Friday, May 17, 2013


    There is a way of reading the Bible that says if your interpretation is not charitable, then that reading cannot be the case because it does not conform to this overall principle of interpretation. The principle states that whatever you interpret the passage to mean, it should conform to the way we advance the cause of Christ, which is through our good works of charity. As we read about how Jacob stole his birthright from Esau, for instance, we are to apply this story to how we help our neighbors by perhaps asserting our right over giving away tasty soups for our inheritance.

    This might not be the direct application that they would promote, but some form of exchange, where our intentions are to help our neighbor, are to be primary in how we understand this passage in Genesis.  The trades that we make should be in conformity with a charitable intention with whom we exchange. So perhaps what we seize is ours if our famished friend is willing to give up what seems like a small legal matter in exchange for a meal. This deal between Jacob and Esau was completely unequal, but when these proponents interpret the scriptures with charity as an overall framework, then they will end up taking the events like how Jacob took advantage of Esau as a moral lesson.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Arguer and their Arguement

    A charismatic leader can persuade their followers through their enticing words. These influential ones can impress us with their tricks that tell us that they must know what they are talking about. They have great skill in showing us a picture of what they are urging us on to accomplish. Their standing among the crowd gives weight to what they are saying.  But their arguments cannot be evaluated until we know who they are. If we know who they are, we can then decide if their words have any worth. So before evaluating their arguments, we must mark the arguer for their background.

    But arguments should be evaluated on their own terms you might object. Regardless of who is speaking, truth remains truth. You may be right, but if you look at the entire picture which includes the artist as well as their art, you will see who would make such an argument in the first place. This point is important because an argument would have a different meaning depending upon who uses it.  Your reputation gives an argument weight because your words are empty, if you have no way to show your audience that you are right. So arguments are dependent upon the arguer for their worth.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Review of an Unbeing

    Bram Stoker’s Dracula is about a vampire. No kidding. He is hunted down by a band of investigators including Jonathan, his wife Mina, Seward, and Van Helsing, who each have an interest in tracking down this evil creature. The book begins with Jonathan traveling to Transylvania to arrange some business with the count.  He becomes trapped inside of Dracula’s castle, so that he, the count, then travels to Britain to take over the property there without Jonathan interrupting his plans.

    But what are vampires? They seem to be beings, who need the blood of another to live through the pain of their own curse. They are cursed with the problem of not having to die, so that they must seek life in other people or animals to survive. They feed usually on people that are weak and are prone to put their trust in strangers. So a vampire can be described as an unbeing where you do not know whether it is either a human person or a monster.

    But to say that Dracula is a book might be misleading because it is actually a series of journal entries, newspaper clippings, and recordings from old pieces of technology. And from these documents you learn about each of the characters who become involved with each other due to the vampire’s reign of terror that he has brought upon Britain. He has been luring the woman to become these unbeings, which we call vampires.

  At first Jonathan, a property guy, provokes Dracula to travel to Britain. Lucy, another character from the book, eventually becomes vampirized, so that others attempt to keep her life. In the second half of the book, the informed assailers plan to bring down Dracula as they learn from the journal entries that were written when they were assaulted by the blood drinker.

    The story is told from the perspective of different characters who seem to be at the mercy of Dracula until they begin to work together to rid Britain of this monster of a foreign land. This gives the reader a sense of this vampire from different angles, which allows us to see the conflict from an informed viewpoint. As we read about their struggles, we are freed from the prejudice of a single character, which must defeat evil without anyone’s help. The book suggests that there is strength in numbers.