Tag Archives: Messiah

Doctor Who; Big Bang Review…

SPOILERS ahead, don’t read if you haven’t seen the last episode of Doctor Who.  Ok, so I’m going to skip straight to editorializing the last episode from my Christian POV.  As many of my readers already know, I’m fascinated by atheists writing storylines that actually support certain contentions of Christianity, especially when it is not the writer’s intentional, conscious aim.

As I’ve said before, I do believe many atheist writers show the internal “knowledge” of God by what they write about even though they very publicly state they are against the idea of there being a God.  This episode wasn’t an exception.  Moffat was indeed the writer for this season ender, BTW.

The name of the episode catches the attention right off the bat; the big bang…modern science’s label of the declaration that the universe did indeed have a beginning.  Why that title?  Because during the course of the episode we discover the Doctor’s answer to resetting the universe is to create Big Bang Two (or Too would work I suppose ;) ) Why do I find that particularly interesting?

Well, apologists will recognize that one of the main arguments for God is the Cosmological argument which I have blogged on previously.  With the recognition that the universe had a beginning, one should be ready to admit that it had to have a Creator.  Something transcendent, something un-caused and ultimate…that is God.  Atheists attempt to deny this and to dance around the issue.

Well…in the show we have a set up for Big Bang 2.  Ok.  Big Bang 2 is set up and executed…it is designed.  It would not come about unless it had a designer.  Isn’t that interesting?  So Moffat can conceive of a second big bang, but that big bang has a creator…isn’t it possible for him to admit that the first big band also had to have a Creator as well?  Add another layer on.  I’ve already discussed the Messiah-like attributes of The Doctor (and it’s linked above)…who designs and executes the second big bang?  The Doctor, the Messiah-like figure on the show.  Hmmm…..

As far as a review; I enjoyed the finale…but the ending was a bit anti-climactic, and I do mean the very end.  I got used to the series setting up an exciting hook and catch for the next season…Big Bang didn’t really do that for me.  I am indeed looking forward to next year, but it is because of the show in general, not just because of the ending of this eppy.  Big Bang was fast and fun, and of course we got to see a side of the new Doctor in his new style of dancing and his interactions with the kidlings.  Downside to the eppy?  The presence of River Song…boo.  I really hope I’m right in that she is not who the writers want us to think she is!  I suppose we’ll see…

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Doctor Who; Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone

Okay, spoilers everywhere, so if you haven’t seen it don’ t read any of this.  I talked a bit before about Time of Angels…it did indeed contain bits that were very interesting to me pertaining to matters of faith/religion.  I have to say that Flesh & Stone took it up a notch…and I was pleasantly surprised.

Some of the themes brought up were faith and fear…how they are related and the limits of both.  The discussions back and forth betwixt The Doctor and Angel Bob were very interesting.  Bob did have some good points about the fact that the Doctor keeps making promises that he might not be able to keep; he gets people to put their trust in him, then does indeed let some of them down.  Sometimes being afraid is the most intelligent position,as Bob kind of alludes to…and of course, one can’t truly be brave without fear.

The military nature of the church wasn’t explored much further than in the first part.  In Time of Angels it is said that the church has “moved on,” whatever that might mean (kind of an odd comment seeing as how the church did have a military nature in the past (rightly or wrongly)).  The Bishop, Father Octavian (BTW, the real St. Octavian was martyred by the Vandals) was one of the most interesting characters Who has had on it in a long time.  A solid military man of moral character with strong faith in God, and a willingness to help the side of good even unto death.  No bones were made about his belief, it was pretty straightforward in the phrases he used.

I have to admit I was caught off guard by the way Moffat handled Octavian and The Doctor’s relationship.  When Octavian was caught by an Angel, he faced death with extreme courage, saying that The Doctor was seeing him at his best, “For that I thank God, and bless the path that takes you to safety.”  Eleven had actual tears in his eyes, with no witty comebacks.

It’s always interesting to speculate how many things I can spot in plots that line up with scripture are there intentionally or just by coincidence.  Two examples; the first is Octavian reply about giving up his life, he said he was content…when we look at what Paul tells us in scripture: Philippians 4:10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

The second was the idea that the angels needed Eleven to sacrifice himself to save them…and he didn’t do it.  Again, perhaps a messiah-like allusion that actually matches the biblical idea pretty closely.  Christ, the true Messiah, did not die to redeem the fallen angels; His sacrifice was not for them, nor efficacious for them, but rather His sacrifice was for humanity.

A difference that I noted between the Doctor and Christ; a big deal was made out of the fact that the Doctor doesn’t always tell the truth, yet he expects to be trusted despite that.  God’s nature is such that He does indeed always tell the truth, and that is one of the reasons why we know He can be trusted.  It is an interesting juxtaposition.

I really enjoyed these episodes…as far as plot, Blink was better, but as far as characters, I preferred these (that is, if I leave Dr. Song out of the equation, I despise her character, not the actor, but the character).  Who else out there doesn’t believe that Song is the Doctor’s future wife?  Maybe that’s just me hoping…

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Jewish Misunderstandings…

I’ve just read an opinion piece printed at the Jerusalem Post, and I felt compelled to comment on it, as it is full of straw man fallacies, and misinformation.  Here is the article:  How to reply when the doorbell rings… First, the author twists the idea of a Triune God into polytheism…which is very odd because Christians proclaim “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one” Deut. 6:4  And, we are careful to note the use of the plural noun Elohim for “God” and the use of echad for “one.”  This is important because, unlike the word “yachid” in Hebrew, which denotes a completely single unit; echad can be used when there is a unity of things comprising a single unit.  The word yachid is never used in connection with God.  There is indeed only one God, not three; He is triune in Nature, but there are not three Gods, there is only One!

Also, the idea was presented that Christians try to claim that Judaism and Christianity are exactly the same; this is not true, I’ve never heard a Messianic believer, or a Christian make that claim.  Christianity has its roots in Judaism, and Jesus is the awaited Messiah of Judaism.  Jesus was Jewish as were His earliest disciples.  To have a true understanding of Christianity, one must study and come to understand that Christianity is basically pointing to the fact that the Jewish Messiah has indeed come, and through Him, there is a new covenant, a new way to righteousness buy the fulfillment of the old law by Jesus (Yeshua, which was His Hebrew name), and His sacrificial death, His role as the Kinsman redeemer, and our Passover, etc…

As for there not being a Son or mother of God; I agree with the “mother” part, as Mary was the mother of Jesus, she carried God in her womb and gave birth to Him; but God has no beginning.  Also, the language used is a nod to humanity’s limited understanding.  The Lord has to reveal Himself in a way that our minds can comprehend, and also take into account the fact that we are stuck in a limited “dimensional” understanding.  Proverbs 30:4 Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell? Psalms 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. There is little doubt that Jesus is indeed the Son of God, and the idea of being begotten is to help underline the fact of His divinity.  John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. And that leads to the point that Jesus is indeed God’s word made flesh, or the wisdom of God; Jesus:God’s Wisdom is a good write up that connects this aspect of Christ back to Old Testament, Jewish understanding, in support of the Trinity.

There was also a claim that Messianic Jews are not persecuted; this is a deliberate falsehood as far as I can see.  There have been many interviews, and even documentaries done on the treatment of Messianic Jews living in Israel; they are often persecuted for Jesus’ sake.  For one example, see this Time article: Israel’s Messianic Jews Under Attack… Also, those coming to a belief in Jesus as Messiah often get labeled “Traitor” by their own people, and many are disowned from their own families.  You can read it in the author’s tone that he does not believe that one can come to a faith in Jesus, and still be Jewish…that has to be a slap in the face to our Messianic Jewish brethren.

In the comments section, there are even more misunderstandings; Christians realize that Jesus was born a Jew, lived a Jew, and died a Jew…He also resurrected as a Jew, albeit He is also the Light of the Gentiles, and He would have had a glorified body.  Also, there is the false idea that the gospel, and the evidence for Christ only comes in the New Testament.  This is patently not so; the gospel message, and the prophecies pointing to the Messiah are also found in the Old Testament.  In fact, this is made plain in New Testament scriptures that point out that the OT was what was available as evidence for Jesus fulfilling the prophecies, and also by conversion stories shared by modern Jewish believers; many come to faith in the Messiah Jesus precisely because the OT scripture points straight to Him.

You can’t read the article and not sense the underlying anger in the words…and while not excusable, is understandable given the persecution the Jewish people have faced, some of that persecution was carried out by those labelling themselves Christian.  It is a very sad thing that many Jewish individuals don’t examine the claims of Christ through logic and OT scripture, with an open heart and eyes, but rather through (understandable) emotion; it is sad for He is their awaited Messiah.   What prophecies He did not fulfill during the time He walked the earth, He will indeed fulfill at His second coming.  The Jewish people still hold a special place in God’s heart, according to scripture, and He will fulfill His promises to them.

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Apologetics: The Messiah Prophecies…

One of the most fascinating and rewarding areas to research in Christianity is the many prophecies contained in the Bible, and their fulfillment, either in the past, or yet to come.  My previous blog post was all about Levitt Ministries.  They have been a significant source for me when studying the Old Testament prophecies, and they have done a lot of wonderful work on the Messiah Prophecies.  Here is a chart that they formulated that touches on several main prophecies about the Messiah, and their fulfillment found in Jesus (Yeshua), although there are many more. Notice how they come out of different books, showing how the historical documents that make up the Bible fit together like a puzzle.

Born in Bethlehem: Micah 5:2 fulfilled Matthew 2:1-5
The Son of God: Psalms 2:7 fulfilled John 3:16-17
Of the tribe of Judah: Gen. 49:10 fulfilled Heb. 7:14
Born of a virgin: Isa. 7:14 fulfilled Matt. 1:18-22
A prophet like Moses: Deut. 18:15 fulfilled John 7:15-17
The King of Israel: Zech. 9:9 fulfilled John 12:12-15
Rejected: Isa. 53:3 fulfilled John 1:11
Beaten: Mic. 5:1 fulfilled Mk. 15:19
Silent: Isa. 53:7 fulfilled Matt. 27:1-2
Betrayed: Psa. 41:9 fulfilled Mk. 14:17-20
Tried and Condemned: Isa. 53:8 fulfilled Matt. 27:1-2
Crucified: Psa. 22:18 fulfilled John 19:23-24
His garments divided: Psa. 22:18 fulfilled John 19:23-24
Given vinegar and gall: Psa. 69:21 fulfilled John 19:28-29
His bones not broken: Exo. 12:46 fulfilled John 19:31-36
He is our Sacrifice: Isa. 53:5-6 fulfilled Pet. 2:24-25
And raised from death! : Psa. 16:10 fulfilled Lk. 24:1-7, 47…

I like having them in order, and having the corresponding passages side by side. Again, this is something Zola Levitt used to teach on, and now Dr. Jeff Seif, who has taken over Levitt ministries after Zola’s death. They have several references for these prophecies and more over at: www.levitt.com One of the staff members at the ministry kindly gave me permission to post this chart online, please do not copy without permission of Levitt ministries.  In addition to different books on the prophecies, they also have this chart printed up on bookmarks with their ministry information on them.  I hope you check them out, and gain as much from them as I have.

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A look at Levitt Ministries…

One of my main purposes with this blog is to talk Apologetics.  There have been several ministries that have truly helped me in my faith, and learning the “meat” of the Christian message, which of course translates into better Apologetics.  Levitt Ministries is one of those.  Founded by Zola Levitt, a Jewish Christian, this ministry focuses on the Jewish roots of Christianity, and also on Israel; its history, current events, and role in Biblical prophecies.

After Zola passed away in 2006, Dr. Jeffrey Seif took over the teaching aspects of the ministry, and Sandra Levitt, Zola’s wife, stepped into the spotlight to help.  Their teachings on the Christian faith from a Jewish perspective bring scripture to life with deeper meanings that may not be so readily apparent to those of us not regularly exposed to Jewish teaching, and the Hebrew language.  The ministry has also raised my appreciation for Jesus’ (Yeshua’s) role as the prophesied Messiah, and has helped my understanding of many aspects and stories of the Old Testament.

If you are Jewish and are interested in getting a perspective on Christianity, their information; books, pamphlets, television shows, newsletter, etc… are an invaluable source.  If you are already a believer, and are looking to connect to others on the web that have the same interest, they have a lively forum where people can “gather” to pray for one another, fellowship, ask questions, keep up on the news out of the Mideast…

I’ve also had the privilege of seeing and hearing Sandra Levitt speak about Israel at a local church.  She is just as warm, vivacious, and passionate about these issues in person as she is on the television shows.  I haven’t had the opportunity to travel to Israel yet, but if I do, I hope to be able to go with Levitt ministries, as they offer various tours throughout the year.  They also have speakers available to come to your church to give talks about their ministry’s specialties.

One of the things I promised I would do when providing information about various ministries is let my readers know where I may differ with specific teachings.  When talking about Levitt Ministries, it is hard for me to come up with much; the only issues I have are slight variation of belief with certain details in prophecy (who will make up the 10 nation confederacy, for example) and with one of their longtime guests on the show; Dr. Gerald Schroeder.  Dr. Schroeder is a Jewish scientist that has an interesting theory about the Creation of the world.  He teaches how it is possible that Creation took both six literal days, and also millions of years, perhaps not a problem in itself, but it has implications for the series of events in Genesis, and the creation of man as well.  Having brought this up, I have to say that I do not judge a ministry based upon their guests, so I just mention it in passing; there is plenty of information on Dr. Schroeder’s theories out there on the web.

Levitt Ministries main website is: www.levitt.com If anyone has any questions about their ministry that I can answer, let me know, and I’ll do my best.  They are definitely worth checking out, and don’t forget to find out when their program airs on TV in your area, if you are interested (you can also watch certain programs online as well).  I will also add a post displaying a sample of one of their teachings.

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