The symbol of Christianity is the cross. It’s everywhere. It stands tall on the roofs of churches, overlooks congregations in sanctuaries, and dangles from the necklaces of many ardent believers. Christians everywhere want to be reminded of the cross, and for good reason. For on the cross, Jesus suffered and died paying the penalty for the sins of the whole world. The whole of Christianity is dependent on the cross for it represents Christ’s death. Christians acknowledge Christ as their only hope for salvation, because only He could completely pay the penalty for our sins.
But if we look at Scripture, we see that Christ’s death is not the only event Christianity depends on. I Corinthians 15:17 says, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” If Christ’s resurrection didn’t happen, then all of Christianity is futile. Why?
When I came upon this question, I didn’t have a straight answer which made me realize I didn’t fully understand my own beliefs! I was sidelining an essential part of Christianity. It makes me wonder if, in our focus on the cross, we’re relegating the resurrection. I believe many Christians are doing just that, not out of spite, but because they don’t understand the necessity of the resurrection. So let’s find out why the resurrection is so necessary to Christianity.
There are many reasons for the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but, from what I’ve seen, there are only two reasons why the resurrection is necessary to Christianity. Two reasons why the resurrection is necessary for our salvation.
The antihero is a well-known character in popular media. Whether in film & television or in novels & the nightly news, we have all met the antihero. Though antiheroes have proliferated in the past few years, the character type has actually changed dramatically.
A Quick Walk Through History
In classical literature, the hero was described as a virtuous figure. He was honorable and caring; strong and brave. He looked good, wanted good, and did good. Society celebrated, even worshiped, the archetypal hero.
The antihero was, obviously, the opposite. This guy wasn’t brave or strong. He wasn’t worshiped by society. He was antisocial; a loner flawed and scarred from some past experience. The common element of all antiheroes was that flaw. That ugly scar. This was the antihero in all his glory—or lack thereof.
The antihero character type proved to be popular and spread throughout entertainment. Fast-forward to modern times. The archetypal antihero is the dominant character type. Everyone has a flaw—even the professing heroes. Luke Skywalker is inept and reckless. Harry Potter is impulsive and angry. Superman struggles with identity and is lonely. The ubiquity of the flaw transformed the definition of the antihero. For if everyone is an antihero, then nobody is. This conundrum begs the question: what is a modern antihero? To reveal the new, we must first understand the old.
Fasting. Is that like "fasting and prayer" or is it like Ramadan? Actually . . . neither. Intermittent fasting is a health diet that has risen in popularity and controversy. There have been a few reports that it is a legitimate diet, but it is widely rejected. Even the diet's name has repulsed many people due to the images of anorexia and binge eating that the word "fasting" seems to be associated with. But what really is intermittent fasting?
Simply, intermittent fasting is fasting intermittently :) Fasting as in not eating any food. Intermittent as in occurring at irregular intervals. Intermittent fasting is basically not eating any food at irregular intervals. It's an irregular cycle of eating and fasting. That's intermittent fasting in a nutshell.
There are more than a couple methods of intermittent fasting.
Now before you write this diet off as just for something for insane gym rats, let me remind you that most people fast for at least six hours every day. They fast when they sleep. Thus, the Leangains diet is simply skipping breakfast. And the Warrior Diet is only taking it one step further. Intermittent fasting is more feasible than you think.
But let's get down to the real issue: is this diet even good for you?
It was late Sunday night. I had just sent out my first blog newsletter, and I was proofreading it (because I always forget to proofread before I publish). At the time, my biggest concern was whether or not my grammar and spelling was correct. That changed in an instant when I received the news: my grandfather was dead. He had passed away peaceably in the night.
Naturally, I was sad. I will never be able to see him again. Never see him talk sports in his excited, anticipative way. Or see the way he brightened up when he saw his children or grandchildren. He was someone I’d loved for he was family. And even though he’d been declining for a while, there was a part of me that half-expected him to always be there. To always be alive.
But I am also glad, sort of. He had experienced much hardship and pain in his last years. His kidneys had failed, and he’d had to receive dialysis three times a week. His weakened state had restricted him from much travel. Just a few days before his death, he was released from the rehabilitation center where he had been recovering from a minor stroke. So his death was a release from all the suffering he’d been through, and for that, I am glad.
These opposing feelings filled my mind when I first received the news, and they are still present, even now. This leads me to the question: how is one supposed to cope with death? I just described how I responded to death, but is that the right way—the biblical way to respond? Is there even a right way? Surely, there must be. And to understand it, we must first understand what we are trying to cope with: death.
Well, this is awkward. I didn't really mean to do a Valentine's Day article. But here I am writing one. So this is raw writing. Stream of consciousness. No editing. At all.
“I think what ‘The Hobbit’ and Middle-earth deal in are quite universal and timeless themes of honor and love and friendship . . . so they’re things that do resonate with people.”’
Martin Freeman is the actor who portrayed Bilbo Baggins in “The Desolation of Smaug,” the film he was promoting when he said this quote. Martin was definitely correct when he said this. ‘The Hobbit’ and Middle-earth do deal with universal and timeless themes. Boromir’s great sacrifice at the end of the ‘Fellowship of the Ring’ and the faithfulness of Samwise Gamgee are examples of timeless themes within the world of Middle-earth.
But Martin Freeman was wrong too, because none of the films in ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy truly resonated with me. How can this be? Universal themes should resonate universally. Don’t the films in ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy use universal and timeless themes?
Of course they do. Bilbo Baggins is a man of great honor. The bond among the dwarves is clearly seen. We even have a romance between Tauriel and Kili. The problem isn’t with the themes that ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy deals with. The problem is with how they deliver these themes.
I’m sorry. I truly am. And I totally understand what you’re going through, because it’s happened to me too. Waking up on January 1st with a glimmer of hope in my eye. Slogging through the cycle of failure and resolve for twenty-something days. Finally deciding on February 1st that it’s not worth it all. I’ve done that more times than I can count. It’s pitiful. Really.
At least you’re not alone. According to business author Stephen Shapiro, about 73% of Americans almost never succeed in keeping their New Year’s resolutions. He says that about 8% of the population is always successful. StatisticBrain has similar findings, reporting that only 9.2% felt they were successful in keeping their resolutions. Such a small achievement rate has led to 42% of those polled admitting that they absolutely never make New Year’s resolutions.
This certainly seems like the right approach. I mean, if only one out of four people sometimes finish their New Year’s resolutions then why even bother? What’s the point of going through the same failures every year? Why build up hope just so you can fail? Why do we even make resolutions at the beginning of the year?
Three or four years ago I found a Christian writing website for teens called KingdomPen. I found many helpful tips there and quickly discovered that you could have your work (short stories, poems, articles) published on the website for free. So I decided to contribute.
I've written a total of three articles for KingdomPen. And I've decided to share them to you in the links below. KingdomPen, as a website, is very well-done. You can tell by the quality of the information and the friendly community that they truly desire to help teens "write for Christ." If you're a teenage writer looking to improve your skills, then I wholeheartedly recommend KingdomPen to you.
How To Create An Intriguing Character
Fight Scenes 101: Planning the Fight
Fight Scenes 101: Writing the Fight
How God Fits Into Character Archetypes
Yesterday, on January 20, 2017, a business man and former reality TV star became president of the United States of America. Nobody saw it coming. Ever since Donald J. Trump announced his candidacy on June 16, 2015, the USA, and especially the GOP, has experienced many conflicting feelings. When he announced his candidacy, most thought it was a publicity stunt. Throughout the primaries and even when he became the Republican nominee, he was constantly derided. As November 8 came closer, the GOP slowly began accepting him despite many incriminating allegations. By the time he won the election, two contrasting reactions swept over the nation. Democrat protesters gathered around Trump Tower in an act of defiance. Republican supporters cheered still not believing they won.