Right off the bat, the analogy and parallels in The Rings of Power, to the theology and stories in the Bible had me really excited for this show. I watched the show because I'm a Lord of the Rings fan. I didn't expect to find a great discussion between good and evil sprinkled throughout the show. There is theology in here hidden in a high fantasy story.
It must be noted that there is a lot of hate for this show online. I'm not quite sure why though. Yeah there were some head-scratching moments, but none that were enough to deter me from finishing the whole season. My wife who is not a big Lord of the Rings fan like me, actually liked it and keeps asking when Season 2 is going to come out. So there's that.
Anyway, below are some of my thoughts and notes on the pilot episode. Maybe it will sway you one way or another to give the show a chance.
A very interesting approach explaining why science and faith are not opposed to each other. In this video, they use the mystery of light — something that cannot be fully explained in a singular manner — as an analogy of how science and faith are two ways of understanding reality. You cannot fully explain what light is, by choosing one model over the other. And so it is with God, who as He claims in the Bible, is the light of the world.
The Three-City Problem of Modern Life — interesting read and social commentary about the lives we live today. We either live in the city of reason, of faith, or of technology. Living in one city isolates us from the rest of the world and that makes us feel incomplete.
^ This is probably only applicable to US readers, as a ROTH IRA is a specific tax-advantaged account offered by the government. But if your country has a similar offering, then some of the info might still be useful.
On Social Media
Social media is like a sandbox where you can observe mimetic theory and mimetic desires in full display.
The first one is that everything that begins to exist, has a reason for existence. This is also known as the principle of causality.
The second premise is that the universe began to exist.
Therefore, there must be a cause for the universe’s existence.
To say that the first premise is false seems very hard in the world we are living in today. How can something come out of nothing? If that were true, then we should at least notice this occurring around us.
Oooh, a car just showed up on my driveway. I wonder how that happened?
But we don’t, because something does not just come out of nothing. There is always a cause for something that exists. So how then do we explain the universe we live in? Did it come out of nothing or did something or some higher power cause it to exist?
Of course, being a religious person myself, the answer for me would be, that God created the universe we live in and everything in it. But I'm not writing this to force my beliefs on you. I just thought that this was a very compelling argument for the existence of a creator.
Does it unequivocally prove the existence of God? No. But it does make you wonder, right?
I've had this YouTube video open on a browser tab on my phone for a few weeks now. I thought the question was interesting, but I never actually viewed the video until today. This 1 minute video gives a concise answer to the very interesting question of, “How do we know Jesus rose from the dead?”
In case you didn't watch the video, the answer is, the presence of the church today.
Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead, as the story goes, 2,000 years ago. Again, 2,000 years ago. Had the story of resurrection been fake, had it been fabricated, how come the church still exists today?
During last Sunday's televised mass, Bishop Edward Burns of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, gave a very interesting homily. Instead of talking about the gospel reading, he instead gave a lecture on the different parts or rites of the Mass.
To give some examples, he explains why the priest or bishop say what they say. And why the clergy responds the way they do. Most of it is based on the Bible of course, and he cites specific passages as it relates to them.
He explains the offertory and what is really being offered during that time — spoiler, we are offering ourselves.
The narrative that science and Christianity are enemies is false. Not only are they not enemies but Christianity helped science develop beyond the limits imposed on it by ancient cosmologies.
I know, right? The title seems absurd, even for me as a Christian. But, keep an open mind and listen to Dr. Stacy Trasancos make her case. In this free sample lesson from Word on Fire, she discusses ancient culture and the history of science. Culminating in how it all led to the modern science that we have today.
While Catholic teaching maintains that God operates within the universe, it does not go all the way to saying that God is the universe. Rather, we say that God created the universe and holds everything in existence. The universe is not God, it is God's creation — God's handiwork. This nuance puts science in its place, as the study of the handiwork of God.
That is the first time I've heard someone say, that science is the study of the handiwork of God. If you think about it though, it makes sense. If God really does exist, then science is definitely the study of His work. From this perspective, science is not in conflict with belief in God. It is not in conflict with faith.
A really good introduction to the sacraments of the Catholic Church. It also covers the first sacrament, the sacrament of Baptism. Questions like: What are the sacraments? Why are they the most important thing in the world? What is the fundamental sacrament? What happens when people get baptized? How is grace tied in to the sacraments? And more questions are answered in this episode.
One of the most enlightening parts of this first episode for me, was when Bishop Barron talked about the duties of a baptized Christian. As a baptized Christian, we are priest, prophet and king. What does it mean to be a priest? How do we live out our prophetic duties in today's world? And what are our kingly duties in modern society? All those are covered in this episode.