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  • #137236
    calidris
    @calidris

    @obrian-of-the-surface-world You’re completely right about the Silmarillion – it really is just a collection of notes and world building, and it shows.  But, I really enjoy it because the characters are just so real.  I love lotr, but it often feels like there are a lot of characters who are just “good,” and there’s not much else to their personality beyond that.  Pretty much all of the Silmarillion characters are flawed to some degree – some much more so than others.  Even the Valar, who aren’t by any means evil, have personality quirks and misunderstandings that cause issues throughout the story.  It also just adds so much more depth to lotr.

    I don’t “study” history, but I do enjoy reading books about it.  I really like 1900s history, mainly because it’s still very, very relevant.  We still have Holocaust survivors, and we still have deserts that are contaminated by nuclear testing.  All history affects the modern era, of course, but it feels like the effects of the 1900s are much more visible.  I don’t actually read historical fiction or historical mysteries – maybe I should check it out

    My current wip is a fantasy, so it isn’t based on earth.  It’s very much influenced by the cold war and the nuclear arms race

    I don’t have a favorite artist that I can think of 🙂  I think I will pass on making a deal – it has absolutely nothing to do with you as a person, it’s just that in general I am wary of getting too personal with older men on the internet (I’m sure you understand why).  It’s too bad that it’s something I have to be concerned about, but I guess that’s just the world we live in.  I hope your drawing goes well, though 🙂

    *laughs as one fey*

    #137253
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @calidris

    Hi Calidris,

    I am so very proud of you!

    I am wary of getting too personal with older men on the internet (I’m sure you understand why)

    Yes, I absolutely understand.  There is no way to be sure.  Be careful out there.

    My current wip is a fantasy, so it isn’t based on earth.  It’s very much influenced by the cold war and the nuclear arms race

    I well know that period, and my wife is from Russia (she is a Christian and translated for American Missionaries when she was in college there), so I have a perspective from both sides of the Cold War and the arms race.  I wasn’t quite old enough to vote for Reagan, but I would have in a minute.  I have a particular loathing for Communism and know firsthand how it undermines and deceives to gain political power and keep people under oppression, stifling the individual person value God gave us on the alter of the “good of the collective”.  Jesus Christ is the only one who can balance personal good with the collective good and reconcile them to Himself.

    I do wish you well in your writing.  Check out the Topics in the Forum, or start one.  You will find lots of people here who are so encouraging.
    God Bless.

     

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

    #137255
    calidris
    @calidris

    @obrian-of-the-surface-world thank you for being understanding 🙂

    I was inspired to set this story in a similar situation after reading “A Short History of Nuclear Folly.”  It was incredibly eye opening, because for a long time I had assumed that the Soviets were the “bad guys” in the conflict.  The Soviet regime was horrible and oppressive, but there was a lot of bad things that happened in the US that I had been unaware of – namely human experimentation (An Inuit hunting ground was deliberately contaminated as part of an experiment, and researchers injected people with uranium salts, without their consent, of course).  One of the things that I find very interesting about history is that there are no “good guys” in any of these conflicts, just different degrees of bad.  Even good intentions can be corrupted, which is also something that was explored in this book.  Of course, this is all because humans are inherently sinful and corrupt, which is why we need Jesus so desperately.  This is a secular book, but I highly recommend it – it’s written by a German author, and the translation is poor at times, but it was a very eyeopening read.

    *laughs as one fey*

    #137256
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @calidris , my wife’s name is Olga, and she told me that they lived in fear that the American’s were going to bomb them, so they conducted military drills at school and even showed me pictures of her with a practice rifle.  The soviet government scared them out of their wits about the evils of the decadent west.  But, at the same time, we were seeing nuclear proliferation and the soviets sparring with some of our pilots in international fly zones.  They conducted war games as a sign of military threat with submarines, and they were constantly enriching Uranium and testing, yet they were rapidly running out of money, because…well…the Communist model only produces widgets according to the projections of the state and had no market principles of supply and demand like the capitalism did.  The result was the people had a bunch of what they didn’t want and kept producing more of it, yet they had a scarcity of what they wanted and needed.  Each time these inequities would be addressed, the state overcorrected.  It offered no personal incentives and expected people to just produce and function for the good of the machine, with little or no personal value or desires.  Mediocrity was rewarded and so that was what most of their society did just to appease the state.  It never dealt with humans as they are.  It held forth some utopian ideals but never treated the person as important enough to try to be better.  The Soviet Union ultimately capitulated in the Cold War because they could not outproduce the west in the arms race, or match its ingenuity or technology.
    One advantage the Soviets had over America was that they were generally a moral society, and were far more strict about what they allowed on TV or radio.
    America did have some bad points, but there were many great points and people in American history who were devote Christians and did amazing and inspiring feats because they were blessed by God.  I would invite you to check out David Barton’s books and the Wallbuilders organization which has one of the largest collections of historical documents about American History in the world.  We do have some parts of our history and federal actions that were cruel and need repentance, but that is not the whole picture.  Seek out the good too.  Phillippians 4:8.  My wife and I have made a point to personally visit many historical sites in our nation’s history and read the real documents and the words of the men and women who lived in those periods.  Be wary of agendas that wish to mischaracterize events or cast them unfairly under a critical judgment of hindsight without contemporary context.
    Revisionist historians are fiction writers who are too often untrustworthy and base their findings on their own opinions rather than seeking corroboration.  Scripture provides a good research method here in both the OT and the NT:
    15 “You must not convict anyone of a crime on the testimony of only one witness. The facts of the case must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. [Deuteronomy 19:15 NLT]
    1 This is the third time I am coming to visit you (and as the Scriptures say, “The facts of every case must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses”). [2 Corinthians 13:1 NLT]

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

    #137258
    calidris
    @calidris

    @obrian-of-the-surface-world I completely agree with everything that you are saying.  My point is that often times we have a tendency to see history as very black and white – when there is no true white.  I didn’t mention the Soviet Union’s crimes – because they are very, very many, and I figured that you’re probably aware of it already lol 🙂 History shows us that the Soviet Union was a very wicked and cruel dictatorship, and to dispute this is to invalidate the very real experiences of the millions of men and women who died under the regime.  I am not trying to whitewash the Soviet Union or demonize America, but to rather point out that, as you said, our country has had both highs and lows, and that there have been times in our history where we acted cruelly and sinfully (as there are with every country on earth – there is no perfect ruler or nation outside of God and his kingdom).  Of course there are people who want to paint America in a bad light by only highlighting the bad things and ignoring the good.  This isn’t my intention at all.  I love America, and I am very, very thankful to have been born here.  However, I believe that it’s important to be informed about both the good and the bad, because as humans, we tend to give too much glory to people and ignore the fact that they too are sinful and flawed, no matter how good or successful they appear from the outside.  No matter how much we love America, and how much good America has done for us, America can’t save us.  No matter how good America is, it’s still made by sinful humans, and is sinful as a result.  We see this in our history in spite of all the good done by our country.  I find that comforting, because no matter how good it was, or how bad it gets, our salvation is determined by our faith in Christ, not by our heritage, our power, or our good or bad works 🙂

    *laughs as one fey*

    #137259
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @calidris
    I agree completely. Sometimes when meeting new people, we just don’t know where they stand in regard to that.
    It sickens me to hear people praising socialism and communism and extolling its virtues as desirable when I know what a deceptive road it is.  People need to soberly look at “real” history, with the lens of God’s perspective, which is why I ALWAYS anchor my views to The Word of God.  Scripture says in Romans 3:4, to “let God be true and every man a liar”, and that includes me if I deviate from God’s Word.  There is a pure truth and bright white, but it is located in God Himself.  Scripture says in Philippians 2:5, to “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus”, so we take that mindset and apply it to our lives and govern our judgment according to His leading.
    The prophecy about Jesus (Isaiah 9:6-7), says that the “Government would be on His shoulders” and that only happens on earth when mankind walks in fellowship with Him.  But the day is coming when He will return as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah and set all things right, and every knee will bow to Him and confess that He is the Lord you and I already know Him to be.
    My WIP is a fantasy series with 4 books planned and I have already completed the drafts of the first two.  The underlying issues in my novels are representative of a conflict of worldviews (philosophies of world governance).  These are represented as warring kingdoms who are in a tenuous balance and bid for power.  There is an ancient prophecy at the core of the land that involves a “Mysterious Marker Stone”, and stolen “Dominion” crown with three Virtue Jewels that must be returned to the bezels and settings in that crown, to open a gateway in which the Prophecied King will return to rule and dispose of the Old Kingdom strongholds that have terrorized their lands of “The Mid-World”.  The gateway is the portal to the High King’s Kingdom, called Excavatia, a term meaning “Hidden Kingdom” to those who still hold to the ancient belief in the promised prophecy.  The man-made kingdoms are Xarmni (represented by a system blend of socialism/communism) and a brutal rule by “might make right” for the good of “the collective”.  Their brother kingdom, for which they have had a lifelong feudal war, are the “Capitalians” representing commercial power unchecked, which have a more liberating approach, yet liberty without true reverence for an external truth, but yet a token nod to it.  The other kingdom is a pantheistic kingdom which are called the “Half-Men”, ruled under “The Pan” who is half-man half-ram and is over twleve-feet tall, but blinded by his obsession with returning to the upper world from which he and his transformed followers of fauna/flora/fish were banished several millenia ago when they (descendants of Cain) tried to barter with Jehovah over removing the “wanderer” curse on their ancestor Cain.  The MC and his group are comprised of 21 strangers pulled out of Earth time to this mysterious “Mid-World” place to participate in the Virtue stone quest to restore the crown’s jewels to bring it about.  The whole story is representative of the pursuit of Lordship that begins at the point of conversion in the human soul.  The oppressive kingdoms are representative of the powers, principalities, and rulers of darkness, and strongholds that beset and pull at a Christian to distract them from seeking first the Kingdom of God.  This story also has supernatural creatures in it as well that are representative of what in our known world are “the unseen”.

     

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

    #137261
    calidris
    @calidris

    @obrian-of-the-surface-world that makes sense.  It’s easy for people to praise the idea of communism when they haven’t experienced it first hand.  Good luck with your WIP – and your drawing!

    *laughs as one fey*

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