RoadToEmmaus, The Wordsmith

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12/31/2008 2:26 PM

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Hey, ChooseYourStory-ers!  I call myself RoadToEmmaus, and this is my return to the ChooseYourStory community.  I came here a few years ago, made some sweet quizzes about some of Tolkien's books, helped out a little with the sequel to the illustrious JJJ-thebanisher's acclaimed epic, "The Tower", and then disappeared without a trace, never having released a story, due to personal reasons (i.e., my life suddenly became extremely busy.)  If anyone remembers me, I was Sir Lancegalawain.  Well, these days, I'm busier than ever with schoolwork, extracurriculars, ministry, and (gasp!) even a little bit of a personal life.  But about a week ago, I suddenly realized that I need an outlet for my writing pastime, and where better to find one than my old favorite,

So, if you've bothered to read this far into the page, you're probably wondering about the name, right?  Road to Emmaus.  It comes from the final chapter of the gospel of Luke in the New Testament.  A group of Jesus' disciples are walking down--you guessed it--the road to Emmaus, and they were talking about some things that had happened in the past few days.  Then this stranger started walking with them and asked a few questions.  "What are you guys talking about?  Why are you so sad?" 

The men were just plain astonished that this fellow didn't know.  "What?  Are you a stranger to Jerusalem?  Haven't you heard about the things that have happened there the past couple days?!" 

"What are you talking about?" 

"Well, don't you know?!  Jesus of Nazareth!  He was definitely a prophet--he did all kinds of amazing things, and no one can deny!  But our religious leaders had him condemned to death, and three days ago they killed him--and we had thought he would be the one to redeem Israel!"

"Yeah," the other man confirmed, "and then we heard this morning that these women went to his grave this morning and found it empty!  They claimed they say angels there who told them he was alive.  We sent some men up to investigate, and they found the tomb empty too, but as for the rest..."

"Well," said the stranger, clearly taken aback, "didn't you read the prophets?!  Didn't you know that the Messiah had to suffer these things, then to enter glory?!"  Then, he started to explain, beginning with Moses, going through all the prophets and the psalms as well. 

As they were approaching the village, the two men who'd been heading there asked this curiously knowledgeable stranger to come and spend the evening with them, but the man insisted that he had to be on his way.  Only as he walked into the distance did they realize who he was:  Jesus, the Messiah, the risen Son of God and Son of Man.

I have been familiar with this story for a long time, but I never heard it told quite like this until a concert several months ago where Chris Taylor used it as an anecdote to introduce his song "Take Me Anywhere".  See, these guys were just traveling to a neighboring village, going about there business, and then this chance meeting changed their lives forever.  And to me that's just another aspect of God's amazing--and unpredictable--grace.  Something that has captivated me for months.  To me, it's all a part of the mystery of God, which is now being revealed: beauty from ashes, hope out of shame, joy found in the deepest of suffering, and life birthed from the grave's womb.

And that's the stuff I try to write about these days.  Hope you like it, but if you don't... well, maybe it'll get you thinking.


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***working title***1

This is definitely a story, not really game-y at all. It seems to be focusing more on the characters and themes than on anything else. And it shouldn't run too long. But it's serious, and if you're one of those people who just wants a story to entertain them, not one to make them think, then it's probably not for you.

Recent Posts

Hey everyone on 12/30/2008 11:23:53 PM

Alright, so first of all, am I still fantasy or not?  Well, I don't know.  I still love Tolkien and Greco-Roman mythology and all that good stuff.  I guess what I really meant is that thematically the stuff I seem to be churning out is a lot different from the stuff I was writing a couple years ago.  Not that it matters to you all, because I never actually published anything on here before anyway.

As for whether I'm one of those religious freaks who rediscovered their faith and now goes around condemning things he once enjoyed (or whatever you said, man from Corinth; I don't remember word for word)...  Absolutely not!  The only things I have to condemn in my past are my pride, self-righteousness, ignorance, intolerance, etc., etc.  I won't go into specifics right here, but my shortcomings were the exact flaws you guys pointed out about organized religion in the other forum thread, after I went and opened my mouth, paraphrasing Aquinas and all that.

And as far as my every post being faith-related... Well, I guess I'm guilty as charged, come to think of it, and I'm sorry if I've been a little preachy or whatever, and I hope I haven't lost anyone's respect.  At the same time, yes, Jesus Christ is the love of my life.  From the sound of all you guys' posts, you've been through the same pseudo-religious crap I bought into for years.  I know exactly the kind of people you're talking about, because that's what I used to be.  I hate all the show and pretense as much, if not more than anyone else, and I want to apologize if I've come off as one of those showy, pretensious types.

The Shack on 12/16/2008 1:57:44 PM

Yeah, I guess so.

Editorial on 12/16/2008 1:54:30 PM

Lol, well, I understand your anger, and I'm not making any suggestions or comments as to what ought to be taught in public schools' science classes, because, frankly, it's not a subject I know enough about to say anything about either way.  And yes, there are people here in the U.S., especially the midwestern region that I call home, who want a literal account of the first chapter of Genesis to be taught in science classes, but for the most part, at least with the Christians I know, it's a non-issue.  What I'm talking about is quite different.  Motion.

It's pretty darn obvious that many things in our world are in motion.  And nothing can be in motion unless it is first in potency (the potential ability) to motion.  Motion is the reduction of potency to action.  But nothing can be brought from potency to action unless acted on by something already in action.

Something could be in action in one way and in potency in another (like something could be actually hot but potentially cold) but nothing can be both in action and potency in the same way at the same time (nothing could be both actually hot and potentially hot at the same time).  Since it takes a force already in action to bring another force from potency to action and nothing can be both in potency and in action at the same time, it follows that nothing can move itself from potency to act, thus that everything that is going to be moved has to be moved by something else.  But that something couldn't've brought itself into action either, by the same principle, so something must have brough it from potency to action, and whatever brought that something to action must have been brought to action by something else, etc., etc., etc.

But that cycle couldn't go on forever into the past, because then there would be no initial force, already in action, to bring to action the first thing in potency.  And if there were no first mover, then nothing else could have been set in action.  In order for there to be any motion in the universe, it seems to me that there would need to be a first mover, something that wasn't set in motion by anything else.  And that's what I understand to be the God of the Abrahamic religions, although we definitely haven't got so far as to even begin to equate the idea I just presented with any kind of established faith.  And come to think of it, this is one of those places reason and faith go hand in hand, because my reason arrives at the conclusion that some initial being must have been in action from eternity, and then faith steps in with an exposition of what that being is.  But then of course you can accept that explanation or reject it, but the first conclusion doesn't disappear.

Well, I've rambled quite long enough, so there's my piece, with apologies to Thomas Aquinas.

The Shack on 12/16/2008 12:44:39 PM

Lol.  So I'm guessing no one has anything else to say about The Shack.

Hey everyone on 12/16/2008 12:39:28 PM

Well, I've got several ideas floating around, and I haven't been able to decide which to follow through with.  All of them are a hard left turn from the fantasy stuff I used to be into, so whatever I write it should be a new experience.

Editorial on 12/14/2008 5:32:46 PM

Wow.  This is an amazing discussion!  Great editorial!  I may not agree with your stances on gay marriage, etc., but that's not the point.  The point is that people believe things without a clue as to why, avoid the tough questions instead of confronting them, and... well, you know what I'm saying.

The essential problem I have with what Rommel said about science is that science, like philosophy and religion and all human reasoning for that matter, is subject to perspective.  It's great to reason things out and examine things scientifically, but a perfectly reasoned or scientific argument can always still be false due to incorrect information taken into effect.  It's like an algebra problem in which you follow every step correctly and reach a valid answer only to realize that you transcribed the problem incorrectly to begin with.

I spent several months of my life struggling with questions about faith and reason and all that (shortly after Sir Lancegalawain's disappearance, by the way) and discovered that, as it turns out, they go hand in hand.  I challenged and questioned everything I believed, I confronted the problem instead of avoiding it, and I came to conclusions.  Some of them supported what I had believed before, some things were totally different.

As for creationism, I don't purport to be able to give an exhaustive and scientific account of how everything came to be (and if anyone here can, I implore you, come forward now), but everything I've seen tells me that every effect has some kind of cause.  You can take that back as far as you want.  X caused Y, W caused X, etc., but ultimately, there had to have been something to set the whole thing in motion, and that's kind of why I find "scientific" explanations of the origin of the universe a little farfetched.  But I'm totally open to discussion.

The Shack on 12/14/2008 5:04:33 PM

Lol.  Well, there are lots of different opposing opinions about it.  There are people like Eugene Peterson (author of The Message Bible paraphrase) who say it's basically the best thing for Christian literature since The Pilgrim's Progress, and then, like flesh said, there are those who say it's misleading and all that.  If I haven't already made this clear, I'm pretty close to Peterson's view, but I think it is important to remember when reading it that it's a novel, not a theological treatise--it should be read for enjoyment and enlightenment, not as a complete or authoritative exposition of biblical truth.

That said, the story centers around a guy named Mack whose youngest daughter Missy is kidnapped, later found to have been brutalized by a serial killer in this shack in the middle of nowhere.  This causes The Great Sorrow to come over Mack and he struggles with how a God who is supposedly good could allow such a thing to happen to someone so innocent.  Then he gets a note in his mailbox, apparently from God, telling him to visit him at the shack where Missy was killed.  So he goes.  And he meets God.  All three of Him.  And this is where Young starts to lose people.  God the Father is represented by Papa, a rather rotund black woman.  Jesus is... just Jesus.  A Jewish carpenter in his early thirties.  The Holy Spirit is represented by Sarayu, a mysterious Asian sylph... thing.

The novel mainly follows Mack's dialogue with the three members of the God-head, and the things they say about relationship versus religion, expectation versus expectancy (you'll have to read it to see what that one's all about), and the way that God and man interact with one another are the things that have drawn criticism.  Some say Young is spot-on, others say his work is at best misleading and at worst outright heretical.  In any case, it's found a huge following among those disillusioned with the church, and I guess I was one of those people, so I found it hugely beneficial.  I'd say more, but I want to leave some of my comments for later.

The Shack on 12/13/2008 4:14:40 PM

The Shack by William Paul Young.  Anyone read it?  Love it?  Hate it?  I for one haven't read a book with such enthusiasm since I discovered C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity.  I whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone.

Christian music on 12/13/2008 4:09:10 PM

Awesome!  Looks like you guys listen to some pretty great stuff.  Other than, like I said before, Switchfoot and Jon Foreman's solo EPs, I've been listening to a lot of Underoath, Skillet, Flyleaf, Disciple, Anberlin, Esterlyn, Red, and Ten Shekel Shirt, and The Wedding lately.  But then I also like the stuff like August Burns Red (if you're reading this, you should check out their cover of "Carol of the Bells"--it's the best Christmas song with a breakdown ever), As I Lay Dying, War of Ages, Norma Jean--you know, the hard stuff.  Plus I like to go to more worship oriented concerts, like Casting Crowns, Third Day, Kutless, Building 429, that kind of stuff.

Avenged Sevenfold--definitely not a Christian band, but I do enjoy their sound, even if they're not something I'd listen to all the time.  And, yeah, they have tons and tons of biblical references, and I've been able to use that as kind of a springboard to talk about, you know those kinds of biblical themes and redemption and what not.

As for those types of Christians you're talking about, I totally understand, 'specially seeing as I used to be one of them. (The in-your-face, you're-going-to-hell, wear-the-right-clothes, listen-to-the-right-music kind, mind you, not the goes-to-church-to-mooch kind. )  It reminds me of the words of the apostle James, basically that pure and undefiled 'religion' is to care for the poor and the widowed.  There are so many churches that have totally forgotten about Jesus and everything He ever said and did to get into petty arguments over man-made rules and ordinances, and it really breaks my heart.

But anyway, come to think of it, I really should've titled this thread just "Music" because I'd really be interested in a general survey of what, you know, everyone is listening to these days.

Hey everyone on 12/13/2008 3:48:03 PM

Wow, I see this place still has it's off-kilter sense of humor.  Yes, DV, I can still remember you being somewhat sadistic.  But then there's something of a sadist in all of us, and something of a masochist in anyone who publishes anything on the internet these days.  Honestly!  People are brutal, aren't they?

Anyway, as for myself, I'm doing great.  I feel like a whole new person, and maybe that's why I just started a new account instead of trying to find my Lance password.