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Survivors Part 2

Story location: Home / Blog / books /
13/Feb/2006

I finished reading the book on the train home tonight. If treated simply as a novel describing the end of the world, the traditional fight of good vs. evil and the only group of Christians in the world who realise what's going in, then it is a reasonable fantasy. Ignoring any religious issues at the moment, there are a few odd ideas in the book such as the passage which described addresses being collected so emails could be sent out to attract visitors to the organisations website. Obviously they meant it in good spirit, but spamming for Jesus would not make them very popular. There was another section towards the end of the book where thousands of voices were singing in different languages but the sounds combined to form the Hallelujah Chorus from The Messiah. If that was tried in a film it would be such a terrible cliche.

Most of the problems stem from the authors notes at the end of each chapter. Oh the whole, these are interesting and draw attention to parallels between the story and the Bible, but again there are a few issues.
In the notes at the end of chapter 4, the 'Big Pot' is used as another name for the Big Dipper constellation, in order to draw another parallel with the Bible. I've never heard this seriously used as a name for the constellation and this sounded so tenuous when I read it.
At the end of chapter 23, the author says:

There is something about the return of Jesus that sounds unbelievable to the modern, cynical mind. And yet it is no more unbelievable than any of the other myths and legends (including evolution) that mankind has come up with to explain our existence.

Now personally, I think the idea that the flora and fauna of our planet has been slowly changing over millions of years to be a more rational explanation than the belief that God created everything in only a few days. For a start it is based on many years of studying the real world, rather than simply believing something which was written in a book a few thousand years ago and for which there is no proof whatsoever.
This absolute belief in every word of the bible is possibly the book's greatest weakness. It crop up again in the notes after chapter 23 where he claims:

Everything else about the Bible indicates that it is an historically accurate book

For most of the Bible, there is no historical corroborating evidence. Especially the story of the creation, where there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever.



Survivors

Story location: Home / Blog / books /
08/Feb/2006

I was walking back to the office after wandering around the shops at lunchtime. On New Street, at the bottom of the ramp which leads up to the Palisades shopping centre, there was a bloke handing out books. Ever curious, I decided to see what it was about. The book was called Survivors, written by a pseudonymous Zion Ben Jonah. It seemed to be some kind of post-apocalyptic tale designed as a warning about moral corruption in modern society. I tried to hand the book back saying that I wasn't interested, but he refused to take it back and said that he only wanted 'a few pennies' in return. I rummaged around in my pocket and pulled out a few coins to give to him - I had less than £1 on me after buying food so he only got a few coins, which strangely were all 20p pieces.

I started reading the book on the train home. It's a novel where the end of the world seems to follow the events described in the bible, which starts with the nuclear destruction of America. The book also takes issue with the moral corruption of modern America and how organised religion has diverged so far from the original teachings of Christ - both fair points as well.

There are one or two issues I have with the book (apart from it's obvious preachy nature) but I'll wait until I've finished reading it before saying more. You can read a review of the book here.



Saints Days

Story location: Home / bits-n-bobs /
01/Jun/2004
See more ....
January
20th
Saint Sebastian (Patron saint of archers, soldiers, and athletes)
21st
Saint Agnes (Patron saint of virgins, chasity, young women, and betrothed couples)
February
1st
Saint Bridged/St Bride (Patron saint of Irish nuns, dairy workers, Ireland, Wales, Australia and New Zealand)
14th
Saint Valentine
March
1st
Saint David (Patron saint of Wales and poets)
17th
Saint Patrick (Patron saint of Ireland.)
21st
Saint Benedict (founder of the Benedictine order)
April
23rd Saint George (Patron saint of England, Portugal, Germany, Genoa, and Venice.)
25th
Saint Mark (Patron saint of Venice, glaziers, and notaries.)
May
16th
Saint Brendan the Navigator (Allegedly sailed to North America in the 6th centuary)
18th
Saint Eric of Sweden (Patron Saint of Sweden)
19th
Saint Dunstan (Patron saint of Blacksmiths - allegedly grasped the Devils's nose with hot tongs)
27th
Saint Bede (The Venerable Bede - early Britsh historian)
28th
Saint Augustine of Canterbury (First Archbishop of Canterbury)
30th
Saint Joan of Arc (Patron saint of France.)
June
5th
Saint Boniface (Patron saint of Germany)
9th
Saint Columba (Introduced Christianity to Scotland)
11th
Saint Barnabus
13th
Saint Anthony of Padua (Patron saint of the illiterate, the poor, and of Portugal)
15th
Saint Vitus (Patron saint of dancers, actors, comedians)
22nd
Saint Alban (First Chrisatian martyr of Britain)
24th
Saint John the Baptist (Patron saint of missionaries tailors, prophets)
29th
Saint Peter and Saint Paul
July
15th
Saint Swithin (The weather on this day will allegedly continue for the next 40 days)
25th
Saint Christopher (Patron saint of travellers)
25th
Saint James the Great (Patron saint of Spain and Chile.)
29th
Saint Martha (Patron saint of housewives, cooks, innkeepers, and laundresses)
August
24th
Saint Bartholemew
September
21st
Saint Matthew (Patron saint of tax collectors.)
28th
Saint Wenceslaus (Patron saint of Czechoslovakia)
29th
Saint Michael (Patron saint of policemen and grocers.)
30th
Saint Jerome (Patron saint of students of scripture, and librarians.)
October
4th
Saint Francis of Assisi (Patron saint of Italy and merchants)
9th
Saint Dionysius (Patron saint of France and Paris)
13th
Saint Edward (Edward the Confessor - saxon king of England)
November
30th
Saint Andrew (Patron Saint of Scotland)
December
6th
Saint Nicholas (Patron saint of children)
25th
Christmas Day
26th
Saint Stephens's Day/Boxing Day


Days of the Creation

Story location: Home / bits-n-bobs /
07/Sep/2003
Day
What God Did
1
Created Night and Day.
2
Created Heaven
3
Created Earth and plants
4
Created the Stars in the sky
5
Populated the Earth and Sea with animals
6
Created Man
7
Rested


Names of Jesus' Disciples

Story location: Home / bits-n-bobs /
21/Feb/2003
Name
Notes
Simon (called Peter)
The first two to be recruited. Brothers. Fishermen
Andrew
James
Brothers. Fishemen.
John
Philip

Bartholemew

Thomas
Doubting Thomas - wanted proof of Jesus' Resurrection
Matthew
The tax collector
James
son of Alphaeus (also known as James the Younger)
Simon
known as Simon the Zealot
Judas Iscariot
Betrayed Jesus
Thaddaeus
also called Judas
Matthias
Brought in to replace Judas Iscariot