Romans 5:8

Tron Legacy: my perspective

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I have not seen the first Tron movie, but I did play the Kingdom Hearts 2 Tron level lol, but seriously from what I could tell Tron Legacy brought me up to speed pretty quick and I didn’t feel lost due to not seeing the first movie… Anyway some friends and I decided to see this movie last Friday night. It was no surprise to see this movie as number one at the box office over the weekend after all the only other competition really was Yogi Bear and Little Fockers lol but I wouldn’t mind seeing Little Fockers sometime maybe on DVD with some friends? Yeah probably at some point as the first two Focker movies weren’t bad. I’m curious what the Focker kids’ names are going to be lol I wonder if they’ll be name puns like their parents Gaylord (Greg is not his birth name according to the first movie) and Martha Focker. Maybe Greg’s son is going to be named Dan Focker? lol maybe too obvious but idk it’s pretty strange I’m even talking about swear puns considering I don’t like the swearing….

Anyway getting back to Tron Legacy! If you’re one of those Transformer movie style fans who are mostly about the action and don’t want to hear so much gab-gab-gab like they did in Star Wars Episode 2, well there are several scenes with pretty neat looking action movements that are entertaining, but there will be some moments where you might think “shut up and get on with the action!” most likely you’ll have that thought after Sam Flynn is first rescued by Quorra. Of course in regard to the action itself I found that aspect to be sweet, I mean there are not a lot of movies revolving around the virtual world of computers… I think the last program I saw with a computer world was the TV show Reboot. If you’re wondering “should I see this in 3d?” I would say the movie would have been just as fine if I didn’t see it in 3d, so I would say save your money 2d is fine.

Of course, if you’re a person who actually likes a balance of action AND plot like me then in regard to the plot well… the plot’s a bit philosophical really and depends on what keeps you up at night I guess. I mean if you’re a person who actually thinks about what people say in books, TV programs, news articles, and movies like I do at times then when in regard to what Tron Legacy talks about then you may or may not like what you’ll hear in this movie; though everything in movies and programs can’t be taken too seriously it’s important to consider what is the content especially when concerning kids. It seemed to me that this movie basically revolved around a world ruled by a modified version of basic Theistic Evolution and because of this my perspective is that I’m so very glad our world is not like the world of Tron. (though it would be cool if we had those bikes lol) I know, I know I used that E-word again like I did for my Ga’Hoole movie review but I promise I won’t be a broken record about it… What do I mean by mentioning Theistic Evolution though? Without getting too complicated into the matter (as I could type more about this if I wanted) I will say Kevin Flynn’s world (good Jeff Bridges) is not the same as our world in the following three aspects:

1) What God is like? In Tron Legacy, Kevin Flynn created the virtual world setting and therefore fills the role as God of that world; in fact CLU (evil Jeff Bridges) confirms this role when he calls Flynn ” the Creator”. However, because Kevin Flynn is a human he is fallible, Impotent, not always present, not all-knowing, mutable, and of course he is a mortal who is capable of being killed by his own creation; in addition all of these weaknesses are problematically linked to the other points below. And yet when it comes to the true God, the Bible is very clear that he is infallible, Omnipresent,  Omniscient, omnipotent, immutable, immortal, etc (click ‘etc’ for a few additional attributes).

2) How does the world operate? Because Papa Flynn is neither omnipotent nor is he omnipresent, for the most part he has no control over what happens in his own world; what control he meant to have was a failed alliance between Tron, CLU, and himself. (see #3 regarding the role of CLU) Unintentionally, because he has that lack of control he is not showing his world much concern and he also is not giving/feeling any love for his creations for that matter; he only acknowledged Tron, CLU, and Quorra when it came to his inhabitants’ existence. Of course you might ask, “why would concern or love be important?” although technically those traits are not required for someone to be in charge, they are good qualities for a just leader with long term stability. I mean if we had a President who decided to be remorselessly unjust by doing stuff like removing the 1st amendment and forcing black people to go back into slavery there would be massive rebellion!  Yet the True God, as I mentioned in #1, first he is always aware, always present, and in control over the world itself.  Of course secondly, even with this control God wields he is generous enough to not only create us in his image but also give us free will; if we did not have free will we’d be just like robots. And finally, God loves us and cares about us, so much that he sent his only son to die for our sins!

3) What about evil? I’ll admit CLU and Satan are very similar! I mean both CLU and Satan were once prized by the one in charge, CLU and the Devil both think they ought to be in complete control, both CLU and Lucifer believe they know better, both deceive the masses into rebelling against the creator, both have selfishly evil motives in mind, and both seek to be God, but there are still some differences… no really there are three! 1st, Satan has to have God’s permission yet CLU did not when committing evil. 2nd, as I mentioned before God himself is immortal (without getting into this too complex like, Jesus was able to die because he is fully human and fully God.) and yet Kevin Flynn is capable of death (but again only human) and if CLU had killed Papa Flynn and was able to accomplish what he desired… well that would have been disastrous! 3rd, Only one solves the problem of evil justly and more lovingly. I am not going to say how Papa Flynn dealt with CLU since that would ruin the movie, but the true God dealt with Satan better. God saved us from our sins through Christ and the Cross, because of Christ’s death we are capable of receiving the forgiving gift of grace/mercy through our repentance and faith, and the current evil influence of sin/satan/fallen angels will soon be irradiated through the near future events of prophesy (see the book of Revelation) and once that happens we who have sworn allegiance and have suffered for God will remain with God within an unimaginable paradise.

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Hell’s Best Kept Secret By Ray Comfort

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With Questions and Answers
By Ray Comfort

Hell’s Best Kept Secret, was the second book my Bible Study group and I read together. This was an educational book for me, simply because prior to reading it I didn’t know much about how to evangelize. I felt what Ray Comfort wrote was a necessary message to hear, because Jesus proclaimed in Mark 16:15-16 that we are to talk to others about God and not go along with the worldly attitude some have in that we are “to keep our beliefs to ourselves.” (sadly I’ve heard this talk even from professing Christians.) I enjoyed reading his various anecdotes, his background story, a couple of quotes from historical evangelists like Charles Spurgeon and Charles Finney, listening to the bonus CD, reading the generous amount of supporting scripture, and having the discussions inspired by each chapter we read. The primary focus of the book was that there’s a problem with the way some evangelize in the modern era and the solution Ray calls: “Hell’s Best Kept Secret.”

What Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron, and others feel is “Hell’s Best Kept Secret” is the Law and the punishment of Hell. Uttering the word “Hell”, when not used as a curse word, can be very controversial to many simply, because most people like to think of themselves as good people. “Oh well at least I”m not like the KKK or a Nazi” Yes we are capable of doing good things at times, but are we really a good person and with that ‘goodness’ can we earn a way into Heaven without Jesus Christ? Of course we cannot despite what anyone might think, for it is as Isaiah 64:6 says, but rather we receive salvation through the gift and the grace of Jesus Christ. Of course, this book is not the conventional “Hellfire” preaching one would imagine when looking at this book’s cover. Ray Comfort simply has a problem with those who preach that “it’s only about the love” or “Jesus can make your life better if you give him a try” style approaches. It is both the law and the loving grace that are important truths, for it is as Romans 5:8 says. Though there were a few of his opinions and approaches that I found a bit disagreeable, I learned from it well.

Book rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Out Live Your Life by Max Lucado

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You were made to make a difference
by Max Lucado

I found Out Live your Life to contain several useful scriptural passages, personal anecdotes, humorous comments, and motivational tips. To summarize, he challenges people to ‘get out of your shell’ and do something for Christ. I find this admirable and I agree we Christians can’t be overwhelmed by problems like world hunger, poverty, oppression, violence, the child sex trade, etc. When in the face any terrifying ordeal we can’t say “Why bother? I’m too insignificant”, or “I’m not qualified enough… it’s too big for me”, or even “I’m not useful enough for the Kingdom of God”, one reason being the early church founders didn’t waiver to such lies; many literally died for Christ.

Many times the Book of Acts is referred to in this book as evidence the early church was filled with socially ordinary people who through the power of God did extraordinary things. Overall I enjoyed reading Out Live your Life. However, my one complaint  is he seems to endorse  the Jim Wallis gospel; as evident in chapter 10. (I used to have a link to a good video talking about it, but You Tube took it down sorry, 😦 )Good works are important, but they aren’t the gospel. Despite our misdeeds, imperfections, and lackings we don’t work in order to become saved, because Jesus Christ died for our redemption, rather we are to work for the Kingdom of God because of our salvation! Do I feel Mr. Lucado is intentionally sending people on a guilt trip? No. Most of his message is a necessary reminder, under the condition it isn’t to ‘earn’ or ‘maintain’ our salvation.

Disclaimer: Ben Umnus was given a free copy of this book by Thomas Nelson Publishing, but he was neither paid for his review nor was he commanded by Thomas Nelson Publishing to write a positive review. This review is the personal, written opinion of Ben Umnus.  This disclaimer is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

UPDATE: There was one other thing I was displeased about, which is what persuaded me to change my Thomas Nelson review from a 4 out of 5 stars to 3 out of 5 stars.  My other complaint was that most of the time when Max Lucado referred to scripture he used a translation called the MSG, which is short for ‘the Message.’ Now I’m not one of those “King James Only” people, I have read several biblical translations and haven’t had an issue, but I looked up various verses of the MSG and compared them to other translations and I gotta say I’m not a fan of the MSG. It just seems like the MSG waters down scripture a bit by making it more simplistic, dumbed down, and less poetic. I feel such a translation is more appropriate for a children’s book.