Ugh, We Have to Talk About The Shack

Note: For the regular viewers, this week’s post is fucking huge.

So The Shack is a Christian book that got read by heaps of people and then got heaps of blowback for doing theological things that were interpreted in a particular way. I don’t like talking about The Shack, because most of the arguments that people put forward against it are boring. However, I accidentally read this post on a theology blog that I follow, and now my blood’s up, so, ugh, I guess we have to talk about The Shack. You don’t have to actually read the initial post – I’m going to go through it point by point, so you can read it if you want to check I’m not taking things out of context or whatever.  (more…)

XCOM 2: Sequels & Failure

I’ve put something like 40-ish hours into XCOM 2 so far, and I still haven’t finished my first campaign. Partially this may be because I suck – so I play half a battle, get destroyed, have to reload the battle and start again. Still, I think there’s a message there about the game. Usually when I’m playing things I like to have an eye towards an article to write about it. Not all of my games get articles, but it’s efficient for me if they do. Anyway, I’ve been meaning to write this one up since I started XCOM 2. It’s about the game’s introduction. (more…)

Aquinas: Is God’s Will Done?

This is another one of those delightful little traps that Aquinas constructs for himself. Is God’s will done? If so, then is all of the evil and horror of the world willed by God? But if God’s will is not done, then is He really all-powerful? In fact, Aquinas provides a Biblical basis for his answer: he looks at 1 Timothy 2:4, which (in his Bible) reads “God wills all men to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.” He also quotes Psalms 115:11 (113 in Catholic Bibles), which reads “Our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.” So there we go – God wills all men to be saved, and whatever God wants, God does. So, uh, what’s gone wrong?  (more…)

Dark Souls: Architecture as Memory

As part of a string of architecture books, I’m reading Alain de Botton’s The Architecture of Happiness right now. I’m not super impressed, all told – but there’s some interesting ideas. For example, he talks about home as a place “whose outlook matches and legitimates our own.” The basic idea is that buildings affect our thoughts – which is true. Buildings affect the way we think. They can make us feel claustrophobic or free and loose, they can make us feel contemplative or encourage activity. And they can help us create and support a sense of self. It’s a way of writing yourself into an environment, allowing us to “resume contact with a more authentic self”. (more…)

Aquinas: Does He Have To?

As we’re working towards predestination, I’ll cover some of the foundations that Aquinas lays out as starting points. For example, 1a.19.3 asks ‘Is God bound to will whatever He does will?’ Now, predestination is the idea that some people are just destined to go to hell. There’s nothing they can do about it – they’re just fucked. They’ve been fucked from eternity – they were created fucked, they’re going to live fucked, and when they die they’ll go to hell, because they’ve been fucked. Thus 1a.19.3: is God bound to fuck those people over? Does He have to damn them to hell from before the creation of the world? Or could He, you know, not? (more…)

Assassin’s Creed III: Tree-Running

I’m playing Assassin’s Creed III at the moment, and good golly gosh it’s buggy. I was trying to climb up a wall, but I got stuck with an outcrop just above me. Instead of leaping up to it, as the character’s supposed to do, he was flung way into the air (and subsequently fell to his death). Pictures below. Anyway, I’m trying my hardest to get something out of this game other than an increased loathing of Ubisoft. There’s some interesting stuff cropping up about running through the trees – let’s talk about that for a bit.  (more…)