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Review: New 'Narnia' film doesn't challenge 'Potter'
December 10th, 2010
01:17 PM ET

Review: New 'Narnia' film doesn't challenge 'Potter'

The third of C.S. Lewis' "Narnia" books to make it to the big screen almost didn't happen when Disney lost the faith after the "disappointing" returns for "Prince Caspian," with its worldwide box office gross of $419 million.

Fortunately for fans of wholesome Christian family action and adventure, Fox stepped in, and production company Walden Films has completed the story of the Pevensies, Lucy and Edmund, who first made their way through the back of that magical wardrobe five years ago. Unfortunately for fans of fantasy film, the budget appears to have been slashed across the board for "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader."

Per the book, Susan and Edward are out of the picture now, having swapped the innocent enchantments of Narnia for the more mundane diversions of America.

Read the full review of the movie here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Culture & Science • Movies

soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. SEG07

    I haven't seen The Voyage of the Dawn Treader yet, but I have heard wonderful things about it. It comes out on DVD and Blueray April 8th, I know that I am going to buy it to see for myself, I hope that others will too!

    April 3, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
  2. Uranium

    I love CS Lewis and his works! lol, there was a lame joke about lion eating Jesus, and somewhere along the thread he repeated the same one. #keepwhackjokesawayfromchildren

    December 20, 2010 at 12:41 pm |
  3. Peace2All

    @Peter F

    Hey Peter... Thanks for responding. Lot's to digest there in your post. And... thanks for your 'compliments' on my questions...!

    You Said: "In conclusion... we are still learning, archaeologists are still finding things, and theology is still changing"

    I agree. I think that was what i was trying to point out, as an agnostic, and keeping a very open mind- and as I stated, Anthropologists, Historians, Archaeologists, etc... with the help of greater technology and the ability to give us a 'greater' look back in time in ancient societies–what they truly believed, what were their motivations, how they lived, is truly fascinating to me.

    You Said: "... I only hope that another find as significant as the one at Qumran in the 40s occurs within my lifetime. That would be fantabulous."

    Fantabulous... it would be...! I truly do love when there are significant and verifiable findings from the past..i.e.. "Dead Sea Scrolls." What a 'window' into what life was like back then 2,000 + years ago. BTW, speaking of fascinating archaeological expeditions, Did you happen to see the series put out by James Cameron and Simcha Jacobovici–"The Lost Tomb of Jesus"...? I found that to be fascinating...! Again, for me it's not necessarily about proving anything one way or another, but following where the facts take us. If you haven't seen it, you might want to check it out. It also provides some extremely fascinating scenarios.

    Would love to hear your thoughts on it.

    Sounds like you and I share a passion of finding *truth* from the past, wherever it takes us, even if it totally blows away what we 'thought' was truth.

    You Said: "Again... thanks for asking!"

    No problem Peter... I am a seeker with a passion for learning and having discussions about life and all it entails. Thanks for taking time to put together your well-thought out answer and conversing with me.

    You Said: "(You never did answer my question about what YOU do for a living)"

    Yes, sorry about that.... You actually asked me 2 questions:

    1)Where do I live...? -–I live in California (Los Angeles).

    2)What do I do for a living...?-– Several things. I have a training company, and I'm also partners in a Corporate Consulting Firm.

    3)And...something you didn't know(ARE YOU READY...?) I am going to most likely get a lot of grief/teasing from my friends -Sum Dude, David Johnson, etc...however, I feel proud that I am helping to make a difference in the world.

    HERE GOES-– I am actually an Ordained 'non'-denominational Minister. !!! I am on track to become Senior Minister at what we really call a 'personal development center. Not so much a church. (*-Peter says... what...?) Yes, I too have had since being a young lad... a 'calling', but has just taken a different path. The closest religion that I could relate it too, would be Science of Mind. We are into personal responsibility in our lives, and the lives of our families, friends, neighborhoods, city, state, country, and the world. We take a look at what all of the great teachers/masters have said about living a life of peace and happiness...*now* Through the fields of Theology–looking at all religions, Psychology–How to run our minds and emotions, Philosophy-What did the great philosophers have to say, Sociology-Group behavior, and the Sciences-Biology, Quantum Physics, Neuro-biology, etc..... but, really, we look at anyone that has something to say that is 'useful' for living life *now* We make no claims about a God, or life after death. For us, If...and that is a big if... there is a God of some kind, he/she/it
    It is sooooo far beyond any of our understanding, that to even comment on God, just seems silly. The concept of God, as far as we are concerned... is just absolutely 'ineffable.' Hence my claim again, as an 'agnostic,' which bodes well for me, in that I am always open, and don't get stuck in any kind of particular belief system or 'rut.' Always, evolving... Plus, if there is a God... we 'believe' or our current 'model' for us is that it is not separate from 'all that is' we are it, and it is us. We just have really 'no' understanding to it's nature. And, any attempt to say... God is–anything after that, suggests that we have now limited that which is unlimited and eternal. We are also about we can and cannot control in our lives–and knowing the difference.

    Ultimately, we are about how to have a full-filling and contented, happy life now. If...there should be a life after death, we believe that will take care of itself. But, our main message is to live life to the fullest now, acting as if ... this is the *only* one you have, which makes life, even that more precious. We want to leave planet Earth a bit better off, due to our actions.
    So, besides doing classes and talks, I also do counseling, and often volunteer my time as a 'hospi-ce volunteer,' among other things.

    So.... Peter... Have you gotten up from falling out of your chair yet...? Hopefully, we will have lots to discuss and edify our learnings... yes...? I hope so...

    Peace...

    December 13, 2010 at 3:28 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Peter F & ALL-

      *oooops* Sorry for the Double-Posting...!

      Peace...

      December 13, 2010 at 4:45 am |
  4. Reality

    "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is still very much a "Narnia" movie. In other words, it's filled with fantastical creatures, bloodless battles, quasi-mystical undercurrents and an unfortunate helping of hooey. "

    Tom Long
    Detroit News "

    December 10, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Sounds very similar to religion to me – especially the hooey part.

      December 11, 2010 at 12:22 am |
    • Sum Dude

      @Reality
      So are you agreeing or disagreeing with this "Tom Long" person?

      December 11, 2010 at 10:19 am |
    • Reality

      Sum,

      Tom Long is the movie critic for the Detroit News.

      December 12, 2010 at 8:53 am |
    • Sum Dude

      @Reality – The Detroit News is based in Detroit – which is located in Michigan State, USA.

      And the Earth is located 1 AU from the Sun. Today is Sunday, the first day of the week. Just thought I'd let you know. 😉

      December 12, 2010 at 10:40 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Sum Dude

      Ahhhh.... Play nice Sir Dudeste...! 🙂 -LOL...!

      Peace..

      December 12, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Sum Dude

      -Sir *Dudester*

      Peace...

      December 12, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @Peace2All

      Los Angeles is located in California. 😛

      December 13, 2010 at 10:24 am |
  5. Calus

    This isn't a christian adventure. There is no Jesus running around, no churches with lions roaring from the pulpits here.
    Just because it was written by CSLewis and uses a lot of allegorical fantasy, somehow that makes it all okay for the christian whackos who nearly tore off their scalps at the allegorical fantasy in Harry Potter.

    Hypocrites and fools. Liars and psychos. That's what religious people have to offer. Hairy Ball-mass to all and to all a hairy ball-mass.

    December 10, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
    • NL

      Aslan, the lion, is Christ, but I guess you have to read the books to really get that.

      December 10, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
    • David Johnson

      You said: "This isn't a christian adventure. There is no Jesus running around, no churches with lions roaring from the pulpits here."

      I explained that! That damn lion ate the baby Jesus!

      Cheers!

      December 11, 2010 at 8:14 am |
    • Sum Dude

      @NL
      Aslan is supposed to be Jesus, yes. But where are the religious extremists?

      They won't go after C. S. Lewis because the heresy and the fantasy do not appear offensive to them in this instance.

      Remember how they screamed about the Harry Potter books? I, too, would like to know why Aslan gets a free pass.
      Btw, I love the series, but it's just fiction.

      The "Left Behind" series (which are not so "magical) also gets a free pass. And every other so-called "Christian" author as well. They advertise in this CNN blog all the time. And it never matters what they say just as long as it's "religious".
      But I suppose I'm preaching to the choir here, anyway.....! As you can see I jumped at the chance to give you a bad time over your post...you usually have things all sewed up. 🙂

      December 11, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Sum Dude

      You wrote to -NL

      "Aslan is supposed to be Jesus, yes. But where are the religious extremists?"

      Why would you think that the religious extremists would take offense to this...? Seems to me like you answer your own question with your next statement:

      "They won't go after C. S. Lewis because the heresy and the fantasy do not appear offensive to them in this instance."

      You Said: "Remember how they screamed about the Harry Potter books? I, too, would like to know why Aslan gets a free pass.
      Btw, I love the series, but it's just fiction."

      Seems to me that from what I have heard and read from the fundamentalists, as I believe the 'Harry Potter' is band reading in a lot of school systems...yes...? They (fundamentalists/extremists) believe that the "HP" series smacks of the devil and sorcery, witchcraft, etc... which is not in-line with their narrow-scope reading which has to do with anything that is considered a positive 'religious' story... that somehow reflects and is in someway in symmetry with anything to do with Jesus.

      Just my first thought/opinion that comes to mind. Maybe I'm missing a 'distinction/s' you are making here...?

      You Said: "The "Left Behind" series (which are not so "magical) also gets a free pass. And every other so-called "Christian" author as well. They advertise in this CNN blog all the time. And it never matters what they say just as long as it's "religious".

      The "Left Behind" series, if I am not mistaken, I would think, would definitely fit right in with the fundamentalist extremists. Isn't it a full on story about the 'non-believers' being left behind.... hence this seems to be a 'scared straight' into converting type of film series...yes...?

      Again, I jumped in on a conversation here with you and -NL, so, I am probably missing some pieces here. But... any chance to chat with my buddy... I like to jump at...! 🙂

      Peace...

      December 12, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @Peace2All

      No worries, my friend, I've given up on getting a reply from NL – I suspect he is kicking himself for not making his usual insightful post this time and is just letting me have fun tearing it to pieces.

      I was hoping for a reply from "Calus", but I have not seen any more posts from that callous person – which might be a good thing considering some of the things he/she has posted...!

      I see my attempts to show up the inherent hypocrisy in attacking works of fiction according to their subject matter is lost on everyone. Perhaps I shouldn't have bothered picking up this particular torch and waving it around. Oh, well....

      December 13, 2010 at 10:21 am |
    • Frogist

      @SumDude et al:
      It's probably simpler than knowing anything about allegories.
      The Harry franchise is huge. And prominent and popular. That makes it an easy target. Add to that, that the only thing people know about it is that it's about kids learning witchcraft, and you get a christian hypocrite sh!tstorm.
      Narnia, written by a christian, is less prominent, less popular. And not at all modern. Harder to target it as anti-christian.
      Point out to any of the short-sighted Christians the morality of HP and the odd similarites to Jesus that Harry has himself, and they will think it's even more blasphemous even though Narnia has a similar tale of morality and character comparisons to Jesus. It's the usual hypocrisy. The morality might be exactly the same, but unless it is blatantly obvious that it is Christian, one is evil and the other is good. It's the same as trying to explain that non-believers have the same morals as Christians to a fundie. It won't matter how much proof you put in front of them. All they will hear is "non-believer".

      December 13, 2010 at 11:26 am |
    • Nyamekye

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      May 18, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
  6. David Johnson

    Christianity, like all religions, is a fantasy world that seems pretty ho-hum to me.

    December 10, 2010 at 3:03 pm |
    • Carmen

      Dont knock it til youve tired it and if you have and still feel that way maybe your just not included in the KINGDOM sorry !

      December 10, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Carmen

      And...Maybe the 'KINGDOM' is not what you...'think' it is, if... it even exists. If... there is something after, there are a lot of possibilities. Probably beyond any words or descriptions you will get from a 'book'... i.e.. the bible.

      I wish you a happy and joy-filled life, and if there is something after... then happiness there as well.

      Peace...

      December 11, 2010 at 1:29 am |
    • Peter F

      @David Johnson

      Okay, time to turn the tables just for a sec. You say that "Christianity, like all religions, is a fantasy world." Can you prove that? You keep demanding scientific evidence to support the existence of God. Please prove your statement with some type of scientific evidence. If you can't you are contradicting yourself and proving that science does not have all the answers.

      As always, good to challenge one another. Be blessed!

      December 11, 2010 at 1:34 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Peter F

      My evangelical amigo...!

      So, how is it learning 'hebrew' ...? What other kinds of things have you learned recently in seminary...?

      Peace...

      December 11, 2010 at 1:39 am |
    • Peter F

      @Peace2all

      Where is Reality's list of the moderator's favorite words when you need it... anyway...

      Thanks for asking! I am just about done for the quarter – just a week to go. Hebrew is going really well. For some strange reason I have really grasped the language well. Spanish in high school was really painful for me, but Hebrew is just the opposite. I am pumped to have two more quarters of it. My Pentateuch class is fun as well. You might even enjoy it!

      Thanks for asking. Blessings to you and yours!

      December 11, 2010 at 1:49 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Peter F

      The moderator filters are usually posted on 'just about' every article by -Reality or -Sum Dude. Was there something–a word or word combo that isn't making it through...?

      Anyways, 'wow'.... So, you are kickin' some a– in Hebrew are you...? Why the surprise... Maybe you are picking it up so easy as to your 'calling.'...yes...?

      Ahhh... The Pentateuch. Studying real OT now. I would be very curious as to what your take is on the the 'torah'–first 5 of the OT. What kind of evolution from past interpretations are being made on those books. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy...

      Dude... I studied many years of this, in Christian school; as a young lad of course.

      Where are you taking the classes... what state/city...? Are you going to be 'sent' somewhere after you graduate and become ordained...? Or, will you go out on your own...?

      Anyways, glad to hear that all is going well.

      Peace...

      December 11, 2010 at 2:35 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Peter F

      Here it is, by the way:-Sum Dude and -Reality's 'moderator word filter' list:

      Sum Dude routinely updates the list of forbidden words/fragments. See below:

      "Raison's Filter Fiber© (joking about the copyright)
      1. Here's my latest list – this seems like a good spot to set this down, as nobody's posting much on this thread.....
      ––
      bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to post that wonderful argument:
      Many, if not most are buried within other words, but I am not shooting for the perfect list, so use your imagination and add any words I have missed as a comment (no one has done this yet)
      – I found some but forgot to write them down. (shrugs).
      s-ex
      c-um.........as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, etc.
      sp-ic........as in disp-icable (look out Sylvester the cat!)
      ho-mo...whether ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, etc.
      t-it.........const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, etc.
      an-al......ban-al
      sh-it
      fu-ck...
      who-re
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, (an unexpected one)
      pr-ick
      sl-ut
      c-lit
      va-g....as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant
      hor-ny
      ar-se....yet "ass" is not filtered!
      nip-ple
      po-rn
      c-ock
      nig-ger
      cu-nt
      b-itch
      ra-pe
      jacka-ss...but ass is fine lol
      p-is.....as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, etc.
      soft-ware
      Ja-panese
      There are more, so do not assume that this is complete.
      -–
      okay words that you might not expect to be filtered....!!!
      beaver
      penis
      ass
      crap
      damn
      anal
      anus
      sphincter
      testicles
      testes
      pubic
      boob
      -

      Here's a word to add to the banned list: co-co-on
      whether it's c-oc, or co-on, this is ridiculous

      December 11, 2010 at 2:43 am |
    • Peter F

      @Peace2All

      I think I got stuck on soft-ware. I would never have found that God-awful word if it wasn't for your list. 😀

      Yeah, I was just shocked at my giftedness in understanding Hebrew because of how long it had taken me to get anywhere in Spanish. And Hebrew uses different characters! It reads right to left! It just seems like a much harder language to learn... apparently it's not. Or you're right – my call is empowering me.

      I have partaken in several classes in the past working through the Pentateuch, too, but the one I am in now takes a much different approach. Whereas in the past, I've been around a lot of "this verse means this, that verse means that" sort of teaching. But in my class (which we refer to as a Bible study), we are doing a heck of a lot more in regard to gaining perspective. Who were the Hebrew people? What kind of culture were they in? How did any Ancient Near Easterner perceive the divine in the pre-Mosaic times? I really like getting acquainted with the setting before pushing our 21st century Western perspective on a text that is thousands of years old. That is an interpretive fallacy.

      I'm taking the classes at Ashland Theological Seminary an hour south of Cleveland, OH. I'm going into pastoral ministry, likely in the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church. I have not had many dealings with them thus far, however, and am not sure how the process of ordination works. But I still have a couple years to figure that out.

      And where are you located good sir? I don't think I ever even asked what you do for a living... fill me in!

      Blessings!

      December 11, 2010 at 2:58 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Peter F

      You said: "Okay, time to turn the tables just for a sec. You say that "Christianity, like all religions, is a fantasy world." Can you prove that? You keep demanding scientific evidence to support the existence of God. Please prove your statement with some type of scientific evidence. If you can't you are contradicting yourself and proving that science does not have all the answers."

      I also say that Santa and his elves are a fantasy, as is the Easter Bunny. If I must prove extraordinary things do not exist, then much of my time will be spent in this activity. You could run me ragged. Instead, it is the burden of the person making the extraordinary claim, to supply evidence that what they are claiming, indeed exists. If the evidence cannot be produced or is insufficient, I am free to discount your claim.

      Extraordinary claims, require extraordinary evidence. – Carl Sagan

      God has no place in any scientific equations, plays no role in any scientific explanations, cannot be used to predict any events, does not describe anything or force that has yet been detected, and there are no models of the universe in which a god's presence is either required, productive, or useful.

      Science often asks things such as: "If such and such is true, what would I expect to see?" If what is expected is not seen, then the hypothesis is deemed incorrect.

      God used to fill lots of gaps in man's knowledge. He fills fewer and fewer each passing day. Science marches on, right over the god(s). LOL

      God does not exist, as far as science can tell. This isn't absolute. It does not deny for all time any possible existence of god. But this is true of Santa and the fairies living in my left shoe. It means that as of now, god and Santa and my fairies are put in the myth column.

      Cheers!

      December 11, 2010 at 8:04 am |
    • Sum Dude

      @Peter F
      @Everyone else too

      The newest list is located HERE: https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/12/10/verdict-reached-in-the-elizabeth-smart-case/#comment-190413

      Keep a copy on your desktop or print one out.
      I would send this to WikiLeaks but I doubt it would encourage CNN to change the filter... 😦

      December 11, 2010 at 9:10 am |
    • Peter F

      @David Johnson,

      It seems to me you're avoiding the issue. I assume that is because you cannot support your claim or because you don't understand my assertion. Regardless, someone coming from a science-knows-all perspective with a fiery hatred of any belief in a divine being should have some evidence-based convictions. I hear you saying there is no God, religious people are foolish, etc. Ok, why? No one here is arguing Santa or the Easter bunny is real, so please, if you want anyone to take you seriously (which maybe you do not), then tell us what evidence you have for God being fake and Christianity of being a fantasy world. And you do sayou say "Christianity is a fantasy world." You didn't say might be... you said IS. Sounds like an awful lot like a claim of truth. Can't be trusted if the scientific method doesn't get you there – at least where you seem to be coming from.

      Blessings!

      December 11, 2010 at 11:14 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Peter F

      You said: "It seems to me you're avoiding the issue. I assume that is because you cannot support your claim or because you don't understand my assertion. Regardless, someone coming from a science-knows-all perspective with a fiery hatred of any belief in a divine being should have some evidence-based convictions."

      I don't have any hatred toward any divine being. I simply do not believe he/she/it, exists. Belief in these gods, is the root cause of much of the world's hate.

      You said: "I hear you saying there is no God, religious people are foolish, etc. Ok, why? No one here is arguing Santa or the Easter bunny is real, so please, if you want anyone to take you seriously (which maybe you do not), then tell us what evidence you have for God being fake and Christianity of being a fantasy world.

      You are right. That is my point. No one is arguing Santa and the Easter Bunny is real. By a preponderance of the evidence, people have determined that they are not real. The same is true of the gods. There is no more evidence for any god, than there is for Santa. You would have no problem with me saying: "There IS no Santa, and the whole elf making, present delivering concept, is a myth. You only have a problem with this, when I say it about your god. Why? Because if I am right, you are wasting your life. LOL

      Evidence Against There Being a God:

      1) All the evil and suffering in the world. God either does not care, or He does not exist.
      Spin it how you want, but the suffering goes on and on.

      2) There is really no reason to believe in a god. No evidence suggests god is needed for anything. Science certainly hasn't found a need. Belief without a reason is not possible, without delusion. People making the claim there is a god give no evidence that He does. There is no reason to believe in a god or a Santa for the same reasons.

      People believe, have believed, in different gods throughout history. No one that I know of worships Ra anymore. Yet, there is just as much evidence that Ra exists, as there is for the god of Abraham.
      Ra would leap to life, if people once again believed in him! Ra would answer prayers, fill the believer's heart with the warm and fuzzy, and would take away the fear of the dark.
      People's faith animates the gods. Once that faith is taken away, the gods lie silent. Forgotten.

      You wouldn't mind if I singled out "gods" to not believe in right? Don't you do that? LOL

      3) Believers tell us that what we see, is only a tip of the iceberg. They say there is a supernatural realm, and that we have a soul that is immaterial, existing "outside" of our material brains.

      There is no evidence to support this. All evidence points to life being a natural phenomenon.
      The brain is material. It contains all that we are. When the brain dies, we cease to exist. If this were not so, how does disease, and injury to our brains affect our thinking? Shouldn't, if "who we are", resides outside of our brains.

      4) Faith! Got to have it! Faith makes the gods go round, in a most delightful way!

      Belief in a god or religious dogma, is not supported by logic, reason, evidence or science. Instead, people are just supposed to have faith. People, on any other matter, would consider this absurd. Fairies in my shoe? I better be able to produce the little buggers! Faith can be used to defend anything. It does not lead you to reality. In fact, it does the opposite.

      5) In most religions, gods are supposed to be the source of all morality.

      The Old Testament contains many tales of men, women, and children (including babies) being murdered directly or at the insistence of the god of Abraham. The story of Job and the story of Isaac and Abraham are good example of an immoral god. How can a moral god behave immorally? I don't have me enough faith for this one! LOL

      Jesus had this to say:
      Matthew 7:17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
      Luke 6:43 "No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.
      A good god can't do evil things! So, god could be evil or he could not exist. I'm checking the "doesn't exist" box, myself.

      I could go on. But this comment is getting too long. The evidence against there being a god is mountainous!

      I think we are done. You will want to respond that the fall of man...blah, blah, blah. I have read the bible. Don't bother.

      To tie things up: The gods, the god's kingdoms, all the dogma IS a myth. I say this in the same way as I would say that Harry Potter is fiction and all of the characters are made up. You are just hung up on it being your god.

      My statement is not absolute. I make the statement based on what is known, at this time. Somewhere in the future, Jesus may come back. Science may find an absolute need for god. My position will change.

      Love and Prayers!

      December 12, 2010 at 11:56 am |
    • Peter F

      @David Johnson

      You say, "I don't have any hatred toward any divine being. I simply do not believe he/she/it, exists. Belief in these gods, is the root cause of much of the world's hate." Claiming agnostic now, eh? From my point of view, which very well may be wrong, you seem to be contradicting yourself. In a sentence defining your view you say one thing, and when we sum up what all you've said in all your posts you send an entirely different message.

      If you really don't know and don't have any real answers yourself, why do you make fun of so many believers? Why do you attack those with a religious viewpoint, why do you assert God is a joke? Perhaps you are frustrated with religion... and that is understandable. I, a Christian, get easily frustrated with religion.

      And ignoring the evidence for God does not mean he doesn't exist btw. I think you're missing the point here. There is lots of evidence that CAN point to a Creator or Divine Being. Whether or not you accept the conclusion there IS a god is irrelevant. There is NO evidence for Santa, an Easter Bunny or a Tooth Fairy. No one is claiming they exist, so there is no point in debating the issue... someday I hope you can move past this so we can have a legitimate discussion. 🙂

      Arguments for God:

      1) Fine Tuning of the Universe
      2) Morality
      3) Death and Resurrection of Jesus
      4) Human Experience
      5) Evolution

      Now, again I must say before you get all excited and recant each of those "arguments," I'm not saying you have to believe in them yourself, but that you need to recognize that people can and do believe in them and use them as evidence for a Creator. Do you have evidence that people could use to support the current day existence of Santa or the Easter Bunny? Does anyone actually take the Harry Potter books and movies and say they are based on real experiences? Are there people out there – besides children and Hollywood producers – that seem to believe he exists? Come to your senses, Dave!!!

      To be continued...

      Blessings!

      December 12, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Peter F

      As usual you didn't address ANY of the "evidence" that I am basing my view that god IS a myth. The evidence that you asked for.

      I used Santa and the Easter Bunny as an example of ficti_tious characters. I also talked about your selecting what god(s) you believe in. If you are a Christian, you have obviously decided the other gods are not real. You believe the Christian god is the one and only god. I just believe in one less god than you do.
      If a Muslim tells you Allah is the one and only god, I bet you would want proof, before you hit the rug. Yes? (rhetorical).

      You don't seem to get the point, that I am ent_itled to dismiss your claim, to say there is no god, until you present sufficient evidence that there is. I also say there are no unicorns, talking snakes, etc. It is you, the believer, who is making the extraordinary claim. But, I already explained this.

      You talked about Harry Potter being a book of fiction because everyone agrees it is.

      What about the Koran? Do you think it is the word of god? Bet you don't. About a billion people don't think the Koran is fiction.

      It just kinda depends on whose ox is being gored. Yes?

      All your talk boils down to the FACT that all you have to support your belief in your god, is a book that contains errors and that warm and fuzzy feeling you have in your heart.
      But, every believer, of every faith, gets those warm and fuzzies from their god. Some believe enough to blow themselves to bits. So belief, is not a proof of god.

      I suspect the warm and fuzzy feeling could be obtained by worshiping a can of green beans. All it takes is faith.

      As for your arguments for god, ALL of them have well known counter arguments. It would not be worth my time to attack each of the ones you listed.
      But I remind you that if any of them successfully argued for a god's existence, the Evangelicals would yodel them from their church spires. There would be very few atheists.

      Exception: The evolution argument you list. I would think accepting evolution as fact, pretty well does in the story of creation. Most of the fundies/evangelicals would agree. If you accept evolution, then there was no Adam and Eve. No Adam and Eve, no original sin. No original sin, then no redeemer. No redeemer, and we need a new name for your religion. I realize the Catholics and some Protestants accept evolution and then weave god into it. I admire the fundies who don't do this. The Bible is either the inerrant word of god, or it isn't. If it isn't, then toss it out and wing it! LOL

      We are done.

      Cheers!

      December 12, 2010 at 9:49 pm |
    • Peter F

      @ David Johnson

      Hey again, DJ. Perhaps atheism is the extraordinary claim? Something coming from nothing is a pretty radical viewpoint. Surely you can acknowledge that. Anywho... just wanted to quickly bring up I didn't say anything the Koran or Allah in my previous post because millions of people DO believe in Allah. Therefore, I am happy to debate or discuss Islam with Muslim believers. I think debating the truth/divinity/existence of Santa or Harry Potter because no one believes they are true, and furthermore, neither character (or the source from which he originates) is making a claim at truth like the Bible does.

      You also make assumptions that aren't entirely helpful in our dialogue. First off, point me to one place throughout any of my posts on the CNN faith blog where I've mentioned fuzzy warm feelings in my heart. Just because other Christians have not yet learned how to articulate their faith, doesn't mean that's the case for all of us. And you say the Bible has errors... well certainly there are seeming contradictions. The books were written hundreds if not thousands of years apart by different authors in different settings with different understandings of faith and culture. Not everything is going to align perfectly. Note, the Evangelical Christian tends not to claim that God downloaded "truth" into our minds and we recorded it exactly as he dictated (dictation theory). As many Christians and non-Christians have noted, you can distort the text of Scripture to make it say whatever you want. The point is you have to read it in context with the original meaning and significance in mind.

      A quick point on evolution... I would argue that evolution PROVES God exists. I have stated before that I am not a Creationist. I think the Creation story is making a point about God, human nature, evil and temptation, etc. I don't have to believe in a physical Adam or Eve to be a Christian. If you think that it is impossible for any Christian to deny the literal Creation story and still be a Christian, look into some of Dr. William Lane Craig's discussion of evolution on Youtube. There are many, many, many Christians who believe in a very extended creation. Again, it's all about reading in context.

      Blessings to you, David!

      December 12, 2010 at 11:38 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Peter F

      Hey, pal...! Sorry to jump in the middle of your back and forth with -David, but something caught my eye in your last response. So, I had a sincere question for you:

      You Said: "As many Christians and non-Christians have noted, you can distort the text of Scripture to make it say whatever you want. The point is you have to read it in context with the original meaning and significance in mind."

      What or how is the ...*original meaning* derived...? Is there some version of the Bible that is the 'Bible of all Bibles' that has the *absolute indisputable truth*...?

      I am thinking that *original meaning* has been, and is constantly being debated as to what is *the* TRUTH. Historians, Anthropologists, and Archaeologists, etc... seem to still be in disagreement with what 'really' happened and what was truly the 'historical' and 'cultural' context in which to derive meaning from the Bible. And they are still going at it... although with continual evolutions in science and technology, it seems some of those gaps are being more or less agreed upon whether you are a theologian-historian, who may have a 'bias' or a 'non'-believer historian, who really has no skin in the game as to having to have it his way.-In other words, they just follow where the facts lead them.

      Having had the Bible been re-written so many times, and several thousand years ago, in a totally different cultural climate.... How do you get to the *original meaning*...?

      Even something like 'Codex Sinaticus' was written an re-written a long time ago. And 'translated' by 'man' with most likely conflicting agendas at the time.

      So, my soon to be 'ordained' man of God... Help me out here...?

      Sincerely...

      Peace...

      December 13, 2010 at 12:45 am |
    • Peter F

      @Peace2All

      Hey man! Thanks for asking... good and sincere questions surely are appreciated. The first thing I would say in response to your question is "excellente"! Many people disagree on this – therefore, Christians do not have/know all the right answers. Some of us come across quite arrogantly of course... but we need to learn our place.

      No, there is no Bible of all Bibles from which true meaning is derived. When I say original and intended meaning is what counts I am saying that we need to think critically, both from a historical point of view as well as a literal one. As you may well know, there are lots of different biblical genres which include wisdom literature, prophecy and revelation, gospel, history, etc. A lot of non-believers confuse the genres and therefore make interpretations that are invalid. So, the first part of this is knowing what each genre is composed of, and how truth is represented in each. That can occur in any time period as long as some research is done ahead of time.

      Culturally, I would say we can do a lot of comparisons with the Ancient Babylonian culture... well, pretty much anything Mesopotamian will be of some value to an Old Testament scholar seeing as though the languages have lots of similarities, the early Creation and Flood traditions are strikingly similar, and general lifestyles can be comparable. So, part of the process involves US putting our feet in their sandals and seeing the land, work, family, worship and the like just as they would have. Of course that is going to be impossible to replicate, but we can do our best. And that will help.

      I also want to point out that the Samaritan Pentateuch (written and edited after the Persian exile), the Masoretic Text and the Septuagint (as well as docu-ments from Qumran and other sources) agree on the vast majority of the old writings we find in the Torah, the wisdom books and the prophets. All that to say as far as we know there wasn't a whole lot of variance back then. A lot of the differences were in spelling errors, although the Samaritan Pentateuch has some major differences.. but that is a discussion for another day, lol.

      In conclusion... we are still learning, archaeologists are still finding things, and theology is still changing... I only hope that another find as significant as the one at Qumran in the 40s occurs within my lifetime. That would be fantabulous.

      Again... thanks for asking! (You never did answer my question about what YOU do for a living) 😉

      Blessings

      December 13, 2010 at 1:41 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Peter F

      Hey Peter... Thanks for responding. Lot's to digest there in your post. And... thanks for your 'compliments' on my questions...!

      You Said: "In conclusion... we are still learning, archaeologists are still finding things, and theology is still changing"

      I agree. I think that was what i was trying to point out, as an agnostic, and keeping a very open mind- and as I stated, Anthropologists, Historians, Archaeologists, etc... with the help of greater technology and the ability to give us a 'greater' look back in time in ancient societies–what they truly believed, what were their motivations, how they lived, is truly fascinating to me.

      You Said: "... I only hope that another find as significant as the one at Qumran in the 40s occurs within my lifetime. That would be fantabulous."

      Fantabulous... it would be...! I truly do love when there are significant and verifiable findings from the past..i.e.. "Dead Sea Scrolls." What a 'window' into what life was like back then 2,000 + years ago. BTW, speaking of fascinating archaeological expeditions, Did you happen to see the series put out by James Cameron and Simcha Jacobovici–"The Lost Tomb of Jesus"...? I found that to be fascinating...! Again, for me it's not necessarily about proving anything one way or another, but following where the facts take us. If you haven't seen it, you might want to check it out. It also provides some extremely fascinating scenarios.

      Would love to hear your thoughts on it.

      Sounds like you and I share a passion of finding *truth* from the past, wherever it takes us, even if it totally blows away what we 'thought' was truth.

      You Said: "Again... thanks for asking!"

      No problem Peter... I am a seeker with a passion for learning and having discussions about life and all it entails. Thanks for taking time to put together your well-thought out answer and conversing with me.

      You Said: "(You never did answer my question about what YOU do for a living)"

      Yes, sorry about that.... You actually asked me 2 questions:

      1)Where do I live...? -–I live in California (Los Angeles).

      2)What do I do for a living...?-– Several things. I have a training company, and I'm also partners in a Corporate Consulting Firm.

      3)And...something you didn't know(ARE YOU READY...?) I am going to most likely get a lot of grief/teasing from my friends -Sum Dude, David Johnson, etc...however, I feel proud that I am helping to make a difference in the world.

      HERE GOES-– I am actually an Ordained 'non'-denominational Minister. !!! I am on track to become Senior Minister at what we really call a 'personal development center. Not so much a church. (*-Peter says... what...?) Yes, I too have had since being a young lad... a 'calling', but has just taken a different path. The closest religion that I could relate it too, would be Science of Mind. We are into personal responsibility in our lives, and the lives of our families, friends, neighborhoods, city, state, country, and the world. We take a look at what all of the great teachers/masters have said about living a life of peace and happiness...*now* Through the fields of Theology–looking at all religions, Psychology–How to run our minds and emotions, Philosophy-What did the great philosophers have to say, Sociology-Group behavior, and the Sciences-Biology, Quantum Physics, Neuro-biology, etc..... but, really, we look at anyone that has something to say that is 'useful' for living life *now* We make no claims about a God, or life after death. For us, If...and that is a big if... there is a God of some kind, he/she/it
      It is sooooo far beyond any of our understanding, that to even comment on God, just seems silly. The concept of God, as far as we are concerned... is just absolutely 'ineffable.' Hence my claim again, as an 'agnostic,' which bodes well for me, in that I am always open, and don't get stuck in any kind of particular belief system or 'rut.' Always, evolving... Plus, if there is a God... we 'believe' or our current 'model' for us is that it is not separate from 'all that is' we are it, and it is us. We just have really 'no' understanding to it's nature. And, any attempt to say... God is–anything after that, suggests that we have now limited that which is unlimited and eternal. We are also about we can and cannot control in our lives–and knowing the difference.

      Ultimately, we are about how to have a full-filling and contented, happy life now. If...there should be a life after death, we believe that will take care of itself. But, our main message is to live life to the fullest now, acting as if ... this is the *only* one you have, which makes life, even that more precious. We want to leave planet Earth a bit better off, due to our actions.
      So, besides doing classes and talks, I also do counseling, and often volunteer my time as a 'hospi-ce volunteer,' among other things.

      So.... Peter... Have you gotten up from falling out of your chair yet...? Hopefully, we will have lots to discuss and edify our learnings... yes...? I hope so...

      Peace...

      December 13, 2010 at 3:30 am |
    • Sum Dude

      @Peace2All
      Heh (rubs hands wickedly) 😀
      You make it too easy, bro!
      I should point and say "a heretic!", but I always knew you were too "spiritual"...consider yourself teased. 😛

      I must confess I've been a bit burnt out by all this nonsense lately. To waste time on the deluded without being able to properly de-program them is frustrating. Peter F is just one among many who dance around the truth – whether this is done knowingly or unknowingly doesn't seem to matter much – they are having too much fun with their con-artist writings to take much notice of a simple refutation.
      An ordained universalist! And who could possibly "ordain" you when there is no proof that any "god" exists?
      If it's THAT easy, I guess I'll ordain myself as a troll – and here I am "trolling" and fulfilling my "trollish orders". 😯

      @David Johnson
      Those were excellent replies you gave Peter F.
      Too bad he is unable to appreciate them or even face them. But I suppose you're used to it, eh? Sköl!

      December 13, 2010 at 10:12 am |
    • Peter F

      @Peace2All

      I imagine we're going to have to take our discussion to a different place once the Narnia review slips off the Faith Blog's radar. Plus, it's always annoying having to sort through the posts to find the one I'm responding to. LOL But that's just me being lazy I suppose. I'm good at that.

      You have a shocking story. I didn't quite fall out of my chair, but it was very unexpected. A minister, eh? Nice. I will surely have to respond to your post in segments. Once the original discussion begins to snowball, it just keeps growing and growing and soon you have about 5 different topics in one! Crazy. Anyway, I have seen part of the Lost Tomb of Jesus, but there are lots of "mistakes" in the film as it became more of a piece of entertainment (hence being produced by James Cameron) and less historically reliable. The hosts jump to conclusions that are quite a stretch along the way, so it's not like there is a whole lot of substance there. Interesting? Maybe. Accurate? Highly unlikely.

      I like the emphasis you place on personal responsibility in your personal development center. And the focus on multiple disciplines to understand truth and reality is definitely awesome. I mean, if nothing else, we can at least gain perspective and understanding from those we disagree with. And those whom we DO agree with can help us redefine our own theological/philosophical/social perspective. That's deep, man! And cool! I'm sure I would enjoy spending some time at your center. The part where I disagree (obviously... we all knew it was coming) is when you say you just assume God is beyond what we can understand, and is therefore not important or relevant for our lives. Isn't that called Deism? It's been a while since my last "religion" class, so pardon me if I'm off. Now, the reason I would disagree with that is because it completely discounts anyone claiming to have related with, or received some type of revelation from God. Personal experience is powerful – but even more, redemption (which is often difficult to explain in medical or sociological terms) occurs in the lives of people who have been through numerous hardships. Life isn't easy. Lots of blood, gore, death, deceit, greed and pride on this planet.

      And that leads me to the end of my rant (phew! about time)... suppose you had a stomach ache in the middle of the night. You get up, go to the bathroom and open up the medicine cabinet to see what medication you have. You have Tylenol, Viagra, Gas-X, band-aids, sleeping pills and Tums. You look a while and then leave the bathroom and go back to bed, suffering from the stomach ache the rest of the night. What's the problem? Well, the problem is that you have a problem and you see a bunch of different medications claiming to help you feel better... but you don't choose any. This is what a lot of agnostics and atheists feel about spirituality. Everyone claims to have their own God, they say. We're all atheists, we just believe in one less God than the Christians or Muslims. We've heard these arguments before. But simply because there ARE different faiths out there claiming different paths to God, doesn't mean they are all wrong. Perhaps the idea of all these religions spewing theology and looking for followers is overwhelming, depressing, annoying, etc. Yes! Religion, in this sense, can seem very pointless. But beneath the superficial layers of church culture is a reality that many people don't get to see. We are all so small, finite beings living on a massive planet in a massive universe. There is so much out there, and we are "blessed" even to have knowledge of where we are and how things work and art and literature, etc. But we are all broken, mortal beings who cannot seem to preserve justice here. Individually, we have personal strife, relational difficulty, and general failure. Losing a loved one or a job, being separated by divorce, or having a life-altering medical condition are all hardships of being human beings. There is a problem. What is the remedy? Would it make sense to ignore all the remedies simply because there are so many, or does it make sense to look for healing and recovery from the best possible source?

      As always...

      Blessings.

      December 13, 2010 at 10:14 pm |
    • Victor

      Tim,I think it's disturbing that we aren't quick to speak out agsanit what's evil. And the message of this book is evil. It was written by an atheist to be a contradiction of C.S. Lewis' Narnia, where Aslan is a loving, compassionate and forgiving character. If we want to engage the culture about this subject, we don't have to pay Hollywood, who is motivated by money. Instead just go to the library and read the book (which several schools here in the states are forcing students to read).I'm agsanit boycotts without a counter engagement, so read reviews of the movie, synopses, or the book (from the library) so you can be informed, but don't waste your money on a bad movie. You don't have to use drugs to speak out agsanit them.

      November 8, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
  7. Peter F

    There's a reason it took so long to get the world of Narnia onto the big screen... it doesn't compare to Middle-Earth, Hogwarts or that galaxy far, far away. It is a fantasy world that seems pretty ho-hum to me.

    December 10, 2010 at 2:33 pm |
    • ScottK

      I think those watching this movie will feel much like C.S. Lewis did during his religious conversion. G. K. Chesterton notes that Lewis was brought into Christianity like a prodigal, "kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance to escape"

      December 10, 2010 at 7:13 pm |
    • David Johnson

      Good caption for the picture:

      OMG! That big lion ate Jesus! LOL! LOL 'till my sides ache.

      Cheers!

      December 11, 2010 at 8:08 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.