Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The End of a Circle

I just finished reading Ted Dekker's Circle books...and it was an interesting trip.  I won't deny that they were a thrilling read--I was glued from the first few pages of Black.  However, I have some thoughts...and I'm not sure what I think of everything right now.  If you haven't read the books then I have two warnings: 1) this might not make much sense and 2) there might be spoilers.  I'll try to avoid the first, but not as hard to avoid the second.

The Circle is a series of books involving Thomas Hunter, the central character, who travels between two worlds--a version of the present day, and what appears to be the far future, where spiritual realities appear to have taken on physical form.

The original version of the books circle around, or form a loop.  Its interesting, and something that I've seen before in sci-fi circles.  I thought how it might be possible when reading through.  However, the further on that the books go the clearer it is that they're not just fantastic, or some form of science-fiction.  They're allegorical--talking about Christianity in some sense.  So I found the following interesting in light of that connection to reality and true history:
Excerpt from an interview with Dekker, printed in the back of the omnibus edition of The Circle (ISBN 978-1-59554-792-7)
8) Black is a redo of history.  Do you think history will be redone in the far future?
Ted: I'll answer with a question.  Do you believe that humans will retain their humanity in the next life?  That is, will they still have a free will?  If so, they would still have a choice for evil, yes?  Remove that choice and we essentially become like robots in the future.
So if evil exists in the next life, will anyone choose it, the way Lucifer first did?  I suppose so.  And if so, would the event involve another fall so to speak?  We don't know.  Perhaps this allegory I've penned is closer to the truth than one might think.  Then again, probably not.
He isn't stating anything absolutely here, and to be fair this is the first of his books (and the only interview with him) that I've read, so I might be taking things out of context.  If I am, then I'm more than willing to be corrected or advised of the truth.  However, I find this slightly worrisome.  We'll leave aside the issue of predestination versus free will for now.  But he essentially asks if evil will exist in "the next life."  I don't see how that can be read from scripture. I would say that the Bible is clear that Hell, sickness, death, disease, and everything that has to do with the curse will be cast into the Lake of Fire, forever.
All quotations from the New American Standard Bible
Revelation 20:14
Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire.  This is the second death.

Revelation 21:4
"And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away

Revelation 22:3-4
And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.  They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.
These aren't the only verses, but the ones easiest to find when I flipped to the end of my Bible.  I find the Circle an interesting story...but in the end it is only that.  I don't see how you can read Scripture and seriously postulate that there will be another opportunity to sin, to fall, to disobey God.  The reality of Heaven is that we will forever be in the presence of God and will forever worship Him.  To me the possibility of another fall sounds like reincarnation or a yin-yang cycle.  Frankly it isn't an appealing future at all.  I look forward to heaven where I will be without the failings of my mortal flesh, where I will not sin, where I will be in the presence of God forever instead of a world full of temptation.

If God is truly omnipotent then why does evil get "another chance" to tempt mankind?  Does it mean that the second death mentioned in Revelation above is only the second of an endless cycle?

Are we to be pitied if our hope doesn't rest in Christ and in eternal life, but instead has the possibility of an eternal cycle of "re-do?"  The original ending of Green involves Thomas Hunter going back to the start of Black with the "God" character Elyon sending him there so that he can "do things over" in an effort to save his son (an apostate who doesn't enter heaven--like the dwarves in the stable in The Last Battle).  My interpretation of the implication of the "circle" that Thomas keeps repeating his life in the same way, unable to save his son.

This was typed a bit quickly, and as I said I haven't read more of Dekker's writing.  I'm not trying to condemn the man, not at all.  I just noted the theme of the book and the interview question above and was slightly concerned.  If you've read his books and see something different then please enlighten me--I'd love to learn more.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Flowers Blooming

Spring weather is definitely here--the days are nice and the flowers are starting to bloom.

The dinosaurs are begging to be let out of their cages.

And the gardens are starting to look like the wonderful, colorful display they will be for several months.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Snakes Alive

Today is another day of the Creation Museum's most popular workshop: Snakes Alive.

I've been coordinating this program for several years now. Unfortunately I'm usually to busy to watch any shows, but I've seen a few over the years. My fiancée likes snakes as much as my sister Erin (i.e. not at all) and she even sat through a show.

I do like walking past the presenters when they're advertising out in the museum and holding one of the snakes every now and then. I figure I might as well enjoy them at work as we'll never have one as a pet. (But I'm definitely okay with that. I love Amy far more than any animal.)


-- Posted from my iPhone
(c) 2011 iWolff Ltd.

Friday, April 15, 2011


If you're near the Creation Museum today you should come see the presentation Eve Remembered at 3:00. It should be a great presentation (Geri is a wonderful actress), well worth your time.


-- Posted from my iPhone
(c) 2011 iWolff Ltd.


One week from today I'll be spending the day with my beautiful fiancée, several days actually. I can't wait. :-)


-- Posted from my iPhone
(c) 2011 iWolff Ltd.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Self-Sharpening Pencil

Okay, I'd really like one of these!

Finally a Self-Sharpening Pencil
The Kuru Toga works by continually rotating a piece of "nano diamond lead" thanks to a rotating gear system inside the pencil. The rotation and sharpening ensures that the piece of lead will remain at a point giving you the same precise pencil marks you would get from a newly sharpened pencil.
I don't use pencils that often, but I prefer mechanical pencils because they do stay sharper than regular pencils--but even they only stay nice so long. It looks like this pencil has solved that issue. I wonder where I can buy one (and if it is affordable)!

HT: Isaac Schrödinger

PS I found one on Amazon, it doesn't seem too unreasonable for such a cool product...

Absurd...or is it?

I thought this news story was absurd at first.

Chicago school bans some lunches brought from home
To encourage healthful eating, Chicago school doesn't allow kids to bring lunches or certain snacks from home — and some parents, and many students, aren't fans of the policy.

But in reality it is worse than that. This is the government trying to take over more parental responsibilities. It only gets worse from here. Food, healthcare, education--totalitarian states control them all. Are we headed down that road slowly or quickly?


-- Posted from my iPhone
(c) 2011 iWolff Ltd.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

An Amusing Card

I found this card while cleaning.

My grandparents sent it to me years ago.

I thought it would be fun to scan the barcode. When I did this product came up! ;-)


-- Posted from my iPhone
(c) 2011 iWolff Ltd.

Location:Highland Ave,Fort Mitchell,United States

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

God is Present

I found something that I'm pretty sure I didn't write, but I have no idea of the source.  I must have copied it from somewhere.

I was regretting the past and fearing the future.  Suddenly My Lord was speaking.

"My name is I am."
He paused.
I waited.  He continued.
"When you live in the past with its mistakes and regrets, it is hard.  I am not there.  My name is not I WAS.
When you live in the future, with its problems and fears, it is hard.  I am not there.  My name is not I WILL BE.
When you live in this moment, it is not hard.  I am here.  My name is I AM."

Its an interesting piece.  I've always liked the name "I AM."  So much is contained within those two words that so well describe God.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Old quote

I just found an old quote I'd written down in college.  I'm not sure if it originated with one of my professors or if he was quoting someone else.

"It is God's responsibility to judge Osama bin Laden.  It is our responsibility to arrange the meeting."

I thought it was interesting to remember this.  A little more than nine years (I don't know exactly when the quote is from ) ago the world was a different place.  9/11 was fresh in our minds and most people who didn't know geography weren't thinking about Iraq, Iran, Libya, North Korea, etc...