But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

Entering the Public Square - Apologetic Report
Thursday, 21 September 2017 20:00

You Must Choose between Orders and the Life of Faramir

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Beregond is one character that I am upset they did not include in the film version of The Return of the King. We first meet him as Pippin’s tour guide around Minas Tirith, but he becomes much more prominent during the insanity of Denethor.

Denethor, due to the visions he had seen through the...

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Eowyn, shield maiden of Rohan, sat out most of the action in The Two Towers, so as we come into The Return of the King, she is ready for action but is again advised to stay home. Aragorn tries to help her understand that it is still important for her to remain at home and lead her people.

“Then...

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Sunday, 17 September 2017 20:00

Leave Your Trowels and Sharpen Your Swords

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The Return of the King presents a truly hopeless scenario. The dark forces of Sauron are massing in the East, and it seems evident that the forces of men in Gondor simply are not going to be able to hold out. Gandalf and Pippin arrive at Minas Tirith, the capital of the realm, and they find some...

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Leadership is hard. Decisions have to be made, and they are not always great. As we come to the end of The Two Towers, Sam finds himself in a situation where he genuinely believes that Frodo is dead. We find out very soon after that he is not, but at the time, Sam does not realize that, so he is...

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Tuesday, 12 September 2017 20:00

It Shall Turn to His Good, If It Is in My Power

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Left to its own devices, evil will continue to corrupt everything around it until it is utterly crushed. Frodo’s mission to destroy the ring will ultimately bring that deliverance to Middle Earth if successful, but because that deliverance has never come before when he meets with Faramir in Th...

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Smeagol is a pathetic creature who is finally revealed in the second half of The Two Towers. Driven by a desire to possess the ring again, he had trailed the fellowship for a majority of their journey together, and now that Frodo and Sam find themselves alone, he makes his move. His move is rather...

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Thursday, 07 September 2017 20:00

Dark Have Been My Dreams of Late

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King Theoden emerges as one of the more complicated characters in The Two Towers because of his recognizable humanity. When we first meet him, he is under a curse of Saruman facilitated by Wormtongue. After having his eyes open by the power of Gandalf, Theoden realizes the snake that Wormtongue...

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Tuesday, 05 September 2017 20:00

Christians: The 21st-Century Ents

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There are many times I feel like an ent as a Christian in 21st-century America. Although we have met some rather active trees before, the ents come onto the scene in The Two Towers. Treebeard is ancient, and he has a certain way that he lives his life. He knows what is right and wrong, and he has...

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As we enter The Two Towers, Aragorn is faced with a leadership crisis. After Gandalf fell in the Mines of Moria, Aragorn became the default leader of the fellowship, but becoming a leader can be a challenging process.

After Merry and Pippin are taken prisoner by the Uruk-Hai, Aragorn must make a...

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For the first two posts of this week as we have looked at the Fellowship of the Ring, we first saw Frodo desiring to return home and then witnessed Merry wishing he had never left. It is a dangerous business stepping outside your front door, but Sam’s observation of the elves in Lorien shows...

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Upon entering Lorien, the Fellowship of the Ringtries to bring the reader back to a sense of normalcy after its darkest chapter. After Gandalf fell in the Mines of Moria, the entire fellowship was understandably distraught. Aragorn led them to the Elvish stronghold of Lorien as a place of refuge,...

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Sunday, 27 August 2017 20:00

If You Do Not Find a Way, No One Will

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The Council of Elrond has always been one of my favorite scenes in the Fellowship of the Ring. Part of the beauty of this scene is incorporated in the immediate reaction of Elrond after Frodo volunteers to take the ring for the remainder of the journey.

“‘I think that this task is...

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Thursday, 24 August 2017 20:00

A Relationship Built on a Letter

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Aragorn, introduced as Strider, is hard to judge at first glance in The Fellowship of the Ring. He appears as a mysterious ranger out of the wilderness who has a great deal of knowledge and no discernible reason for having that knowledge. When faced with the decision of whether or not to trust this...

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Tuesday, 22 August 2017 20:00

You Cannot for Ever Fence It out

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As Frodo is trying to escape the Shire in the first half of The Fellowship of the Ring, he has an encounter with several high elves. He laments to the band, led by Gildor, how it is such a shame that the Shire cannot remain the peaceful land of hobbits instead of being terrorized by Black Riders....

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J.R.R. Tolkien took a strong stance against materialism in his presentation of Middle Earth particularly at the beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring.

After Bilbo mysteriously disappeared from the Shire, Gandalf and Frodo have a conversation about the history of the ring and its escape from the...

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Thursday, 17 August 2017 20:00

What Makes Middle Earth Meaningful

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It is important to remember when reading a work like The Lord of the Rings that it is meant to evoke something in us. J.R.R. Tolkien wrote a great set of stories, and he put them in a beautiful universe that I think I will only be able to visit if I somehow make it to New Zealand. However, these...

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Tuesday, 15 August 2017 20:00

The Lord of the Rings As Christian Fiction

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The key to understanding a work such as The Lord of the Rings is that we cannot try to force it to be something it is not. As we talk about these books, we’re going to be looking at themes and ideas. We’re going to be thinking about how this series of books and those messages that...

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Sunday, 13 August 2017 20:00

We're Going to Middle Earth

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As I look forward to beginning another semester of PhD work, I decided to attack another series of books as I did with the Chronicles of Narnia in January. This time, our journey will take us to Middle Earth. We are going through The Lord of the Rings in six weeks. Each one of the three volumes is...

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Thursday, 10 August 2017 20:00

The Hazards of Nostalgia

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I love the original Karate Kid, so I am pretty excited that YouTube is going to be coming out with a spinoff in the near future. It might actually convince me to buy a short-term subscription for YouTube Red because of how much I enjoyed the movies.

This is kind of an interesting thing though...

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Amy Zegart published a fascinating piece on The Atlantic entitled, “The Three Paradoxes Disrupting American Politics.” I think that her insights are well taken particularly in regards to politics, but I think that they apply Christianity in America as well.

Her three paradoxes are:

Paradox...

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Sunday, 06 August 2017 20:00

Responding to Jerry Coyne with a Disability

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Much has been written recently about biologist Jerry Coyne and his agreement with Peter Singer in regards to euthanizing young children with severe disabilities. You can read his original post on his website which is entitled, “Should one be allowed to euthanize severely deformed or doomed...

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Thursday, 03 August 2017 20:00

The University Is Not an Extension of High School

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As we wrap up this week, you might be a little bit concerned that I advocated for the fact that college might not be for everyone because you view college as kind of a steppingstone between living at home and 100% independence.

If you believe this, you do not understand the purpose of the...

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Tuesday, 01 August 2017 20:00

There Are Better Ways to Find Your Passion

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You may have disagreed with my concerns about people necessarily having to go to college in our society because maybe in your life, college was really a life-changing experience. You might have thought that you wanted to pursue a particular career, but a particular college class put you in an...

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Sunday, 30 July 2017 20:00

I Am Not Discouraging Learning

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I think that if you disagreed with anything I wrote last week about the fact that I really don’t think everyone needs to go to college, you probably fell into one of three different camps. I will address each one this week.

  1. We shouldn’t be discouraging people from going to college...

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Thursday, 27 July 2017 20:00

What Do We Do with College Then?

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If the true purpose of the University is to put people on a journey of pursuing knowledge rather than purely professional development, then I think that an educational system that truly believes this would be radically different than the educational system we find ourselves participating in.

For one...

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