October 15, 2018, 06:41:11 PM

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Messages - ultamentkiller

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1
Hi people!

You guys have made me miss Dresden and Ketty Jay now. I've been reading a lot of theology stuff lately, and I miss Fantasy. Of course, depending on your point of view theology could be just a different kind of fantasy...

So question. I'm frustrated because I want to start reading some series or continue those I have started, but I don't have much time to invest in a series now. I'm looking for good stand-alone books. Any ideas?

Also, I figured some Discworld would be great to read without having to think too much. a lot of humor with just enough thought-provoking concepts to keep me going. I want to start with Wyrd Sisters, but I'm worried I won't enjoy it because of the Macbeth references. I haven't read or seen the play. Has anyone else enjoyed it without getting the Shakespeare jokes?

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Since one of the problem groups are Christian extremists, it had me look up and read the Sermon on the Mountain in Matthew. Maybe you could formulate an argument in their own language they would be more receptive to. It's a perfect match. It condems exactly this behavior and is one of the core texts of Christianity. Feels like every second line is a figure of speech that you can still run into every other day. And to the end you get this:

Quote
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Apparently the church was plagued by this problem already by the second generation.

I also noticed that in the last German elections in the late 20s and early 30s, the Social Democrats (Labour) were losing votes every time, while the Communists were gaining votes. Even if the left had ended up winning over the right, the outlook would have been almost just as bleak. When you let others sacrifice your values for your shared cause, you can only lose.

What a fount of inspiration. So much potential for stories that I've never seen being told in fantasy yet.  :D The enemies who have been tricked to do evil by a genuinely evil third party villain is such a lame cliche. The opponent who becomes an ally against a greater problem without abondining his cause and ideal seems really fresh in comparison.
Well, I didn't mean to come back on this note but...

I'm sorry you ever encountered this, and I'm sorry that this happens. I can tell you as a devout Christian, I've tried arguing with them on the basis of the sermon on the mount and many other passages like it, but in short, they don't care. Western Christianity has turned it into a legal affair of who will enter Heaven and Hell, which isn't at all how it was thought of for the first thousand years. In my opinion, it's created a feeling of fear among these groups that turns into yelling and screaming about salvation. It's fear for the people around them, and fear for themselves despite reassurances some develop like "once saved always saved." And of course, people will turn whatever platform they have in front of them into a means of getting power over others. Throughout history in Orthodoxy and Catholicism, it's played out in the power structures, but in Conservative  Protestantism it tends to show itself in demeaning others on a street corner or posting angry things. What I'm finding is that unless a Christian has familiarized themselves with what the first thousand years of Christianity looked like, or at least is willing to listen to it, it's hard to have logical conversations like the one you're asking for since they're only open to interpretations that they grew up on or come up with themselves through a two-thousand year lens.

I don't say that to demean anyone here, but I think we all know it requires an open-mind to have a conversation with anyone, and Evangelical Protestants tend to have the most closed-minded people out of any denomination. I'm speaking from experience as growing up as one, and also being surrounded by them. This is not to say that they're bad people or anything, just that in their theology, it's easier to interpret passages to work with any worldview you desire. Not all of them do, but you see it with the vocal ones that obviously do not reflect the teachings of Christ.

anyway...

Hi everyone! I'm back for a while. A lot has happened. I see some new names floating around, Nora moving, Bea on vacation... It looks like everything is going well! I'm sorry I haven't been around much, but I've been drowning in school and theology.

I got hired to work for the Colorado Center for the Blind this summer, to teach High School students technology, and work with some on daily living skills like cooking, cleaning, and all that good stuff. I'm really looking forward to it. I won a $5000 scholarship for college from the blindness organization I'm apart of, and I have $2000 worth of scholarships from my school excluding financial aid. It looks like I have next year covered completely, and if the government pays me some money they owe, then I might even be set for two. I've been fighting with my Math class all semester. At first I thought I would barely finish with a C, but I think I've secured a B. If a miracle happens, I will finish with an A and possibly keep my 4.0 GPA in tact, which is the best possible grade average you can have. the first semester it wasn't hard since I took easy classes, but I've really had to fight for this one. I have my final exams this week, and then I'm off to Ohio to see my girlfriend for a week. I'll start work at the end of the month.

I still haven't seen Infinity War yet, or Black Panther for that matter. I should be going in a couple of weeks though. I've heard nothing but good things, although one thing has been spoiled for me. It didn't shock me though since I know it won't last.

Sorry for highjacking the thread. Hope all of you continue to do well. I'll continue checking up on everyone as much as I can.

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It's ironic we're talking about death on the day that most Christians celebrate the resurrection. :P

Hi guys! Sorry I haven't been around. College is hurting me, specifically Math, plus my involvement in blindness organization stuff and now I'm starting a student organization with some other people.

Now back to homework. Hope everyone's alright!

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What did you read in March 2018
« on: April 01, 2018, 08:54:19 PM »
What the Hell Did I Just Read? by David Wong, the 3rd John novel. If @ultamentkiller is out there, go and pick up a copy of this. Wong is every bit as off the wall as ever. Nothing in this book should make sense, but weirdly enough it does.
You have no idea how much I want to read that book. Unfortunately, other things keep getting in the way. I also still need to read Oathbringer, the new Myke Cole book, Disappearance of Winter's Daughter by Michael J. Sullivan, and Grey Sister? If it's out yet anyway. Oh, and the Core by Peter V. Brett.

Aaaaahhhhhhh! So far behind!

5
Okay, there's some cool things in your post JMack.

Quaker Dad and Lesbian Mom? I didn't know that was possible! That's a cool combination!

And Strip Battling Tops? What is that?

I feel like I occupy that middle-ground of sensitivity and bluntness. I have cried and will probably cry many times more in front of people I care about when I'm in immense emotional distress. And when I'm fighting for something I want or raging against whatever machine has pissed me off, I am fiery. I'm hesitant to fight, but when I do, I'm fierce. Or I try to be anyway. I feel like my biggest issue is pride. I have humble moments, but when I mess up or don't meet my expectations I feel embarrassed and want to hide. I'm rarely prideful to the point of defending my own actions after I realize my mistake, but I'm prideful in a sense that I hate taking gifts from others because I want to earn everything myself and owe nothing. And then on top of that, I'm willing to give a lot to others, which doesn't make much sense because I hate receiving.

I feel like we're all full of contradictions.

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General Discussion / Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« on: February 19, 2018, 04:16:44 AM »
https://www.abc15.com/news/local-news/investigations/bill-that-would-try-and-stop-drive-by-ada-lawsuits-passes-us-house?page=2

So the article isn't wrong. There's many lawsuits designed for getting money out of companies rather than addressing ADA violations. However, this is not the way to stop that. This article fails to cover that they don't actually have to fix anything in 60 days. If you read the bill, it basically says they have to make a minimal effort to fix the problem. There's no operational definition of what an effort consists of, so it could basically mean doing a Google search to see what they can do... And that's it. Could legitimate lawsuits overcome this? Absolutely. But that assumes the people with disabilities have the money to do so, which many don't, and it could take months if not years to work through the legal process. We already have enough trouble as it is.

I'm posting it here mainly because I'm frustrated by the coverage. this news source did a terrible job of finding out why specific disability communities oppose the bill, and seemed to pay more attention to the other side. And I know all this other stuff happening with the government is important, but considering that 20% of our population has a disability, it's awful. But let's just sweep them under the rug again, because you know, Russia.

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You have a great mind Bradley, but you need to decide whether you want to use it as a microscope that makes your problems seem huge or a telescope that sees the bigger picture and distant destinations worth sailing to.
This quote hit me tonight. Thank you so much TGC.

Hang in there everyone, and we'll keep swimming through this mess together.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: February 19, 2018, 03:53:28 AM »
I've just finished Death Masks (Dresden Files #5), and have to say that this book pretty much got on my nerves. Our favorite chauvinist Dresden got fooled by a pretty face thrice in this novel. Thrice is just way too much for the learning curve, I think.

There's also a repetitive and no-brainer morality issue Dresden had with Michael, which I had to skim through or otherwise I'll end up throwing the novel across the room. So you could say this is quite a poor installment in the series. I hope the next book, Blood Rites, will have some improvements.
But but but... Denarians!

It's okay. Unfortunately, I don't think you'll be blown away by Blood Rites either. It's good, but I don't think the series really picks up again until book 9, or at least Proven Guilty.

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yeah, I finished it. I don't think it was worth it. Not as funny as everyone said it would be.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Favorite Christian Fantasy Authors
« on: January 20, 2018, 06:19:40 PM »
For a fun and interesting anti-christian read check out Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series. It glorifies the fall of man from both the garden of eden and heaven. It portrays god as a dark authoritarian and one of the archangels (can't remember which one) as fighting for the right of self determination / free will for humankind. What's funny is that he doesn't use the devil as the good guy. Probably because that would have been a step too far for the public at the time.

What's even funnier about the books is
Spoiler for Hiden:
that at the end of book 3 he goes on a two page rant about all the things Christianity needs to be replaced with. It's basically his authoritarian view of how the world should be. I found it quite ironic.
Huh. I had no idea. I only read a third of the first book before putting it down, but if that's how it is, I guess I can see why people wouldn't want others reading it.

that being said, if your faith is strong enough, it shouldn't matter what you read.

11
Discovered I am slowly losing my hearing.

Every time I get Eustachion Tube Dysfunction, the hearing in whatever ear it happens in gets worse. My Ear Nose and Throat doctor already wanted to see me so I have an appointment on Tuesday. Maybe a miracle will happen and they'll find a fix. But as of last time I went, they have no idea why this is happening. By their logic, I shouldn't be getting the tube dysfunctions anymore, much less losing my hearing because of them. That's very abnormal. That combined with my tinitis being different pitches in each year... I don't know anymore.

I am not sure how my life is going to change because of this. I know I'm probably going to have to get a guide dog, something I wasn't planning on doing for several years. I have no idea how I'll ever be able to be a blind-deaf parent. I'm so used to being independent, I don't know how to live depending on people to help me get around. Doing work for classes is going to be much harder. Right now I can read at 650 words per minute because of my speech synthesizer. when I have to use braille, that will cut me down by half. I'm not seeing the positives in this anywhere. I know there are some. I know this will somehow help me accomplish what I need to accomplish before my time here is up. But it's like I had an idea of what that was, and now I'm lost.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Favorite Christian Fantasy Authors
« on: January 19, 2018, 07:31:17 PM »
I studied Mormonism for fun this year, and if you read Sanderson's books, it's pretty loaded with Mormon theology. I didn't notice when I read them, but thinking back to my research, now I see it all. Mormons aren't regarded as Christians by most people, but they consider themselves to be so there's that. McClellan's books don't have any at all though, which is slightly surprising since he's a former student of Sanderson from BYU.

That's really interesting! I've always wondered about how much Mormon stuff there was in the Wheel of Time as well, but I don't know enough to pick out anything except the multiple-wives element.
I haven't read the Sandersons, but if theres Mormonism he must have introduced it because I don't  think Jordan was Mormon. A number of popular fantasy authors are Mormon, though. Tracy Hickman and Shannon Hale are 2 I only recently became aware are Mormons.
That doesn't surprise me at all about the multiple Fantasy author thing. There's definitely a lot of misconceptions about Mormonism in general, but when you start digging deep you can see elements of a potential Fantasy story happening on another world in there. I can't think of a better example than the Cosmere though. Everything we know about it so far is heavily rooted in Mormonism, and I expect once we get to the beginning and the end of that universe it will solidify as such.

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I started watching Atypical. Pretty good show, but frustrating at times with how stupid one of the characters is acting.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: January 17, 2018, 06:36:01 PM »
Do you mean main characters? Because there are a lot of males in there for sure. The noble person, a few of the priests or whatever, the guy who owned the fighting ring and the boys in there...

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Favorite Christian Fantasy Authors
« on: January 17, 2018, 05:08:29 PM »
I'm not sure what really comprises Christian fantasy, though. It is fantasy that promotes compassion and charity? Or is it fantasy concerned with monotheistic faith? I mean... GGKay's work is so brimful of humanity and understanding that I find it feels very "with god" to me, but it's much wider in its scope than Christianity only.

My understanding is that (like Christian music and other media) what would be termed "Christian fantasy" explicitly acknowledges Christian religious beliefs as correct, and those beliefs are usually integral to the fantasy itself. Left Behind, one I mentioned, is explicitly based on the evangelical belief that those who have accepted Jesus (as specifically called out in evangelical teachings) will all be raptured, leaving those who were not among the chosen behind on Earth. Its main characters were not raptured for whatever reason when Jesus returned, and the story progresses as the Earth grows more volatile and the anti-Christ gains strength, leading to the apocalypse.

The series was super popular among evangelicals, specifically, but it's among the only fantasy books I've come across that were specifically marketed as Christian fantasy. I'd be curious what else is out there, though!
Just a scary thought to offer here. I was raised with the belief that the Left Behind books represented what would really happen. Sadly, I believed that until the middle of last year.

The church I grew up in said Harry Potter was evil, some Disney shows with magic were evil, His Dark Materials is evil... It's ridiculous. At least in Harry Potter, there's nothing super non-Christian in there. The entire conflict is loves triumph over hatred. That's exactly what Christianity is supposed to be about, but considering how deeply it's been twisted over the last few centuries...

This may surprise some people here, but I would consider Brent Weeks Christian fantasy. It doesn't fit into the standard definition, but if you read his books watching for the Christian symbolism, there's plenty of it. Night Angel has some, but Light Bringer definitely has a lot more.

I studied Mormonism for fun this year, and if you read Sanderson's books, it's pretty loaded with Mormon theology. I didn't notice when I read them, but thinking back to my research, now I see it all. Mormons aren't regarded as Christians by most people, but they consider themselves to be so there's that. McClellan's books don't have any at all though, which is slightly surprising since he's a former student of Sanderson from BYU.

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