Ain't It Cool News (www.aintitcool.com)
Movie News

Douglas Tennapel takes a serious faith-filled look at THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST!

Hey folks, Harry here with a bit of a celebrity review of THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST. Douglas Tennapel, yes the artist/writer, had a chance to see a screening of Mel's movie and reacted quite strongly. He goes more into depth about the disturbing nature of the fim, than most of the reviews we've seen. There are things far more disturbing in this film than mere whippings and physical bodily torture. If you wish to not be spoilt by his descriptions, know then that he loved the film quite deeply. If you need to know more, then read on...

Okay, I’ve seen the Passion of Christ. I’d like to start by stating my bias since I don’t see how a Christian like myself could watch a movie about the being I’ve given my life to and simultaneously dismiss my baggage to watch it as some neutral piece of media.

But I’m also an artist/writer having created Earthworm Jim, The Neverhood and Creature Tech and I’m currently working on one of my pilots for Nickelodeon (crossing my fingers for a pick-up!)… let me tell you, it’s not every day I get to see entertainment that deals with subject matter so close to my heart that also stands tall as a magnificent work of art. Usually we have to cringe through dung-heaps like Left Behind, the Omega Code and Joshua.

Bias aside, this is not a movie designed for Christians, it stands toe to toe with any other realistic depiction of inspiration like Schindler’s List, Chariots of Fire or Braveheart. One thing is for sure, everyone confronted with the story of Christ will have some sort of reaction and it usually is not neutral.

The version I saw was not the final cut. It had a shot with the timecode still on it and there was a lot of music used from Last Temptation of Christ (no comment). The story is all too familiar, I’ve read and studied the Gospels hundreds of times and I was blown away at how new this all was to me. The story begins with Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane laying down a desperate prayer to God. The rest of the movie documents his last 12 hours to his crucifixion. Every so often, some event within Jesus' road to the cross triggers a flashback, and this is where we learn the backstory of the other characters involved. The reactions of characters like Mary, Peter and Judas are slowly contextualized as these sub-plots blossom into mini-passion plays of their own. My heart broke for Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Judas, Pilate’s wife, the good centurion and John.

The DP work is the best technical part of the movie. Caleb Deschanel drenches the night scenes with either extreme warmth or extreme cold…I mean he throws on a blue gel and that garden is BLUE! This is the guy who can set a camera to perfectly capture atmosphere I haven’t seen since his The Black Stallion days. They clearly emphasized atmosphere, I don’t mean the dramatic kind, I mean the chemical kind. You wander through the garden and feel the fog. You sit at the last supper lit by a candle and the air is thick and present. It feels like you’re sitting there watching the real deal. Of course, my religion warns us of graven images, and I have to keep thinking to myself, “these are actors, that’s not the Christ.” It’s that realistic and engaging.

The Christ pictures of recent can’t just tell the story. They seem to need to fix things, make Jesus not raise from the dead, make him the lover of Mary Magdalene, make him whatever. But Gibson leans on the simplicity of the original story. He’s not shackled to the scriptures, because he boldly throws in details here and there that blend with the original story. He’s respectful, but he’s not afraid. This is a movie that secular Hollywood could not make, but it’s also a movie that the Christian community could not make either.

The Christ pictures of the 40s and 50s were too busy glorifying the spectacle of Jesus. Every time he turns around he’s doing this neato miracle, like it’s a magic show. The Passion of Christ downplays the miracles to focus on Jesus' terrestrial dilemma. This is a story about the son of God stuck on Earth with only one way out and he knows it’s coming. I marveled at the depth of philosophy in those who challenge Jesus. When the devil temps him she asks him first about who he is. Jesus is God. Then the devil asks him that famous question, “Who is your father?” brilliantly trapping him in an apparent contradiction that often foils those of us who believe in the Trinity…if Jesus is God how can his father also be God?

The devil is my favorite character by the way. Every movie has to have a bad guy right? This is the scariest, minimalist devil I’ve ever seen. Skip the rest of this paragraph if you don’t want to hear about the scariest thing I’ve ever seen depicted on celluloid… when Jesus is being whipped, he is in agony. The devil floats among the guards in slo-mo, seemingly invisible to them…and what’s that in her arms? A baby. She cradles the baby like it is her own, yet she is clearly mocking the imagery we’ve seen of Mary holding her child. Jesus looks up at her, delirious from pain and the baby…slowly turns to us…and it has a horrifying blasphemous-psycho smile. My wife turned her head, “Oh stop!” I got a chill up my spine that would rival the scariest moments in The Exorcist. I’m not kidding, that image is burned in my brain forever and I’ll never forget that. It’s delicious. I’m getting nauseated thinking about it right now. Evil damned baby.

The Passion is also scarce on dialogue. So much is communicated through the eyes of these characters, some you can tell go from being an enemy of Jesus to a follower within the moment of just one look. This reminds me… I’m DYING to see this thing without the subtitles as Gibson intended. I’m glad I got to read this one but it would be an even more emotionally immersive experience to just watch as a cultural outsider. But still, it’s rich to hear the characters speak ancient, beautiful poetic languages as well as the Roman guards laying down mockery in Latin.

The actors are top-notch…James Caviezel is buried under so much blood and make up that a lot of his acting is done with just one eye! The heavy lifting is done in response to his beating by Maia Morgenstern as Mary mother of Jesus (heart-breaker juxtaposition award goes to her thinking back to Jesus as a child while on the road to Calvary), Monica Belluci (no matter how much make up you take off and throw dirt on that face it’s still a treat to behold) and even Hristo Shopov’s Pontius Pilate! This guy’s face is like iron. Behind his hard exterior is a man doomed in a dead end job he thinks is beneath him. We get a wealth of story just between looks from his wife. Pilate is screwed no matter what happens and we see the agony in his face.

Oh that reminds me of another scary moment! (skip this paragraph if you don’t like spoilers) When Judas has done his thing he sobs and tries to renegotiate his bargain with the priests. When he goes into the public a shell of a man he slumps against a wall and these kids start tormenting him. It’s subtle at first but one kid has this horrible wrinkly old-man-meets-an-alien face…possessed by a demon. Chilling! My wife squeezed my hand off of my wrist, “Make them go away!” Delicious! Go Mel, GO!

As I spend my days working in Hollywood, I get to hear my God’s name used as a cuss word. He’s the brunt of jokes. Jesus is dismissed as a myth. I get to hear the name of Jesus and honor of Christians spoken of with deep distain or stereotyping “my people” as shallow, violent, intolerant fill in the blank. This is about the being I have sworn my allegiance to and it is refreshing to see a movie where the subject matter is boldly presented with respect.

Nobody can watch the Passion of Christ without having some sort of reaction. Jesus doesn’t inspire neutrality in people. This film has already had some controversy…over-bloated by media no doubt, but this movie does make one think. It makes us argue, defend, accuse and cry. I love some aspects of the controversy of this film because THIS is what film is supposed to do. Remember? There is something here for the church and the un-churched.

If you post this call me “Doug TenNapel”

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Jan. 24, 2004, 4:38 a.m. CST

    Jesus (I mean it). A Chilling.

    by atleastwebrits

    And a well written review. First I've heard of the supernatural elements. I was afraid the project would reel into a one-note Sunday School account. But by acknowledging a demonic influence, I think it broadens the story. Encourages viewers to think a "what else in this world is demonically influenced?" And what can I do today to challenge that influence? And "Last Temptation" was simply an awful movie, religion aside. That little British angel, with that terrible little accent. My God, how awful.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 4:40 a.m. CST

    "Hey, I can see your house from up here..."

    by Fred4sure

    I hope that line makes it into the movie.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 5:17 a.m. CST

    When's EARTHWORM JIM coming to dvd?

    by Rant Breath

    If there is a God, it will be soon.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 5:28 a.m. CST

    KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!!!

    by Rant Breath

    Yo son of jor-el, you just got served!!!

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 6:47 a.m. CST

    OMG! I CAN'T WAIT FOR THIS MOVIE!

    by hawauer29a

    Show it now!!!

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 6:56 a.m. CST

    Extended Trailer

    by chungkingexpress

    Muslims believe in jundgment day and the return of christ on said day, any minor differnces in religious practices causing friction between christianity and islam pale into insignificance when this is taken into account. Trailer......i upped to a yahoo breifcase you will need to have an id to get it. It is the one that was posted on Harvest Crusade with the Mel Gibson intro http://us.f2.yahoofs.com/bc/400a3a14_17034/bc/My+Documents/MelGibson-Passion.wmv?bfb6jCABcxJhkJUC or http://briefcase.yahoo.com/kccdxx file is 5Mb in wmv format and is in My Documents folder

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 6:59 a.m. CST

    The Father, The Son and The .... Spiderman?

    by TheAquabatman

    Jesus died for our sins. I don't understand how that works but I take it by faith. I don't understand how magnets work either but i trust them with my kid's artwork on the fridge. anyhoo... cannot wait for this movie (the second coming of Spiderman is a close second - sometimes i question my faith but hey, there are curious similarities - both have holes in their wrists; both are covered in red. both have an enemy who looks like an octupus... Yup i'm going straight to hell). If i have any credibility left then let me ask this question. The whole reason for Jesus's death was to forgive sins by making way for the Holy Spirit. Is the message of Act 2:38 or John 16 addressed, that we should repent/believe and be baptised so that we may recieve the same power (holy Spirit, to be Born again, spiritfilled... and dont give me that Catholic holy communion, confirmation, reconciliation and baby sprinkling crap that isnt even mentioned in the bible) that the disciples waited for 40 days after Jesus' ascension, even mentioned. As asked by 'the merk' whats with the Vandersexx adbanner? doesnt seem to sit well with the whole Christ thing.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 7:06 a.m. CST

    What happens when a drunk comtemplates creation and the son of g

    by ChickenGeorgeVII

    Who

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 7:19 a.m. CST

    Great work of fiction

    by Rupee88

    The Bible is one of the best, and this film looks like a good one too. It looks too depressing though and I don't know if I'll see it. The cinematography looks excellent though.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 7:32 a.m. CST

    Rant Breath, too fucking right

    by cockknocker

    We need Earthworm Jim on DVD NOW!

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 9:01 a.m. CST

    "This is a movie that secular Hollywood could not make ..."

    by CKnightShift

    "... but it

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 9:02 a.m. CST

    Strange

    by TS Thomas

    A dozen or so posts without any anti-Christian posts. Regardless of my own beliefs it still does seem like a film that'd interest me the more I read (Like this review).

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 9:16 a.m. CST

    Just want to say...

    by Nordling

    CREATURE TECH is still my favorite graphic novel. Pick it up. And Mr. Tennapel nails the film here, too.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 9:30 a.m. CST

    Word Be Bond

    by Evil Chicken

    Doug TenNapel has written a wonderful article here that is representative of both his faith in Christ and of the power of film. Gibson, quite possibly, has made a film that can stand side by side with other iconic works in the medium. I've got nothing but respect for Mel Gibson in making the film that he wanted to make and for saying what he wanted to say.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 9:48 a.m. CST

    great review

    by AlgertMopper

    amazing review, and if you're reading this doug, i love Creature Tech

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Still waiting for a review from an unbiased

    by pablo2004

    critic. It's odd how Mel only screens the movie to audiences preprogrammed to love it. Is he still lying about the Pope's endorsement?

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 10:10 a.m. CST

    Hey, PABLO2004!

    by John Maddening

    Look at this review: http://www.aintitcool.com/display.cgi?id=16631

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 10:21 a.m. CST

    Oh boy... i'll see it, but never will it be more than just a fil

    by TheGinger Twit

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 10:24 a.m. CST

    Biblical films

    by FloydGandoli

    Personally, I can't wait to see this film. As a Christain, I totally agree about the low quality of so-called Christian films. Kudos to Mel for making an R rated Christ film that doesn't flinch from the reality of the violence done to Jesus. If "Passion" does well, I think you will see more films made about Biblical stories just as we will probably see a lot more musicals in "Chicago's" wake. The Bible is a source for some really good stories for filmmakers to tell to all audiences, not just Christian audiences who must accept shoddy films aimed directly at them.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 10:38 a.m. CST

    The Aquabatman

    by agnosticyesno

    I posted this else where but I thought it was fitting for your post you since don

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 10:42 a.m. CST

    I'm not sure why everyone's praising this review.

    by raw_bean

    For a 'writer', this huy can barely string together a coherent sentence.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 10:51 a.m. CST

    Thanks 433. I hadn't seen those reviews.

    by pablo2004

    I would still prefer a review from a mainstream critic.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 10:56 a.m. CST

    question for xtians

    by pablo2004

    Although I'm sure most of you sincerely believe, but most of you were probably raised in that faith. How can you be sure you're in the right one? I mean it's like entering a cosmic lottery. What are the odds that you were born and reared in the one true faith? Pretty slim would be my guess. Unless you've researched them all well, how do you know that you're brand of xtianty is correct and say Hinduism is not? Why blindly trust the bible and not the Book of Mormon?

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 11:23 a.m. CST

    Biased audiences? Since when are Harry, Mori and other film gee

    by minderbinder

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 11:24 a.m. CST

    Why?

    by halcyonseven

    I agree that other religons need to be looked at by christians. I think esp. children raised in the church and/or christian school need to find out WHAT they believe and WHY they believe it. I have had experiences since I was little that never left me doubting my faith. I would rather not share them here but coudl go into more detial if you want to email me. I know that of all religons christianity makes the most sense, it is the only one that I have found that is completely based on LOVE and not on fullfilling yourself in some way. And thats a big point for me, we ought not be selfish and too many religons try and teach you how to "find the inner you" or whatever. Christ says to deny yourself. People say that some religons have the same God but I dont by that either. If God is who he says he is and the bible is true(becuase lets face it, if God is as pwerful as he says He is then he could probably stop any falsities (is that a word?) from entering the Bible...)then the God of these other religons is cruel and unloving. Very different from one who was willing to die and be tortured simply so I could find relationship with Him. It's not about heaven or hell, who is good and who is evil, but about the relationship that God desired. That too is unique to Christianity.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 11:29 a.m. CST

    Blind faith

    by halcyonseven

    I do love to study other religons and cults, it is kind of a hobby, I read from the Qu'ran and the Book of Mormon that I own and have spent time in both of their places of worship. I have also traveled to places where pagans rule and ritualistic magic is commonplace. I don't think I trust the Bible and God simply on blind faith but partly in my experiences and from what I see around me. Keep in mind, we belive in a lot of things we have never seen. Have you ever seen Abraham Lincoln? Alexander the Great? Have you ever met The Pope? We all go by faith everyday.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 11:31 a.m. CST

    "he throws on a blue gel and that garden is BLUE" ....no shit.

    by Windowlicker74

    that s meant as a joke,right?

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 11:45 a.m. CST

    Christianity isn't the only religion based on love

    by neovsmatrix

    So is Hinduism. Hinduism's an extremely tolerant religion, that preaches non-violence, love, and the belief that everything is God, and that everything and everyone has some good in them. It also believes that all paths lead to the same God. As for Passion of Christ, seems like a movie that I'd be interested in seeing. Personally, I think it's lame to convert people into a faith that you think is "right". There is no such thing. Most religions, if not all, are founded on the same fundamental principles of love and spirituality.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 11:51 a.m. CST

    I ts very hard for me to take people who believe in heaven and h

    by Windowlicker74

    i mean if you believe, you believe it all the way,right? adam and eve, and burning eternally in hell and all that horsecrap? Christians always try to defend themselves by saying there s no real proof for the evolution theory( there s still a "missing link"), they always need proof, even back in the day when they burned people who said that earth wasn't the centre of the universe. They just don't need proof when it comes to their own religion, you just have to BELIEVE..if you think about it for a couple of minutes, then the only conclusion is that this whole eternal life is pure fantasy. living eterny (i mean not living, but being, since you don t make any progression, as you do in life, you merely just are, not aging and all.. that must be just be as bad as hell, i think most will get crazy after the first million years..in hell you woudn t feel much pain anymore after a couple of thousand years in the blistering heat, anyway, why am i even debating this? it s just terrifying that so much people believe this crap, you even got a president who says he got a message from god...totally hysterical if he was just a lunatic and not the most powerfull man on the planet..

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 11:55 a.m. CST

    I admire how the writer's outpouring of faith is so well juxtapo

    by mookiedood

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 12:19 p.m. CST

    Arghhhhhhhhhhh!

    by Judge Doom

    Because of Jesus I can't use whatever I want on my John Thomas...

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 12:20 p.m. CST

    my probable reaction...

    by TenDeuChen

    Boy that Jesus fellow makes a great movie...too bad he probably never exixted...and if so was more than likely just a simple magician and/or alien... (any sufficiently advanced technology will appear as magic) I'm glad someone finally adapted the TRUE VIOLENCE in the Bible...If GTA3 should be censored b/c of violence so should that turgid affair could you imagine if a million people were preaching and trying to push GTA3 down your throat...lol...goddamn christians...

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 12:23 p.m. CST

    "There are things far more disturbing in this film than mere wip

    by The Dude Abides

    Because for the life of me I can't figure out what sort of WIPING would be going on in this movie and the only images I'm getting are too terrible to express. Thanks for ruining my day, Harry.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 12:24 p.m. CST

    hindu

    by halcyonseven

    Now here is where I found fault in a the "love" of hinduism. Keep in mind I am TOTALLY open to discussing this and hearing your side... I have no interest in getting into a pissing match so if someone wants to start swearing or telling me I am stupid then we can stop talking. If you cannot hold a good, educational conversation don't bother responding. I have not studied hindu thought deeply I have had many friends from India and severl Amercian friends who lived there for an extended time. The thought of a religon that allows cattle to be treated better than it's children bothers me. Also the idea of not helping people in need so that they can progress into a better next life seems to be completely without love. It is all about "someone making themself better", or selfishness. And in this there appears to be a huge lack of loving each other. Kids limbs are cut off or disfigured by there parents so they can be better beggers (this happens). Becuase the belief that you must do the best you can in what life you have been given so you must be the best begger. But I admit some ignorance in the matter and am open to hearing other points of view. However, once again, if all you want to do is call people names, please don't bother responding...

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 12:25 p.m. CST

    faith

    by simongarth2001

    Thats what faith is all about. you feel the effects of wind, but you have never seen wind, have you? we can't see oxygen, but we know it's there, because we feel the effects of it. Faith is beliefs in things not seen. Not much more to say. Hey Harry!!! chud is reporting that Sean Astin is up to direct Fantastic Four. Why no word from AICN????

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 12:27 p.m. CST

    Questions for Christians:

    by Mister Pink

    1.) If Jesus was God then why did he pray to himself? 2.) Why would "Satan" have any culpability in the crucifixion if it was a voluntary act by God? 3.) Why would Satan ENJOY the crucifixion if it represented some sort of "redemption" for the human race? 4.) Why would Judas have any culpability or guilt if he was just doing what God wanted him to do? 5.) Why was the crucifixion necessary at all? If God wants to redeem us bitches he can just snap his fingers and redeem us. What does he need a blood sacrifice for? 6.) Isn't he only saving us from HIMSELF anyway? He invented hell. He made the rules. He's the one who decided to torture people forever for being gay or for stealing a Celtic Frost CD in the 80s or for getting a little pussy once in awhile or for [shudder] having the nutsack not to believe in God or miracles or angels or devils or for [double shudder] believing in some OTHER religion. All he had to do was decide NOT to torture people forever and that would be the end of it. Why bother with the crucifixion charade? Isn't God all powerful? 7.) If God doesn't like satan, why did he create him? If he's omniscient he knew that Satan would be evil so why bring him into existence? Why doesn't God just zap Satan out of existence right now? Why bother with all the Endtimes horseshit if he can fix eveything right now? 8.) Why does God give a fuck what anyone believes? Doesn't that turn redemption into a guessing game? You have to guess which mythology is correct out of thousands, none of which have a shred of empirical evidence to support them, or our loving god is going to burn us forever in Fire 9.) Did all the Jews who died in the holocaust go to hell? 10.) If not then isn't the crucfixion meaningless? 11.) Can you name one thing that Jesus taught which was original or new? "Love" was nothing new even in Judaism. Jesus copped his "two greatest commandments" line straight from Rabbi Hillel.12.) Can anyone explain to me why a non-Christian should give the slightest fuck about one crucifixion out of thousands? I have plenty more questions where these came from. I'm actually not even trying yet. Oh...and whoever the nimrod was who was whining about Catholic traditions not being in the NT....I got news for you, stupid, the TRINITY is not in the NT. The RAPTURE is not in the NT. All that bullshit about an "Antichrist" who will take over the world is not in the NT (and don't confuse "antichrist" with the "Beast" in Revelation. They're two separate things. "Antichrist was used in the episles of John to warn about apostatic Christians and enemies of the church. the "Beast" was the emperor of Rome. Neither had a fucking thing to do with the future. The Bible doesn't predict any "Damien" type of figure. That shit was all made up in 19th century. It's outside the mainstream of christian theology. Only a minority of especially unlettered American fundies believe in that LEFT BEHIND crap.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 12:28 p.m. CST

    the crazy baby sounds pretty damned cool...

    by Bourne GreyElf

    could this be worth a look after all?

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 12:32 p.m. CST

    What the hell is going on ?

    by Itchy

    A mature, insightful, thought-provoking and technically observant review on aint-it-cool ? Where's Neil Cumpstain's f-bomb filled effort. Where's the talkbacker's opining that Mary Magdalene was hot, that they should have had Jesus torn apart by Werewolves rather than crucified, and that Hulk Hogan should have played Pontius Pilot ... "Bring me his head, BROTHER". Very cool review ... for a movie I'm getting more and more excited about seeing.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 12:37 p.m. CST

    aquamanbat, the meaning of jesus died for our sins is...

    by Bourne GreyElf

    adam, being the first man, and perfect, doomed humanity when he commited his sin. so jesus in heaven goes, "well god, the only way to save humanity is from mortality and destruction, is for me to die for them, thus giving them a second go at immortality if they choose" because according to gods law, a perfect man ruined us, and in turn, a perfect man must sacrifice himself to wash away adams original sin. so jesus volunteered for this mission. thats what the term, an eye for an eye truly means, one perfect man fucked us, one perfect man has to save us, when its mentioned in the bible,"an eye for an eye" doesnt mean payback time. anyway, ROTK owned you mudda fuckas!!!! replace religion with LOTR!!!

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 12:44 p.m. CST

    Oh boy...

    by halcyonseven

    Last point, Christianity vs. Other religons. And this is by no means an end all argument: Christianity is focused on God and LOVING RELATIONSHIP with man and Christ. Not SELF. Islam is a religon based on fear and the only way you get into heaven is if the angel on one of your shoulders records you doing more good things than the one on the other shoulder recording the bad things. Or if you die in a "holy" war. Buddhism is focused on finding YOUR true self and becoming empty. Hinduism (sp?) is about getting YOURSELF to the next and better life. So on it goes. These are just my opinions so they are only worth 2cents but there ya go. Plese people don't respond to Mr. Pink. He is a bitter angry fellow who can only argue and swear and try and prove his penis is bigger than yours. Just when he starts to sound like he may know anything he turns around and sounds like a angry whiny white kid with a four letter vocabulary. Don't get into it with him, he just wants to piss people off.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 12:46 p.m. CST

    Caleb Deschanel kicks ass!

    by Silver Shamrock

    Anyone that directed episodes of Twin Peaks deserves our highest respect.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 12:47 p.m. CST

    Just another superhero movie.

    by Holly_Wight

    Jesus is the only superhero that millions of people believe actually existed, though. As the years roll on, and more and more B.S. is added to his myth, Jesus stands out as the spokesperson for everything negative about religious zealotry, and provides a backbone for people who would otherwise be too afraid to express their bigotry and hatred in public, because they can mask it behind the false image of "Jesus' love" and "God's will". I'm sure this is a great movie, but it's fiction. Just because a fictional character is inspiring doesn't mean you have to worship him or even believe in him. If that were the case, I'd be a member of the church of The Batman.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 12:48 p.m. CST

    Halcyon

    by Mister Pink

    You're really distorting some things about Hinduism. First of all the word "Hinduism" itself is a rather meaningless in that it's just an umbrella term for a number of different traditions in India. Another thing you're doing is confusing some cultural traditions (the Caste system) with religious doctrine. They DON'T treat cows better than their children, they just don't KILL cows. The thing about parents chopping of children's limbs is complete nonsense. There may be some child abuse in India but there are also plenty of christians who do horrible shit to their kids. It seems like about once a year we hear about some fundie church that beat another kid to death with a paddle for not memorizing Bible verses fast enough. Just a couple of days ago a couple was arrested for killing a six-year old girl during an "exorcism." And let's not forget all those wonderful Christians who blow up abortion clinics, shoot doctors, harass, beat and murder gay people, beat their wives, cheat on their taxes, vote for Bush, etc. People don't do that stuff because of their religions, they do it because they're ASSHOLES. It's just as wrong, irrational and obtuse to make (admittedly uninformed) judgements on someone else's religion based on superficial observations and stereotypes as it would be for someone else to make judgements about Christians based on what they know of David Koresh. I HAVE studied Hinduism in depth, and there are SCHOOLS of Hinduism that are very much founded on the notion of compassion and love as the highest expressions of fealty to God. This philosophy was espoused in India long before Christianity. It was also present in Buddhism and Judaism. Are you willing to commit to what Jesus tells you? If I smack you in the face, will you turn the other cheek? If I ask for your coat will you give me your shirt as well? Will you give everything you own to the poor? Do you love your enemy and oray for him? These are all ideas which were first expressed in Hinduism. They are rooted in an attempt to get past moral distinctions. To recognize that all other people are God and that making distinctions between who you like and don't like are rooted in the ego. Hatred is toxic and obstructs enlightenment. You must love eevrything unequivocally without judging. Do Hindus actually practice that? Well they practice it as much as Christians ever truly follow the teachings of Jesus.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 12:53 p.m. CST

    accuracy.

    by Bourne GreyElf

    um, the romans nailed people to a stake actually, not a cross like every christian believes. you can all research this if you want. so I'm curious if this is addressed in the movie. jesus should have be nailed to a stake, which is just a straight long piece of wood.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 12:53 p.m. CST

    If you don't have Yahoo Briefcase...

    by DukeDeMondo

    The footage from The Passion with Mel Gibson's intro can be found at http://mondoirlando.blogspot.com Top of the page!

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Halcyon, you really don't know shit about ANY religion, do you?

    by Mister Pink

    Islam means "surrender" and the goal is to surrender to God. Muslims believes we are judged by righteousness but that's far more reasonable that being judged on if you guessed right abouyt mythology. The Goal of Hinduims is NOT a better life, it's escape from the cycle of reincarnation and being subsumed back into Brahma. The goal of Buddhism is not "self" centered, it is the escape from the self, or more precisely, the escape from the ego which is an illusion of 'self." The real "self" is that there is no self. There is only everything. Your uninformed disparagement of other religions is hardly an answer to the logical and ethical problems which so riddle your own theology, by the way. Did the Jews who died in the holocaust go to hell? Yes or no.

  • ..then comes back after the Romans. The crucifiers become the crucified.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 1:05 p.m. CST

    Mr. Pink

    by allanon1985

    I agree with Anirtak but your just so retarded I have to answer just a few. These are the answers to your questions:1) Ever hear of meditation bucko. Finding your inner self, claming yourself to better understand something, and your basing this on facts from the Bible which you say is falsified anyway so in asking that question you just went against your own beliefs which youve stated again and again on this msg board. 2)First off, even though Jesus was willing you dont think Satan was around to enjoy witnessing this. That seen is only in the movie anyhow and I look at it as that theres evil in everyone just waiting for the oppurtunity to come out. 3) First off Satan wouldnt know that Jesus was redeming the human race because he unlike God was not all seeing, all powerful. He probably enjoyed it because he had no clue whatsoever that Jesus was going to be resurrected. Really quite elementary my dear watson. 4) Where is it written that God wanted Judas to betray Jesus??? Do you know what God is thinking, but you cant since you dont believ in God.Jesus knew he was going to be betrayed but he didnt enjoy the fact that he was going to be crucified. he was human, he knew it had to be done but he was scared. Judas betrayed Jesus of his own free will. Saying that Judas shouldnt feel any guilt is like saying the the Grand Inquisitors were doing Gods will thus they were in the right, which was of course bull. 5) This is what seperates God apart from other gods. I love it when people say, " If there is a God then why is there so much suffering in the world, he must not love us." Thats where your wrong. God loves us so much that he lets people have control of there own free will. He doesnt interfere with anyones lives. If you worship him you do it of your won free will. If God was unjust he would make evevryone worship before him. And i know people will disagree but whatever. God needed to sacrifice his own son to redeem the world. Because Jesus was human but also divine, therefore it wasnt with a snap of his fingers but through humanity itself that God redeemed us. 6) Hell isnt even mentioned in the Bible in the old testamnet. I personally dont belive that there is a hell. I believe that Jesus sacrificed himself so that evryone would go to heaven. What exactly heaven is im not sure. For why he doesnt interfere see my answer to question 5. 7) is such an easy question, its obviously a very neat piece of fcition about Micheal casting Satan out of heaven, i think its a badass story, but one could assume that like humans, God gives angels theright to choose as well, it is not his duty to extinguish a life because it opposes his will. God doesnt need to do that. I think my assumption is way better than yours. Since you dont believe in any of this anyway. God redeems all. Well could respond to more but im tired and your boring me Mr. Pink. later

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 1:18 p.m. CST

    Mr. Pink...

    by Durendal

    The answer to your questions aren't absolute to all of Christianity. A Mormon and a Baptist would probably give you completely different answers. Christianity is a huge group. Too damn big to lump them all together.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 1:19 p.m. CST

    Excellent review

    by Theta

    I appreciate your perspective, this is a great review and it makes me excited to see the movie. If you're really sick of people saying "your people" are shallow, violent and intolerant, you should point out that's mostly fundamentalists (sorry, Christian fundamentalists, but very few of the rest of us have a good experience with you guys) and hand them "The True Believer."

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 1:28 p.m. CST

    I just think..

    by halcyonseven

    It is so cute the way Mr. Pink gets all riled up about everything! Just darling.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 1:31 p.m. CST

    The problem with liberal scholarship

    by invisible

    Someone on another post has mentioned that liberal scholarship is supported by facts, and that we know more in the last hundred years than we have in the last 2000 about Judea. Being students of liberal scholarship it is not surprising that this is your opinion. Beginning with Herman Samuel Reimarus, David Fredrich Strauss,H.J. Holzmann, Alfred Loisy, Albert Schweitzer; these are the fathers of the modern day Historical Jesus movement, under the current heads of Dominic Crossan and the rest of the Jesus Seminarians. These are the men that are responsible for the current thinking about first century palestine, and I suspect the original sources for much of the information being posted here. While they are learned men, the problem is this: They entered an investigation with a PRECEPT rather than a question. A "precept" is an immediate tarnish to any SERIOUS Scholarly investigation. As it is in law enforcement and scientific research. The precept makes any discovery basically rhetorical. These "scholars" went into the investigation of the claims of Christ with the intent of proving it false. Many of them were disgruntled with Christianity and the "limits" it placed on thier lives, so the INTENT was to call into question everything that made Jesus Christ divine. In studying Jewish history it is indeed true that the Jewish people were not EXPECTING a divine Messiah. Based in what historical Hebrews were EXPECTING liberal scholars took that as the basis to investigate the claims of Jesus Christ. Therefore they chose to take the gospels and indeed the whole New Testament, and go through it page by page and illiminate ANY reference to divinity as being inaccurate to Jewish EXPECTATIONS. With "filtered" text in hand they proceeded to study Jesus Christ, the gospels and the New Testament. They HAVE TO CONCLUDE based on the PRECEPT that anything mentioning divinity MUST have been added later. The problem with this is that what one EXPECTS often has no basis in reality. The Jews of that time were EXPECTING a liberator, one from the house of DAVID, a warrior to free them from Roman rule. What they got was a carpenter from Nazareth telling them to love the romans and submit to them and serve God with an open heart. NOT what they wanted to hear. So the Jews of that day concluded this CANNOT be the messiah. This belief holds true to today in Isreal, who once again are expecting David to come and rescue them from the current crisis gripping the region. Returning to the precept, exclusion of documentation because it does not fit the intention is suspiciously UNscholarly, and this is what should be considered untrustworthy. That which is being investigated is incomplete. Since the Jews were not EXPECTING a divine messiah, does not mean He wasn't when He arrived, and to exclude data based on a supposition creates an unclear picture. I was not EXPECTING two planes to strike the WTC in 2001, but that does not mean it didn't happen. And as an example, 1900 years from now, those unhappy with the opinion of terrorists will set it upon themselves to investigate September 11th, BUT go into the investigation with the precept to illiminate any mention of terrorism as the motive. How could I possibly get an accurate portrait of what happened that day, and those involved if some liberal scholar 1900 years from now decides to exclude large portions of the data? A law enforcement officer entering a crime investigation can have SUSPICIONS based on history, but he CANNOT go into the crime investigation with the intent to blame any single individual. This would limit his investigation and most likely limit his ability to reconstruct events. Liberal Scholarship, has limited its investigation into the claims of Christ by not even considering the divine. They have said, that "since its possible, but not probable, it must be incorrect." This is a hindrance to discovery. When discovery is hindered by - exclusion of data BEFORE it is considered, leaves room for only conjecture. And looking back through the other posts indeed - I have read LOTS of: "perhaps" "maybe" "likely" "possibly" in answering hard questions. The liberal scholar and thier students are left with nothing BUT conjecture when confronted with the claims of the Gospels. Someone else mentioned that taking a particular stand or belief was pubecent and a sign of insecurity. It has been my experience in law enforcement that those who rant, rave, swear, and demand that others submit to thier world view are the ones who suffer with insecurities. Attacking an opponents intellect or them personally is the first SIGN in any dabate of those that are having personal difficulties. Going back to Herman Samuel Reimarus, unhappiness is the motivator to bully others into ones thinking. Please keep this in mind as you hear some of the "facts" being fired off on these msg boards.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 1:36 p.m. CST

    Great Review!

    by Jean Racine

    Thanks Harry & Doug!

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 1:56 p.m. CST

    Hey Anirtrak!

    by zappaman

    Could you tell me when the rapture is a-coming? I want to make sure I run up my credit card bills, travel the world, and stalk Tyra Banks before time runs out. Please post the date and time of the rapture to help everyone out. And once you have it, my sure to tell Jesus not to be late. I know its fashionable these days to be late, but just make sure either his driver picks him up on time or he's wearing a good watch. I hate it when people are late!

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 1:58 p.m. CST

    Comment on review

    by carbon14

    I agree completely with this review. When I saw the film last week, the scene with Satan in Gethsemane as well as at the flogging are brilliant! The feeling i got at the pojnt when satan arrives with the anti-christ in his arms - I too - got an absolute chill down my spine. It reminded me of Genesis: "I shall put enmity between thy seed and her seed." The seed of the woman(Jesus) and the seed of the serpent(the anti-christ) in the film - Satan cradled the baby lovingly and the baby strokes satans cheek. They then both look at Jesus and smile as if to say: "This is how your father treats you, He would have you whipped and destroyed - see how I treat people. Your mission and passion is pointless - you cannot take the sins of the world." It trully was a deeply disturbing scene. I especially love that Gibson cast a woman in the roll of Satan - because lets keep in mind that "the nachash" the shining one, satan, is GORGEOUS and extremely attractive. He was Gods most beautiful creation - and Satan in this film is seductively attractive but at the same time dripping with a venom just below the surface. Althopught the film moved my deeply - when the final score from lisa gerrard is edited in - it is going to be a triumph.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 2:12 p.m. CST

    religion and politics...

    by joe brady

    every religion contains a certain amount of bullshit, some more, some less. Really, I don't see the point in arguing about it. Trying to convince a die-hard christian that what they believe is wrong is like trying to convince me not to drink too much. blind faith can be infuriating, but faith is what it's all about.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 2:22 p.m. CST

    A supersuit did fall...

    by HardcoreRocker

    I loved that review, very well-written. I don't even know if I want to see this movie, I don't think I could handle it. Yikes. Best and Worst of the Year at www.rockithardcore.com.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 2:36 p.m. CST

    hey belluci isn't a whore

    by podunk411

    does she play both Madge and Mother Mary? And the catholic church has since apologized for labeling Magdalene a prostitute (in the 15th century) as she most certainly was not.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 2:46 p.m. CST

    Chronicles of Narnia next, please!

    by El Cyd

    Wouldn't it be awesome to see The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in new animation - beautifully drawn, gorgeous colours, great animation?

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 2:53 p.m. CST

    So Satan is played by a woman?

    by golconda2

    Why am I not surprised in the least by this?

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 3 p.m. CST

    Yes Satan is played by a woman...

    by carbon14

    ...but she is androgenous. Her name is Rosalinda Celentano and gives a marvelous performance. She is both masucline and feminine which is why its brilliant casting.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 3:02 p.m. CST

    look on the bright side!

    by joe brady

    At least Mel's not crazy enough to be a scientologist. We could have had another Battlefield Earth on our hands.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 3:23 p.m. CST

    Hallelujah, Play D'Oh

    by Rupee88

    Say it, Minister!

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 3:28 p.m. CST

    What Would Jesus Do...

    by tucson

    ...for a Klondike Bar. Man, I love that bumper sticker.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 3:32 p.m. CST

    answers to allanon

    by Mister Pink

    1.) The bitch wasn't meditating (and meditation has nothing to with "finding your true self) he was asking God for shit. He though God had abandoned him on the cross. Why would he think that if he WAS god? 2.) No, it's not in the Bible but it's in Gibson's movie. I was just pointing out how illogical a chice it was for Gibson. 3.) This is really weak. Satan would know that God was omnipotent and all knowing. He would know that nothing can happen without God's will, therefore he would have to know that the crucifixion was God's will and could not be good for Satan. 4.) I could argue that the description of the last supper in which Jesus says Judas will betray him is an assignement rather than a prediction but either way, the CRUCIFIXION was God's will so Judas did nothing wrong in facillitating it. Now if Judas had tried to thwart God's will by PREVENTING the crucifixon, then God might have reason to be pissed. Let's also not forget that God already knew Judas was going to nark Jesus out before he ever created the universe. He chose to create the univese anyway. that makes everything that happens God's will. 5.) There is nothing in anything you said which is unique to Christianity. ALL Gods allow free will. ALL gods allow evil to exist so your "separation" doesn't exist. Your statement that God allows people to "choose" to worship him is laughable in the light that he makes it a requirement for salvation, that he offers no shred of evidence for his own existence and that he would exclude sincere attempts at worship from meriting salvation if someone happpens to guess wrong on the proper mytholgy to believe in. You still haven't explained why a blood safrifice is necessary or why any "act" at all is necessary. God is the one with his finger on the trigger. All he has to do is not pull it. What is the point of a human sacrifice unless God is a bloodthisrty, slobbering psychopath. 6.) Interesting. if you want to use OT definitions then Jesus isn't the Messiah and Satan isn't evil. If there isn'y any hell then what happens to those who don't go to Heaven? Annihilation? Fine by me. That's what i expect as an atheist anyway. basically you're telling me that there will be no consequences in the afterlife if I'm evil. Cool. I don't want to go to Heaven anyway. Who wants to sit around singing "Cum Bye ya" forever with a bunch of santimonious virgins? Fuck that shit. I choose obliteration. 7.) Free will is beside the point. God is supposedly at war with satan yet he has the power to eliminate Stan at any moment. So Satan exists by God's will which means that God alone is responsible for eveil. He has the power to remove it and does not. The Bible doesn't say shit about satan being cast out of Heaven, by the way.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 3:37 p.m. CST

    Coming soon: Bhagavad Gita, the Bollywood musical!

    by where_are_quints_hobbit_set_reports

    You should see the dance moves you can do with eighteen arms! Then at the end Durga and Hannuman throw a coat over their heads so they can kiss. I'm actually getting less excited about "Passion of the Christ" with each gushing review. Right now its biggest appeal is the Jews decrying it; any condemnation of a film by a religious group titillates my interest. It's hard for me to believe anyone really takes the bible seriously. It's so kooky, like something you'd find on Usenet or that the TimeCube guy wrote. Speaking of which, where is PASSION OF THE TIMECUBE???? http://www.timecube.com/

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 3:39 p.m. CST

    refer to earlier post - The problem with Liberal Scholarship

    by invisible

    An excellent example

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 3:47 p.m. CST

    I officially cannot wait.

    by antmanx68

    This movie sounds wonderful, i'm catholic although i am very opened minded and i've never totally taken stock in the bible. But the story of jesus is a wonderful story that really transcends religion i think. Fictionally speaking Jesus is the greatest hero, he used different weapons but he really saves the earth sure enough. And now that I hear about the scary demon things in this movie i'm more psyched than ever (i've always been most intrigued by jesus triumph over evil).......... That was an awesome review, great job mel gibson and jim caviezal.... i cannot wait, i hope it breaks titanic's record.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 3:48 p.m. CST

    Consider....

    by Hello There

    This was a great and well written review. Mel Gibson is a dedicted filmmaker and great story teller. In it's most basic form art is about communication . It looks as if there is a definite viewpoint being communicated here. The thing that keeps coming to me is what is it that The Passion wants to accomplish? As a former Catholic this film seems like a big retaliatory push to shift the focus away from the transgressions against mankind done by the Catholic Church which have brought about it's present and contiual fall. It would be very exciting and enlightening to show Jesus's life and where he studied as a young boy and man leading up to last 3 years or how entries to the Bible were voted on by the high priests and what was never told. Christianity is young religion compared to the history of man. Anything which promotes such divine "mystery", unknowingness, victimization, fear, exaggerted ideas of self-abnegation as a way to salavation and fails to teach you about your native abilities as a spirutal being and the path to unlocking the secrets of the universe really serves no pupose to me except as a saber rattling spectacle to gain back control from those who do not know. There is no doubt that Jesus was a GREAT man who tried to teach his fellow man about his true spiritual nature and was murdered in cold blood for it. However I do not believe or trust the accounts as laid out by the Cathoilc and Christian based churches. The day of Judgement will always be coming, it is the only way that the religion is perpetuated. Think about that for a moment. I have no doubt this film is high quality storytelling which will move many people. I just look at the intention of the message behind the film.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 4:01 p.m. CST

    Wake up Humanity...

    by imaginary_threat

    god Hates Religion!

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 4:08 p.m. CST

    HOLY SHIT, YOU MUST SEE THIS LINK RIGHT NOW!!!

    by HardcoreRocker

    http://homepages.nyu.edu/~scs273/01.mov That is a made-up preview for The Passion of the Christ. It is fucking hilarious. I insist you watch if you think this talkback has been funny. Best and Worst in Film in 2003 at www.rockithardcore.com.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 4:17 p.m. CST

    You created Earthworm Jim?

    by Archduke_Chocula

    Awesome.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 5:07 p.m. CST

    The Why?

    by Hello There

    This was a great and well written review. Mel Gibson is a dedicted filmmaker and great story teller. In it's most basic form art is about communication . It looks as if there is a definite viewpoint being communicated here. The thing that keeps coming to me is what is it that The Passion wants to accomplish? As a former Catholic this film seems like a big retaliatory push to shift the focus away from the transgressions against mankind done by the Catholic Church which have brought about it's present and contiual fall. It would be very exciting and enlightening to show Jesus's life and where he studied as a young boy and man leading up to last 3 years or how entries to the Bible were voted on by the high priests and what was never told. Christianity is young religion compared to the history of man. Anything which promotes such divine "mystery", unknowingness, victimization, fear, exaggerted ideas of self-abnegation as a way to salavation and fails to teach you about your native abilities as a spirutal being and the path to unlocking the secrets of the universe really serves no pupose to me except as a saber rattling spectacle to gain back control from those who do not know. There is no doubt that Jesus was a GREAT man who tried to teach his fellow man about his true spiritual nature and was murdered in cold blood for it. However I do not believe or trust the accounts as laid out by the Cathoilc and Christian based churches. The day of Judgement will always be coming, it is the only way that the religion is perpetuated. Think about that for a moment. I have no doubt this film is high quality storytelling which will move many people. I just look at the intention of the message behind the film.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 6:03 p.m. CST

    OK Mister Pink I will take a shot.

    by FluffyUnbound

    Now, let me preface my remarks by saying that I don't believe any of this nonsense, but let's try to present the crucifixion story in the best possible light. // OK, there was no need for a blood sacrifice, if God is indeed omnipotent. That's a given. So let's just say that the theology of the blood sacrifice is just a misinterpretation of the events. They bolloxed it up at the councils. If you abandon that notion as a misinterpretation - but as a logical mistake for people living in the Mediterranean tradition to make, what with the Orpheus / Adonis / Osiris stories out there already, not to mention the Core / Persephone stories - then the crucifixion becomes easier to interpret. // The central message of the New Testament is rejection of the things of this world in favor of eternal salvation through the love of God as a father. You talked about Hinduism and Buddhism above. Let's say the parts of the NT that lead people to claim that Jesus was a Buddhist ARE the actual New Testament. "Blessed are the poor in spirit." What does that mean? "Turn the other cheek." "The lilies of the field do not toil." "What profit it a man if he gain the whole world..." "Render unto Caesar..." The central message of the NT becomes passive acceptance of worldly misfortune, because the world literally DOES NOT MATTER. Ignore it. In the next world, if you have loved God, you will enjoy eternal peace. Now, if this is the case, then accepting the crucifixion is not a sacrifice, it is a DEMONSTRATION. It is an effiacious symbol. The world mattered so little to Jesus that he allowed himself to be tortured and crucified, even though he could have stopped it, because taking action to stop it would have shown that Jesus considered this world important after all, if only important enough to avoid pain and death. The devil, even knowing that God, being God, must succeed, has two reasons for revelling in the crucifixion. First, well, maybe the horse learns to talk. If the crucifixion is bad enough, maybe Jesus in his human aspect changes his mind. This is unlikely though, so perhaps the devil is just trying to make the crucifixion so bad that the value of Jesus' example is lost. "Wow," observers might say, "If this is how bad shit gets when you renounce the things of this world, I ain't renouncing shit!" The devil wasn't trying to influence Jesus, he was trying to influence US. // OK, it's absurd, but it's the best I can do with the material the gospels provide. It only gets more illogical from there, I'm afraid. I can't explain why Jesus would pray to God, if he IS God, for example. That is in fact a little silly, and I can't fit it into any paradigm where Christ is divine. It just doesn't work. If he was a prophet, and not divine, it would fit fine. But that's not what the Christian churches claim, so it doesn't and cannot be made to fit.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 6:08 p.m. CST

    from www.randi.org

    by Some Dude

    This week's page will be devoted entirely to religion. I've reached the point where I just have to unload on this subject that until now I've felt was just outside of the matters that the JREF handles. Since religion shows up as a part of so many arguments in support of other fantastic claims, I want to show you that its embrace is of the same nature as acceptance of astrology, ESP, prophecy, dowsing, and the other myriad of strange beliefs we handle here every day. Previously, I've excused myself from involved discussions of this pervasive notion, on grounds that it offers no examinable evidence, as the other supernatural beliefs actually do

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 6:10 p.m. CST

    The above works better with paragraphs

    by Some Dude

    Read it with proper paragraph format at http://www.randi.org/jr/072503.html

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 6:12 p.m. CST

    Jesus's story was even encoded in the old testiment

    by Shougn

    Guday Guys, this just scratches the surface of things hidden in the bible, but in the geniology of adam to noah, when you get the meaning of each name (hebrew meaning of each name) it actualy describes the story of Jesus... This Movie is comming for a reason... Love it or Hate it, it is unique. and personaly I cant wait to see it.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 6:14 p.m. CST

    It can also be used to poke holes in the Palpatine is Sidious as

    by Some Dude

    Believing that Sidious is Palpatine is the misguided religion of 99% of Star Wars fans. You haven't "figured out" anything that the average 5 year old hasn't by the end of the Phantom Menace. Congrats on being duped.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 6:22 p.m. CST

    Best Review ever written on this site......

    by MontyPigeon

    ....for the best film in recent years.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 6:48 p.m. CST

    I know all the answers to all your questions

    by wimplo

    Mary Magdalene wasn,t a prostitute. She was possesed and jesus expelled the demons. Jesus died on a stake not a cross. heaven is used to signify several places in the bible ( Dwelling plane of god and any who are created to exist there, heaven can also refer to our atmosphere as in "the birds fly in the heavens") Hell does not exist as a place of eternal fiery torment(what kind of loving god would send people there for eternity)Hell is the grave. satan is referred to being cast out of heaven in revelation when it says so down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent. The antichrist is not one but many who oppose god and his purposes, thus anti---christ. Duh? See what i mean. there is just so much crap to discuss its not funny. Oh yeah read Ecclesiastes 9:5,10. or ezekiel 14:8,20. That tells all where they go when they die. Jesus is not the god but a god. Just as moses was told by god that he would be god to aaron. Its in the original meaning of the word people. jesus said that the manner of his return would be the same manner as he left. Only the rest of his apostles were there when he ascended. Thus only his true disciples would be aware of his presence. 1914 Baby!

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 6:49 p.m. CST

    Recent talkbacks

    by DukeDeMondo

    Some of the recent talkbacks on this site have really annoyed me, not because of the daft joking about, which is harmless most of the time,(indeed, last night i posted a couple of very very bad jokes myself, although in my defence i then apologised)but in the really spiteful, resentful was certain people are refering to others. First off was the Talk Back regarding Moriarty's DVD posting, which ammounted to a plethora of insults directed at Drew himself, plus his other half. It just smacked of really petty, utterly ill mannered and disgusting sniping. And now this. God save us if eternity is to be spent with ANY of you people. Ah, look at me getting all self-righteous. I don't mean to (honest, i really don't) cause i've done as much shitty stuff as anyone else. But i think there's a danger regarding these things that because its anonymous, and because its the internet, that perhaps we're not dealing with REAL individuals. Well, fuck it man, we are, and people can get just as hurt and upset about some shit thrown at them in here as they can by some asshole ganging up on them in a bar somewhere. And now for the obligitary joke subject heading : "The most vicious TB since the one that killed Jimmy Rodgers." Cheers. http://mondoirlando.blogspot.com

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 7:26 p.m. CST

    Do the mentally retarded automatically get a free pass into heav

    by Mr. Waturi

    Just wondering.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 8:48 p.m. CST

    Thank you so much... though I could not read all.

    by viola123

    I didn't want to be spoilt too much, even though we all know the general story. But when Harry said that Mr. Tennepal's review went into great depth, I admit that I could not at this time read it in its entirety. But I can tell it was wonderfully written, seriously thoughtful. I can't wait to read it completely, and I am very happy to know that Mr. Tennapal loved it as much as he did. Thank you, Harry, and Ain't It Cool, for supporting this amazing film. I know it's going to be amazing.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 8:51 p.m. CST

    tits

    by WoodyStiffer

    this movie needs more tits.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 9:09 p.m. CST

    Regarding Some Dude

    by Hello There

    The cut and past diatribe of Some Dude can basically be summed up as that man is not a spiritual being but an animal. He is competing for the title of lowest homo sapiens life form on this planet currently held by psychiatrists. I read his passge, It's long, very glib and runs out of steam fast. The rest of the tome become an eyeball moving excersise. Better to Bypass.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 9:17 p.m. CST

    New Blade III pics

    by DukeDeMondo

    New Blade III picks over at http://mondoirlando.blogspot.com Top Of The Page

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 9:41 p.m. CST

    Doug

    by Cap'n Chaos!

    Awesome review. I'll be checking this out. On another note, everyone be sure to get a look at Doug's art for Five Iron Frenzy's The End is Near album. It's amazing.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 10:09 p.m. CST

    Mr.Pink

    by agnosticyesno

    Mr. Pink, I was going to respond to Halcyon, but you did such a fine job that I won

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 10:15 p.m. CST

    A great Master speaks about Jesus

    by truthseekr1488

    Enlightened (late) master Osho (a.k.a. Rajneesh) thought highly of Jesus and spoke at length about him. ....... "I am all for Christ, but not even a small part of me is for Christianity. If you want Christ, you have to go beyond Christianity. If you cling too much to Christianity, you will not be able to understand Christ. Christ is beyond all churches. Christ has something in him which cannot be organized; the very nature of it is rebellion and a rebellion cannot be organized. The moment you organize it, you kill it. Then the dead corpse remains. You can worship it, but you cannot be transformed by it. .... Christ is a rare synthesis. If you look at Krishna, you see he lives in ecstasy; there is no agony left in him; how can you reach him? If you look at Buddha, you see he has gone even farther away from humanity; he is absolutely quiet and calm, beyond both agony and ecstasy; he is so far away that you can look at him but can hardly believe that he exists. How can such a man walk on this earth, so transcendental to all agony and ecstasy? But Jesus is the synthesis: he is in agony as you are, as every human being is born, but he is also capable of ecstasy, and there are moments when you may see that his innermost being is neither the cross, nor his celebration, but transcendence of both. That's the beauty of Christ; there exists a bridge. You can move toward him and he will lead you into the unknown. But beware: to follow such a Master is a death, always must be a death, a transformation; that is why the church must always crucify such a Master, for churches are invariably creations of unenlightened followers, of bureaucrats, of egos who seek only power. Christ was killed for speaking against such ones."

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 10:24 p.m. CST

    You want answers??? Can you handle the truth?!?!

    by JorgeHP

    I'm waging a so far 29 year battle to become a devout Roman Catholic. So I guess my advise is poor to all of you people that have questions regarding the Bible, Christianity, Catholic Church, the Pope., etc. But isn't it amazing though? I can't remember who it was (I think maybe a teacher in Law School), but he said that "people tend to acknowledge their poor knowledge and lack of objective judgement in all disciplines, sciences, and even if they're talkin about the field in which they are specialized in. Except in religion. In religion everybody talks like they're experts or like they know the answers, or worse, the questions to everything..." That teacher was more right than even he imagined! So... I admit, I'm no expert. But, uh, it is JUST a movie. Now, don't get me wrong, I am concerned about the reactions a little. Maybe, its a project of vanity, maybe its controversial, maybe its Mel Gibson's personal religious statement, but that's just it! Just a movie!!! The movie is NOT Gospel (in all the extention of the word!) Jeez, even the Pope, by way of his personal secretary, has just made clear that he didn't endorse the film. Why sould he endorse any film? He's not a movie critic, even he himself acknowledges this when the secretary said that he leaves that to experts. The Pope has other things to do, he IS expert in other matters. We should ask him regarding our questions about Faith, or at least read the books he's published regarding Faith and religion, in that lays his expertise not in movies. I'll try to enjoy the movie AND have peace in my life at the same time, no harm in trying.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 10:25 p.m. CST

    The Devil and Temptation

    by truthseekr1488

    I think it's easier for most of us hyperintellectual types of view J's visions of Satan as essentially projections of his own ego-consciousness. It's clearly stated in the NT that the encounter with Satan took place in the wilderness where J had been in deep meditation and fasting for an extended period of time (this is a common practice and still done today by serious spiritual practitioners of Sufism and some Hindu sects.) Naturally in that state all sorts of "stuff" is going to come bubbling up from the unconscious -- self-doubt, lust, greed, etc. The story is told of Buddha meditating under the bodhi tree and being tempted by the demon Mara with all sorts of worldly distractions, tortured by self-doubt (in the form of Mara's mockery), and so forth. (This scene is nicely portrayed in "Little Buddha," if you can handle Keanu Reeves as Buddha.) Ultimately Jesus like Buddha had to overcome these temptations to go on with his work.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 10:30 p.m. CST

    Harry, take off the stupid porn ad attached to Passion of Christ

    by FerrellFan911

    it's stupid

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 10:31 p.m. CST

    Oh sorry, almost forgot...

    by JorgeHP

    Books I recommend on these topics: G. K. Chesterton's: The Everlasting Man and Othodoxy. Real works of genius. Parting thoughts: Bad "good catholic" and "good christian" men and women made me lose my faith more than once, but the good ones not only helped me regain it but also appreciate those times that I lost it. Anyway, those were my 2 cents. Take care y'all!

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 10:56 p.m. CST

    GreatOne, didn't I tell you to shut the fuck up?

    by Mister Pink

    "Sodomites?" "Babykillers?" You are a fucking douchebag, man. BTW I have no problems with the RCC, what pisses ME off is the kind of pig-eyed, hateful, mindless, fundamentalist, irrational garbage that YOU'RE spewing out. You are the reason that Christianity is a dying religion...well, you and science, that is.--------------------------------------------------AGNOSTIC, thank you. Sorry to denerate back into the insults but some people need to be bitch slapped back into place.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 11:32 p.m. CST

    To Play D

    by agnosticyesno

    As far as the

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 11:38 p.m. CST

    Great post Christ III --A great Master...

    by agnosticyesno

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 11:41 p.m. CST

    Mr. Pink Holler

    by allanon1985

    Sry i just read ur msg to my answers to your questions etc. Unlike u i have a life and dont spend all day on the forums waiting to respond to someone i dont give a shit about. I really cant take ur shit anymore i could argue your retorts but whats the point. Your tyrannical views are so asinine that your in fact just like those thick headed christians you hate. Your fixed in your ways and wont open ur mind, so go fuck a goat. You were raped by a priest when u were a kid but thats still no excuse for your shit. Im done, wont post again. You have your victory on the msg board u are the winner. And frankly i dont give a flying fuck. My god to think that u might actually have friends! How can they stand to be around you. Im sure youll post some slick comment about it and im looking foward to reading it. Kiss my ass. I could argue rationaly with anyone else on the board, but ur fucking hopeless. Catch you later fucktard.

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 11:42 p.m. CST

    faith, mel and re: pablo2004

    by Kukalaka

    I've been lurking for quite a while, and I figured I should probably say something, as a more liberal Christian than most. First: to pablo2004: not to say that Doug Tenpanel's (sp?) review is based on this, part of the reason you may only be hearing good things about the film is that Icon is making everyone sign confidentiality agreements before screenings. They require them not to talk about the film, or, if they're going to... only in a positive light. That might explain some of it. As for christianity and faith: I'm a confirmed Lutheran. I was raised in the church, baptized and confirmed. I also attended an episcopal private school. So I like to think I know a little something about christianity. I also don't believe a lot of the things said or done in the bible are completely true, for reasons that may involve translation problems, an ancient perspective on something we have already explained to us scientifically, or just plain distortion of facts (which is true if you look at the history of the early church). I don't believe we can take a lot of things at face value. I don't believe the book is the be all and end all of the religion, especially with so many other gospel tellings that were rejected. I don't believe that Christ was ever out to create his own religion, or even in the holy trinity (a creation of Constantine), though I do take him as my lord and savior, and the son of God. In short, I believe in the historical Christ, and not the biblical Christ. Anyway, the long and the short of it... what matters in your faith is the message, not the literal interpretation. There are many interpretations of the holy gospel, including books included and not included in the new testament. I will go see the film when it comes out, but I won't consider Mel's work the definitive... it's just one more interpretation. And here's a shocker for those jesus knockers... a lot of christians will do the same thing. Look, are you a good person? Do you generally follow the ten commandments (minus ones like the sabbath day and taking the lord in vain, etc)? Do you give to those less fortunate than yourself? Do believe in peace and detest violence in all forms? Then you're following the message of Christ. Whether you believe in him or not doesn't matter. Just that you think he made a good point. Ku

  • Jan. 24, 2004, 11:50 p.m. CST

    if you got a hate on for Christianity you seriously gotta get yo

    by Tall_Boy

    why? What's the point? Hating someone because they believe in something is one of the most narrow minded views you can have. go out and smell the roses, there's a big wide world out there to explore. Sheesh y'all get annoyed rather easily, eh? Anyhoo, I wanna see this flick for a few reasons: #1 mostly because all the shots in the trailers look amazing. #2 I wanna see a no-bullshit non "epic" religious movie that plays the nitty gritty for what it was. #3 its being released during Lent so its a good way to get it started. #4 gory crucifixtion looks cool #5 Braveheart was kinda neat #6 I'm a Catholic and its good to reconnect with that once in awhile since I'm too damn lazy to go to church every sunday.

  • Jan. 25, 2004, 12:24 a.m. CST

    Problem with the comparison to Braveheart and Schindler's List

    by Spaz Medicine

    Braveheart and Schindler's List are two movies that portray historic events that happened. And while the exact facts of each event can be disputed, it is a fact that these events took place. The life and death and life of jesus Christ is fafr from factual. It is a belief that many people believe happened and many other people do not. The comparison is very problematic.

  • Jan. 25, 2004, 1:11 a.m. CST

    Hello there

    by Some Dude

    That was the writing of James Randi. If you read it in its entirety you'd see that it was not a diatribe. It is a logical response to a lifetime of religious know-it-alls attacking the logic of atheists. Oh, and fuck you.

  • Jan. 25, 2004, 1:18 a.m. CST

    Stop all this religious propaganda!

    by raoulkduke

    These holy rollers aren't reviewing Mel's movie, they are doing what they always do, spewing forth their obnoxious drivel in hopes that they can sucker in yet another moron. Why bother to publish "reviews" from misguided nutcases who signed a statement agreeing not to badmouth the propaganda in order to be allowed to see it?

  • Jan. 25, 2004, 1:24 a.m. CST

    Hello There...Uh

    by MimiRogers3rdNip

    To me Some Dude wasnt saying man is an animal and not a spiritual being so much as man is the one animal able to be a spiritual being. Man can examine what is presented and then choose his belief on continuously changing and growing information or on faith. Or on both. One may sway more one way or the other. To dismiss someones comments as longwinded simply because they may disagree with yours doesnt weaken his presentation. It weakens yours if your only argument is, 'he talks too much.' If his views are incorrect in your mind present why. Because it seems what hes saying is science loves debate while religion dismisses question. And youre saying his blabbermouth is unworthy of debate because there is no question. Which makes his point.

  • Jan. 25, 2004, 1:28 a.m. CST

    GreatOne - You Got Some Serious Issues

    by WoodyStiffer

    "Hi, I'm a sinner, and I don't want to be told that what I'm doing is seriously wrong." Honestly, in this day and age, this type of thinking is scary. You pyscho religious types REALLY need to expand your universe. Beyond that, what this movie really needs is MORE TITS!!!!!!!!!

  • Jan. 25, 2004, 1:33 a.m. CST

    Great One = Psychopath

    by WoodyStiffer

    Here's the weird thing about everyday life. You could be working a normal job, all the while not realizing that your coworker is a complete psycho basket-case like THE GREAT ONE. These things keep me awake at night.

  • Jan. 25, 2004, 1:38 a.m. CST

    Insiteful post invisible - thanx

    by carbon14

    The most intelligent article Ive encountered on these posts is from "invisible" about the dangers of liberal scholarship. This applies to much of what has been written here. thanx invisible

  • Jan. 25, 2004, 1:59 a.m. CST

    ?mynameisnobody?

    by carbon14

    On the contrary, it explains much as to where much of the commentary is coming from - particularly those directed at you mynameisnobody. Difficult to call it platitudinous if you never got passed the 4th sentence.

  • Jan. 25, 2004, 2:24 a.m. CST

    Episode 3 footage

    by INWOsuxRED

    While I'm not a fan of posting off topic, you guys are asleep at the wheel again. Episode 3 footage is everywhere...except here. That story will probably break here in a few weeks, huh? http://www.theforce.net/episode3/index.shtml#23095

  • Jan. 25, 2004, 2:28 a.m. CST

    Some Dude

    by Hello There

    This is what you said- "That was the writing of James Randi. If you read it in its entirety you'd see that it was not a diatribe. It is a logical response to a lifetime of religious know-it-alls attacking the logic of atheists. Oh, and fuck you." Let me respond that when his commentary started making dispariging remarks about other religions it became a diatribe. The derivation of diatribe is from Greek which meant to lecture. Look at the posting sherlock. You tell me. The response was not logical nor is it particulary scientific. I can only wonder what crimes Mr Randi is hiding by his attack on several of the religions which have strived to help man out of the mud. Your attack on me was sophmoric. Ignore.

  • Jan. 25, 2004, 2:44 a.m. CST

    The cross and the switchblade

    by carbon14

    Hopefully Gibsons "The Passion of the Christ" will challenge someone to make "The Cross and the Switchblade" based on the book by Nikki Cruz. There was a film of this book made in the 70's, but it was without the RAW INTENSITY of the book and lacked the sex, violence and hopelessness of the book. For those unfamiliar it is the TRUE STORY of Nikki Cruz, an inner city latino gang member in New York City who lived the life of MENACE TO SOCIETY or BOYZ N THE HOOD. Cruz came to faith and transformed an entire neighborhood from violence bloodshed, drugs and hopelessness into one of the largest Latino congregations in New York. A raw presentatio of this subject matter is much needed, and the hope that was brought, is trully what Christianity is all about. Politics, symantecs and discussions of historical accuracy aside this is a film which should be made. Hollywood should like it because there is already a sequal. The second book entitled "run,baby,run" follows Nikki Cruz and his encounters with gang members who target him for death, after He takes a stand in the neighborhood against thier control. Its one of the most compelling true life stories ever written. Perhaps Gibson can open the door to tell this story like it should be told - unsanitized.

  • Jan. 25, 2004, 3:09 a.m. CST

    What this talkback needs is an IP checker.. what you don;t want

    by JasonDkEldar

    It is amazing how people will spend their day sniping at others, writing absurdly long-winded arguments they crib from other sources. This board offers anonymous talkbacks, as most other forums do. People here, however, use this to post attacks, state unfounded "truths", and invent personal histories that their real lives too often fail to back up. The Anti-Christians don't often realize their arguments are as nonsensical and circular as those of the pro-life movements or any other extreme-position group. I have met and conversed with Satanists, Wiccans, and secular humanists. Clever turns-of-phrase and pesudo-scientific or unnfounded scientific research mixed with a vehemence and doggedness make up much of their arguments, and they have the nerve to call Christians who argue in the same vein foolish and hypocritical. The schisms within religions are heated enough, and the denominations do indeed vilify each other, not to mention any perceived cultish interpretation of mainstream Chistianity. Know the person's background by the words they use and judge accordingly. Serious Bible study classes are not open to non-believers, so were MR Pink to have any sort of lettered degree in these things it would needs be from a liberal arts college running seminars by other non-believers, as religious based interpretations of matters such as these are not allowed in state schools. The argument he might have learned his facts from an Ivy League or independent university holds less water since their students tend to know how to argue without rousing ire in their opponents, chiefly by ridiculing the opponent and browbeating your "degree" over someone's head. Conversely, the poster who mentioned baby-killer abortionists in his post let himself be known as among those Christians who pick and choose verses to suit their feelings on a matter. With a sibling growing up in the 60's and 70's, I witnessed firsthand conformist-happy Christians browbeating young people over their hair, clothes, and dancing in public. Nowhere in the Bible are these prohibitions listed as honored by God. The verses quoted are those of Paul "suggesting" things to the Churcheshe wrote to. Even he predicated these statements with reference to them specifically being suggestions, adding that if they caused controversy or strife among the Church's adherents they were not to be used. Little wonder Peter was chosen first head of the Church as a whole. Hypocrites populate both sides of this argument, but unfortunately for the atheists' side, they forget that their attacks being focused on the so-called errors and historical mistakes takes them off-topic and into the same pat arguments they make when sipping coffee with their buddies. The questions above about this film, and the honest reaction of reviewers who HAVE seen this film are astonishing. Jewish leaders claiming to have seen the movie are now using the fact it is being screened to bolster their claim to have seen it, still not providing sufficient detail to show they have and still whining about the same matters they "found" in their *STOLEN* copy of the rough draft. Find me an honest member of the oppsing Jewish extreme to give an unbiased opinion f the movie, not focusing on those parts which are writeen in Scriptures 1900+ years old and perhaps the criticism of the movie being made at all by those who really have no reason to wtch this film will be valid. My question to atheists, Uber-agnostics, Jewish paranoiacs, and others is simply this: Why do you care if this movie is ever shown or not? Why be afraid of it being released if you believe whole-heartedly it never happened, or never happened the way the only proven source material says it did? Is your problem with this movie that that only stupid people would believe in God, and since YOU and your fellow atheists, Uber-Agnostics, and paranoiacs are the only intelligent people on the Earth? Surely you realize that some of the most intelligent people in the world--physicists you cannot touch for brainpower, philosophers revered and referred to by many and most, and artists gifted with insight into the human condition--believe in a higher power. In the case of Christians/Muslims it is Allah, for countless others it is the Hindu Pantheon or Buddha. Even those revered for their tribal wisdoms believe there is a higher order. Physicists who never believed in God in their lives admit that they can find no reason past quantum mechanics for the univers to exist. Astronomers' theories, with the advent of recent findings, change daily, ending the supposed rock all other disciplines have founded their beliefs on in the pursuit of science. The Big Bang theory has morphed several times in the past 10 years alone. The age of the earth, then the universe, changes each time someone aims their telescope in a new direction, or polishes or revamps their mirrors and lenses. Science requires faith as well. The trouble is that scientists believe their own press sometimes and forget they are merely reporters, investigative journalists witness to the universe, discovering secrets already there. Basing your faith on their knowledge is like casting chicken bones and writing foregin policy(wait isn't that called polling?). Allow others their faiths, since noone's--even Scientific Advocates'--is based on a universal truth evident in concrete proof. All beliefs are based on the faith of the believer. Even those calling themselves other than religious.

  • Jan. 25, 2004, 3:32 a.m. CST

    Jason

    by Mister Pink

    Where the fuck did you get the idea that "non-believers" can't take classes in Biblical criticism. Most university religion departments are non-devotional. They teach ABOUT religion but the don't preach it as fact. You can take classes on literary criticism of the Bible which analyze it the same way as say Steinbeck or Twain would be analyzed....as a work of literature. God is treated as a "character" and the stories are simply treated like stories. there is also historical criticism which analyzes the text in light of what is known about historical and linguistic contexts. I studied the Bible using both approaches. It was an objective, scientific approach, unpolluted by any preconceived agendas. I simply wanted to learn as much as I could about it and find out what could be confirmed historically. Unfortunately, practically none of it can be confirmed as factual history and much of it can be categorically debunked. The kind of Bible study you're talking about is not an objective analysis but amounts to a specific indoctrination into whatever the particualr theology is for the denomination of that particular Bible college. I went to a state university, not a Bible college. You are talking out of your ass when you say "belief" is any kind of prerequisite to study religion in college. They don't even ask what you believe. They don't care. I don't know what it is with you fundies and your paranoid fear of "liberal" scholarship. There is no such thing as "liberal" scholaship. there is faith based study which presupposes certain beliefs as "fact" and seeks only to feed a personal religious quest. that's fine but it isn't scholarship. Scholarship is objective, relies on the empirical and presupposes nothing. Your Bible doesn't hold up as having ay factual historical credibility when it's subjected to scientific analysis. I'm sorry to piss in your fruit loops but that's a fact. Are scholars supposed to LIE about the facts to make fundies feel better? Sorry, it's not going to happen.

  • Jan. 25, 2004, 11:06 a.m. CST

    JasondkEldar

    by FluffyUnbound

    Frankly, the discussion of whether one can demonstrate what came before the Big Bang is irrelevant, as is any discussion of what percentage of what people believe in "a higher power". These issues are utterly irrelevant to the truth value of any particular religion. Even if it turns out that the universe is "created", in what way would that demonstrate that desert nomad tribesmen got direct messages from that "creator"? How would that help us determine if the Old Testament prophets knew the will of that "creator"? Here we go: I declare now that I have just received a message from the divine creator of the universe, who tells me that it it imperative that we all meet every 12 days and chant "Higga zigga holly hoo" over and over until we collapse from exhaustion. Tell me, does the fact that lots of physicists believe in a higher power in some way validate my message? If it does not - and I think that no reasonable person would say that it does - then you entire argument has no bearing on the issue of whether or not Jesus Christ was the son of God, whether or not he rose from the dead, whether or not it is open it us biological intelligences to commune with him after our own death, whether or not his supposed sayings in the Bible are actually what he said, whether or not the God he claimed to be the bastard of actually condones these sayings, etc. These particularistic sectarian claims cannot be argued from general paradoxes about the failings of reason, because they are dependent not on generalities about knowledge but on specific historical claims. Because of this, the only way to saveany SPECIFIC religion [and not just "spirituality" as such] from truth is to claim that truth isn't important. Or that it is less important than the consolations of belief. That can in fact be persuasively claimed. For example, one could say that, when watching this movie as art, one would enhance one's artistic experience by surrendering to it, and casting the issue of truth or falsehood to one side. One could argue from metaphor from this, to life in general. But what you CAN'T do is validate the truth value of religion using the techniques of reason, and no one ever has.

  • Jan. 25, 2004, 11:08 a.m. CST

    J_D

    by DocPazuzu

    "Perhaps the holocaust was punishment enough". As usual, you're a fucking asshole.

  • Jan. 25, 2004, 12:45 p.m. CST

    A parable

    by invisible

    3 Lioness were looking down at something on the plains of Africa. They were all terrified. Finally a Lion came over to see what was frightening the females. On the ground was a painting of a man standing on top of a vanquished Lion, spear in hand. The Lion walked away, followed quickly by a Lioness. "Aren't you afraid?!" To which the Lion replied without fear, "Who painted the picture?" <br><br> Its been said by someone on this post:"I studied the Bible using both approaches. It was an objective, scientific approach, unpolluted by any preconceived agendas." My question is, are you sure? Who wrote the textbooks, and what information were you being fed? Another post said, "The kind of Bible study you're talking about is not an objective analysis but amounts to a specific indoctrination into whatever the particualr theology is for the denomination of that particular Bible college." Are you sure you're not being indoctrinated with Secular Humanism(a religion by definition)? If someone thinks they can attend a course in Religious studies at a secular college and not encounter the tenents of secular Humansim as its foundation, is sorely naive. "Who painted the picture?"

  • Jan. 25, 2004, 1:52 p.m. CST

    mynameis nobody

    by carbon14

    Well, like a producer friend of mine once said - you wont know whats happening until page 17...

  • Jan. 25, 2004, 4:08 p.m. CST

    J_D

    by DocPazuzu

    Oh, I read your post all right. "Punishment enough" for what exactly? Being born Jewish? For having the "misfortune" of adhering to the "wrong" faith? People like you, who would even entertain a notion like that, make me sick. Fuck you.

  • Jan. 25, 2004, 4:43 p.m. CST

    There is historical evidence that there was a people called Hebr

    by FluffyUnbound

    And there is historical evidence of a number of significant Jewish figures from history. That is JUST NOT THE SAME as there being evidence for "the Bible". To be evidence of "the Bible" it would have to prove that a divine personality picked out the Jews and intervened in their history using supernatural powers. Proving that David lived is not the same as proving that there is a God, or that that God loved David in particular, or that that God used his powers to advance David's military and political career. I bet you think that when an athelete on a winning team thanks Jesus, this "proves" that Jesus was rooting for his team. I didn't realize that Jesus had so much dislike for Philadelphia and Indianapolis. // By the way, since there is archeological evidence that the Assyrians existed, and since in their writings the Assyrians gave the credit for their conquests to their gods, does that prove that those gods existed? If not, then any congruence between the books of Judges and Kings and the actual historical record does not prove the validity of the divine inspiration of the Bible.

  • Jan. 25, 2004, 5:07 p.m. CST

    J_D

    by DocPazuzu

    "I'm sure those who suffered the most would value life and facing death, feel sorry for the bad things they did and get into heaven." So.... It doesn't matter that they were Jews then, right? What about the Jews (and anyone else) who didn't have time for the luxury of personal reflection?

  • Jan. 25, 2004, 6:24 p.m. CST

    Hello There, re: sophomoric insult

    by Some Dude

    I was under the impression you Christies live by the golden rule. If that is so, then perhaps in your initial post you should have avoided insulting me to prevent me insulting you. Sophomoric, indeed. Oh, and fuck you again.

  • Jan. 25, 2004, 7:13 p.m. CST

    JD, you are completely full of shit

    by Mister Pink

    There are no inscriptions which make any reference to Joseph or the famine. there is no evidence that any Israelites were ever enslaved in Egypt. There are no Sinai "inscriptions" about Moses or the exodus. Jericho was destroyed by an earthquake 200 years before Joshua supposedly got there. Your statement that there is proof of a "supernatural" event is laughable on its face. Where do get this shit, the Weekly World Reader? The Tel Dan inscription may actually be evidence for a "House of David" but the archaeology shows that there was no Davidic Kingdom as described in the OT. David, if he existed. was only a minor, local chieftain not the King of all Palestine. Like Fluffy said, there is evidence for Hebrew habitation in the area. So fucking what? Troy was a real lace too, does that "prove" the Iliad? Don't be a moron.

  • Jan. 25, 2004, 7:17 p.m. CST

    "The devil is my favorite character by the way"

    by empyreal0

    Good to see I'm not the only one who enjoys playing Devil's Advocate. Ahem. Oh, and I refuse to participate in the sophmoric religious flame war in here. The 'atheists' here make me ashamed to hold a viewpoint that even remotely resembles theirs. Honestly, people. Read some philosophy, and I don't mean "10 arguments against the existence of god". Dig a little deeper.

  • Jan. 25, 2004, 7:27 p.m. CST

    As to the "Bible Code" bullshit...

    by Mister Pink

    Here's how it works. You take the Hebrew letters and pack them al together into a continuous block. Then you paly it like a word search. You look for words up, down, backwards, sideways, diagonal, whatever. Also bear in mind that Hebrew has no vowels so you are permitted to use whatever vowels you want connect these consonants into words. Obviously, it's quite easy to find all kinds of words and imbue them with phony significance. Not only that but the "Bible Code" frauds will actually cheat words that aren't quite contiguous to mak it come out right. For instance, they might see the letters FTBSTRDKQNWLS and cheat them into FaT BaSTaRD KNoWeLS. There's still an extra Q in ther but they'll just say it's close enough. The really great thing about this game is that it works with ANY written text which is translated into Hebrew. It works for Harry Potter, for Moby Dick, for Penthouse Forum, whatever. You remove the vowels and change it to Hebrew letters and you go right to town. It's easy and stupid people think that it's magic.

  • Jan. 25, 2004, 7:28 p.m. CST

    As to the "Bible Code" bullshit...

    by Mister Pink

    Here's how it works. You take the Hebrew letters and pack them al together into a continuous block. Then you paly it like a word search. You look for words up, down, backwards, sideways, diagonal, whatever. Also bear in mind that Hebrew has no vowels so you are permitted to use whatever vowels you want connect these consonants into words. Obviously, it's quite easy to find all kinds of words and imbue them with phony significance. Not only that but the "Bible Code" frauds will actually cheat words that aren't quite contiguous to mak it come out right. For instance, they might see the letters FTBSTRDKQNWLS and cheat them into FaT BaSTaRD KNoWeLS. There's still an extra Q in ther but they'll just say it's close enough. The really great thing about this game is that it works with ANY written text which is translated into Hebrew. It works for Harry Potter, for Moby Dick, for Penthouse Forum, whatever. You remove the vowels and change it to Hebrew letters and you go right to town. It's easy and stupid people think that it's magic.

  • Jan. 25, 2004, 8:19 p.m. CST

    PASSION

    by VisibleH20

    It sounds like quite a good movie as described by the person who reviewed it. I remember The Last Temptation Of Christ as the bellweather for The Jesus movies. I'm not here for The Lord, although I'm sure I know something about it. These movies are often unintentionally amusing in many ways. I didn't see that Peter O'Toole movie, The Greatest Story Ever Told. But O'Toole as Jesus must have been simply delicious! Eventually they might have to make a movie where Jesus misses The Cross. Like when he went to India at the age of 26... or when he was 18 or something. In other words we all know the ending and there's little movie suspense there. I'm sure the SuperStar will want to check these films out. When he is reborn in about 1100 years from now. He'll certainly laugh at our interpretations! Hope to see you there!

  • Jan. 25, 2004, 8:58 p.m. CST

    His Dark Materials

    by pablo2004

    NYT had a story on HDM on the stage and an impending film. Really looking forward to seeing it on screen. Anyone heard anything about it?

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 12:31 a.m. CST

    Pink, yourself and fluffy missed the point, lost the arument, an

    by JasonDkEldar

    Neither of you did more than skim the post you both diatribed against, then you raved for line after line on circular lines of logic, citing unnamed, unverified sources as your proofs of superiority in intellectual discussions. This would earn you both egregiously low graes in ANY uninversity, if either of you ever attended or graduated even a junior college. CCI accept your applications yet??

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 2:16 a.m. CST

    To Whom It May Concern

    by invisible

    3 Lioness were looking down at something on the plains of Africa. They were all terrified. Finally a Lion came over to see what was frightening the females. On the ground was a painting of a man standing on top of a vanquished Lion, spear in hand. The Lion walked away, followed quickly by a Lioness. "Aren't you afraid?!" To which the Lion replied without fear, "Who painted the picture?" Its been said by someone on this post:"I studied the Bible using both approaches. It was an objective, scientific approach, unpolluted by any preconceived agendas." My question is, are you sure? Who wrote the textbooks, and what information were you being fed? Another post said, "The kind of Bible study you're talking about is not an objective analysis but amounts to a specific indoctrination into whatever the particualr theology is for the denomination of that particular Bible college." Are you sure you're not being indoctrinated with Secular Humanism(a religion by definition)? If someone thinks they can attend a course in Religious studies at a secular college and not encounter the tenents of secular Humansim as its foundation, is sorely naive.

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 2:22 a.m. CST

    so read read read read read read read

    by winstonbongo

    everything you can read, but first read "lost in the cosmos" by walker percy, and then "the everlasting man" by g.k.chersterton. any one sentence from either of these books is more intelligent and thoughtful than all the sentences from this board put together. -further up and further in!- winston

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 2:29 a.m. CST

    winstonbongo

    by invisible

    Superb authors - especially G.K.Chesterson

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 4:31 a.m. CST

    J_D

    by DocPazuzu

    Nice spin work. "No offense intended to the victims of the holocaust..." By that one sentence alone, you make it perfectly clear that your idea of repentence, forgiveness and entry into Heaven rests solely upon a belief in Jesus as the son of God. I'm sure no survivor of the holocaust would be offended at the idea of certain Jews who had been guilty of heinous crimes going to hell after having been murdered along with the rest of them. If it were just a case of conscience to avoid damnation, as you imply, you wouldn't have felt that you were offending anyone. I feel that you lack the courage of your convictions since you sidestep that issue -- but leave it loud and clear between the lines. That is what's known as intellectual dishonesty, son.

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 7:45 a.m. CST

    About Mr.Pink...

    by Marco_Xavier

    ...in brief, it seems like most every time I see a post in a Talkback of such intelligence and insight it forces me to bother with learning the name of it's author, I find this guy's nom de plume. It is usually followed by bileful posts of no merit in response. Maybe Mr. Pink is an abominable asshole in 49 of 50 posts I never take note of to recognize where his constant flagellation is earned. However, non of his self-righteous abusers ever earned my positive attention, as they crucify an actual writer of merit. In AICN terms, in the whole history of human history since there was history to be historic, what else is new?

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 10:42 a.m. CST

    which is it?

    by DocPazuzu

    "I believe one does have to know Jesus Christ in order to attain forgiveness of sins. However, I believe that those who do not know Christ for good reason, or do not know Christianity will still get into heaven." There's more than a little contradiction in the previous statement. Either that, or it would seem you believe that those who don't believe in Jesus must make the rounds in Purgatory (or a reasonable likeness thereof)before gaining entry.

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 12:09 p.m. CST

    All TBN/Phony TV Evangelists and Their Self-Righteous Sheep, Tak

    by hipcheck13

    Great, honest review, devoid of any of that pretentious, holier-than-thou diatribe you hear on TBN. The reviewer sounds like a guy comfortable in his spirituality, NOT his religion, which is why I read his review with an open mind, and - surprise - he reviewed the movie the same way. Nice job, and I'm looking forward to seeing the movie.

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Good questions, bad answers

    by surfalaska

    Some of you guys have raised a lot of good questions about Christianity and the nature and person of Jesus Christ. I've read the answers you're getting. As a Christian, let me assure you of this, you're not going to get good answers in a film geek message board. If you're serious about your questions and if you want some good, well thought-out answers, try one or all of these books. You check out their summaries on amazon. "The Case for Christ" by Lee Strobel, "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis, "Jesus Under Fire" by J.P. Moreland and Michael Wilkins and "The God Who is There" by Francis Schaeffer. Also, it wouldn't hurt to read the New Testament gospels. Start with John. You might not believe me right now, but there are some very intelligent people in the Christian community who have a very reasoned faith and who can answer many of the questions you may have. Unfortunately, most of the people who spend their time on these boards don't fit that criteria. It's lame, but it's true. Check out those books and let me know what you think.

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 1:13 p.m. CST

    ChickenGeorge made me spew Diet Coke

    by Triggerfish

    all over my keyboard. Funny stuff.

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 1:32 p.m. CST

    mr pink and the other victims

    by polycarp's folly

    i have a b.s in human biology, i have a b.s. in biblical studies, i have a minor in non-textual religions with an emphasis on biblical archeology, and lastly, i am just about to become a D.C. with a minor emphasis on research. my degrees come from three different prestigious universities. i am also a christian. i was an angnostic. i studied religion in japan, china, hong kong, and america. i studied natural sciences in america, new zealand, and australia. i also studied archeology through mcquarie university in australia as well as oklahoma christian university of science and art in edmon. if this were a pissing contest i would wet you down like a fire hydrant in a dog park. but, it is not. mr pink, many of your assertions about archeology are false, your philosophy is sloppy, and your textual criticism is regurgitation of what i have heard numerous so called "professors" crap from their mouths. there is not an original idea in ANY of your posts. you are a victim of a cookie cutter education. there are many intelligent atheists, and you may be one of them, but there are also MANY INTELLIGENT CHRISTIANS who have compelling and realistic evidence to support their conclusions. you can not condemn a whole group without showing your own ignorance. i would argue that you are really too close-minded to be of any real scientific use. you wouldn't believe if the evidence was as plain as the nose on your face. christians, you can be educated and intelligent and still believe. The BIBLE is validated by almost all true archeological discoveries that have come to light. Science has significant validation for the Bible and philosophy is definately on our side.

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 1:51 p.m. CST

    Addendum to pollycarp

    by invisible

    pollycarpfolly - Mr.Pink seems a very intelligent fellow - although I suspect HIS knowledge is limited by academes constraints. He's a student thats looking (like all of us) for answers. He can only know what the textbooks say - and if his textbooks are edited by those with a humanist agenda - we all lose.

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 1:53 p.m. CST

    Polycarp's Folly, you are a liar and a fraud

    by Mister Pink

    There is no such thing as a BS in Biblical studies. It's a BA degree. I knoiw because I have one. If you actually know anything about archaeology then you know that virtually nothing in the Bible is confirmed by it except some geographical references, the general existence of an Israelite culture in Plaestine and a few names like Nebudchenezzar, Xerxes and Augustus Caesar. The "prestigious" schools you went to...were they Bible schools or were they actually accredited univesrities. It's funny, you seem to have been spoon fed only Christian propaganda instead of facts. Here's a good way to sort out what sort of education you have. Did they teach you that evolution was false? Did they teach that "Creation Science" is science? Do you believe in Noah's flood? Be honest now.

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 2:17 p.m. CST

    a response

    by polycarp's folly

    first off, let me say that i know that you are an intelligent person. i can tell that you are well read and can process information. i just think that you are a product of what you have been taught, much like us all. the main thing that one must do is to balance other people's "opinions" that they put forth in their various texts with a good dose of reality. one author, or web page, or experiment can not be the basis by which we dogmatically defend any position. AND NOW FOR MY CREDITENTIALS: i can assure you that there definately is a B.S. in biblical studies. the difference between a bs and a ba is quite simple. a bs focuses on more of the scientific aspects such as: archeology, textual criticism, etc. also my degree did not have as much emphasis on the languages. while i took two years of greek i did not take hebrew or latin. my degrees are from reputable institutions. Archeological evidence SUPPORTS the bible far more than refuting it. There are numerous examples of archeology supporting scripture. Look up the information about the Hittites for a starter. my scientific studies have been quite extensive. there is no known evidence for micro-evolution (intraspecies), there is only evidence for macro-evolution (interspecies adaptation). there are many, many experiments that show that evolution is not only against the laws of thermodynamics but are also statistically impossible. but you did not ask me what i believed, you asked what my universities taught. let me assure you that they attested to the same old tired, out of date theories that you probably ascribe to. I don't dislike you, PINK, i just find you to be insulting and a bit of a blow-hard. your comments are an obscure mixture of hate and intelligence. i think it is the anger in you that makes me wonder how you were hurt by christianity. it must have been something ghastly to make you so bitter. i enjoy reading the diatribe on this subject and hope that we can respectfully debate but i am neither a liar, nor a fraud.

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 2:21 p.m. CST

    J_D

    by DocPazuzu

    "If they are aware of Christianity and do not have good reasons to doubt other than selfish interest, somethig God will be able to detect, then that will go against them."------- That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. A person either believes in something or he/she doesn't. There is no such thing as "having a doubt out of selfish interest." I've never been to Alaska, but I'm pretty sure it's there. I have nothing but selfish reasons for not visiting it, since it would be an enormous hassle for me to do so right now. However, there is no reason for me to doubt its existence. Your reasoning is just a fancy -- and quite subversive -- way of implying "guilt" in a person who doesn't believe in Christianity. By your definition, being a non-Christian is a condition which quite possibly is a selfish choice more often than not -- at least in western nations where most of the populations have had exposure to Christianity in one form or another. Although I'm not an atheist myself, I have nothing but admiration for those atheists who do good deeds in life, with no thought of eternal punishment or paradise without end. Your contention that a rejection of Christianity often is a matter of choice is preposterous and dangerous. It creates a breeding ground where the idea that non-Christians are the enemies of God can flourish.

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 2:30 p.m. CST

    Pollycarpsfolly

    by invisible

    here,here

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 2:33 p.m. CST

    Poly's Folly...

    by Mister Pink

    First of all you have "micro" and "macro" evolution mixed up. "Microeveoluttion" is the descriptive term for adapations within a species. "Macroevolution" is actual speciation, the point at which an adapted population can no longer breed with the antecedent species. These distinctions are not made by actual scientists, it's a spurious distinction made by creationists. The reason is that there is NO DIFFERENCE IN PROCESS between the two things. Macro is just a whole bunch of micro. It's not a separate process, and it HAS been observed, particularly in moths. Your comment about "thermodynamics" is obviously an allusion to Newton's second law which is commonly misunderstood and misapplied by creationists. Without getting too deeply into it, I'll just say that the 2nd law only applies to CLOSED SYSTEMS. Life is an OPEN sytem. The ecosystem is fueled by the sun. The 2nd law doesn't apply. As a matter of fact, "closed" systems are only theoretical any way. There is no such thing in the universe unless you count the universe itself as a whole. You can't have learned much about archaeology if you are a YEC (hell, I was only kidding when asked about that, I didn't think you really WERE going to be one). I minored in classical Languages as well. Greek and Latin. I never took Hebrew.

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 2:56 p.m. CST

    Darwinism is dead....

    by invisible

    And puntuated equilibrium is theory formultaed from lack data -not new insight. "Saltation" is highly in dispute at the moment. Gould died unproven, as did Darwin. Traditional darwinism is dead - National Academy of Sciences is considering re-formlating the science cirriculum to exclude most of his contentions.

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 3:04 p.m. CST

    "Darwinism is dead"

    by Mister Pink

    Wow...that's about the dumbest fucking thing I've ever seen posted in a Talkback and you're up against some of the stiffest competition on the internet. Nobody still says "Darwinism," btw. The word is EVOLUTION and it's a proven fact.

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 3:20 p.m. CST

    pink

    by polycarp's folly

    ok, i mixed up micro and macro. i was writing in between patients charges: do we really want to present evidence back and forth? i'll quote from my sources and you'll quote from yours, and then we will get nowhere. there are always defenses that can be presented to back up any claim. i never said i was a YEC. I only discussed evolution. your information is outdated, especially concerning England

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 3:27 p.m. CST

    pink #2

    by polycarp's folly

    now, about the other stuff. there are intriguing scientif experiments that challenge the current belief of what exactly comprises a "system" and how we can express newton's laws in light of no specific definition. but the bottom line is that all that we think we know about the universe is a drop in the bucket compared to the vast volumes of information that we have yet to discover. for instance, we know that the human eye can only perceive and process light wavelengths between 380 - 700 nanometres (nm. = 10 -9 metres). But we also know that the spectrum can go off the charts. there are infinate wavelengths that we can not see. why is it hard to believe that things exist in these wavelengths that we can not observe at this time? there are miriads of possibilities out there.

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 3:34 p.m. CST

    pink #3

    by polycarp's folly

    seriously, man, what happened? you sound as though you really believed all this at one time. was college that death of your faith? it almost was for me, i'll tell you that. i don't think that any serious student of what we call "rational" education can come through unscathed. i was an atheist, but i began to look at the information out there that competed and contrasted with my college "education". were you just disillusioned or did someone hurt you in the name of "christian"? i've been there, too. i know that when you've spent a lot of time believing and hoping in something and then you feel like it has been proven false there is a tendancy to rale out against it. there have been some bad christians in this world. there has been pseudo-science associated with christianity, there have been hypocrites. but these things come with people and every philosophy, not just christianity. the christian faith has also been responsible for the greatest art, the most beautiful music, the deepest theology, all of science, etc. there are many great things that came from christianity. i'm sorry that somehow it hurt you.

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 3:34 p.m. CST

    "The dumbest fucking thing ever heard in a talkback."

    by invisible

    "DARWINISM comes to America." Winner of the 1999 Templeton Foundation Prize for Outstanding Book in Theology and the Natural Sciences author and University of Madison Wisconson professor Ronald L. Numbers, as Published by Harvard University Press. http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog/NUMDAR.html

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 4:12 p.m. CST

    Answers to P's Folly

    by Mister Pink

    1.) The peppered moth observations show actual speciation, not just minor adaptation. And the bigger point is that "macroevolution" IS "microeveolution." There is no difference. Trying to draw a distinction is like saying, "yeah...I believe that hair can grow an inch but it can't grow SIX inches." It's the same process. 2.) BLADERUNNERUNIT answered this one. 3.) I'm not an embittered ex-Christian. I've always been agnostic. My interest in religion was historical and sociological not devotional. 4.) The title in that book is used facetiously. Evolutionary scientist do not formally refer to the theory as "Darwinism" although, mostly because the theory has moved far beyond the conclusions of Darwin himself. Sometimes "darwinistic" is used to refer to his theory of the MECHANISM of evolution, i.e. natural selection, but it's not synonomous with evolution itself. 5.) There are no "tests" which are going to show you that the earth is a closed system or that life does not derive energy from the sun.

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 4:14 p.m. CST

    Better movie than 'The Passion'

    by purpleoscar

    The passion will be good, but I wish some enlightened film maker would just do a version of the martyrdom that Socrates went through for rational thought, which science, rational thought led from originally. The renaissance was influenced by classical greek thought. Plato's dialogues have the dialog already. Just add the battle scene where the Athenian's lose and scapegoat the loss on socrates 'immoral questioning' of the citizens viewpoints on life and philosophy. The trial would include socrates pointing out the hypocrisies of the judges. Socrates did this because running away from his beliefs would make him a hypocrite. He had many chances to escape with the help of friends but chose to stay and drink the hemlock, and follow the laws of the city to avoid hypocrisy being displayed to his followers. In a world where science and rational thought was radical and more rare in other civilizations at that time we owe this man who was not dashing or the son of god, but someone who was honest that he did not have all the certainties of life and would ADMIT it. 'A life unexamined is a life not worth living'. BTW christians were HEAVILY influenced by Plato and Aristotle. Augustine (platonist), versus Aquinas (Aristotelian). Thought cinema, other than the Matrix:)

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 4:16 p.m. CST

    "Entrophy actually would increase in an open system."

    by Mister Pink

    Ok, I take it back. THIS is the stupidest thing I've ever read in a talkback. Hey, JD, does life derive energy from the sun or doesn't it?

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 4:28 p.m. CST

    impossible debate

    by DocPazuzu

    It's virtually impossible to have a productive debate with creationists because they categorically dismiss the idea that the universe is billions of years old and that life has existed on Earth for millions of years. Not only that, their "science" in the matter is fuelled by a theological agenda. As opposed to the adherents of evolution, within whose ranks you can find everything from christians, muslims, jews, hindus, buddhists, atheists etc agreeing on the same basic principles, creationists are all driven by their religious agenda. It's amusing to see how fervent they are in trying to prove a six-day creation as a means to enforce the idea of a divine spark in man. What that amounts to is poor self-esteem and selling God short. After all, if He works in mysterious ways, why is evolution such anathema to them? The theological foundations their world view rests upon must be shaky indeed since they can't reconcile God and evolution in the scheme of things. In many ways it's not dissimilar to history revisionists who deny the holocaust ever happened and trot out "scientists" who "prove" why murder on that scale would be impossible. They're always found to have a political agenda behind their theories. Another example is "scientists" in the employ of big tobacco companies testifying under oath that cigarettes haven't been proven to cause cancer. Scratch the surface, and presto....

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 4:36 p.m. CST

    Darwinism Defined - " It takes a special kind of ignorance of ca

    by invisible

    Encyclopedia Brittanica "Theory of the evolutionary mechanism propounded by Charles Darwin as an explanation of organic change. It denotes Darwin's SPECIFIC view of how the process of evolution works." http://www.britannica.com/eb/article?eu=29873&tocid=0&query=darwinism&ct= Further Mr. Pink and Blade,it was stated: "...the theory has moved far beyond the conclusions of Darwin himself." In other words, "DARWINISM is dead."

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 4:50 p.m. CST

    bladerunnerunit - do you agree with this general statement?

    by invisible

    Evolution is a theory of the origin and perpetuation of new species of animals and plants that offspring of a given organism vary, that natural selection favors the survival of some of these variations over others, that new species have arisen and may continue to arise by these processes, and that widely divergent groups of plants and animals have arisen from the same ancestors;

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 5:16 p.m. CST

    Martyrdom, and Anti-Semitism

    by purpleoscar

    Your right BladeRunnerUnit. Paul apparently would have been educated somewhat and greek thought was prevalent. In regards to the Anti-Semitism issue. A passage in a book on Catholicism I have is illuminating: "He [Jesus] was periodically locked in controversy with the Jewish men of power: the chief priests, the Pharisees, and the Scribes. Unfortunately, the portrayal of Jewish hostility to Jesus and of direct Jewish involvement in his condemnation and death has allowed many Christians down through the centuries to justify a virulent anti-Semitism. BUT the counter-reaction has also been unfortunate. In playing down Jewish complicity in the death of Jesus, even transferring it entirely to Roman shoulders, we remove the very basis for the Gospel traditions....If Jesus has been remembered as he was, then his confrontation with the religious establishment was practically inevitable. But if that confrontation did not exist to the extent it is reported in the NT and with the effect it is also reported to have had, then the portrait of Jesus itself is open to question and to challenge." Jesus I think was challenging the religious situation in Israel as he found it. (John 5:18) "The reason why the Jews were even more determined to kill him was that he not only was breaking the sabbath but, worse still, was speaking of God as his own Father, thereby making himself God's equal". (Mark 2:7) "Who can forgive sins except God alone?" Wouldn't it be an accurate portrayal of 'The Passion' with Jewish people mad at him for blasphemy? A version of the passion with no Old Tes. jewish enemies would be useless, or too PC? Christ wasn't all about peace and love: (Luke 12:51-53, and Matthew 10:34-36) "Do you think I have come to establish peace on earth? I assure you, the contrary is true; I have come for division....father will be split against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother..." Confrontation was inevitable. Mel Gibson is right in not letting PC critics gut his movie and make it meaningless, whether your a believer or not. I'm not going to need a version where all Jewish people are peaceful and nice because that is not human nature.

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 5:19 p.m. CST

    bladerunnerunit - I hate to do this to you but...

    by invisible

    http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=darwinism "Main Entry: Dar

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 5:44 p.m. CST

    Invisible...

    by Mister Pink

    The key words in your definition are "natural selection." As I said before, "Darwinism" is mostly used by scientists to describe the MECHANISM for evolution, ie. what causes it, as opposed to using it as a synonym for evolution or common descent in general. Hey, I'll tekk you what. Whay don't we just agree that DARWIN is dead.

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 5:44 p.m. CST

    Best of Catholicism

    by purpleoscar

    What I like best of the Christian tradition is the idea of God sacrificing his only son for us, instead of us sacrificing people, animals(hecatombs) to god. It's a very agreeable notion that adds value to human beings. Also Catholics believe in a Utopia AFTER death, where as many supposed 'englightened' atheists continue to search for a Utopian prescription for life on earth with the consequences of Marxism, and scientism that permeates sociology. A Clockwork Orange actually attacks that notion we can just program people to a blissful society of no wrong doing. Life is THE CROSS. It is suffering. Jesus is also not really a socialist (or hippy) as some think. He believed that helping others, (more than most christians or anyboy really is willing to try), was very important but he also believed we would ALWAYS have poor. Giving all your weath to the poor won't solve everything, as United Church followers believe. As long as there is choice some people will choose to drink, take drugs, and no amount of social engineering will 'perfect' society in the most 'just' way.

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 5:46 p.m. CST

    bladerunnerunit

    by invisible

    Quit while you're ahead

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 5:55 p.m. CST

    BRU

    by DocPazuzu

    "I mean, you cannot expect that after 100 years of field experiment, observation and genetics evolutionary science would still be chained to what Darwin stipulated?" ......... Actually BRU, that's exactly what the creationists expect because they themselves base their entire faux science on a religious document filled with symbolism and language attuned to the social and cultural mores of the time. To interpret that symbolism and discern the higher truths that may be enclosed in the Bible demands critical thought, moral evaluation and -- dare I say it? -- a leap of faith. The irony is that they are so afraid to stray from the way the text is formulated that they are the least inclined to make that leap of faith. Instead, they interpret the words fudamentally and spend all their effort to prove the unprovable rather than use the God-given tools of human intellect and curiousity to enrich the experience of being alive and discovering how unfathomably complex life really is. They are so threatened by the idea of God using evolution as a tool that they dismiss it out of hand. Evolution doesn't exclude the existence of God. Creationism, however, excludes science.

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 6 p.m. CST

    BladeRunnerUnit exasperated by people

    by purpleoscar

    We live in a society that is more secular. The Church is desparate to gain anyone into the fold. The Church has been infiltrated by sex abusers, and people who go as far has making Christianity more about celibrating humans only. People are more skeptical, and sometimes down right cynical. We're not likely to go back to an old religion, but one newly invented. Secularists have their philosophy and the philosophical discussion is one where people have no guarantees of life after death, and heaven or hell. It's more minimalistic. I have hope that after death the purpose of the universe is revealed, but if I die and there is no consciousness it's impossible for me to complain. So morality will have to be based on what the long term self interest is of people while living on earth. Should everyone despair that there might be no promise of an afterlife and have orgies everyday? Does it really matter when it comes to ethics? I don't think so. I'm not into morality only to get eternal life out of it. Many protestants looked at 'grace' in that way. I'm I believing because I get a reward? Is that the new Pharisee? This eventually leads to Hobbes and Locke, and the idea of power corrupting and checks to power being the most agreeable system to live in. AKA Lord of the Rings. "One ring to rule them all". I'm more afraid of the NEW philosopher kings who believe they left the cave and returned 'enlightened' and others still 'in the cave' should listen only to them. These people believe in a world government with the UN having sovreign control across the planet. What a disaster that would be! A new secular religion! Utopia on earth! Yikes! One person's Utopia is another person's hell.

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 6:05 p.m. CST

    purpleoscar

    by invisible

    amen brother

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 6:25 p.m. CST

    J_D

    by DocPazuzu

    Your statistics only confirm one thing -- that the narrow-mindedness of certain teachers, politicians, parents and religious groups is restricted primarily to the United States and fundamentalist Muslim countries. Most christians in the rest of the world (most christians PERIOD, in other words) have no trouble accepting evolution. So who's marching out of step with the Bible -- the vast majority of christians or fundies like you?

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 6:25 p.m. CST

    BRU...it was Maimonides

    by Mister Pink

    He's the Jewish scholar you were trying to think of.

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 6:37 p.m. CST

    No scientific evidence of evolution?

    by purpleoscar

    There is scientific evidence, but not ABSOLUTELY conclusive evidence. We know that the universe is approx. 13 billion years old. The people during the time of the bible believed that the sun was the center of the universe. Unless creationists adjust their beliefs that the big bang, (which an echo can be recorded), is part of creationism. We have lower level humanoids like austrolopithicus (I hope I spelt that right), and looking deeper in time no evidence of homo sapien sapiens, but only lower level humanoids with smaller skulls. If you go even FARTHER back yous see no homo erectus, and EVEN FARTHER BACK to the dinosaurs the only mammals are very small. Doesn't that make scientific people a little curious? If the bible is scientific why do animals get more complex as time goes by?

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 6:39 p.m. CST

    sorry the 'earth' as the center of the universe:)

    by purpleoscar

    typing fast

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 6:52 p.m. CST

    bladerunnerunit

    by invisible

    Its still debated so contentiously in the US because its the only country not overrun by socialists and Secular Humanists. In the US you have the freedom to believe and debate anything you want. Would you prefer that everyone that doesn'ty contend to YOUR worldview be rounded up and put iknto camps for Re-education? Ever heard of Pol Pot? Check out "The Killing Fields."

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 6:56 p.m. CST

    Challenge

    by purpleoscar

    The reason why the U.S. has lots of fundamentalism is that the U.S. has a tradition of protestantism. The protestants rightly disliked the Catholic church having a pope with a special antenna to god that no one else has, but the other extreme is that Protestants retreat to a knowledge of the Bible as the only real important book. If it's not in the bible it's Satan. The Catholics at least believed that 'anything that is truthful and beautiful is christian' could adopt much of the pagan knowledge, but by the end of the high period in the Renaissance Catholicism, and later periods Protestantism try not to keep up to the contradictions of science today and the science of the past. Catholics have been more open now, (maybe too open), and Protestants, especially fundamentalist christians leave their brain at the door. What we need to read is Aristotle who believed excellence was in moderation between 2 extremes. You can either interpret absolutely anything to make christianity mean nothing, or you can believe the bible has all the answers already. The reality is that if trade works, and democracy works, then we shouldn't get permission from the bible for it. Also don't throw out the baby with the bath water. Atheists like to turn hedonistic because they look at religion as an opiate for the masses but replace it with a new opiate, whether scientology, wicca, or just plain existentialist depression. Common Sense eventually gets left behind.

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 7:07 p.m. CST

    invisible

    by DocPazuzu

    "Its still debated so contentiously in the US because its the only country not overrun by socialists and Secular Humanists." ----- You really are ignorant about how the rest of the world works, aren't you? Your ignorance aside, your post certainly does nothing to explain how most christians (not socialists and "secular humanists")in the rest of the world have adopted evolution without lessening their belief in God. Also, your assertion that it's only in the U.S. one can debate these issues freely is even more ignorant. America isn't the only democracy in the world, chief.

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 7:20 p.m. CST

    JD trotting out canards left and right.

    by FluffyUnbound

    There is something galling about listening to a creationist trot out objections to evolution based on the fact that the evidence isn't "scientific" because no repeatable experiments can be conducted to demostrate it. This is relying on a definition of the scientific method that it extremely culturally contingent and on a definition of empiricism that is narrowly positivist. Positivism and reason are not the same. Here's a test: Was Abraham Lincoln the 16th President of the United States? I can't conduct a repeatable experiment to demonstrate this one way or the other. Does this mean it was not a fact? I can't repeat the history of the United States in a laboratory, but the existence of Abraham Lincoln is not in reasonable dispute.

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 7:29 p.m. CST

    No J_D

    by DocPazuzu

    I don't despise you, and in fact I apologize for the names I called you earlier. I was reading something into your first posts which obviously wasn't there and became apparent after further debate. However, I still find very little common ground in terms of our respective outlooks on the subject. I won't go back to the earliest posts but just limit myself to the last one. The only way the irrelevance of Genesis would invalidate Christianity is if the only right way to interpret it would be the fundamentalist reading of it. I think blanket statements like the one in which you say that the Christians who have reconciled their faith with evolution just don't know enough about creationism are really making the argument a simple one from your perspective. It's not just Catholics -- it's a general acceptance across the board in all faiths, with primarily only a few fundamental holdouts and luddite book burners clinging to what amounts to denial of what God has given us the good sense to see on our own. As for reading creationist theory, I have done lots of studying of the subject and have found nothing to convince me that God went for the more simple, hocus pocus method of setting up the shop we know as the universe. That having been said, I do respect your opinion as you argue it convincingly and with thorough research behind it. No hard feelings.

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 8:43 p.m. CST

    DocP

    by invisible

    Guess you didn't pick up on the sarcasm huh DocP? Ill make it simpler for you next time.

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 9:07 p.m. CST

    Mr. Pink, are you still there? Here are some answers to your qu

    by CountryBoy

    I didn't have time to write any earlier, and I can't even remember all your objections to Christianity, but here are some responses. I don't expect you to believe any of these things, but I hope to at least show that Christianity is not logically inconsistent within itself.(Or rather Catholicism is not. I can't speak for Protestantism, which in some things DOES seem inconsistent to me.)************************ Jesus prayed to the Father because God is a Trinity. There are three "Persons" in the Godhead, making God Himself a "community of love": not merely a single entity content in itself, but a mutually reciprocal communion. Indeed, if God is to be considered perfect love, he almost HAS to be a "community": there can be no love without a lover and an object, so a single-natured God would somehow be lacking the very property that is his definition, according to St. John's formulation "God is love."******************** You generally are asking, in several questions, isn't everything bad really just God's fault, as the creator of all? The answer is free will. God created the universe to be good, but everyone in it has the capacity to choose evil. And some do. Yes, God could snap his fingers and make everything right -- and I often wish he had, long ago -- but that would negate our freedom (and Satan's), if every time we did wrong he just wiped us out and started over. Or he could have made us incapable of evil -- another attractive prospect, whereby we'd be just happy, healthy, good-looking robots -- but I guess that would be denying us the repect and autonomy he wants us to have. The price of this respect seem hideously high to me: the massive evil humanity has perpetrated through history is staggering, and it's hard to believe we're worth that much pain. But that's how it is. *************************God didn't "invent" hell, nor are its rules arbitrary. Hell is not a torture chamber, it's the state of being eternally separated from God, which is by definition the worst possible suffering. And you don't get there by breaking some rule you didn't know you broke, but by rejecting God directly or by choosing grave evil that indirectly rejects him. Thus it's said that God doesn't "send you to hell," you send yourself there by your choices. And "not choosing the right mythology" has never damned anyone: indeed, the Catholic Church teaches that "in all times and places, all men who sincerely seek to do good are acceptable to God" (a paraphrase from an encyclical, I forget which one -- sorry).****************I'm trying to remember what else you asked. Whether Jews in the Holocaust went to hell? Do you mean because they weren't Christian? I guess I answered that above. Oh, I think you asked why the crucifixion was even necessary. It wasn't. God undertook it willingly (which did not absolve his killers: if a victim submits to his attackers, the attackers are not made innocent) -- and he did it because he wanted to give EVERYTHING to his people: every drop of blood, every ounce of pain. "He emptied himself, taking the form of a slave..." This, as I understand it, is a major difference between Christianity and other religions. There are other "dying god" myths (Odin, Osiris, I think), but in none of them does the god willingly allow himself to be annihilated out of love for his creation. Jesus did so, unique in all the pantheon of world religions. That's why Christianity is such a compelling story: it alone tells us that God became man, the greatest event that could possibly happen, and took everything that came with it. And "there is no other story men would rather find out were true," as Tolkein (a devout Catholic) said. I hope this clarifies things a little. As I said, I don't expect you to believe what I've written; I just want to prove it doesn't contradict itself.

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 10:17 p.m. CST

    CKnightShift, if you were a preacher...

    by Sonny_Williams

    I'd be in your church every Sunday. I've never heard anyone put their faith into words as eloquently as you have. Your beliefs are quite close to mine, actually, but I've never been able to express them to others with the clarity and truth that you have. Thank you for sharing.

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 11:23 p.m. CST

    fundamentalist

    by Danger Mouse

    An article I read said that one of the reasons that USA has so many Fundamentalists (Selective Literalists is more accurate) goes back to the trade blockades during the War of Independance. According to this book virtualy a whole generatio grew up with no other literature except the Bible and so had little or no concept of literary devises like metaphor and alligory and their use in all cultures and religions. This filtered down to the simplistic shallow and literalist version of christianity we see in Fundamentalist churches today. I can't comment as to what degree this is true but a protestant tradition doesn't explain it as many mostly protestant nations today do not have anything like the US's amount of Fundamentalists; and anyway, isn't always fun to blame the pomms?!?!?

  • Jan. 26, 2004, 11:24 p.m. CST

    J_D

    by agnosticyesno

    One thing that is a constant among many of these posts is the complete over simplification of facts and the spouting of tired old clich

  • Jan. 27, 2004, 1:39 a.m. CST

    J_D and the Bible

    by agnosticyesno

    The problem with these narrow and circular arguments is that any form of dialogue becomes extremely difficult. When your premise the Bible is literally true you create a closed system and circular arguments

  • Jan. 27, 2004, 2:39 a.m. CST

    invisible

    by DocPazuzu

    "Guess you didn't pick up on the sarcasm" ------ riiiiiiiggghhht. Whatever you say, Hoss.

  • Jan. 27, 2004, 5:54 a.m. CST

    I can't believe I read the whole thing...

    by Marco_Xavier

    J_D, Jewish belief states that if you have committed a wrong, you must confess and ask forgiveness of the injured party to seek atonement with them first, and God second. This is detailed at length in the Talmud, and recognizes man

  • Jan. 27, 2004, 8:47 a.m. CST

    Marco_Xavier

    by agnosticyesno

    I agree with BladeRunnerUnit... great post. And Blade, I appreciated your post as well.

  • Jan. 27, 2004, 9:49 a.m. CST

    Marco

    by DocPazuzu

    Thanks for formulating many of the thoughts I've had -- much better than I ever could. Wonderful to see such an eloquent voice of reason in this TB.

  • Jan. 27, 2004, 2:14 p.m. CST

    BRU

    by carbon14

    "... in science you don't cheat about that. Either the pieces fit or not." That's a little naive - but I see what you're trying to say.

  • Jan. 27, 2004, 3:30 p.m. CST

    Marco_Xavier interesting points.

    by purpleoscar

    Jesus Christ was a revolutionary. We really don't know if Jesus was looking to make a new religion as happened after his demise. Most likely he was trying to make a revolution and change the current Judaism he was dealing with. Religion has a problem with having self-interest involved AKA "MONEY". Jesus felt that Judaism was corrupt. Just as Chaucer in the Canterbury Tales, plus Luther having difficulties with Christianity and corruption. It's no secret that throughout the history of all religions power, influence and money infiltrate these institutions because they are filled with PEOPLE. To me religion is a way of helping to swallow the pill of philosophy so those who need and afterlife or some reward to follow morality, will follow it. Socrates said that philosophical man was always rare. If people follow the ten commandments for self-interest reasons that's good. I know that religious people throughout history have a problem with that, but realistically that is what happens with people. Nobody really is going to follow a Jesus like character without consequences to family. It's an impossible aim and was probably meant to be so as we are all 'sinners' and cannot achieve perfect altruism. Following the ten commandments anyways lead to good results so it's self-interest that is healthy versus self-interest that leads to destruction. The fear of god and the reward of immortality is very conforting and allows weak characters to become strong with certainty so they can stoically "suffer the slings and arrows". Shakespeare I think understood the human condition better than most. In regards to sacrifice. What I meant is that God sacrificing his only son for us, is better than we sacrificing constantly other people or animals for god. It gives humans better respect than what was before in most parts of the world. I include of course Judaism as part of the improvement. We matter not Zeus or Posiedon.

  • Jan. 27, 2004, 5:58 p.m. CST

    watch

    by Danger Mouse

    If you find a watch; study it for years, finaly work out what makes it tick (bad pun) and what it was made for...it doesn't mean there was no watchmaker to begin with. Evolution DOES NOT RULE OUT GOD! Evolution is just a mechanism, God is the cause.

  • Jan. 28, 2004, 2:08 a.m. CST

    For those who think the Bible and Science are incompatible...

    by invisible

    Stay an afternoon at this site listening to the lectures - I think it will really challenge some thinking. http://www.khouse.org/

  • Feb. 19, 2004, 7:49 a.m. CST

    Mr Pink - some answers from a Christian

    by epiphany1

    1. The concept of a triune godhead is that God, Jesus & the Holy Spirit are 3 entities that make up 1 "God". They are one & the same. However, they also have separate roles - God the Father; Jesus the Son & the intercessor between man & God; & the Holy Spirit - living within the believer & reveals the will of God, etc. When Jesus was on the cross, he took on the sin of the world. By the very nature of this act, he became separated from God as God abhors sin. Hence, his prayer "...why have you forsaken me?" (left me...separated from me). He is not praying to himself. He is praying to God the Father. 2. Satan did not crucify Jesus. We crucified Jesus in that it was because of our sins that the crucifixion was necessary. There is no doubt that Satan probably got his 2 cents in - eg over-the-top cruelty by the Roman guards, etc. After all, if he can't stop it, why not at least have a have a bit of fun. 3. See above. Satan knew he wasn't going to stop what was to happen but there's no harm trying. In that split-second you are about to fall over, when you _know_ you're about to slip over, you still try to stop yourself falling, right? Because, even though you know that ultimately you can't stop what is about to happen, you still like to think there may be a chance. Hence why I think Satan tried to tempt Jesus...why the taunting of the bystanders to get down off the cross (because Jesus could have done it but that would have meant we could not be saved through faith in Him)...& whilst the Bible does not specifically mention that Satan took joy out of Christ's death, perhaps there is some pervese pleasure in observing the pain. 4. Again, Judas is not responsible for crucifing Christ but he has free will & he _chose_ to betray Jesus. Just like the Pharisees _chose_ to deny the Messiah - & the Bible is very clear that they will judged accordingly. 5. Sure, he could snap His fingers & make us all believe...but He gave us free will & part of that means we have a choice as to whether we follow Him or not. Yes, he deeply desires us to follow Him...He has good things in store for us! But surely the love that is freely given is far more valuable that that which is given because one cannot make one's own decisions? A blood sacrifice was essential - Christ became the ultimate sin offering. Previously, Jews had sacrificed an unblemished lamb as a blood offering for their sins. This had to be done over & over again to keep themselves right with God. Jesus took upon Himself the entire sin of the world - he became the final & ultimate blood offering for the world. So we don't have to continue to offer lambs as sacrifices because Jesus has become the sacrifice for us. As for crucifixion, it fulfills many of the Old Testament prophesies that describe Christ's death (& is quite different to the Jewish method of stoning...quite notible when considering prophecies stating that his bones wouldn't be broken). It was also a common Roman method of putting criminals to death at the time & again ties in with the idea of Christ taking on the sin of the world & becoming the lowest of the low. 6. God didn't make hell for people. It was originally created for Satan & the other fallen angels. He doesn't want you to go to hell. But if you turn from Him, as Satan et al did, then He has no choice but to send you to the same place He's set aside for them. Again, it'a all about free will. You have the choice about where you end up. 7. God didn't create Satan as evil. Satan, like the other angels, was created with free will - just like us. He _chose_ to rebel against God. 8. Because God wants a personal relationship with you. But, again, you have free will - you have a choice as to whether or not you have that relationship. If you choose to seek some other path to whatever, then fine...but there's no guessing about it - God is very clear as to what is required to have that relationship. 9. The holocaust has nothing to do about where they ended up...we all die. Jesus was very clear: eg "I am the way, the truth and the life, NO MAN cometh to the Father but by ME" (John 14:6). So, from this, we have to assume that if anyone (doesn't matter who or where or how) dies without knowing Christ then they will go to Hell & have eternal separation from God. 10. No. 11. Does it have to be original or new to be right? It was an extension of everything God had been teaching the Jews in the centuries beforehand...except now, He was to take away the sins of the Earth. He was to become the ultimate & final sacrifice. The final sacrifice that satisfied God & took away all sin. That faith in Christ would bring you into a relationship with Him...with God. That's the differing point between Christianity & other religions. 12. You're right - you don't have to. But if you want a relationship with God, want to discover His will for you, want what I can only describe as a calmness & purpose to life, then maybe you should. As for the other topics mentioned, the trinity is a fundamental aspect of God that is mentioned in many places in the new testament...see Mark 1:10-11, Acts 1:4-5, Matthew 28:19, Romans 5:5-6, Revelation 13:1ff. The word "trinity" is not specifically used in the Bible but Christians use it to describe this triune nature of God. The concept of the rapture is based on the verses in 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18. It is not called the rapture, specifically, & there are Christians who do not think it will happen. Read the verses & take from it what you will because, part of being a Christian is to accept that the Bible is the word of God & all I can say on the matter is that what those verses say will happen, will happen, irrespective of what we call it. The word "Antichrist" is used in 1 John to describe both false teachers & one, specific, ultimate "Antichrist" or spirit of evil. "...such a man is the antichrist - he denies the Father and the Son." (1 John 2:22) "but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world" (1 John 4:3). The Beast is not specifically called the Emperor of Rome. The Beast is described as a false messiah, thus is an antichrist as it comes from Satan (evil), not God. Hope this helps!