Movie Reviews: GOG2 & Wonder Woman 


I have seen three movies so far in theaters.  This was one of them.  And I will say that of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) it is different enough from the super hero ones to be very enjoyable.  And it doesn’t hurt that it has a kicking soundtrack.  And the dancing baby Groot is one of the highlights.  There are adult language and conversations in the film especially one involving Ego and Drax that may want you not to bring too young of children to the movie.  I give it four stars.


This was the second movie that I saw in a theater.  Cast, writing, direction all great.  The only what I would call semi serious criticism I have heard regarding this movie is that’s too Captain America.  But since the original Wonder Woman comic came out during World War 2 just like Captain America’s comic  you would expect some similarities.  And they tried to off set that by having Wonder Woman fight in World War 1.  Now the only other thing I would add to this is that of all the recent DC movies they really got this one right.  It would be great if they could continue this trend.  I give this movie five stars.

Catechism 


What else does Christ’s death redeem?

    Christ’s death is the beginning of the redemption and renewal of every part of fallen creation, as he powerfully directs all things for his own glory and creation’s good.

    Colossians 1:19–20

    For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

    Theology Thursday: Five Myths about the Ancient Heresy of Gnosticism


    Written by Michael J. Kruger on December 20, 2016

    In the world of biblical studies, at least among some critical scholars, Gnosticism has been the darling for sometime now.  Especially since the discovery of the so-called “Gnostic Gospels” at Nag Hammadi in 1945, scholars have sung the praises of this alternative version of Christianity.

    Gnosticism  was a heretical version of Christianity that burst on the scene primarily in the second century and gave the orthodox Christians a run for their money.  And it seems that some scholars look back and wish that the Gnostics had prevailed.

    After all, it is argued, traditional Christianity was narrow, dogmatic, intolerant, elitist, and mean-spirited, whereas Gnosticism was open-minded, all-welcoming, tolerant and loving.  Given this choice, which would you choose?

    While this narrative about free-spirited Gnosticism being sorely oppressed by those mean and uptight orthodox Christians might sound rhetorically compelling, it simply isn’t borne out by the facts.  So, here are five claims often made about Gnosticism that prove to be more myth than reality:

    Myth #1:  Gnosticism was more popular than traditional Christianity.

    Time and again we are told that Gnostics were just as widespread as orthodox Christians, and that their books were just as popular too (if not more so).  The reason they did not prevail in the end is because they were oppressed and forcibly stamped out by the orthodox party who had gained power through Constantine.

    But, this is simply not the case.  All the evidence suggests that it was “the Great Church” (in the language of the pagan critic Celsus) that dominated the earliest Christian centuries, long before Constantine.  Moreover, Gnostic writings were not nearly as popular as those which became canonical, as can be seen by the number of manuscripts they left behind.  For example, we have more copies of just the Gospel of John from the first few centuries than we have of all apocryphal works combined.

    Myth #2: Gnosticism was more inclusive and open-minded than traditional Christianity.

    A popular perception of Gnostics is that they lacked the elitist mentality of traditional Christianity. They were the accepting ones, we are told.

    But, again, it seems that reality might have actually been the opposite. Most people don’t realize that Gnostics were not interested in salvation for everybody. On the contrary, they regarded salvation as something only for the “spiritually elite.”

    As Hultgren affirms, “The attitude of these Gnostics was elitist to the extreme, since they held that only one in a thousand or two in ten thousand are capable of knowing the secrets [of salvation]” (Normative Christianity, 99).

    Myth #3: Gnosticism more accurately reflects the teachings of the historical Jesus than traditional Christianity.

    Some have argued that if you want to know the real Jesus, the historical Jesus, then Gnostic writings (like the Gospel of Thomas) give you a more reliable picture.

    The problems with such a claim are manifold, but I will just mention one: Gnostics were not that interested in the historical Jesus.  For Gnostics, what mattered was not the apostolic tradition handed down but rather their current religious experience with the risen Jesus (Jonathan Cahana, “None of Them Knew Me or My Brothers: Gnostic Anti-Traditionalism and Gnosticism as a Cultural Phenomenon,” Journal of Religion, 94 [2014]: 49-73).

    In other words, Gnostics were concerned much less about the past and much more about the present.

    This sort of “existential” approach to religion may be popular in our modern culture where experience rules the day and religion is viewed as entirely private.  But it doesn’t help you recover what really happened in history. If you want to know what happened in history, the canonical Gospels have always been the best sources.

    Myth #4:  Gnosticism was more favorable towards women than traditional Christianity.

    This is a big one. Popular perceptions are that the orthodox Christians oppressed women, but the Gnostics liberated them.  But, again, the truth is not so simple.

    On the contrary, the historical evidence suggests that women flocked to traditional Christianity in droves. Indeed, they may have outnumbered the men almost two to one. Rodney Stark in his book The Triumph of Christianity argues that this is because Christianity proved to be a very welcoming, healthy, and positive environment for women.

    It is also worth noting that some of the Gnostic leaders’ supposedly pro-woman stance is not all it is cracked up to be.  The Valentinian Gnostic Marcus was actually known for bringing women into the movement so that he could sexually seduce them (Irenaeus, Haer. 1.13.5).

    Moreover, the Gnostic view of women seemed particularly negative if one considers the final verse in the Gospel of Thomas: “For every female who makes herself male will enter the kingdom of Heaven” (logion 114).  It is hard to see this as an endorsement of women!

    Myth #5: Gnosticism was more positive towards human sexuality than traditional Christianity.

    A final myth about Gnosticism is that it was pro-sex and that traditional Christianity was anti-sex.  In other words, Gnostics celebrated sexuality and traditional Christians were puritanical prudes.

    Again, the reality is very different. While some Gnostics were quite sexually licentious (as noted above with Marcus), a large strain of the movement was utterly against sex. Indeed, much of the movement advocated a harsh asceticism and celibacy.

    For example, the Book of Thomas states, “Woe unto you who love the sexual intercourse that belongs to femininity and its foul cohabitation. And woe unto you who are gripped by the authorities of your bodies; for they will afflict you.”

    While many orthodox Christians certainly viewed celibacy positively, it was always regarded as voluntary. Marriage, and sex within marriage, was celebrated and viewed as a gift from God.

    In sum, popular perceptions about Gnosticism are just that, popular perceptions.  And thus they do not necessarily have a basis in history.  As we have seen here, the real Gnosticism was very different. And it reminds us that perhaps Gnosticism failed not because it was politically oppressed by those crafty orthodox folks, but because it simply proved to be less attractive to those in the earliest centuries who were seeking to follow Christ.

    Earworm Wednesday: Mike Massé ~ America (Simon and Garfunkel) 


    So I see this commercial all the time where this family takes a road trip because of the dying request of their grandfather who wanted to see America but time and other things made it impossible.  And this is the song playing as this car commercial does its level best to wring all the emotional content it can and maybe bring a tear to your eyes. 

     So I give you Mike Massé, Sterling Cottam, and Jeff Hall singing America. 

    Monday, monday 


    Ah technology how wonderful it is.  Just a FYI gentle readers no matter what they say, no matter how shiny and new it all is, count on no less than 48 hours to one week to get everything switched over when transferring from one smart phone to the next.  But that isn’t what I wanted to talk to you today.  Officially I am off hiatus the wife is back to semi normal so I can devote time to the blog.

    Now I know that Mondays have been devoted to movie reviews and I have an amusing story regarding that.  As you know Sunday was Father’s Day.  And my son wanting to the Dad/Son thing decided to take me out to the movies.  Now we had seen most of the new releases so our choice was limited,  Seeing that we decided to see the latest Johnny Depp/Pirate movie.  Well we are about two-thirds through the thing when the fire alarm goes off and the building is evacuated.  My son being the good man that he is saw me to my car first before going to his.  I love that boy.  But in regards to the movie, well it was drabbing awful.  And I speculate that someone pulled the alarm to keep our brains from leaking out our ears.  So my recommendation is to skip that movie and go see something else.

    And speaking of drabbing awful it amazes me sometimes the people who follow me in twitter.  Some I just block, immediately some well they are subtle in their awfulness.  Take for instance a fellow that goes by Balm of Gilead.  He tweeted that we must die an perish in the lake of fire removing the vapor of our lives to leave behind the substance of Christ.  It’s not often that I am gob smacked on twitter but he did it.  So I told him to check his theology one thing led to another and I find out that he is a gnostic.  But not the old gnostic he is gnostic 2.0 He experiences his theology.  Can’t stand that I use quotes from commentaries and confessions not to mention the Bible itself to disprove his heterodoxical views.  I use words he, being so much more enlightened {he really is like the old gnostics isn’t he} uses experiences.  But it is the Faith not the force that I follow.  That what was once for all delivered to the saints.  You know where we study not experience to show ourselves approved? Anyway the upshot of this is be careful who you follow  dear readers especially on social media because you just don’t really know who they might turn out to be.

    See you next time.

    Catechism 


    Does Christ’s death mean all our sins can be forgiven?

      Yes, because Christ’s death on the cross fully paid the penalty for our sin, God graciously imputes Christ’s righteousness to us as if it were our own and will remember our sins no more.

      2 Corinthians 5:21

      For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we m

      Earworm Wednesday: Killer Queen ~ Fredde Gredde


      Well now, things are improving health wise at the house.  Mrs. Keachfan is able to walk around a little but like anything time is the number one healer.  

      So it comes to this Queen’s song, ‘Killer Queen’ was on the radio and well I was humming it all day much to the annoyance of my co-workers.  So I found an enterprising young man who covered the song uniquely.