Category Archives: Video Games

“Where the Dead Go to Die” — First Impressions

Having been bitten by the horror bug once again, tonight I found myself in the mood for a scary story, and looked up one I heard about 2 years ago: Where the Dead Go to Die (2012). A horror anthology about children who are taken to Hell by a demon dog.

Having heard that Where the Dead Go is one of the most graphic, horrifying anything ever…

…my curiosity was piqued.

Turns out, my curiously needn’t have bothered. Where the Dead Go is awful in ways it isn’t trying to be.

For starters: The demon dog’s voice is nails-on-a-chalkboard annoying. Watching it tempt a little boy, all I could think of is Kindergarten Cop (1990):

One thing that makes demons creepy is that they tell you what you want to hear in a way you want to hear it.

What father wants to kill his daughter?

But this?

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I’d rather staple my ears shut than listen to this he-bitch for more than 5 seconds.

Second: Where the Dead Go is an eyesore.

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A YouTube comment put it well: “This is like ReBoot on acid.”

But ReBoot — being the first computer animated TV series — has an excuse for its (by today’s standards) poor animation.

Where the Dead Go, having been made in 2012, has no excuse.

This is how far animation had progressed… by 2008:

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WALL-E

If the creator of Where the Dead Go didn’t care enough about his work to make it look the best it could, than why should I care at all?

Finally: Nothing means anything.

If what I’ve read is true, the “horrifying” events in Where the Dead Go are just there for the sake of being there; there’s no deeper meaning to anything that I’m seeing.

When I read that what I’m seeing is just there for the sake of being there, I feel like I’m being trolled.

To go back to Evil Dead (2013): One aspect of that film that I like is that aspects of the story are left up to the viewer’s interpretation. The film isn’t just blood and gore for the sake of blood and gore.

In conclusion:

“Worthless” is the first word that comes to mind when I think of Where the Dead Go.

I could be playing Doom right now. But I just had to talk about Where the Dead Go

Thankfully, that’s a mistake I don’t have to live with.

I’m off to “Rip and tear, until it is done.”

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Responding To Richard Dawkins: Part 2

The Closet Atheist‘s 31 favorite quotes from The God Delusion, and my first thoughts upon reading each them.

Part 2: 17 — 31

“Do people never open the book that they believe is the literal truth? Why don’t they notice these glaring contradictions?” p. 94

81 “Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit.”42

“And [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. It transmits it to the successors of the apostles so that, enlightened by the Spirit of truth, they may faithfully preserve, expound and spread it abroad by their preaching.”43

82 As a result the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, “does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence.”44
~ Catechism of the Catholic Church

All of this is to say that, as a Catholic: While I do believe that the Bible is Truth, it is not the only source of Truth. Like a male and a female, Scripture and tradition make no sense on their own but, together, make more sense. And the “contradictions” in Scripture, like the fact that no one is perfect, don’t take away from the beauty and truth that results when two become one…

Woman1

“It is an essential part of the scientific enterprise to admit ignorance, even to exult in ignorance as a challenge to future conquests.” p. 125

“One of the truly bad effects of religion is that it teaches us that it is a virtue to be satisfied with not understanding.” p. 126

I’ll do these two at the same time.

On the one hand, Richard Dawkins, you say that, when it comes to the study of nature, it is “essential” to admit ignorance, even exult in it — take it as a challenge.

But then you lament that, when it comes to one’s study of God, a person could ever be satisfied with not understanding something.

It sounds like you’re essentially saying “Ignorance for me but not for thee.”

Which makes you sound like a hypocrite.

And why would I listen to a hypocrite?

“. . . Design certainly does not work as an explanation for life, because design is ultimately not cumulative and it therefore raises bigger questions than it answers – it takes us straight back along the . . . ultimate regress.” p. 141

To look through a telescope or a microscope in the hope of one day declaring “There is no God” is like trying to disprove the existence of a woman by studying her newborn baby.

On another note: The Catholic Church’s take on life and where life comes from.

“Some educated individuals may have abandoned religion, but all were brought up in a religious culture from which they had to make a conscious decision to depart. The old Northern Ireland joke, ‘Yes, but are you a Protestant atheist or a Catholic atheist?’ is spiked with bitter truth.” p. 166

I agree.

“The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.” p. 167, George Bernard Shaw

I agree.

“A great deal of the opposition to the teaching of evolution has no connection with evolution itself, or with anything scientific, but is spurred on by moral outrage.” p. 211

I agree.

“If you agree that, in the absence of God, you would ‘commit robbery, rape, and murder’, you reveal yourself as an immoral person, ‘and we would be well advised to steer a wide course around you.’” p. 227 (quoted partially from Michael Shermer)

I agree.

“To be fair, much of the Bible is not systematically evil but just plain weird. . .” p. 237

To quote Bob Dylan: “Don’t criticize what you can’t understand.”

“Why should a divine being, with creation and eternity on his mind, care a fig for petty human malefactions? We humans give ourselves such airs, even aggrandize from our poky little ‘sins’ to the level of cosmic significance!” p. 238

Why should a divine being care about humanity?

You just said why: because he’s got creation and eternity on his mind.

And if a cosmic being does care about us, is it not logical for us to care about our “sins” that offend him?

“It is, when you think about it, remarkable that a religion should adopt an instrument of torture and execution as its sacred symbol, often worn around the neck.” p. 251

Here is something to supplement your thinking.

“The idea that baptizing an unknowing, uncomprehending child can change him from one religion to another at a stroke seems absurd – but it is surely not more absurd than labeling a tiny child as belonging to any religion in the first place.” p. 315

What about labeling that same child an atheist? Is that not “absurd” as well?

And if a child, through the use of their reason and as a result of their own research, one day says “I believe there is a god,” will you see them as “absurd”? Because, if you will — if, in your eyes, everyone who is not a non-believer is a fool — I fail to see this decency that you claim to have as an atheist since, to you, everyone who is not an atheist is a lesser human being; absurd, as opposed to not absurd.

“The faithful are encouraged to profess belief, whether they are convinced by it or not. […]” p. 352-53

Having attended church every weekend of my life (when I wasn’t sick or otherwise not able to make it) I can say that not once have I ever been encouraged to just say I believe. So I don’t know where such a claim is coming from.

On a related note:

“…do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.”
~ Matthew 23:3

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven…”
~ Matthew 7:21

“I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it. p. 354 (Mark Twain)

I wouldn’t say I fear death, either.

It’s what might come after death that keeps me up at night.

“The atheist view is correspondingly life-affirming and life-enhancing, while at the same time never being tainted with self-delusion, wishful thinking, or the whingeing self-pity of those who feel that life owes them something.” p. 361

Isn’t it wishful thinking to say that atheism will never be “tainted with self-delusion… or the whingeing self-pity of those who feel that life owes them something”?

After all: History is full of examples of people thinking “___ will never happen.”

One example being:

Titanic

In Conclusion

“Baby’s First Atheism” are the words that come to kind when I think of The God Delusion. Take of that what you will.

There is more I could say about Richard Dawkins’ words, but this post was just me expressing my first impression of his views.

For now, my final words on Richard Dawkins are these:

Atheism strikes me as, for lack of better words, a terribly boring view of life.

To me, renouncing all belief in anything supernatural is the equivalent of choosing to watch paint dry all day, every day, for the rest of my days.

If I were to live in a world with absolutely nothing associated with anything supernatural — i.e., Richard Dawkins’ dream world — I would be denying myself pieces of art like this:

God’s Not Dead 3 — Here We Go Again

Thoughts on A First Look at the Newest Movie in the GOD’S NOT DEAD Franchise:

I find it ironic that the subtitle of God’s Not Dead 3 (out March 30, 2018) is A Light In Darkness, seeing as how, if secular and Christian reviews are anything to judge by, neither of the previous two “God’s Not Dead” films were the light in the darkness that Christian art is supposed to be (Matthew 5: 14 — 16):

“To say God’s Not Dead preaches to the choir would be an understatement. It’s the pastor, staring in a mirror, preaching to himself.”
~ The A.V. Club

“There are serious movies about the Christian faith, about the persecution of the faithful, and about the intolerance that goes both ways. ‘God’s Not Dead 2’ is not one of them.”
~ www.rogerebert.com

“But on the whole, this movie really isn’t worth anyone’s time. And it’s startling to see that this film, of all films, has been so richly rewarded by the ‘faith-based market’. I shudder to think of what this bodes for the future of the genre.”
~ Peter Chattaway, God’s Not Dead

What the world needs is art that portrays goodness, truth, and beauty, regardless of where that goodness, truth, and beauty comes from.

“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.”
~ Philippians 4:8

If you want more proof that the “God’s Not Dead” series is lacking goodness, truth, and beauty, this is the reaction an atheist (Mark) has to his girlfriend (Amy) telling him she has cancer:

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Way to not read your catechism, Catholic screenwriters:

“Although it is proper to each individual, original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam’s descendants. It is a deprivation of original holiness and justice, but human nature has not been totally corrupted: it is wounded in the natural powers proper to it, subject to ignorance, suffering and the dominion of death, and inclined to sin – an inclination to evil that is called “concupiscence.” Baptism, by imparting the life of Christ’s grace, erases original sin and turns a man back towards God, but the consequences for nature, weakened and inclined to evil, persist in man and summon him to spiritual battle.” (Emphasis mine.)
~ Catechism of the Catholic Church, Section 405

To me, no Christian who believes that a character like Mark is an accurate representation of an atheist has a leg to stand on when they criticize secular films for having one-dimensional Christian characters.

On a related note:

“The realistic, gritty atmosphere created by screenwriter/director Paul Thomas Anderson and actor Daniel Day-Lewis as Daniel Plainview is tremendous. It is practically ruined, however, by Anderson’s evil caricature of Eli, the revenge-minded preacher, and the over-the-top, unrealistic performance of Paul Dano as Eli. In fact, THERE WILL BE BLOOD is one of the most mean-spirited, anti-Christian, superficial, and poorly played portrayals of religion ever created in movie history. God knows there have been plenty of insincere, sinful leaders in the Christian church, but there have also been many good Christians who have exposed and opposed such false leaders. The short length of most feature films often require stereotypes, even negative ones, to tell a good story, but when they are so mean-spirited, superficial and poorly played as this one is, they appeal only to narrow-minded bigots with an ax to grind, whose mental faculties and hearts have been poisoned by their sinful misanthropic prejudice. (Emphasis mine.)
~ Movieguide’s review of There Will Be Blood

Now let’s see what Movieguide thought of God’s Not Dead:

“There are a lot of stories in GOD’S NOT DEAD, but they work because they end up in the same place. The direction and acting are very good. The ending is terrific. GOD’S NOT DEAD is a powerful evangelistic movie. Even better, the entertainment value transcends the message. Viewers won’t be bored. They will be enlightened and inspired by GOD’S NOT DEAD.”

You reap what you sow. If you (Christians) don’t want to be seen as one-dimensional bad guys by non-Christians, than don’t make non-Christians one-dimensional bad guys.

In the universe of “God’s Not Dead,” atheists are devoid of empathy and compassion. Which reminds me of 0:26 — 0:48:

I don’t have high hopes for God’s Not Dead 3.

In conclusion:

If you’re looking for goodness, truth, and beauty — something to put a smile on your face; something to help light your way through the darkness — here are some pieces of art that do that for me (feel free to leave your own down in the comments):

“Caramella Girls” by Miku Hatsune

I like that to think that, when God confused peoples’ language at the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11: 1 — 9), it was so that, one day, mankind would be able to listen to a Japanese pop star sing a song in Swedish.

“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”
~ Isaiah 55:12

“Obstacles” by Syd Matters

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
~ Proverbs 27:17

“Bataille Decisive” (“Decisive Battle”) from Neon Genesis Evangelion (“The Gospel of the New Century”)

“And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”
~ Matthew 25:40

Interstellar (2014)

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”
~ Psalm 19:1

“May the beauty which you pass on to generations still to come be such that it will stir them to wonder! Faced with the sacredness of life and of the human person, and before the marvels of the universe, wonder is the only appropriate attitude.”
Saint John Paul II’s Letter to Artists

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Life Is Strange (2015)

“…let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
~ Matthew 5:14 — 16

And:

Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)

“To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”
~ 1 Corinthians 12:7

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Why Christians Should Give “Kiki’s Delivery Service” A Chance

A Catholic Responding To An Atheist Responding To Lutheranism

Excerpts from A Look At Luther’s Small Catechism by The Closet Atheist, and my thoughts:

“And make it very plain to [parents] what an awful harm they are doing if they will not help to train children to be pastors, preachers, clerks . . . and that God will punish them terribly for it.”

So every child must be a pastor, preacher, or clerk?

I understand being a “preacher” in the sense that one is willing to share their faith when the circumstance calls for it. After all:

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
~ 1 Peter 3:15

Otherwise: Being boxed into three roles feels, for lack of a better word, limiting. A child can’t grow up to be, for example, a writer?

I was raised to believe that… trans people were disgusting, and… should be avoided.

Hmm. What does Jesus say about avoiding others and seeing certain people as “disgusting”?

“And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'”
~ Matthew 25:40

In case, after reading my post that deals with total depravity, you didn’t believe that there are Christians who really believe that we are “worthy of none of the things for which we pray” and “deserve nothing but punishment,” well, here is your proof.

*raises hand*

I believe.

This probably disgusts me more than anything else, especially when we are still urged to pray for what we want, even after being told that we don’t deserve to have our prayers answered. At the same time though, this teaches that no matter how bad we are, God will still give us everything we pray for (because of grace)…

What’s so bad about not deserving anything, really?

If I told you that I had told my girlfriend “I deserve sex,” you’d (probably) justifiably think This guy is a misogynist.

Granted, that is an extreme example.

But my point is: When we go around saying “I deserve ___,” that can lead one down a dark path…

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Photo by Pavel Tereshkovets.

Regarding praying for what one wants:

Not all prayers will be answered. And even if they are, not always in the way that one wanted, or in a way that is immediately clear.

Why? Because:

Ideally, a prayer isn’t a person saying “Do ___, ___, and ___ for me and I’ll continue to love you and serve you, God.”

Ideally, a prayer is: “God, please do ___, ___, and ___ for me. But, trusting that you see what I cannot, and trusting that you have the best interests of humanity at heart, not my will, but your will, be done.”

…we’re told to do good unto others, when, after all, we can’t be good, only God can. So why try?

We “can’t be good” in the sense that, despite the good we do, we will always, to some extent, fall short.

No one is perfect.

Which is why there are signs like this:

Sign3

Just because I’m not perfect doesn’t mean I can’t still strive for perfection, though.

To bring up my girlfriend again: Just because I can’t see the world from her perspective — just because I can’t be her — doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t try and empathize with her.*

I am reminded of a quote:

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark.”
~ Michelangelo

1:55 — 3:01:

“What is the Sacrament of the Altar?

It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, under the bread and wine, for us Christians to eat and to drink, instituted by Christ Himself.”

This is just gross and weird. I don’t have anything else to say about it.

Hmm. To give my two cents:

In the desert, God gave his people bread to eat.

Since Jesus is one of the three aspects of God, eating his body is the evolution of that act: No longer are people eating bread that God sent down from Heaven to sustain their life — now people are eating God himself, who has come down from Heaven to be the bread that will sustain them.

I am reminded of the starving passengers in Snowpiercer (2013). Running low on food after scrambling to board a train that is the only hope for survival, the passengers, in their hunger, eventually resort to cannibalism. One of the passengers, seeing that a baby is about to be eaten, cuts off his own arm and says “Give me the child. If you’re so hungry, eat this instead.”

What Jesus is saying when he offers us himself is:

“Do not eat yourselves. Eat me instead.”

The hunger Jesus wants to satisfy is not physical, but spiritual.

*I actually don’t have a girlfriend. 😥

The Dream Lives: Thoughts On Emi’s Arc

Earlier today I completed Emi’s arc in the visual novel Katawa Shoujo.

As far as I can tell, I got the Good Ending: Emi and I are a happy couple.

But it’s the way we’re happy that leaves me thinking Is this really “Good”?

To explain:

When Emi and Hisao first kissed, I felt like this:

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“Natural” is the word I would use to describe everything leading up to that point. I had been worried that Katawa Shoujo would be nothing more than a male fantasy of women just throwing themselves at a guy. And I was glad that I was being proven wrong.

And, after that kiss, when Hisao’s and Emi’s relationship become more physical, though I didn’t agree with them having sex, I understood why it was happening. The sequence of events that led up to them becoming intimate had me thinking That makes sense.

It was only after Hisao and Emi started experimenting sexually — specifically: trying anal sex — that I finally thought OK. This is turning into what I was worried Katawa Shoujo would be. And though I believe I have an understanding of that now, in the end Emi’s arc leaves me disappointed.

I don’t really know how to continue at this point since my head is still in a whirl, so here in no particular order are the thoughts currently going through my head:

  1. For a woman who is afraid to open up to others, Emi certainly comes prepared for “opening up to others.”
  2. Despite their words of love and trust, Emi and Hisao still aren’t opening up to each other. At least, not  physically. What I mean is: When it comes to their souls, they are wearing no protection — there is nothing holding them back from sharing the deepest parts of themselves.
    Image result for katawa shoujo hisao emi
    Not so when it comes to their bodies. When it comes to their bodies, their mindset is “Don’t let too much out.” It comes across as dishonest. Like they’re saying “I love you. Not all of you, though.”
    Image result for man and woman usb port comic
  3. Emi’s arc was, to me, 10 minutes too long. If it had ended with Hisao and Emi embracing in front of her father’s grave, comforted by the knowledge that nothing would ever keep them apart, that would’ve been perfect. Instead, they go back to Emi’s dorm room for another night of sex. Which makes me think What would their relationship be like without the sex?
  4. The end of Emi’s arc made me appreciate a story like Life Is Strange more. In Life Is Strange, my love for my best friend Chloe was platonic. I chose not to kiss her because I didn’t want to feel like, from that point on, my relationship with Chloe was defined by that kiss — defined by a desire to be physically satisfied by her — instead of defined by a desire for Chloe’s well-being.
    Life is Strange37
  5. I wanted to love Emi’s arc. And for 6 of those 8 hours, I did. Those last two hours still had a lot that I loved. But, also much that I did not.
  6. Maybe I’m asking too much of a dating sim like Katawa Shoujo. Only time will tell whether I’m right or wrong.
  7. Don’t fail me now, fanfiction! *Starts writing own Emi arc*

A Catholic Responds To Christian Apologetics

Note #1: Language.

Note #2: Contains spoilers for Life Is Strange.

Thank you to The Closet Atheist for inspiring me to write this.

Below are excerpts from her post Apologetics 101: Lesson 1 and the thoughts I had while reading them:

Postmodernism says there is no objective truth or reality, but rather, reality is whatever we’re feeling

And?

I mean, it’s good to have some definition of a word, but on its own that does nothing to reassure me that the god of the Bible is who he says he is.

Secularists treat life as if it has no value

This is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard. It’s basically saying “You can’t be good without God.” And that’s just not true. Why? Because: Atheists are just as capable as Christians of having empathy and showing compassion. Which, ironically, the Bible itself points out: “He has put eternity in the human heart.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11) Not the Christian heart — the human heart.

You don’t have to say “Jesus is lord!” in order to fight to defend your country from fascists. You don’t have to say “Jesus is lord!” in order to slip $5 into the hand of a homeless person. You don’t have to say “Jesus is lord!” in order to cry at the funeral for a family member.

I could go on, but I’ll stop there.

We all have a “God-hole” that can’t be filled by stuff

I agree.

In life, we’re always wanting more.

To repeat what I said in Is Humanity Pagan?:

There is no climax to end all climaxes.

Without God, man tries to rise to become a god himself

As someone who struggles with pride, I can tell you for a fact that, even with God, “man tries to rise to become a god himself[.]”

Money can’t save us; it hasn’t fixed poverty or other problems of our world, so why should we expect it to? (note: neither has prayer)

I agree that money is, ultimately, not the solution to societal ills like poverty. A change of mindset is. Throwing money at a person who isn’t motivated to make their own isn’t going to lift that person out of their circumstances.

And prayer by itself won’t save us, either. Because:

“Faith without works is dead.” (James 2:26)

The reason why people don’t believe in God is because they don’t want to be obedient

I wouldn’t be surprised if that was some person’s reason for not wanting to believe in a power higher than themselves.

But, if you actually talk to atheists (like the Bible says to do — Matthew 5:14 — 16) you’ll find that that is not the case for everyone.

A Christian college can’t make you a godly person

I agree.

On a related note: 5 Insane Realities At My Fundamentalist Christian College

Revelation from God provides a “truth detector” from error and falsehood which arise from a man-made doctrinal base

I agree.

It’s hard discerning what is an apparent “Revelation from God” and what is, in fact, nonsense someone pulled out of their ass.

The world’s knowledge is limited by the mind of man and his imagination, while the mind of God is infinite and unlimited

I agree. We don’t know it all.

How boring would life be if we did?

When you’re trapped on a desert island, it’s more useful to have a Bible than fire (I think this was implied but not directly stated)

Depends: Is the island overrun with White Walkers?

Seriously, though: Depending on the circumstances, if I had to choose between a Bible or fire, I’d pick fire.

For example: If the person I’m stranded with is going to die of exposure before they have a chance to hear the Good News, unless there’s a miracle, a Bible isn’t going to warm them up.

Morality is objective and comes from the Bible

Which version of the Bible are we talking about here?

Because if it’s the King James Bible, you’re telling me that for over 1,611 years (at least) people didn’t know that killing your neighbor isn’t generally something you should do? It’s a wonder anyone lasted long enough to hear such a revelation…

Seriously, though: While I consider the Bible to be the source of much of what I consider moral, morality does not come from the pages of the Bible alone.

What I mean when I say that is: You don’t have to look long to find codes of conduct that predate, or come after, the words written in the Bible.

Regarding morality: There’s a reason the 10 Commandments say “Thou shalt not kill” and not “Never kill” — because there are circumstances where the moral thing to do is kill.

If a bullet is the only way to save a mother and her child from the person who has invaded their home, than pull the trigger.

Mormon beliefs and practices are really bizarre (because Christianity is so not bizarre?)

Why single out Mormons?

And I agree: Christianity can be bizarre.

But, you know what? Life is strange, so a strange worldview suits me just fine.

Don’t be a “silent witness”; rather, go up to people and start a conversation in order to find what makes them tick so that you can try to convert them to Christianity

Let your actions speak louder than your words.

A lot of people don’t believe that they’re lost and think they’re a good person

I don’t believe anyone is “lost.”

We’re all on a journey, even if we don’t know for sure what is at the top of the mountain we’re climbing.

Keep seeking what is good, true, and beautiful, and I believe you will one day find yourself in the presence of the creator of all that is good, true, and beautiful.

“Holy tension” is when the Bible doesn’t make sense like when Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt (but if God wants to do things like that, then He can)

I thought Lot’s wife turning to salt made sense. God said “Don’t do the thing.” And what did Lot’s wife do? She did the thing.

On the other hand: Why a pillar of salt? God has infinite options for condemning disobedience, and that’s what He goes with? OK.

Unbelievers will be encouraged to examine the evidence for theism

I agree.

The question is: For what purpose?

Liberals relegate scripture as myth, legend, or fable in order to discount the veracity of the Bible

Examples of “Liberals” please.

“The skies declare His glory – HAVE YOU LOOKED AT THE SKY?” (Checkmate, atheists!)

The beauty of the world is one reason I believe in a god.

But: Different strokes for different folks.

You can’t change people’s minds, only the Holy Spirit can do that; you can only point them in the right direction

I believe that God, being God, allows all things to be possible since all things, ultimately, have their source in Him.

However: I don’t see how a person will come to believe in God without using their free will. After all: Just like how you can’t force someone to love you, you can’t force someone to believe in you. Which it sounds like what the Holy Spirit is doing here — flipping the “I believe in God” switch in your brain itself.

“The virgin birth is true because God” (I specifically pointed out to myself in my notes that this was a direct quote from my teacher)

*Groan*

Noah’s Ark is hard to understand, but we can believe it, because believing something comes before understanding it, not the other way around

I agree. Sometimes, it’s necessary to take a leap of faith.

For example: If I’m slowly dying, and my best friend says they’re going to help me, than for the sake of our friendship I’m going to trust that the person who says “I have your best interests at heart” really does have my best interests at heart. After all: I don’t want to lose my best friend like Max lost Chloe:

For more: Chloe, Euthanasia, and Seeing All Ends

We don’t understand wind either, but we believe that it’s there because we can see its effects!

Really? That’s the best you can do?

One difference between God and the wind: Wind destroys mindlessly, and God does not.

Hurricane Harvey wasn’t sentient; it wasn’t aware that it was passing through Houston.

I want my tuition money back.

13 Reasons Why: How To Talk About Suicide?

Recently, a study came out showing that 13 Reasons Why was potentially responsible for an increase in suicidal thoughts:

’13 Reasons Why’ may have lead to spike in suicidal thoughts

13 Reasons Why

Which caused me to think about Kate’s suicide in Life Is Strange.

Even though the scene goes against the World Health Organization’s guidelines for portraying suicide — i.e., don’t show the suicide attempt (don’t show Kate going through with it) — the reason I myself am OK with that, is this:

People have the chance to prevent Kate’s death.

There’s nothing stopping a person from replaying the scene with Kate on the roof until they get the outcome they want.

Life is Strange22

Which is why I believe that, when it comes to portraying heavy issues like suicide, episodic games like Life Is Strange are better at it than television series like 13 Reasons Why because, ultimately, the choices a character makes, and how characters respond to those choices, are up to the viewer/player, not up to a writer who could have a different interpretation than you of the story you’re experiencing:

From the very beginning, I agreed that we should depict the suicide with as much detail and accuracy as possible. I even argued for it—relating the story of my own suicide attempt to the other writers.
Nic Sheff

To an extent not possible with a Netflix series, an episodic video game’s story is only as harmful as the person experiencing that story allows it to be.

For example: Want to send the message that, when it comes to suicide, it is not others, but the suicidal person themselves, who is responsible for their actions?* Don’t wait for anyone else to say so; send that message yourself by pressing Square:

Life is Strange48

*Where the show romanticizes the aftermath of suicide, it also blames everyone in Hannah’s life.
How ’13 Reasons Why’ gets suicide wrong