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22

God and Stephen Hawking, by John C. Lennox, is a popular direct reply to The Grand Design. Alister McGrath calls it "a brilliant response," and the book won an Award of Merit in Christianity Today's 2012 Book Awards. Whether it "makes sense," as you say, to Hawking, is perhaps debatable. But Lennox is no slouch: he's a Professor at Oxford University, ...


14

Before Elijah was taken away into heaven, he “crossed the Jordan,” and ever since, “crossing the Jordan” has been a metaphor for dying, or crossing over into heaven. By the time of Pilgrim’s Progress (1670s or so) this was an established metaphor for gaining entry into paradise. Now, having seen the Jordan River firsthand, I can tell you that it isn’t much ...


12

No. The Left Behind series is A) entirely fictional and B) based on Dispensationalism.* Dispensationalism is almost universally at odds with Reformed theology. The basic problem lies in the understanding of the way God relates to his people. Understanding this relationship in the context of covenants that get renewed with unfolding detail but don't ...


10

Tolkien always denied that The Lord of the Rings was an allegory, let alone a Christian allegory. While many people have searched for Christian symbolism, the author did not intend that there should be any. Specifically there is no character who corresponds to Christ. There are of course strong themes of good and evil, of destiny and of guiding and creating ...


8

OK. Couple of things. As you said, Númenor is closer to Atlantis. But Númenor is not supposed to be heaven, the Grey Havens are, their name in Elvish: Valinor. They are also reachable by boat, BUT ONLY BY THE ELVES (and special others such as the wizards and the ring-bearers). Man dies and has a fate which is not known to any save the highest of the Valar ...


7

My thanks to Peter Turner for recommending the book Orthodoxy (Dodd, Mead & Co., 1908) to me some time ago, and therefore making this answer possible. Thanks to Kindle full-text search, I found the following in Orthodoxy chapter 5, The Flag of the World: Love is not blind; that is the last thing it is. Love is bound; and the more it is bound the less ...


6

The most obvious reference I see comes from St. Catherine of Siena, one of the Doctors of the Catholic Church. St. Catherine wrote a work known as the Dialogue, representing a discussion between a soul and God. In Section 22 of the Dialogue, God says this to the soul: "[The] vision of the Devil is the third pain [of four pains suffered by those in Hell] ...


5

I also found it in Mere Christianity under "7. Let's Pretend": Why? What is the good of pretending to be what you are not? Well, even on the human level, you know, there are two kinds of pretending. There is a bad kind, where the pretence is there instead of the real thing; as when a man pretends he is going to help you instead of really helping ...


4

But I'm wondering if there is anything in earlier Christian writings or thought (especially the Bible of course) that might have influenced this creative choice? When describing the paradise after judgment day in Revelation 21, the Revelator begins (ESV quoted): Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had ...


4

In chapter 9 ("Charity") of book III ("Christian Behaviour") of Mere Christianity, Lewis writes: It would be quite wrong to think that the way to become charitable is to sit trying to manufacture affectionate feelings. Some people are "cold" by temperament; that may be a misfortune for them, but it is no more a sin than having a bad digestion is a sin; ...


3

While Tolkien made the statement that there was no implied allegory in LOTR, I did pick up the following things: LOTR can be read as an allegory of WW2. LOTR can be read as an allegory of the industrial revolution of the West (Saruman's "mind of metal and wheels", the endless smoke from Mount Doom) and all the evil it entails for rural man (the hobbits). ...


3

If you've ever witnessed a birth, it's not exactly a silent affair. Add to this that it was a birth in a stable where there were animals presumably making all kinds of noises, you have quite the noisy affair. So no, it's not a reference to anything beyond the idea that the carol "Silent Night" presents a rather idealized version of the nativity that just ...


3

In western culture, Red is the color of passion and it's disordered vice of lust is cooped up in the color. (see also, the Scarlet letter). I see the esteemed Revered V says the sin is pride. I don't disagree, I just think the real sin that is being covered here is lust and not pride. Karen has a disordered desire to dance and be seen when she should stand ...


3

Here is an argument in favor of Pilgrim's Progress supporting predestination. The names of the characters defines their behavior. Faith, Christian, and Hopeful made it to the heavenly kingdom. Timid, Athiest, Ignorance: not so much. Furthermore, characters do not change their name. [For example, there is, afaik, not a section which details how ...


2

I can't point to a particular chapter but the entire book is written as if the author rejects predestination in the Calvinist sense. (Meaning irresistible grace) The entirety of the book is written as if our choices matter - as if we have a choice. Based on that, I'd say that the book does take a position opposed to predestination in that sense, but I ...


2

Of note is that the sea symbolizes several things for the Jewish people in antiquity, most notably disaster or ruin. For the most part, the ancient Jews were not seafaring people. Deuteronomy 28:68 gives them a stern warning against disobedience, clearly stating that disobedience would ultimately lead to a re-enslavement with the notable inclusion of being ...


2

Frodo's self-sacrificial trip to Mount Doom to "destroy power" has allegorical similarities to Christ's incarnation and "descent to Hell".


2

The Apostle's Creed (believed by Catholics, Orthodox, and orthodox Protestants) states: I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. The third ...


1

You are right in thinking that the word satisfactory has a particular meaning in Christianity. It describes the effect of Christ's death in achieving reconciliation between humanity and God. The root meaning of satisfy is to do enough. There are several theories and beliefs about exactly how Christ's death achieves human salvation. Some, but not all, of ...


1

The Last Superstition By Edward Feser addresses this. Also, Modern Physics and Ancient Faith Also try Answering Atheism


1

The question as stated is a little broad, but I will try to point to some Biblical bases for using extra-Biblical sources to aid the common Christian endeavor to follow Christ. I am answering from the perspective of my Catholic faith, so perhaps I would not whole-heartedly assent to an unstated assumption in the question as stated, that all beliefs need a ...


1

I imagine that two important principles would be violated if Mr. McIan's philosophy were taken to its logical extreme: Free Will (and thereby the loss of Love) Religious Liberty (or liberty of conscience) 1) In a world were no evil could take place, even in principle, there would be no place for truly freely given Love: which is to say, there would be ...



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