I will be analyzing each episode of the final season of Downton Abbey from a worldview perspective. I will be doing them two at a time to make space for my series on “The Expanse.” There will, of course be SPOILERS for each episode, and I will assume readers know about each previous season and episode’s content as well. It will be assumed that readers are familiar with the characters and circumstances. I will not be summarizing the plot of the episode; I will merely interact with the content from a perspective of worldview. BE COURTEOUS AND DO NOT BRING UP LATER EPISODES THAN THE ONE DISCUSSED HERE IN YOUR COMMENTS.
Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes got married! The celebration and excitement that surrounds this event is a reflection of reality. Marriage is a good, one God has given to us from the beginning. There is something beautiful about seeing two people come together before God, blessing their marriage in the name of the Triune Lord. It was particularly interesting to see how the Trinitarian blessing was included in this episode, rather than being left out.
Lady Painswick’s offhand remark about being able to call Mrs. Carson Mrs. Hughes still is worth reflecting on: “There is a God!” We so often jokingly say things like this, but I wonder whether a more serious perspective is right. Is God not found in the little things in life as well as the big things? Is not every joy from God? This is not to say that God will never allow suffering, but it does mean we ought to thank God for even the tiniest blessings.
I’m starting to get quite worried about Thomas, the underbutler. He continues to reject any attempts to be friendly to him, but then turns around and notes to Baxter how he does feel the sometimes cruel remarks and jabs made in his direction. Part of this, of course, is reaping what he has sown. When has he ever done anything to help someone else? I struggle to think of a single instance in which he did so without an ulterior motive. But again, part of what he needs is grace. Baxter, as I noted in the last recap, has been offering that grace to him, but he continues to reject it.
The theme of rejected grace continues in how he has been treating the interview process. He has high hopes for the other positions he is applying to: but each time he is disappointed. He wants to have a position of highest import, like one in bygone years, but these positions are disappearing rapidly. Again, these opportunities are examples of grace towards him, but his own choice is to continue to reject them. I hope this story doesn’t continue to spiral down, because I could see Thomas doing something drastic.
Be sure to let me know what you thought of the episodes, and what worldview-level issues you saw them raise, in the comments below.
Eclectic Theist– Check out my other blog for my writings on science fiction, history, fantasy movies, and more!
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Another sleep-deprived Really Recommended Posts here! Also, did you know that you can still have allergies when it is -10 degrees Fahrenheit and snowy? I’ve mastered that. Anyway, this week we have posts about Ken Ham, egalitarian marriage, teaching kids critical thinking,
6 Things Egalitarian Marriage is Not– Too often, people who critique the egalitarian position argue that egalitarian marriage means men and women are assumed to be exactly the same or that it is unbiblical. Here are some answers to some misconceptions about egalitarian marriage.
How I’m Teaching my 6-Year-Olds to be Critical Thinkers– Natasha Crain continually writes awesome posts for teaching apologetics in family settings. Here, she shares some tips for teaching critical thinking to your youngsters.
Ken Ham Ascribes Motive to Your Crime– Psychoanalysis of opponents on hot issues is not something we should engage in. Unfortunately, Ken Ham, a prominent Young Earth Creationist, continually assigns motives to those with whom he disagrees.
If Humans Evolved from Apes, Why Do Apes Exist Today? – Look! I can agree with Answers in Genesis, the prominent young earth creationist group, on something! This is a really bad argument that I have, unfortunately, seen many Christians using. Don’t do it.
Eclectic Theist– Did you know I have another web site? I do! On it, I review books, talk about Star Trek, food, tennis, economics, (and more!), and dive into all kinds of random interests. Check it out!
Another week, another set of posts for you, dear readers! I think you’ll find the post on marriage to be particularly thought-provoking. Pastor Matt’s discussion of re-thinking everything is advice we should all take. Some reflections on Martin Luther King Jr.’s peaceful resistance are well-taken in this time. A video on a conversion experience will be found deeply interesting. Finally, we wrap up with an apologetics comic! Let me know your thoughts here, and be sure to let the others know what you think as well!
The Continuance of Marriage- Luke 20:27-40– The notion that there is no marriage in the New Creation is drawn from this passage. Here, Tony Arsenal analyzes the passage to see if this is indeed what it teaches.
The Benefit of Re-Thinking Everything– What does it mean to re-think things? Can it be a helpful endeavor? Check out Pastor Matt’s thoughts on the topic.
thoughts on waiting– Here, Elizabeth Wartick shares some thoughts on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s peaceful resistance to racism. They are timely and thought-provoking.
Why I am a Christian (David Wood)– [ADULTS only]- This video is a sometimes-disturbing look into David Wood’s thoughts and life as an atheist and how Christ called him to Himself.
The Cross is a Crutch Indeed– [COMIC]- What does it mean to say that religion is a crutch? This comic offers some thoughts and reflection upon the notion.
Co-Leadership in Marriage: Who’s in Authority?– A question which often comes up in discussions about egalitarianism–the view that men and women have equal authority in the church and home–is how one is supposed to determine who’s in charge in marriage. Here’s a solid post answering that question.
Man’s Fallible Ideas vs. God’s Infallible Word– It is often said that we should harbor some sort of distrust towards “Man’s Fallible Ideas.” Here, Luke Nix examines this claim and sees how it may be applied to issues like creationism.
The Two Most Overlooked Apologetics Verses in the Bible– There are many verses in the Bible which are commonly referenced when it comes to apologetics. Here, Tom Gilson brings up two which are not often referenced in terms of apologetics. I originally found this over at The Poached Egg, which is a site well worth you following!
All the Songs in the Bible [Infographic]– Here, there is an outline and explanation of every single song in the Bible. It’s pretty interesting to see them all written out and explained. Frankly, I find this to be one of the more interesting and helpful sites on the web related to general Bible knowledge. Be sure to follow it for some more excellent general Bible knowledge posts.
How Confucius proves Jesus– Did Jesus exist? How we approach this question should be consistent. How do we explore other historical questions? Check out this post, which explores the question.
Five Errors to Drop from Your Easter Sermon– Check out this read on common mistakes made when talking about Easter.
Tie-Breaker– What happens when married couples come to a point where they are at an impasse? Does there need to be a marital tie-breaker grounded in notions of hierarchy of genders? Check out this thought-provoking post on the topic. For my own thoughts on the topic, check out my post “Who’s in Charge?” over at CBE.
Dean Koontz’s “Innocence”– From the author (links removed), Anthony Weber, “Dean Koontz is perhaps the most famous Christian author alive today. He has sold over 450,000,000 books, with 17,000,000 added each year. He’s sold more books than Stephen King…” That’s why you should care about the guy. Check out this look at a recent book from Koontz.
What I Needed to Hear as an Atheist (And How I Needed to Hear It)– Approach matters! Check out this fantastic post on how we may approach atheists who are wondering about the faith.
Cosmos Scrubs Religion’s Positive Influence from the History of the Scientific Revolution– The TV series “Cosmos” has seemingly purged any notion of the positive influence of religion from the history of scientific development. Check out this insightful article which explores some of this history and the way “Cosmos” has distorted it.
Well we got snow again here (about 3 inches). If it’s anything like last year, we’ll be seeing snow in May. Alas. Given that we’re stuck inside, I am pleased to present a number of excellent posts here for your perusal. The posts address the notion that egalitarian marriage is less satisfactory, apologetic interaction in social media, a recent meme about murdering children in the Bible, and more!
Gender Roles in Marriage (Part 1): Couples in Traditional Roles Have More Sex, Study Finds– I have seen several people sharing the results of a study in which it was found that couples in traditional roles have more sex. Some have trumpeted this as proof that traditional marriage is actually superior to egalitarian marriage. (Here, realize that “traditional marriage” is referring to a complementarian relationship wherein the man is in charge of the household.) However, apart from the problem that the number of instances of sex in a month is perhaps not the best indicator of marital stability and happiness, it seems there are other difficulties with this study and those drawing conclusions about the superiority of complementarianism. Check out this article on the topic.
How to Murder Children: Bible Style – Debunked– There’s a meme rolling around the internet about how the Bible has murdering children in it. It’s constructed without commentary and seems to be slanted towards the view that the Bible is evil. Check out this debunking of the meme (it includes the original). Very good work here, and I really think you should check it out!
What Christians can learn from skeptics– Certainly not an exhaustive list, this is actually more specifically looking at how skeptics are using Wikipedia to slant opinion on religious issues. How might Christians use this as a way to increase confidence in the faith?
Errors of Inerrancy– An interesting post on how to avoid some pitfalls when thinking of the doctrine of inerrancy. The list of errors includes both mistakes made by both critical scholarship and evangelicals regarding the text of Scripture.
One Christian Apologist’s Advice on Using (Anti-)Social Media– Some good advice here on how to become more effective via social media. Though I personally think Facebook is actually a better way to do apologetics than described in this post.
Dear readers: As a thank you for stopping by, check out my latest “Really Recommended Posts.” Here, we’ll look at the Young Adult book Divergent (coming to theaters soon!), marriage, Augustine, abortion, Boghossian’s atheist propaganda, and some great free Bible inserts for apologetics. Check ’em out. As always, feel free to drop your own Really Recommended Posts by leaving a comment with your recommendation (and why). Also, feel free to leave a comment on your thoughts on any of these posts.
Free E-Book Download: Peter Boghossian, Atheist Tactician– Let me tell you right now, you should immediately download and start reading this free e-book. It is a response to Peter Boghossian’s A Manual For Creating Atheists. Boghossian is intentionally trying to destroy Christianity and proselytize for atheism. I have not finished the book yet, but what I have read has been excellent. It comes with my recommendation.
Divergent– Anthony Weber over at Empires and Mangers, one of my favorite sites (and one you should follow!), reviewed the YA Book Divergent. He examined it from a worldview perspective. The book is being made into a major motion picture and has been hailed by some as the “next Hunger Games.” That means we’re going to run into it everywhere. What questions can we bring to the table? There are SPOILERS in this linked post.
Modern Marriage Concerns– How might egalitarianism play out in marriage? Here, a brief post explores the nature and possible concerns regarding marriage in an egalitarian system.
A Free Bible Insert to Say Thanks for a Great 2013– Check out this link to get some great printable Bible inserts related to apologetics to tuck into the pages for quick access. I highly recommend checking them out.
Augustine’s Confessions: Some Lessons for apologetics– Augustine’s work, Confessions, is an autobiographical account of parts of his life. In it, he provides some insights into what is needed for an apologetic approach even in our church today.
‘He killed my baby !’: The day I lost my daughter to the Culture of Death– A powerful story about awakening to the wrongness of abortion.
I am constantly delighted by the great quality of posts by my brothers and sisters in Christ. This week, I have provided a choice selection. The topics range from politics (the doctrine of peace through strength) to young earth creationism to presuppositional apologetics and Islam and beyond. I even linked to three of my favorite songs, to give a slightly different feel this go-round.
As always, please let me know what you liked!
The Natural Historian writes about Isaac Newton’s thoughts on the Mosaic account of creation. Check out this excellent quote:
Attempts to bring explanations for the physical origins of the geographic features of the earth into conformity with a six day creation and a universal flood has never yielded a unified view of how to interpret the data… [T]he application of that traditional view [young earth creationism] to an understanding of the physical creation and the origin of the earth has never accomplished a satisfying nor widely accepted result.
Refuting Islam: Philosophical Analysis– Mike Robinson uses presuppositional apologetics to evaluate Islam and argues that Islam is founded upon a logical fallacy.
Of Jesus, the Woman Caught in Adultery, Public Morality, The Law…– A fantastic and lengthy post on Christianity in the public square, legislating morality, and some specific moral issues. Recommended if you enjoy political discussion and the interaction of faith with politics.
What is the Doctrine of Peace Through Strength?– Wintery Knight weighs in on a national defense policy of peace through strength. This isn’t directly related to Christian apologetics, but I found it interesting, and Wintery Knight is a master of discussing Christianity in the public square. Check out the rest of his site. A choice quote from the article on peace through strength:
The way to stop most wars is to make dictators believe that you have the means and the will to stop their aggression.
The Ring Makes All the Difference: A Word to the Wise on Cohabitation– Does marriage make a difference? Should we do trial runs of living together first? What does sociology say about these issues? Check out this informative article.
Some of My Favorite Music– Here are some links to songs by three of my favorite artists. Yes, they range wildly in genre. I like some Christian rap- like Lecrae; I like Christian Metal like Demon Hunter (my favorite band) and I love some Christian Blues too, check out the Glenn Kaiser Band.
I found some really diverse posts this go-round. Check out some thoughts on archaeology, marriage, logic, cultic churches, volcanic eruptions, logic, and the rule of secularism. I highly recommend these posts! (Owl Post edition 2–if you get it, you’re awesome!)
The Story of Ian & Larissa -Really beautiful video about a couple demonstrating Christian marriage and love. Although I don’t agree with everything in the video (women being emotional, needing to be reeled back by a man?), I think it’s amazing overall.
Avoiding Crackpot Archaeology– It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking some extraordinary, worldview-shattering discovery has been found in archaeology. Too often, that trap is founded upon poor research and scholarship. Reasons to Believe shares some great ways to avoid “crackpot” archaeology.
The Mass Cult of Big -Again, not sure I agree with everything here, but I think the author raises some good points. Not discussed, however, is the notion of what exactly is “big” and is “big” necessarily bad? I don’t think it is.
Marvel Comics and Logical Fallacies– A creative look at logical fallacies and how easily we can fall into them.
The Toba Super Eruption: A Non-Flood Catastrophe–The Artifacts Say Yes!– Another serious challenge to a young earth is presented by super eruptions of volcanoes. Check out this very interesting post.
That the Name of God Should be Forgotten– It is easy to forget that what one believes can easily come under attack. The Soviet Union tried to eliminate all religion in the name of secularism. Let us not forget.
Mexico City Proposes Temporary Marriages– Yeah, it’s crazy.
On Symbiosis– Paul Adams points out a simple, but important point. Check it out.
Is Intuition an Unjustifiable Reason for Faith?– Great post by Erik Manning on the use of of intuition and issues of faith.
What is True Christianty?(tm)– at Josiah Concept Ministries, a great discussion of what makes someone a Christian (or not).
Humorless Humanist Humor– At “No Apologies Allowed”–a great comic showing the bankruptcy of humanism.
Is Mormonism a Cult?– A phenomenal side-by-side comparison of Christianity and Mormonism.