How the Bible portrays Hell

Well, I’m back from my brief hiatus. I got my things taken care of, and now I’m in a place where I can blog again.

So, I was scrolling through my older posts, and I found a few old articles based around the theme of “How the Media Portrays…” I did Jesus, angels, and demons, but what about Heaven and Hell?

Well, I’ll get to Heaven at some point, because this week, we’re going to Hell.

Metaphorically.

Now, the main issue I have is that there are many different interpretations of Hell in the media, just as there are many different interpretations of Jesus, angels, and demons. The problem with discussing Hell is that it seems not even the Christians have a good idea about how Hell looks.

So, normally, I would start with the media and then look to the Bible, but in this case, I’m going to do it backwards, solely so I can get a good understanding of things.

 

The Bible (the definitive)

In the translation I use (NIV 2011), “Hell,” the word, doesn’t really come up in conversation that much. Four of these times are the, “If your X causes you to stumble, cut it off; for it is better to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go to Hell,” passages, and several others are in a similar vein.

So, I broadened my search to the concept of Hell. A lot of the passages I came across acknowledge that Hell is a place, and it involves fire. In my studies, one of the most telling passages is Revelation 20:7-10, where Satan receives his final judgment: being “thrown into the lake of burning sulfur” where he “will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” (Verse 10)

I have two things to note about Hell, from this passage. First, sulfur technically doesn’t burn, as it is a mineral. Rather, it melts at roughly four-hundred degrees Fahrenheit, and boils at twice that temperature. Any scientists in the audience, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

Second, we know that Hell is calibrated to torment demons for eternity. Just to put that in perspective.

With that, I’m going to leave the rest of this article for next week. This one is going to be lengthy.

 

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@Isaac_Trenti

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Well…this is awkward.

So, you may have noticed that I did not post anything last week. That is because my schedule has been an absolute mess lately. I’m fine. I’m alive. I am healthy. But at the same time I have homework and projects coming at me from all sides, and no back-up posts to help.

That said, I will be taking a few weeks off. I finish my classes and projects on May 11th, so I will probably start posting again after that. At the earliest, I will post again on May 10th.

Projects and homework aside, I will also be using some of the time to research an upcoming post. I plan on continuing the “How the Media Portrays…” series with “How the Media Portrays Hell.” This ended up being a bigger task than I thought, so I’ll need a little time to do some research on the subject–both how Hell appears in the Bible and how Hell appears in the media. Hopefully, that will be the post I upload when I get back, and (as the post stands) it may be a two-part article.

And lastly, Noah, I’m fine with you talking about Lovecraft. Again, my chief grievance against him was more against his fandom than anything else. I mean, I respect Lovecraft as a writer. To his credit, he basically started a religion. (Then again…he basically started a religion, so that’s also a mark against him.)

I, for one, treat Lovecraft the same way I treat Dan Brown, Stephanie Meyer, and E.L. James; I recognize the fact that they are published writers, though I do not appreciate what has become of their writing.

To be fair, I also kind of like (and occasionally reference) “Welcome to Night Vale.” It’s a decent podcast–and this coming from the guy who doesn’t really like podcasts.

So, yeah. I will see you all, readers and co-writer, in a few weeks.

 

Isaac’s Twitter: @Isaac_Trenti

Correlation’s Twitter: @CorrelationBlog

Breath of the Wild…a big breath at that.

Don’t worry. I’m still alive. I just needed to take a week off to process through a couple things. I’m not yet at liberty to talk about what it is, but it’s nothing detrimental. I’m still processing these things, but I’m doing better now.

That, and I needed some time to put some hours into Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild before I review it. Because, good gravy, this game is massive!

[For perspective, I bought it for the WiiU.]

Even after playing it for about eleven days now, I still don’t know what to say about it. Sure, it’s a fantastic game, but I was hoping I’d find some kind of deeper Christian meaning in it. At this point, it’s still too early to tell. The only Christian influence I could see in this game was in the Temple of Time, and how it looks like a cathedral.

That, and I think the game is finally monotheistic. They’re referring to a singular goddess rather than three goddesses. It could be a misunderstanding of the lore, though.

And, since it’s too early in the game, I can’t speak for the story. I’ve taken down the first “Divine Beast” (giant robot animal thing), explored two more sections of the map, and I still feel like I’m only in Act I of the story.

So, what is there to say about it?

It’s a good game. I would easily call Breath of the Wild game of the year, despite it only coming out in March. To be fair, it will probably take until the end of this year to finish playing through the game.

If I could summarize how the game plays, it feels less like a Legend of Zelda game and more like a hybrid of Skyrim and Assassin’s Creed. Not that I’m complaining. Both games are good, and the best parts of each, with the best parts of Legend of Zelda, come together quite nicely.

As for how this game compares to other Zelda games, this one feels the most like Wind Waker to me, probably because of the massive, open world, free for the player to explore. And the presence of the Koroks. And Beedle. And camera controls.

Seriously. Camera controls. I liked Twilight Princess and Ocarina of Time, but camera controls would have made the games a thousand times better.

In summary, I like Breath of the Wild a lot, but I haven’t finished it yet. My opinions may change, but I’m hopeful for this title.

 

Let’s Connect:

@Isaac_Trenti

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Beauty and the Beast…and the Gay Guy [We’re Going There!]

[Isaac gets up from a long night’s sleep. As he steps out into the main room towards his computer, he walks past a large elephant wearing a “LeFou is Gay” banner. Despite the elephant, Isaac sits down and writes at his computer.]

It’s official. 10:00 PM showings at theaters should not be a thing. I think I’m officially too old for them.

Anyway, I saw Beauty and the Beast last night, and it was good. At least, I liked it. The visual effects were amazing. The acting was incredible. Even though they added a few songs, the adaptation was spot on with its original. I wouldn’t call it my favorite Disney movie, but it was pretty good. Also, it has Ian McKellen (Gandalf, Magneto) as a clock and Ewan McGreggor (Obi-Wan Kenobi) as a candelabra. What’s not to like?

[The elephant sneaks up behind Isaac and rests its trunk on his head. Comically clasped in its trunk is a “LeFou is Gay” flag, which the elephant waves.]

Oh, yeah. That.

This movie features Disney more-or-less caving to the “include a gay character” demands of popular culture by turning LeFou, the comic relief foil to Gaston, into…well, Josh Gad.

To be frank, I didn’t really care about LeFou in the original. He served as an expositional character for Gaston. He didn’t have enough character development in the original.

So, do I like him now? No. Not really. And not because he’s gay; it’s because he’s Josh Gad. I don’t know why I don’t like him. I can’t put my finger on it. It’ll probably come to me in summer.

While LeFou’s…development is unwarranted, it actually neither adds nor removes anything from the story. Aside from two, maybe three scenes, LeFou is played more as Gaston’s war buddy / protégé than his gay best friend.

In fact, the movie actually has a few scenes where the writers could’ve gone completely overboard with the “gay-ness,” but didn’t. For example, Gaston at one point asks LeFou why he hasn’t found a girl. To which LeFou replies, “I’ve been told I have a clingy personality.” No sarcasm from me: there’s nothing gay about that.

So, in short, was LeFou’s homosexuality necessary? No. Was it blown out of proportion in the movie? Not really. Beauty and the Beast was still Beauty and the Beast even with a gay character.

Take the movie as you will, dear readers. I enjoyed it at least.

After all, did I mention that it has Magneto as a clock?

 

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Leading into Iron Fist: a look at the other Defenders

So, I wanted to do a review on Iron Fist when it came out on March 17. However, the time between March 17 and today, March 22, has been super busy between homework and work and meeting friends.

I only watched one episode. I will be handing in my Geek Card at the end of the article.

However, “just one episode” is about what I’ve seen of the other Defenders shows—Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage.

So why not break a few rules and write a review on all of them?

 

Daredevil (5 episodes watched)

So, of the ones I’ve seen so far, this is the one I liked the most. I never really got into Daredevil, the hero, before. And after watching five episodes…

…I’m still not invested in him. Sorry, but the characters never really got to me. I felt more attached to Matt Murdoch’s lawyer friend than Matt Murdoch himself. It’s like watching Cinderella and only liking Jacques and Gus-Gus.

[pause] So what if that’s how I watched Cinderella?! They’re my bros!

 

Jessica Jones (3 episodes watched)

Oh, where do I begin with this show?

The thing I liked about it was that it fills a strange niche of shows about abuse victims/survivors. Not a lot of shows toy with this idea, at least not as a main selling factor.

Conversely, I’m not too keen on the content of the show, sexual or otherwise. I don’t feel too invested in a character who acts and lives like an abuse victim—because she is—and then hooks up with some random guy at a bar. It doesn’t feel in character for her.

Speaking of some random guy at a bar…

 

Luke Cage (2 episodes watched)

This is one of the shows that I really don’t want to write about, simply because I don’t know what to write about it. The longer I think about it, the more I realize that I’m really in no position to talk about it.

So I’m not going to.

 

In Sum

So, to reiterate. Daredevil, I didn’t like the characters. Jessica Jones, I didn’t like the characters. And Luke Cage…is Luke Cage.

So, yeah. What can I say about Iron Fist so far?

 

Iron Fist (1 episode watched)

The characters are pretty good.

 

[Pulls Geek Card out of pocket.]

Also, here’s my Geek Card. I’m handing it in for not watching the first season of Iron Fist within the first week of its release.

 

Let’s Connect:

@Isaac_Trenti

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Is “Legend of Zelda” Christian?

The thing that separates me from most video game reviewers is my funding. While groups like Game Grumps, Peanutbuttergamer, and many others have already played Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and done their reviews on it.

I, on the other hand, am perpetually one paycheck and/or a really good excuse away from buying the game. Though, I did finish Wind Waker recently. I am currently in therapy because of the ending.

I came across a video on YouTube published by a fellow who goes by Gaijin Goomba. (I have been a fan of his work for quite some time, and I recommend giving his videos a watch.) One of his recent videos caught my attention. It was titled, “Legend of Zelda’s UNBELIEVABLE Origins in Christianity!”

Needless to say, it seemed right up my alley to give a response. Despite how the title sounds, he was actually in favor of the Christian symbolism in the early games. My only disagreement was in his interpretation of the Holy Spirit, but I think that’s something that varies from doctrine to doctrine. (I see the Holy Spirit as God, present in the world today. Not His presence, but Him being present.)

Although, the last time I wrote about Legend of Zelda, I noted it for having a lot of polytheistic themes. The three goddesses who formed the Triforce (Naryu, Din, and Farore) being the main reason, though I think we can add the implied reincarnation of the main characters to the list. While Mr. Goomba’s argument for the symbolism makes sense, I am still hesitant to call it a Christian game.

However—and this is a massive however—I do not agree with the arguments for the games being anti-Christian or satanic. As Mr. Goomba pointed out, there are people who see Zelda as such. I found one that called the games, “The Devil’s Playground.” I don’t want to go into the argument against that viewpoint, but I should say that I am not one of them. I know satanic when I see it, and Zelda isn’t.

So, what is Zelda then? Well, it’s a good video game series. I play them, and I enjoy playing them. They aren’t directly Christian, though they have Christian symbolism. And they aren’t satanic, despite arguments in favor of it. They require a fair amount willing suspension of disbelief, but doesn’t everything these days?

I may write a follow-up to this post after I play Breath of the Wild, but no promises. I will post a review on it after I buy and play it.

 

Let’s Connect:

@Isaac_Trenti

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Isaac Rambles about Ratings

So, it’s Spring Break for Isaac. Week one of a month full of nerdy releases. I still haven’t seen Logan, and I haven’t gotten around to playing—or even buying—Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

So, I guess I’ll talk about something Logan-related at least: film ratings.

The big selling point for Logan was that it is a hard-R Wolverine, as opposed to the PG-13 Wolverines we’ve been getting for the past seventeen years. So, in this regard, film rating is important, since it reflects the content.

But, does it, though? People have been pushing the limits of what PG-13 means. PG-13 includes everything from Star Wars: The Force Awakens—fairly tame—to The Martian—two f-words, with dozens more implied—and The Hobbit Trilogy—the last of which almost earned an R-rating.

And PG movies are becoming more and more of a gamble. Alice in Wonderland and Tangled were released in the same year, 2010, effectively by the same company, and got the same rating, despite one having eye-gougings and decapitations and the other having Vladimir, who collects ceramic unicorns. (*Ding*)

PG seems to be the new standard for kids movies, actually. Moana? PG. The LEGO Batman Movie? PG. How to Train Your Dragon? PG. The G rating is starting to go by the wayside. Likewise, PG-13 is becoming the new PG. Remember when Star Wars movies were PG? Yeah, me too.

It seems ratings have boiled down to just three, instead of the original five. (Those being the MPAA ratings of G, PG, PG-13, R, NC-17; though this used to be the original four, as PG-13 was added for a middle ground between “kids can watch it” and “we need to card the audience.”)

To be honest, I don’t really look at ratings anymore. Sure, I’ll keep them in mind, but many go without saying. Deadpool isn’t for kids, Logan isn’t for kids, Rogue One isn’t for kids, Doctor Strange isn’t for kids, The LEGO Batman Movie isn’t for kids, very little if anything is kid-friendly and I can defend that.

So, what’s the purpose of a rating these days? That’s just it. It’s a rating. It’s an agreement made by a group of people about who a movie is best suited for. I can give a rating for a movie just as easily as the MPAA; the MPAA is just the standard, and I would be a little biased.

Who knows. Maybe this is nothing. What are your thoughts?

 

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