There's not really a super super official way to say the name. You could say it like u say Billy Tem, but that's not quite right. I can help you practice saying it, but not now. Some other time. So, now that we got that out of the way what's stopping us from moving on to new and even more exciting info? Had lots of different jobs. Once taught mathematics and coached a little football at Notre Dame - the high school in Los Angeles not the University in South Bend, IN. B.A. in Mathematics from the University of Minnesota, now living in the Minneapolis - St. Paul area. Lived in Mexico for 20 months, mostly in Oaxaca. Spent 4 months wandering round Europe after college. Lived in Los Angeles for a few years before running off to Mexico.
I have 3 novels meant to entertain - 'Amanda's War', 'Warrior Girls' and 'Single Moms'. And I have some religious books.
I'll give you the pitch for the religious books.
So often we have to choose between two choices. Jesus must either be worshipped as God, as the Divine Son - Psalm 2, Isaiah 9. 6, Colossians 2. 8-10, 1 Timothy 3.16, John 1. 1-14, Matthew 1. 23 (Jesus = Immanuel = God with us) etc., - or else Jesus isn't God, not the Creator of the Universe, not the Divine Son, and Christianity is a superstition.
Islam and the Koran are either trustworthy or else they are untrustworthy. The Koran is very repetitious in stating that all those who reject Allah will burn in hell. If you are going to burn in hell if you continue to reject Allah, then you don't want to continue to reject Allah.
If the Koran is untrustworthy, if the Koran is fiction, if Islam and the Koran lead people away from heaven and drag them down to perdition, then everyone would be wise to reject Islam and the Koran.
The Christian scriptures tell us there is a True Faith and a True Church. If these scriptures are trustworthy, and those of us who are Christians say they are, then salvation depends on upholding the True Faith and being a member of the True Church. We have some choices to contemplate: the Roman Catholic Church either upholds the True Faith or else Rome does not uphold the True Faith. Rome is either God's True Church or else Rome is not God's True Church. If Rome is God's True Church, if the Roman Catholic Church leads people to heaven, then everyone on earth should obey Rome. It's insanity to risk hell by rebelling against Rome provided of course Rome is God's True Church.
If Rome isn't God's True Church, if Rome does not uphold the True Faith, if Rome leads people to perdition, then, obviously, no one should be a Roman Catholic.
These options with Rome might seem rather mind-boggling and extreme, cataclysmic and shockingly contrary to the status quo, where, roughly estimated, a billion Cafeteria Catholics on earth have grown accustomed to neither obeying Rome nor renouncing Rome. Romans 14. 12 tells us that everyone will eventually have to stand before the Creator of the Universe and give an account of himself / herself. There's a lot to remember: Romans 14. 12, John 15. 6, 2 Thess 1. 8, Revelation 20. 12-15, Luke 13. 3, Matthew 25. 31-46, Matthew 26. 28 (New Covenant = True Faith), Matthew 16. 13-19 (True Church) etc., etc. Try not forget Christ's words. John 14. 23-26 tells us that those who love Christ keep His words. And Jesus certainly gave us some controversial words. Christ, in Revelation 2. 9, calls the Jews a synagogue of Satan. He didn't mean they prayed to the devil. He meant they are heretics. Heretics are people who unwittingly teach doctrines which lead people away from heaven and to perdition. Though heretics don't mean to lead people to perdition, nevertheless, that's what they do, therefore they can be described as satanic. Protestantism has no reason to exist if either Rome or Eastern Orthodoxy is God's True Church, the Church Christ founded on a rock. But if neither Rome nor Eastern Orthodoxy uphold the True Faith, if neither is the Church Christ founded on a rock, if both drag souls down to perdition, then Protestantism has a reason to exist! 'Rock Island' runs through the arguments which say that every church under the sign of the cross including ever Protestant church under the sign of the cross leads people to perdition. Of course the Protestants under the cross don't pray to the devil, but if they have fallen away from the True Faith, if they preach heresies which drag souls down to perdition, then they are so theologically incompetent that you might as well go ahead and call them satanically incompetent. Protestants might be more receptive to my anti-crucifix logic than to my anti-cross logic - as the Protestants have a long tradition of rejecting the crucifix. 'Rock Island' and Chapter 1 of 'Constitutional History of the Western World' deal with these topics. The Roman Catholic crucifix is an image of a Roman Catholic Jesus, that is, a Roman Catholic version of Jesus. But if the True God / True Jesus says Rome is a heretical church which drags souls down to perdition, then a Roman Catholic god who says Rome leads people to heaven is a false god, and false gods are beastly because they pretend to lead souls to heaven but in actuality they drag souls down to perdition. If the True God / True Jesus says Rome is the True Church, then, of course, it is a blasphemy to say the Roman Catholic crucifix is an image of a beastly false god - and blasphemy to speculate that it is the 'image the beast' mentioned in Revelation 13 and 14. But if the True God says Rome is a heretical church which has fallen away from the True Faith, if the True God / True Jesus says Rome is a fallen church which drags souls down perdition, and is therefore satanically incompetent, then the True God is certainly not a Roman Catholic God, and therefore the Roman Catholic crucifix, which is an image of a Roman Catholic God, an image of a Roman Catholic version of Jesus, is the image of a false god, the image of a false version of Jesus, and, again, false gods are beastly because they drag souls down to perdition. Recall 2 Thess 1. 8 - hellfire for those who do not know God. Recall also Revelation 20. 15, John 15. 6. Luke 13.3-5, Matthew 25. 31-46...
Rome and the Eastern Orthodox are ruled by their traditions, but then so are the Protestants. Many Muslims say it is a fine tradition to practice female circumcision / mutilation. St. Paul argued against circumcision, seeing it as one of those elements of the Mosaic Law which is not carried over into the New Law, rather as the blood sacrifice of animals for the atonement of sin, rather as the practice of shunning Gentiles while dining, rather as the execution of witches, homosexuals, rebellious children and Sabbath violators, are parts of the Law which Moses carried down from Sinai which are not carried over into the New Law. The Mosaic Law is an eternal law in the sense that it will be remembered for eternity, but parts of it are suspended, put into eternal abeyance, under the New Covenant.
If neither the Roman Catholic Church nor the Eastern Orthodox Church is God's True Church, the Church which Christ founded on a rock - Matthew 16. 13-19 - if both Rome and Eastern Orthodoxy drag people down to perdition, if neither one upholds the True Faith / New Covenant, what about Protestantism? How well do the Protestants uphold the teachings of Christ and the apostles? The Protestant churches don't excommunicate Sabbath violators, don't excommunicate pro-choicers, don't excommunicate pro gay marriage people etc. Celebrating the Eucharist in an unworthy manner is a very serious sin - 1 Corinthians 11. 27. If a pastor gives the bread and the wine to someone he ought to know is unworthy to receive the Eucharist, then he celebrates the Eucharist in an unworthy manner.
2 Thess 2 deals with the man of sin, the son of perdition. Presumably this is none other than the Antichrist mentioned in 1 John 2. 18, who is probably the beast mentioned in Revelation 19. 19. 2 Thess 2 deals with a falling away, presumably a falling away from the True Faith, and with people suffering from a strong delusion. If a church - and a church is a group of people - is convinced that it leads people to heaven, then that church will be convinced that it has no reason to change. But, if in fact that church has fallen away from the True Faith, and therefore it leads people to perdition, not to heaven, then it has a reason to change! But, unfortunately, the people in this church are too deluded to see that their church leads people to perdition. Somehow, you got to get them out of their delusion.
I don't mean to imply there will never be mercy - never be admittance into the kingdom of heaven - given to anyone in an heretical church. Merely because there might be exceptions to the general rule that heretical sects drag souls down to perdition doesn't mean the general rule is invalid.
Recall the economic collapse prophesied in Revelation 18. Recall also that Daniel 12. 1 prophesies a time of enormous unprecedented trouble on earth when the archangel Michael shows up to deliver the Jews. If Christianity is God's true religion - and those of us who are Christians say it is - then it stands to reason that Michael will deliver the Jews by converting the Jews to the true version of Christianity, not to some false fallen version of Christianity which leads people to perdition. Consider 5 cataclysmic events. There are the 3 proclamations of the 3 angels mentioned in Revelation 14. 6-11. There is the economic collapse prophesied in Revelation 18. There is the deliverance of the Jews during a time of huge unprecedented trouble on earth, prophesied in Daniel 12.1, when the archangel Michael shows up to deliver the Jews. These 5 cataclysmic events will help not only Jews but also Gentiles, help Gentiles who are lost and who need help to find heaven and to escape perdition, who need help to find the True Faith and the True Church.
If one is divorced from the True Church and the True Faith one might get the Antichrist confused with the archangel Michael, should the Antichrist attempt an imposture, when he embarks on his plan to conquer the world. Of course the Antichrist wants to be worshipped as God - 2 Thess 2 - not be seen as a mere archangel. But he might find it expedient to masquerade as an archangel in order to attain power. Christ's Second Coming will be like a flash of lightning - Matthew 24. 27 - and it might be impossible for the Antichrist to fabricate that sort of magnificently unambiguous arrival on earth.
St. Paul tells us even an angel from heaven is damned if he alters St. Paul's doctrines, which are doctrines he learned directly from Christ - Galatians 1. 8-12. St. Paul told us that a Bishop must be a man with one wife, 1 Timothy 3. 2. The Roman Catholic Church says a Bishop must have no wife. The founders of Mormonism taught the doctrine that a Bishop may have more than one wife. St. Paul told us quite clearly that homosexuals, fornicators, adulterers, drunkards, the covetous etc will not enter the kingdom of heaven - 1 Corinthians 6. 9. St. Paul's command that wives must obey their husbands should not disturb feminists because he also said husbands must love their wives, and if a man loves his wife then he'll do what she asks provided she's being reasonable. St. Paul said many things: men must pray with their heads uncovered, women must pray with their heads covered: don't keep company with Christians if they do not comport themselves the way Christians are supposed to comport themselves.
Christians, as you might imagine, are supposed to understand Christianity. We are supposed to have the Divine Law / New Covenant written on our hearts - recall Jeremiah 31. 31-34, recall Matthew 26. 28 etc. We're not supposed to be ignorant, lost, confused and deluded. If one is a True Christian, if one has not fallen away from the True Faith, if one has God's New Law written on ones heart, then one ought to be able, more or less, to teach the True Faith with the authority of God. One doesn't sound very humble if one claims to teach religion with the authority of the Creator of the Universe. But, still, we're supposed to have the Divine Law written on our hearts.
To know if a church has fallen away from the True Faith you would first have to know what the True Faith is. Recall St. Paul's words in Galatians 1. 8-12 - even an angel from heaven is damned if he alters St. Paul's doctrine, doctrine which he learned directly from Christ. St. Paul is quite clear in telling us that good Christians are not to keep company with heretical Christians who corrupt the Faith. But, for the most part, the sects under the sign of the cross are very liberal: they don't excommunicate anyone! They don't excommunicate Sabbath violators, they don't excommunicate pro-choice Christians, they don't excommunicate pro-gay marriage Christians. They basically give the Eucharist to anyone who asks to receive it, and 1 Corinthians 11. 27, and 2 Thess 1. 8, and John 15. 6, and Luke 13. 3, Galatians 1. 8 etc., etc., say what they say.
Suppose a bishop decrees that two Christian men playing grab-ass not only don't have to spend a night in the box, but they are not to be excomunicated, then you have to determine if this bishop upholds the True Faith or if he has fallen away from the True Faith. One falls away from the True Faith whenever one tries to make $$$ off of Christianity. It's sinful to put price tags on Bibles and on books which teach Christianity. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John didn't sell their Gospels to make $$$. Centuries of tradition under the sign of the cross say it's OK for authors to make a profit by writing books which teach Christianity, but a common sense interpretation of the scriptures, such as Acts 8. 20 etc., says it's not OK to make money off of Christianity.
Excommunication means being given the silent treatment by the saints, and exclusion from the Eucharist, until the sinner repents. In theory if not always in practice, excommunication is an act of love not an act of spite or hypocrisy. If the sinner is never disciplined he might never repent. And everyone who refuses to repent will perish - go to perdition. If a mom sees her kid playing near a red-hot stove, but if mom doesn't care enough to warn the kid about red-hot stoves, then you tend to doubt mom's sincerity when she claims to love her kid. If Christians ignore 1 Corinthians 5. 11 - if they refuse to discipline people who need discipline in order to escape perdition, then you tend to doubt the sincerity of their faith. Excommunicating sinners who refuse to repent, disciplining them, helping them to repent, helping them to escape perdition, is an essential part of the True Faith. Luke 13. 3, 2 Thess 1. 8, John 15. 6, Revelation 20. 15 etc., say what they say. You wouldn't think that excommunicating sinful Christians would be impossibly difficult, but no end of strife results if people and politicians from faction A are excommunicated more often than people and politicians from faction B. How do you judge those who are right on the line between heterodoxy and orthodoxy? Excommunicating sinners who refuse to repent is probably the toughest job that the saints in the True Church have on their plate. It has to be done or else the True Church falls away from the True Faith, and then it ceases to be the True Church, and then it delivers souls to perdition not to heaven.
In `Amanda's War' one of the characters changes after a traumatic incident. The theme of people changing after trauma is a big theme in Robert Altman's `3 Women', a rather astonishing film. Readers are left to wonder if this character in 'Amanda's War' changes because of benevolent natural forces, or because of malevolent supernatural forces. The setting is the north shore of Lake Superior. I once drove up to the Canadian line in late summer. Isle Royal was a big golden rock rising out of the blue inland sea. From atop Mt. Josephine, wonderfully lush and green, you get a view of thousands of square miles of Canada. It's a beautiful sight, one that would make any American wish that Ben Franklin, at the Treaty of Paris, demanded that the British fork over to the USA all of these beautiful and intoxicatingly fragrant pine forests that extend up to the arctic regions.
I suppose I ought to talk in this Personal Information, Bio Section about the jobs I've had, and whether or not I'm in a relationship, and what she's like. It's not very classy to gossip about ex girl friends. And doing so might get me excommunicated, assuming I ever belong to a church that excommunicates anyone. I'd like to know how some people find the time to write, and do research, and also work full-time at a job, and find the time to have a family, and find time to stay in touch with old friends, and find time to make new friends. I got 45 hours tied up every week working and commuting. There's lots of history and theology to study. And I like to read advanced math and physics now and then. I like those scenes in 'My Night with Maud' where Jean-Louis Trintignant is captivated by math books. And there's the great Spanish film, 'Death of a Cyclist', where that beautiful girl is working the math problem at the board, but then the professor with the guilty conscience is rude to her, and then later she helps him to do the right thing.
Regarding economic collapse and famine and the Great Tribulation - Revelation 18 - I saw this movie called 'The Island of the Fishmen' where this doctor and some others are dying of thirst on a small boat at sea. Then they reach an island full of voodoo worshippers and mutant fishmen, people or creatures, who, I dare say, had yet to find the Church which Christ established on a rock. They meet a mad scientist played by Joseph Cotten - he was good in 'Niagara' and 'The Third Man.' Anyway, the doc is rescued. Some of the people the doc was with got slaughtered, but the doc hung in there and survived.
Look how tough Paul Newman had it in 'Cool Hand Luke' - that's where the line 'two men playin grab-ass spend a night in the box' came from. Look how tough Alain Delon had it in 'M. Klein'. He plays a Gentile who the Nazis think is a Jew, and he ends up in a concentration camp. Charlton Heston didn't have it soft and easy when those talking apes captured him in 'Planet of the Apes,' or when he was kneeling on the beach and looking up at the ruin the Statue of Liberty had become. Evander Holyfield hung in there while Mike Tyson was chewing his ear off. Katniss Everdeen refused to quit when times got tough for her. Just look at all the tyranny, trauma, bloodshed, anguish, hell, hunger and heartache that hit her over the head in the 4 films in 'The Hunger Games' series! Despite losing her beloved pop who perished in a coal mine explosion, and a mom who checked-out and left her kids to starve, despite a tyrant and tributes and a hijacked boyfriend all trying to murder her, she hung in there and finally triumphed. Imagine how she felt in 'Catching Fire' - in that scene where she's sitting on the sofa while Snow announces on TV that the tributes for the Third Quarter Quell will be reaped from the existing pool of victors - meaning Katniss has to go into the arena of death yet again, into the arena where 24 people walk in but only 1 walks out! You wouldn't believe how much Christian symbolism there is in the 4 films and the 3 novels of the 'The Hunger Games' series. Like in 'Catching Fire' we have some words that get you thinking about Revelation 18 and the Great Tribulation. When Katniss and some other Tributes are fighting for their lives while figuring some things out on that island at the center of the big clock, Plutarch Heavensby / Philip Seymour Hoffman, pretending to be a loyal Snow minion says, 'Spin it. Let's see how well they tell time now.'
The Germans have produced in recent years some wonderful films dealing with conflict in the love lives of people living under totalitarian regimes - this is a huge theme in 'The Hunger Games' series. Look for instance at 'The Lives of Others' and 'Barbara'. The 4 films in 'The Hunger Games' series are great masterpieces of cinematic art. They're just not art house mode masterpieces. I saw the third one first, then I watched all of them, over and over. They came out once a year over 4 years. It helps to see their greatness when u see them all at once, like in 2 evenings. The end of film 2 is artistic perfection, a truly virtuoso performance.
I saw Claude Chabrol's 'The Bridesmaid' the other day - French title of 'La demoiselle d'honneur.' The bridesmaid, the 'the girl of honor', is beautiful but super twisted. She is played by the daughter of the woman who played the prostitute in 'La Balance,' an artistic French film from 1982. She, the bridesmaid not the prostitute, and this nice young guy are crazy about each other - but it's a fatal attraction - so you know she'll drag him down to a bad end. On this theme I saw a first-rate British film from 1958 called 'Tread Softly Stranger.' Diana Dors is gorgeous in it, really good at playing a beautiful femme fatale. This one guy is crazy about her. Then he and another guy get busted for murder because of her. Talk about throwing your life away chasing after someone who will only drag you down.
on Nov. 28, 2012 :
A huge document that I use as an encyclopedia rather than a cover to cover read. Word count is boosted by a large number of quotes but this works well as it builds confidence in me that I am getting not just Bill's opionion but that of many differnt and varied people.
4 stars for sheer volume and amount of useful info presented. 5 stars if there were internal hyperlinks to help navigate the near 1000 pages.
(review of free book)