalerno

Paganton

Chapter 1

Satan's intense gaze beamed the mixture of raw ferocity and patient control he exhibited at decisive turning points in his ambitious plan to rule Earth. His subjects of interest were all members of the human race whose desires he wanted to distort in attempt to acquire total power on the blustery blue planet. He believed he would've already exerted his will on humanity, with relative ease, but for a mandatory point he was on the brink of resolving, allowing his means of access.

The Devil, accompanied by his most loyal disciples, strutted around in a strange display of raging power and atrocious distortion, forced to accept his hideous appearance until the desirous day he ruled Earth, and his true form would be revealed to be attractive, brimming with allure and shimmering radiance.

While dwelling on his hope of ruling Earth with absolute power, he opened his mouth in a devious grin, and his fangs showed. Two pointed horns adorned his head, and his wings fluttered in sporadic motions. He appeared well over six feet in height, with menacing eyes, a muscular chest, and huge biceps, which he flexed to show his penchant for raw aggression. His laugh was loud and ferocious, escalating to a roar so raucous it made many things around him vibrate from the unbridled force of his raging supremacy.

Although banished from Earth by God, Satan had high powers of perception, being part of the original celestial hierarchy. He watched the events on Earth from Hell with rapt interest, able to magnify them at his discretion, inspect each scene with great detail, deciding which inhabitants had souls worth penetrating to free from restraints to help serve his purpose.

Watching the humans during the course of many years, while their society reached higher degrees of technological advancement, had led Satan to acquire a liking to defiant forms of artistic expression in the popular culture. The surreal song Wheels of Confusion by Black Sabbath played to the devil's great enjoyment. He nodded his head to the driving beat while watching the events on Earth.

Satan grinned with incontestable arrogance. “I believe it's time, Allegory.”

“Yes, my ruler.”

Allegory, among Satan's top three disciples, along with Destiny and Triumph, nodded in allegiance. They acquiesced when Satan issued directives, unwavering in their obedience and submission.

“I've found a human whose soul I may penetrate with enough raw power to serve my purpose of controlling all humanity. I must show the humans the path to unbridled desire, free from all forms of discipline, to exert my abrasive will on Earth to the fullest extent. I believe I've found my means.”

Satan focused his attention on Earth's most alluring subject.

Hailey Barker, a nineteen-year-old actress, had become the biggest superstar on Earth, drawing the allegiance of millions of enthralled admirers. Her allure also impressed the Devil. Her eroticism pulled Satan in with such supernatural power, the arousing female acquired a crucial role in his grand mission, and stimulated such amorous desire, he felt compelled to accelerate his plan to rule and control the human species. She'd provide his ideal means of access: an entry point to affect all of Earth's inhabitants and determine the world's destiny. All the mandatory elements of the ambitious plan he'd waited many years to attempt had aligned.

With her straight blonde hair dangling in her alluring face, Hailey's big eyes, defined with dark eyeliner, beamed an admission of the truculent traits of her raging personality. Her abrasive attitude exuded a strong sexual hunger mixed with rampant defiance, similar to Satan's driving forces. Adorned with a white T-shirt and tight bluejeans on her tall and toned body, the actress strutted into position.

Her intense eyes beamed raw power, as she performed for Burton Knight: a prestigious forty-two-year-old film director with a strong build and wavy gray hair. The accomplished director commanded great respect from everybody in the industry, except egotistic Hailey, who did as she pleased at all times. It seemed obvious she enjoyed taunting prestigious people to exert her will and establish superiority above everybody she encountered.

Hailey performed a sexy dance scene for the surreal suspense film, And Fate Meets Desire. She played the emotional role of an edgy woman on the brink of delusion, struggling to free herself from societal restraints by engaging in risky forms of sexual experimentation. She danced to the frantic Black Sabbath music in the specified style to elicit a sense of desperation and erotic stimulation.

Satan watched from Hell, which at present was high above Earth. He magnified the events, so he could stare into the actress's beguiling eyes. “It's time, Hailey.”

The admission echoed in Hailey's brain. Her eyes looked alert.

“It's time for you to submit to my raging desire, my promiscuous plaything.” The Devil roared. His huge fangs glistened, as he panted in pure lust for the nubile actress.

Hailey's whole body quaked. She heard the Devil's words penetrate and echo in her mind from a distant source. Her eyes beamed raw energy summoned from the cumulative force of the entire universe and its unbridled celestial powers. She accepted an immense influx of energy, but it was erratic and uncontrollable. Her body shuddered, her sexy face glistening with sweat. Soon she tumbled to the white tiled floor of the immense film studio, panting in furious gasps for breath. It appeared obvious she was on the brink of an orgasm. She moaned, and her body convulsed in repeated spasms. Tears came to her eyes. When she stood, her eyes radiated scary intensity.

The director tapped her shoulder to get her attention. “Hailey, what the fuck are you doing?”

She stared at him and panted. “I'm performing my role, Burt.” Her tone sounded deliberately rude. “We're at a pivotal point in the film. I want to make sure the scene's emotional and compelling.”

“Admittedly, it was an erotic performance, baby, beyond doubt, but it was an overt expression of sexuality. It seemed you orgasmed in view of everybody in this film studio. I realize you crave attention, Hailey, but please do the scene according to the fucking script.”

Her eyes beamed at the director with an eerie quality, and her attitude turned hostile. “I want you to admit it's all about me.” She panted with rising temerity, pushed to the edge of her tolerances.

Her blatant defiance provoked many others involved in the ambitious film project to gawk at her deviant actions.

“I'm the biggest star in the world.” Hailey's tone was insistent. “I should be able to do my scenes in the methods I desire.”

Burton sneered at the tempestuous star. “Hailey, listen to me, you erotic egomaniac. I know you're at the top of your game. You're the most famous actress in the world, at nineteen, but if you don't control your urges, you'll ruin your career. You're at a pivotal point in your professional development. You better listen to me, if you want to continue being an admired star in this prestigious business, and be deemed a success at the highest levels of society.”

“I don't care about society.” Hailey stared at her director, her big eyes beaming angst. “Society's a joke. I embrace my own preferences. In my movies, I explore all possibilities with unbridled desire. I enter realities where my most honest impulses run free, instead of being controlled by manipulative forces.”

Burton sighed in anguish. “Hailey, please obey my directions, you hypersexual harlot. You're appealing and engaging. You project great allure on screen, but you're getting as strange in reality as you are in the shocking scenes of your surreal movie roles.”

Hailey pouted. “You listen to me, Burt. This is about what I want. I'm the star of this film. I'm the biggest star in the business. I'll someday be the most important person in the world.”

Burton and all the others in the film studio looked flummoxed by Hailey's brazen proclamation. They, of course, hadn't realized the Devil was also watching the events.

Satan smiled in Hell while witnessing Hailey's amusing antics on Earth. “I feel sure I've discovered my ideal means of access to penetrate Earth and control its inhabitants. I believe the sexy nymphomaniac actress shall do the trick.”

“Hailey Barker's surely tricky.” Allegory smirked. “She believes she'll someday be the most important person in the world.”

Satan laughed. “Hailey shall soon be the most important person on Earth. I'll make sure of it. I have big plans for the illustrious superstar. I must protect her. I'm in part intrigued by her enrapturing eroticism and high-level position in society as a leading actress, but also by her susceptibility to extreme urges. I'll exert my my reach on Earth with her mind, body, and soul to elevate the desires of all humans in prominent societal positions. Their actions, in turn, shall affect all of the human species.”

Allegory appeared bewildered. “I know you desire an ideal means of access to exert your will on Earth, my ruler, but how shall you accomplish your goal through the soul of an egotistic actress?”

“I'll transmit my strength through Hailey, summoned from the energy of the whole galaxy. She'll soon be indestructible. Hailey shall be everything she desires to be: a sexy female with a raging hunger for excitement, able to indulge in any risky activities without destroying herself. She'll rage with power and fury, survive the risks, and prevail in all the most demanding events. Since she's a popular actress, all her defiant antics shall play out in front of the whole world, establishing the infinite scope of unrestrained behavior yet to be emulated by all the human species when they're freed from societal restraints and imposed definitions of morality.”

“You believe all key elements on Earth are aligned to enact your most ambitious mission of all time, Satan?” Allegory drooled.

“Soon everything shall be ready for my ultimate attempt to rule Earth. I've awaited the ideal moment when most human souls seemed ready to be penetrated to the core of their driving forces. The time when my power raged to such accentuated extremes it's irrefutable. The time when I felt sure the alluring superstar, Hailey Barker, Earth's most tempting female, is ready to accept the unrestrained power I'll transmit to her to alter destiny. It's a daring plan I've waited many years to attempt at such a high level of unbridled ambition. I believe the precise moment has arrived.”

Allegory ambled closer to the Devil. “Agreed, my preeminent ruler.” He knew to be subservient at all times in Satan's presence. The Devil only allowed those who worshiped him and his unbridled power with complete obedience to approach him. Many others knew of him and had heard startling descriptions of his immense power, but they weren't permitted near him. “It's time for your ultimate plan to prove your ability to rule Earth.”

“This time, I shall succeed, Allegory, my most trusted disciple.” The Devil swelled with pride. His distorted form made his raging power seem all the more menacing. “I shall claim control of the humans, force them to abide by my unbridled desires, and compel them to make me their true and eminent ruler, or I shall destroy them and their tumultuous planet in the greatest display of destructive power ever put in motion.”

“How does your desire for alluring human women factor into your plan, Satan?” Destiny pondered the penetrating meaning.

“All my disciples are aware of my insatiable desire for human females, Destiny. Since I invented unbridled lust, and made it a prominent part of the desires destined to determine Earth's fate, I put a premium on possessing the souls of alluring females. I've scoured the world all these years, awaiting the time I'd find a woman worthy of being my ideal partner when I rule Earth. Though I've ravaged human females for many years, luring them into my entrancing grasp and tainting their souls, I lust for one in particular whose soul I may use to exert my wrath on Earth. When I rule Earth, which should be soon at this pivotal point, I'll declare Hailey my bride.”

Triumph grinned at the Devil's proclamation of imminent success. “I embrace the pivotal turning point in your plan and its importance in the perceived realities on Earth. Why do you declare Hailey Barker the woman worthy of being the wife of such a preeminent being of raging power?”

“I'll tell you why, Triumph.” Satan smirked. “Hailey's a woman who does strange things only the Devil could appreciate at the absolute pinnacle of arousal. She's a nineteen-year-old, blonde-haired, exhibitionistic, nymphomaniac actress. Those positive characteristics make her a promising prospect in my appraisal.”

Allegory stepped closer to Satan. “Hailey's alluring, beyond doubt, but she might be daunting even for you, the Devil, to control, if the rumors about her propensity toward pure mania and the raging defiance of societal rules are accurate.”

“In Hailey's films, she's the embodiment of all things driven by unbridled desire.” Satan relished the admission. “She'll soon be all those things in reality. It's almost as if she arrived on Earth in a deliberate taunt to tempt me. Watch and you'll see how I twist the events at play on the strange blue planet, using the inhabitants as pieces in my game. I'll soon become their ruler, with the sexy blonde actress in my amorous grasp, helping me direct society like scenes in a brutal suspense movie, according to the raging power of my demands.”

Satan again witnessed the events on Earth from his vantage point in Hell, which wasn’t where most people expected, but a secret place high above the planet. It could've been any place he decided. It floated around to places he deemed ideal, at any particular time, for his purposes. The area was flexible, because like most things believed real, it didn’t exist, except in the context of consciousness, when and where it was allowed to be perceived for various reasons deemed important to beings with access to higher levels of reality. At the moment, the ideal location was above Earth, allowing Satan to watch key events in stark detail while devising his most ambitious plan to rule the world.

The design Satan used for his present iteration of Hell varied with his preferences. Provided he was banished to a place distant from Earth, and exhibited his distorted, devilish appearance as punishment for defying God's rules, his surroundings could be what he pleased. At the moment, Hell was an elaborate, circular, futuristic room with a plethora of high-tech equipment. The screen at one edge resembled an immense flat TV, but could focus on any part of Earth desired, with extreme close-up detail. The Devil used the screen at frequent intervals to watch the amusing exploits of any humans he found desirable to taint and declare corruptible.

The Devil's eyes beamed. “I'll soon possess Hailey's soul. Rather than corrupting everyone on Earth, which would require much time and strain my resources, I'll put all my energy into corrupting the most influential members of the human population. Society's elite possess the greatest power to provoke pervasive imitation. All humans shall soon emulate the tainted impulses of their leaders, when they're compelled to succumb to their unrestrained urges with free will.”

“An adventurous means to accomplish your mission.” Allegory again seemed in awe of the Devil’s raging ability. The highest-ranking disciple was also the most loyal. “Ambitious of you, sir, I agree. This time, you'll accomplish your greatest mission, my glorious ruler.”

The disciples were smaller than the Devil, but also devilish in appearance, each sporting stylish horns, fangs, a tail, and wings. They all were at his mercy, forced to acquiesce to his demands, or be destroyed, though Satan welcomed their advice, provided they submitted to his ultimate purpose of acquiring unbridled power.

The Devil laughed with raucous delirium. “I'll turn the humans into victims of their own indulgences, distorting and contorting their souls at will. Something in their malleable nature makes them easy to manipulate. I'll control them according to my plan, forcing God to fight me, while I exert my raging power. At that point, I'll be free of His grasp, and He shall allow me to again reveal my true radiant identity. It shall be a robust and calamitous battle, the one that defines the fate of the universe. And whoever wins, shall be the ruler of everything.”


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Comments

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym Librarian
    Lost me at word one.

    I'm going to start by voicing a bias here: As you'll see from the titles in the link of my signature, I have a particular perspective with regards to the Battle of Good and Evil in the Third Sense*.

    My objection here, however, is not based on my prejudices with regards to this matter. Instead, it is to the shallowness that I see in the research. Let's face it, you've never read Perelandra, have you? I'm not going to ask about Milton, who also made satan too interesting of a character (that is the most common criticism of Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained), though he was attempting to "show the ways of God to man." And skipping The Screwtape Letters and Screwtape Proposes a Toast... well, anyway...

    Let's start with the basics: You've set God in opposition to the devil. That's problem number one. It requires you to make two contradictory assumptions; first, the Judeo-Christian world-view, and second, that YHWH is equal to one of His creations. Compare the Silmarillion, where Eru Illuvatar never once opposes Melkor, nor Melkor's Maia, Morgoth. Instead it is the Valar, the equals of Melkor, who are given the task. Likewise, Morgoth is opposed by the Istari, who are Maia like himself.

    If you set foot into the Judeo-Christian world-view, you automatically confine yourself to its rules. Otherwise, you are not ridiculing the Judeo-Christian world-view, but instead ridiculing a straw man construct which you have simply given the name of the Judeo-Christian World-view.

    Then you make a second break with the Judeo-Christian world-view, by assuming that satan's overall goal is to cause sin, wherewith to rule earth. According to the JCWV (if I can abbreviate) satan already rules earth, except for those rebels who have embraced the other cause. And he is enticed by a human? Come now, satan needs a bride like a giraffe needs a stepladder.

    ARGH! It's a gross conceptual error, all the way through.

    Okay, off the main point -- If you're going to give satan three minions, and one of them is named Allegory, then that minion needs to work by means of Allegory. Otherwise, it's pointless to name him Allegory. Far more fitting would be to name his minions Flesh, World, and The Devil, since those are the three temptations to which satan subjected the Christ, and those are referred to in Christian literature as the three enemies of the Christian.

    Further off the main point: No human does evil for evil's sake. Everyone who does evil hopes to obtain a good from it. A bank robber does the moral evil (type 2) or robbing a bank in the hopes of obtaining money, an experiential good (type 1). No one cheats on a spouse simply because it is evil; the cheater hopes to obtain pleasure, which in itself is a good.

    So the character of Hailey, who seems to be doing evil for evil's sake, is never going to work. She has to hope to obtain a good. All evils are corruptions of goods. Lewis covered all this in Screwtape...

    Sorry. I know I've been a bit harsh. But really, it's a bit like if I were to write of the Greek gods rebelling against the Titans without knowing anything about the Greek gods or the Titans.

    Yes, I should have been looking at style and content, not judging the theme. This might have been the look you were going for. Again, I have a certain perspective from which I am constrained to see.

    So, hope that helps, quod scripsi, scripsi, and all that.


  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym Librarian
    * Good and evil, as we know them, exist in three senses:
    1. Experiential -- pleasure and pain, respectively; without reference to the cause or purpose of either.
    2. Moral -- Conformance to, or deviation from, those rules to which we subscribe.
    3. Spiritual -- the nature of Divine and anti-divine spiritual beings.

    " 'Tis nothing good nor bad, but thinking makes it so" -- Hamlet speaks experientially, as shown by the later line, "To me, it is a prison."

    "These light afflictions work a great eternal glory" -- The Apostle Paul contrasts first sense evil with third sense good; Bad experiences are developing Spiritual Glory.

    &c.
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor
    My objection is not the theology but the overwrought style of writing. The book is in sore need of an objective editor as well. Aside from some questionable sentence structure, there are far too many instances where the author is speaking directly to the reader, telling them what is going on rather than letting this information come from the story itself. "Information dumps" is the term.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Gosh, there's a lot there, so I will just look at this >>

    Satan's intense gaze beamed the mixture of raw ferocity and patient control he exhibited

    Can he be both ferocious and showing patient control?

     at decisive turning points in his ambitious plan to rule Earth.

    What decisive turning points?

     His subjects of interest were all members of the human race

    Would that not go without saying?

     whose desires he wanted to distort

    I doubt he would have to try very hard. As an example of what I mean, read Good Omens (or wait until Amazon/BBC have finished making in to a series.) On Earth a demon and an angel are the best of friends in it, and for 1000s of years the demon has never done any 'bad' work, because he says humans have a far better imagination towards evil than he has.

     in attempt to acquire total power on the blustery blue planet.

    It's not all blustery and not all blue.

     He believed he would've already exerted his will on humanity, with relative ease, but for a mandatory point he was on the brink of resolving, allowing his means of access.

    I assume what that is will be revealed later? 

    The Devil, accompanied by his most loyal disciples,

    Minions may be a better word. But are these humans or demons?

     strutted around in a strange

    What's strange about it?

     display of raging power and atrocious distortion,

    What's distorted?

     forced to accept his hideous appearance

    Huh? Would he not look as he does since he was booted out of Heaven? So he would be well used to what he looks like. It would not be hideous to him.

     until the desirous day he ruled Earth,

    Should that not be rules? A different tense?

     and his true form would be revealed to be attractive, brimming with allure and shimmering radiance. 

    Well, you are writing fiction, but his 'hideous'  appearance is a projection humans have placed on the Devil.

    While dwelling on his hope of ruling Earth with absolute power, he opened his mouth in a devious grin, and his fangs showed. Two pointed horns adorned his head, and his wings fluttered in sporadic motions.

    There's no need to be stereotypical. In fact in some depictions he looks like a goat walking upright. He can look like whatever you want, really. He could look like a fish.

     He appeared well over six feet in height,

    But not as tall a seven feet? He would not really be an imposing height, then.

     with menacing eyes,

    In what way?

     a muscular chest, and huge biceps,

    Skinny legs because he does too much upper-body work?

     which he flexed to show his penchant for raw aggression.

    So Mr Universe is being aggressive? Or just posing for prizes?

     His laugh was loud and ferocious, escalating to a roar so raucous it made many things around him vibrate from the unbridled force of his raging supremacy

    Sorry, but this all seems very shallow, with a use of adjectives just for the sake of it, without taking it further to say why that adjective has been used. Is this a first draft? And where is the humour?

    How Do. Pull up a chair. Would you like a cup of tea? Don't sit in that chair!!
  • Joe_Bondi_BeachJoe_Bondi_Beach San Francisco Bay Area Reader

     in attempt to acquire total power on the blustery blue planet.

    It's not all blustery and not all blue.


    Earth may not be all blustery or all blue, but "blustery blue planet" is a pretty good poetic description. Photo by NASA; the file name is "1-bluemarble_west.jpg."

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Indeed, and a TV documentary series is called Blue Planet, because it's about the contents of the sea. In that photo, notice the huge blob of land, and there's a few other big blobs also. The TV series about those are not called Blue Planet.

    My point was, calling the entire Earth a blue planet is a stereotypical cliché which is best avoided. Oh, and it's not all blustery, at least not all the time, poetry aside. The entire description, in my mind, was not well thought out.

    How Do. Pull up a chair. Would you like a cup of tea? Don't sit in that chair!!
  • Joe_Bondi_BeachJoe_Bondi_Beach San Francisco Bay Area Reader

    Indeed, and a TV documentary series is called Blue Planet, because it's about the contents of the sea. In that photo, notice the huge blob of land, and there's a few other big blobs also. The TV series about those are not called Blue Planet.

    My point was, calling the entire Earth a blue planet is a stereotypical cliché which is best avoided. Oh, and it's not all blustery, at least not all the time, poetry aside. The entire description, in my mind, was not well thought out.

    In a passage that suffers mightily, as you and others pointed out, this particular sentence struck me as at least neutral if not positive. Poetry was the point. Literal description presumably was not. Stereotypical? Maybe, although the planet *is* mostly water and mostly blue when seen from far enough above its surface, focus of a given documentary aside.
  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym Librarian
    I think we can all agree that a rewrite is in order.
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor

    Indeed, and a TV documentary series is called Blue Planet, because it's about the contents of the sea. In that photo, notice the huge blob of land, and there's a few other big blobs also. The TV series about those are not called Blue Planet.

    My point was, calling the entire Earth a blue planet is a stereotypical cliché which is best avoided. Oh, and it's not all blustery, at least not all the time, poetry aside. The entire description, in my mind, was not well thought out.

    In a passage that suffers mightily, as you and others pointed out, this particular sentence struck me as at least neutral if not positive. Poetry was the point. Literal description presumably was not. Stereotypical? Maybe, although the planet *is* mostly water and mostly blue when seen from far enough above its surface, focus of a given documentary aside.
    I should point out that the conditions under which the NASA image was taken—including proximity to the earth and the lens used—distorted the apparent size of the North American continent. This same effect occurs in similar NASA images of the earth.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    In a passage that suffers mightily, as you and others pointed out, this particular sentence struck me as at least neutral if not positive. Poetry was the point.

    Very 'borrowed.' A very much over-used cliché. Is that not often a sign of laziness in fiction? Call me strange, if you like, but I would have spent a while thinking up some other description.

     Literal description presumably was not. Stereotypical? Maybe, although the planet *is* mostly water and mostly blue when seen from far enough above its surface, focus of a given documentary aside.

    Discounting all the obvious clouds, of course. There may be a lot of water, but it's not a literal blue planet, unless one does remove all the clouds, as Google Earth manages to do.

    How Do. Pull up a chair. Would you like a cup of tea? Don't sit in that chair!!
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    I think we can all agree that a rewrite is in order.

    Indeed. More time and effort needs to be used. To me that all looked like a first draft, while one gets the basic ideas down.

    How Do. Pull up a chair. Would you like a cup of tea? Don't sit in that chair!!
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    I should point out that the conditions under which the NASA image was taken—including proximity to the earth and the lens used—distorted the apparent size of the North American continent. This same effect occurs in similar NASA images of the earth.

    It's possibly just perspective in play? Not counting the distance the photos are taken from, in that shot the USA will be around 5,000 miles closer to the camera than the horizon.

    How Do. Pull up a chair. Would you like a cup of tea? Don't sit in that chair!!
  • facsmthfacsmth Reader
    Skoob, wasn't Melkor's maia Sauron? Morgoth was Melkor's alias after he betrayed the other Valar.
  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym Librarian
    Right you are. Melkor became Morgoth, and Sauron served him. My bad.

    Thanks for catching that.

    For a long time, Tolkien and Lewis looked for ways to integrate the concept of Greco-Roman gods with areas of dominion or fiefdom into the Judeo-Christian pattern, and Tolkien's attempt was the layering of Eru Illuvatar (a God-figure) served by the Valar (Archangels, or analogs of Greco-Roman gods), in turn served by Maia (Angels, or Greco-Roman demi-gods). Then within the Maia there were the colors, symbolizing a heirarchical power structure. The struggle between Saruman and Gandalf could be seen as an analog to the reference in Daniel 10, in which the angel was delayed many days by a prince of Persia.

    By contrast, Lewis, in his space trilogy, used the planets as a guide, and gave each planet an Oyarsu (ruling arch-angel) to oversee it, and to oversee its Hnau (senient creatures). Thus Mars (Malacandra) is overseen by the Oyarsu of Malacandra, likewise Perelandra, Glundcandra, &c., with our planet (Thulcandra) being overseen by the bent Oyarsu. The Oyersu collectively descend ("That Hideous Strength") when an evil lot accidentally pull down deep heaven upon their heads.

    In both cases, the underlying concept was that maybe the oldest concepts of gods in the ancient world really tell us something about the spiritual realm, albeit through a twisted and darkened mirror (to cite Paul). Both writers felt that the prior literature of the Western world was a prelude to the gospel. Lewis even expands this idea further in the Abolition of Man.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    There's no doubt that writers take inspiration from all over the place, and even modernise old stories, but there's times when people dissect them too much rather than just enjoying them for what they are, fiction.

    Tolkien was a good example. Often dissected for meaning in even universities. It was mooted for many years that L0tRs was based on WW2. With Sauron as Hitler and Surumon as Mussolini. He said that was nonsense.

    I have never read C. S. Lewis, so cannot really comment, except to say, no one really knows what was in his head when he wrote them. But some of that very old SF can be unintentionally very amusing. No doubt ours will be viewed the same in the not so far future.

    This has me a bit puzzled though > "Both writers felt that the prior literature of the Western world was a prelude to the gospel."

    How Do. Pull up a chair. Would you like a cup of tea? Don't sit in that chair!!
  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym Librarian
    edited June 9
    facsmth said:
    WHOA! Lewis had a space trilogy?
    Indeed. It's 1940s 1950s style, so in book 1 it reads like Andre Norton, Ray Bradbury, and Early, Early Isaac Asimov, but:
    Out of the Silent Planet
    https://www.amazon.com/Silent-Planet-Space-Trilogy-Paperback/dp/0743234901
    Perelandra
    https://www.amazon.com/Perelandra-Space-Trilogy-Book-2/dp/074323491X/ref=pd_sim_14_1/131-3806575-2230710?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=074323491X&pd_rd_r=NGVFGGHXAH1QW3XA4ZW4&pd_rd_w=PjVJk&pd_rd_wg=VXIXN&psc=1&refRID=NGVFGGHXAH1QW3XA4ZW4
    That Hideous Strength
    https//www.amazon.com/That-Hideous-Strength-Space-Trilogy/dp/0743234928/ref=pd_bxgy_14_2?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=0743234928&pd_rd_r=8YTJ2DW5JECBQ032MW71&pd_rd_w=d7nBg&pd_rd_wg=AAtaC&psc=1&refRID=8YTJ2DW5JECBQ032MW71

     Book 1 involves an unintentional trip to Mars. Of particular note is the trial of the space travelers before the Oyarsu, at the end.

    Book 2 involves an intentional trip to Venus, for the purpose of preventing an Eden-like fall from grace. Ransom battles the Un-Man in a fight to the death...

    Book 3 involves the evil forces of this world pulling down Deep Heaven upon their heads. Instead of taking a trip to the planets, Ransom hosts the planets as they descend...

    Book 3 would make an excellent movie. I cannot read it without thinking how a good director could deal with the appearance of Merlinus Arcturus at the Door of St. Anne's...
    "In what age shall Glund descend? Who shall be Pendragon? In what sphere did he learn war?"
    "In Mars did I learn war. In this age shall Glund decend. I am the Pendragon!"

    Or the scene in which Ransom and Jane find themselves suddenly in the presence of an Eldil, and the room seems to shift in angle and perspective, because they are by comparison very small, and the Eldil represents the truly upright. What a director could do with that!

    But I digress...

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym Librarian

    There's no doubt that writers take inspiration from all over the place, and even modernise old stories, but there's times when people dissect them too much rather than just enjoying them for what they are, fiction.

    Tolkien was a good example. Often dissected for meaning in even universities. It was mooted for many years that L0tRs was based on WW2. With Sauron as Hitler and Surumon as Mussolini. He said that was nonsense.

    I have never read C. S. Lewis, so cannot really comment, except to say, no one really knows what was in his head when he wrote them. But some of that very old SF can be unintentionally very amusing. No doubt ours will be viewed the same in the not so far future.

    This has me a bit puzzled though > "Both writers felt that the prior literature of the Western world was a prelude to the gospel."

    Never read Lewis? Well, that can be easily corrected...

    As for my interpretation above, the authors themselves, and indeed, all of the Inklings (of whom Christopher may yet live) have endorsed that viewpoint.

    The bit that has you puzzled... Well, if you were to read
    https://www.amazon.com/Abolition-Man-C-S-Lewis/dp/0060652942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1528506126&sr=1-1&keywords=the+abolition+of+man
    And then read
    https://www.amazon.com/Pilgrims-Regress-C-S-Lewis/dp/0802872174/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1528506188&sr=1-1&keywords=a+pilgrims+regress
    And then watch
    https://www.amazon.com/Shadowlands-Anthony-Hopkins/dp/B01GULKUDO/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1528506311&sr=1-2-fkmr0&keywords=the+shadowlands+lewis+tolkien

    Then you'd be on a better footing to understand it.

    As a summary, the Inklings held that ancient literature -- preChristian literature -- points to Christ. They were not the first to note that Socrates at times seems to be explaining Christianity to his disciples, even though he predates Christ by ~450 years.

    For example, in the Euthyphyro dialog (usually within Apologia) he asks if there is not a higher law than the 5th century BC gods of Greece. Or in the myth of the cave, he seems to be endorsing a spiritual world -- a heaven, if you will -- that is beyond this world, and from which this world would appear to be shadows and forms. (Lewis, incidentally, is often described as a Neoplatonist).

    As another example, consider the messianic aspect of Beowulf. It is a pre-Christian hero story that was later Christianized, but Beowulf himself is a Christ-Analog, a visitor/kinsman-redeemer from another place who sacrifices himself to overcome the fear of death and damnation that reigns in Hrothgar's halls. The Inklings maintained that the Christological aspect of Beowulf was no accident. &c.

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym Librarian
    The Christian aspects of Socrates are particularly noteworthy in the Jowett translations (Harvard Press) which are the primary English source for Socrates. Jowett tended to emphasize the Christian-sounding aspects, at times conflating Good and God. Thus Socrates sounds much more monotheistic in Jowett's versions.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Then you'd be on a better footing to understand it.

    Are you suggesting I buy those books and DVDs or whatever?! I have seen the Narnia films of course, but I don't see what they have to do with the word Gospel, which just means good news.

    As a summary, the Inklings held that ancient literature -- preChristian literature -- points to Christ.

    I thought it was only the Jews who had the Christ myth? Which Jesus and his assistants did their best to fulfil. Christ being a title.

     They were not the first to note that Socrates at times seems to be explaining Christianity to his disciples, even though he predates Christ by ~450 years.

    Well the concept was nothing new. Some humans have always tried to maintain and spread peace and goodwill, etc., while others continue to beat the **** out of each other, regardless. Christianity is just a name later tagged on to it. Nothing has changed, then.

    For example, in the Euthyphyro dialog (usually within Apologia) he asks if there is not a higher law than the 5th century BC gods of Greece. Or in the myth of the cave, he seems to be endorsing a spiritual world -- a heaven, if you will -- that is beyond this world, and from which this world would appear to be shadows and forms.

    It is possible that the story of Abraham predates 500 BC by hundreds if not thousands of years. No one can really put a date on it. But again, it was not a new concept.

     (Lewis, incidentally, is often described as a Neoplatonist).

    Serves him right.

    As another example, consider the messianic aspect of Beowulf. It is a pre-Christian hero story that was later Christianized,

    Who says so? Just what is Christian about it? Religion does not kill it.

     but Beowulf himself is a Christ-Analog, a visitor/kinsman-redeemer from another place who sacrifices himself to overcome the fear of death and damnation that reigns in Hrothgar's halls. The Inklings maintained that the Christological aspect of Beowulf was no accident. &c.

    What nonsense.

    How Do. Pull up a chair. Would you like a cup of tea? Don't sit in that chair!!
  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym Librarian
    Nonsense is where you find it Kevin.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    No, nonsense is nonsense. And have you never noticed that almost all your discussions lead to religion? Christianity is actually outnumbered by all the other religions, many of which are older.
    How Do. Pull up a chair. Would you like a cup of tea? Don't sit in that chair!!
  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym Librarian
    Since the subject of this thread is religion, it would make sense that it would lead to... religion... Are there threads that did NOT start off on a religious topic which I turned to religion? If so, which ones?


  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    But it's not about Christianity, as such.
    How Do. Pull up a chair. Would you like a cup of tea? Don't sit in that chair!!
  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym Librarian

    I see. And if I wrote a book about Lord Krshna, that would not be about Hinduism per se. Right?

    Or if I wrote a book about Lao Tze, I could omit all that Taoism for which he is famous, could I not?

    And if I were to write about Wellington, it wouldn't at all concern Napoleon, would it? Or if I wrote of Nelson, I wouldn't need to mention Trafalgar, would I? I could describe Pickett quite well omitting Gettysburg, of course, n'est-ce pas?

    Don't be silly, Kevin.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    The story in question, the one we started to discuss, is very pre-Jesus, and Christianity. Like a lot of SF it seems to be based on Paradise Lost which is based on stories that are very BC, and fiction in its own right (and very early SF seeing as it was written in 1667.) It cannot really be classed as religious or Christian, so it has nothing to do with it. It's very easy to write about religion or cults, though, without mentioning Jesus, as it's said he was around just 2,000 years ago. So hardly "silly," then.
    How Do. Pull up a chair. Would you like a cup of tea? Don't sit in that chair!!
  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym Librarian

    Kevin, listen to what you're saying here: Paradise Lost is based on stories that are very BC? Of course it is; all Christian writing is. We Christians endorse the Jewish writings that preceded us, as Christ Himself did. But Paradise Lost is a very very CHRISTIAN writing, written by a practicing Puritan, for the Christian Purpose of teaching about Christ in the sequel, Paradise Regained.

    You cannot possibly intend to divorce Paradise Lost from its Christian subject by calling it "Very BC," can you? Honestly, Kevin?

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Kevin, listen to what you're saying here: Paradise Lost is based on stories that are very BC? Of course it is; all Christian writing is.

    No it's not. Christ-ian ... Named after Jesus Christ.

    We Christians endorse the Jewish writings that preceded us, as Christ Himself did.

    You do? How do you explain the separate Jewish religion then? Judaism. Predating Christ is it not? By around 1800 years.

    But Paradise Lost is a very very CHRISTIAN writing, written by a practicing Puritan,

    It's irrelevant who wrote it, it was based around the time of Adam and Eve, from the OT, which is about as early as you can get in the Bible, which is very BC. He mentioned the Son of God, but not Jesus Christ at all. (And Christ was not a name but a title meaning Messiah, and not a few decades went by without the Jews thinking they had found one. "The Meaning of Life' is quite correct.)

     for the Christian Purpose of teaching about Christ in the sequel, Paradise Regained.

    There's no record to say he intended a sequel, but all the same, he dis not mention Jesus Christ in Paradise lost, and to be accurate he could not have done, because it was about before he was born. BC ...

    You cannot possibly intend to divorce Paradise Lost from its Christian subject by calling it "Very BC," can you? Honestly, Kevin?

    Err, obviously I can, because it's based on the Fall of Man, which is in the OT, (although never actually named the Fall of Man in it (and was Eve not a woman?)) ... Surely that is BC?

    How Do. Pull up a chair. Would you like a cup of tea? Don't sit in that chair!!
  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym Librarian

     When you are later tempted to ask why I'm telling you all of this, please do remember that you asked.

    First, I am not speculating when I say that Milton "intended" to write Paradise Regained... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradise_Regained

    He actually wrote it; the two works (lost and regained) are the same work in two parts. Hence my... incredulity... at your position...

    As to all Christian writing being based on Jewish writings... The Jewish sacred writings begin with the Torah. It is the central core of Judaism. The Talmud, which competes for length with the Encyclopedia Britannica, is a series of interwoven, overlapping, and recursive commentaries written around the central core of the Torah. Guess what work composes the first 5 books of the Christian Bible? Yes, the Torah.

    Guess what the Torah talks about? Yes, Jesus of Nazareth. You're tempted to say that that's silly because he post-dates the early dates for the Torah by at least 1300 years, and the latest possible dates for the Torah by 100 years (as confirmed by Flavius Josephus relating the tale of the Septaugint translation for Ptolemy).

    What can I possibly mean? Gasp. How dare I say that Yeshua of Nazareth is in the Torah? Gasp. Heart palpitation. Well, in the words of Elizabeth Browning, "Let me count the ways:"

    First, the Genesis 26 account of Abraham on Mt. Moriah. In the Roman era, Mt. Moriah was called Calvary (Latin, "Skull") or Golgotha (Aramaic, "Place of the Skull") because it resembled a skull when seen from Jerusalem. Stones quarried there were used to build the Old City and the Temple. In both the Genesis 26 account and the Gospels, there are a father and a son; the son is to be a sacrifice; the son carries the wood, there is an expectation of and faith in a resurrection; the son is "dead" over the course of three days (Abraham reached Moriah on the third day, and during that time counted Isaac as dead); There is a sacrifice performed; there is atonement as a result; there is a substitution (the ram for Isaac; Jesus "the lamb of God" for us)(sheep each time); and in each case, God provides his own sacrifice.

    Abraham predicts this to Isaac when Isaac asks where they will find the sacrificial animal, stating "Jehovah-Jireh" (YHWH-Jireh) ("The LORD will provide").

    So the otherwise perplexing event on Mt. Moriah is in fact a rather clear picture of Jesus' sacrificial atonement for mankind. Or there's Melchezidek. Abraham has just come from rescuing his nephew, who had been taken as a slave in a war between several groups of cities. As he approaches "Salem" (Aramaic for "Peace," Semetic root of Hebrew "Shalom" and Arabic "Salaam") he is met by Salem's King, Melchezidek, who brings him wine and bread, refreshing him. In the Gospel account of the last supper, it is not the King of Peace, but the Prince of Peace, who offers his followers bread and wine.

    Move to the Exodus account, and we see that a death sentence is pronounced on the firstborn of every house, man and animal alike. But those houses will be passed-over (hence the "Passover" holiday) which have the blood of a lamb on the doorposts. The blood is to be sopped up with a hyssop branch, which is used to mark the lintel and the doorposts of the door of the house. The blood on the lintel and the drippings on the threshold make a vertical line, and the marks on the doorposts a horizontal line, producing a cross.

    In the gospels, we find that Jesus is "the lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world." We find Him killed on a cross, like the bloodstains on the doors at Passover. We find that He is killed, but like the lamb eaten at Passover, not a bone of his body is broken.

    The group known as Jews for Jesus have a remarkable demonstration of the elements of the Passover traditional seder, and if you should have an opportunity to attend one, it would be well worth your while. You will see many symbols that only make sense in a Christian context... but we digress...

    I could go on about Jesus being the Second Adam (as Paul tells us in Romans) or Jesus fulfilling God's promise to crush the serpent's head in Genesis 3:15. I could drag you through the entire Torah, and then the entire Tanakh, showing you things like Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22, but I'll spare you this time. By now you're rolling your eyes anyway.

    So, to make a long story short, your argument that Jewish Traditions are not a part of Christian traditions fails rather badly. The first Christians were considered a sect of Judaism, like the Saducees or the Essenes. They were called "The Sect of the Way," after Jesus' remark in John 14:6.

    Yes, Christ is a title. It is the Romanized version of Maschiah or Messiah, which means "The Anointed One," and is, in context, God Incarnate. There were many claims to Messiahship, true -- but the existence of artificial Christmas trees doesn't mean that pines trees don't also exist.

    Finally, why is Judaism still a separate religion? Well, because not everyone chose to believe that Yeshua of Nazareth was the Maschiah predicted by all of the prophets, from Moses to Malachi. There were many of whom Jesus said, "Even if one were to rise from the dead, still they would not believe." And that appears to include you, Kevin.

    Remember... You asked.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    When you are later tempted to ask why I'm telling you all of this, please do remember that you asked.

    I asked why you consider Christianity to pre-date Christ, whom it is named after.

    First, I am not speculating when I say that Milton "intended" to write Paradise Regained... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradise_Regained

    He actually wrote it; the two works (lost and regained) are the same work in two parts. Hence my... incredulity... at your position...

    Lost was written and published first in 1667. Regained was written and published in 1671, a four year gap, for a works written at the same time? Lost was revised and republished in 1674, and that is the famous works. The revised Lost had twelve parts.

    As to all Christian writing being based on Jewish writings... The Jewish sacred writings begin with the Torah. It is the central core of Judaism. The Talmud, which competes for length with the Encyclopedia Britannica, is a series of interwoven, overlapping, and recursive commentaries written around the central core of the Torah. Guess what work composes the first 5 books of the Christian Bible? Yes, the Torah.

    No doubt it is because it built up the only one God concept. It would be hard to claim the importance of Jesus Christ with out that concept. But all the same it is not Christian by the post-BC understanding of the word. Although it is said it makes up the start of the Jewish Bible, not the Christian one, but no doubt the latter has to be based on it, until they finish translating the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Torah only predates Jesus by 1,300 years. Seems to be lot of 'history' missing somewhere then, which is a shame because 'religion' must have been around long before that.

    Guess what the Torah talks about? Yes, Jesus of Nazareth. You're tempted to say that that's silly because he post-dates the early dates for the Torah by at least 1300 years, and the latest possible dates for the Torah by 100 years (as confirmed by Flavius Josephus relating the tale of the Septaugint translation for Ptolemy).

    It must have been re-written after the fact then, like Bibles often are. Jesus is in the Five Books of Moses? He certainly is not in the Christian OT.

    What can I possibly mean? Gasp. How dare I say that Yeshua of Nazareth is in the Torah? Gasp. Heart palpitation. Well, in the words of Elizabeth Browning, "Let me count the ways:"

    First, the Genesis 26 account of Abraham on Mt. Moriah. In the Roman era, Mt. Moriah was called Calvary (Latin, "Skull") or Golgotha (Aramaic, "Place of the Skull") because it resembled a skull when seen from Jerusalem. Stones quarried there were used to build the Old City and the Temple. In both the Genesis 26 account and the Gospels, there are a father and a son; the son is to be a sacrifice; the son carries the wood, there is an expectation of and faith in a resurrection; the son is "dead" over the course of three days (Abraham reached Moriah on the third day, and during that time counted Isaac as dead); There is a sacrifice performed; there is atonement as a result; there is a substitution (the ram for Isaac; Jesus "the lamb of God" for us)(sheep each time); and in each case, God provides his own sacrifice.

    That's just her interpretation of it. Who says the lamb of god was literally not just the ram? There's 100s more interpretations..

    Abraham predicts this to Isaac when Isaac asks where they will find the sacrificial animal, stating "Jehovah-Jireh" (YHWH-Jireh) ("The LORD will provide").

    Err, the would have had sheep with them on their travels, and goats. Possibly just goats. They would have just gone and got one.

    So the otherwise perplexing event on Mt. Moriah is in fact a rather clear picture of Jesus' sacrificial atonement for mankind.

    No it's not, it's a post Jesus assumption by people wishing to promote the idea of Jesus and Christianity, which was eventually high-jacked by the Romans anyway.

     Or there's Melchezidek.

    Melchizedek?

     Abraham has just come from rescuing his nephew, who had been taken as a slave in a war between several groups of cities.

    According to many stories, Abraham's tribe were instructed by this One God to make war on any unbelievers they came across. Not very 'Christian,' but typical OT.

     As he approaches "Salem" (Aramaic for "Peace," Semetic root of Hebrew "Shalom" and Arabic "Salaam") he is met by Salem's King, Melchezidek, who brings him wine and bread, refreshing him. In the Gospel account of the last supper, it is not the King of Peace, but the Prince of Peace, who offers his followers bread and wine.

    Not the King of Righteousness then? But what was your point? One is OT and the other is NT.

    Move to the Exodus account, and we see that a death sentence is pronounced on the firstborn of every house, man and animal alike. But those houses will be passed-over (hence the "Passover" holiday) which have the blood of a lamb on the doorposts. The blood is to be sopped up with a hyssop branch, which is used to mark the lintel and the doorposts of the door of the house. The blood on the lintel and the drippings on the threshold make a vertical line, and the marks on the doorposts a horizontal line, producing a cross.

    The entire description sounds very 'Druidic' and possibly nonsense, just like the ten plagues, which there's no mention of in Egyptian history. There's no mention of Moses either.

    In the gospels, we find that Jesus is "the lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world."

    So? It just seems to be  a well-used metaphor.

     We find Him killed on a cross, like the bloodstains on the doors at Passover. We find that He is killed, but like the lamb eaten at Passover, not a bone of his body is broken.

    However, they did eat the lamb ... There's no records of the breaking  any of the crucified peoples' bones, and the Romans were very good at keeping records.

    The group known as Jews for Jesus have a remarkable demonstration of the elements of the Passover traditional seder, and if you should have an opportunity to attend one, it would be well worth your while. You will see many symbols that only make sense in a Christian context... but we digress...

    Indeed. Why on earth would I go to such a thing? It smacks of traditional paganism. All that's missing is the craven images.

    I could go on about Jesus being the Second Adam (as Paul tells us in Romans) or Jesus fulfilling God's promise to crush the serpent's head in Genesis 3:15. I could drag you through the entire Torah, and then the entire Tanakh, showing you things like Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22, but I'll spare you this time. By now you're rolling your eyes anyway.

    Indeed, because you will not have it that almost all Bibles have been re-written and 'adjusted' constantly to the whims of those in power, to increase their power. Have you read the actual Torah scrolls, or do you just take it on faith that they have been reproduced exactly to the letter?

    So, to make a long story short, your argument that Jewish Traditions are not a part of Christian traditions fails rather badly.

    I did not say they are not NOW part of them, I said that the OT is pre-Jesus and therefore not Christ-ian. Note how I split the word again. What goes on in the OT is also so far removed from being what is understood to be Christian behaviour that the One God could have been a demon. Or Abraham imbibing too many drugs. Nowadays people seek help for hearing voices.

    The first Christians were considered a sect of Judaism, like the Saducees or the Essenes. They were called "The Sect of the Way," after Jesus' remark in John 14:6.

    Well Jesus was a Jew. It was the pagan Romans who stole the idea of Peace and Light and turned it in to the religion most Christians follow, and it's caused more wars and fights since then, than oil has.

    Yes, Christ is a title. It is the Romanized version of Maschiah or Messiah, which means "The Anointed One," and is, in context, God Incarnate. There were many claims to Messiahship, true -- but the existence of artificial Christmas trees doesn't mean that pines trees don't also exist.

    The existence of real ones also does not mean that one of them is special.

    Finally, why is Judaism still a separate religion? Well, because not everyone chose to believe that Yeshua of Nazareth was the Maschiah predicted by all of the prophets, from Moses to Malachi. There were many of whom Jesus said, "Even if one were to rise from the dead, still they would not believe." And that appears to include you, Kevin.

    Based on the say so of one woman, who religious bodies seem to insist on discrediting her by calling her a prostitute. However, it is a trick many magicians can do. But they usually return to the stage and bow. In those days they were not very advanced at working out if some one was really dead or not.

    Remember... You asked.

    I did? Anyway, it is hard to argue with Faith. Last word, me thinks.  :)

    How Do. Pull up a chair. Would you like a cup of tea? Don't sit in that chair!!
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