Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ranger's Apprentice #1: The Ruins of Gorlan ~ John Flanagan

In Araluen, the Rangers are regarded as strange men, keeping to the shadows and silently going about their duties to the king. People say the Rangers have uncanny powers to become invisible.

For fifteen year old orphan Will, invisibility would be a wonderful power to hold. As well as becoming an apprentice in the Battle school to become the elite knights of the king. But his size, rank, and even his name stand in the way. The only thing Will holds is the skills of a ranger.

Left without a future, Will must rely on his courage, skills, and good character in order to become the great man he wishes to be like; the brave knight his father was.

Unknown to Will, a Ranger is watching him with interest, and a plan. His life is about to change forever.

With the eminent threat of the dark Lord Morgarath and his menagerie of terrifying beasts threatening his kingdom, Will's lot in life must soon be chosen. And he must learn his trade well. For the battle of Araluen is about to begin.

This book was wonderful in upholding many biblical morals, and the young men in the book are expected to cultivate good character and manliness. These adventures make the boys grow up quickly and become responsible. It was refreshing to see that expected in a fifteen year old. Young boys I think will be encouraged and can relate to Will.

Indecency: One kiss exchanged.
Violence: Moderate, though mostly in fighting with enemies. Some bullying occurs.
Language: 3 uses of d**n, one exclamation of "Good God in Heaven"!
Age Interest: 13-18


Wiola said...

I am sort of confused what you mean with "upholding many morals", since there are no universal moral standards. For example, what person A. considers to be moral, person B. might consider to be immoral. My 16-year-old is all on me because of that: “You can’t say something IS wrong. You consider it to be wrong, but it doesn’t make it wrong. Other people don’t find it wrong.” Then I would tell her that I find I have several reasons for what I find to be right and wrong, but my little sister once again reminds me that my reasons are good enough for me, but not for some other people. I have examined standards for the rightness and wrongness of actions, through studies in normative ethics, and I have seen how many different moral principles (e.g. utilitarianism, Kantianism, contractarianism) there are to resolve difficult moral decisions. Still I sometimes find myself to be foolish enough to think I know the "morals" - what’s right or wrong, better than anyone else.

Perhaps you find that your moral standards are based on the Bible, but so do a lot of other people with different moral standards. There are so many different possible interpretations of the Bible. Some people believe that the only commandment humankind has managed to fulfill is to be fruitful and multiply (therefore they should focus on raising and taking care of orphan children instead of getting children of their own). Some Christians would say that homosexuality is a sin. Other Christians would say that they must not abuse the words of the Bible from a wishful thinking to get simple, clear rules of complex moral issues ( Also if they refer to the Bible to condemn or prohibit homosexuality, logically they should be an advocate of slavery (homosexual acts are condemned in a few places in the Bible - but in far fewer places than those who take slavery for granted as a God-given order). Several Christians are of the opinion that we must worship and serve God alone - not the Bible literally (and it is the living Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, which is the Word itself in its deepest and clearest sense).

Bria said...

Biblical morals, is what I meant Wiola. There is a universal moral standard, even if not everyone follows it. It's the Bible. While some can interpret scripture a little differently (others just twist it out of context to fit their meaning), it's pretty straight forward about its meanings. Something is wrong because the Bible says it's wrong.

And while I realize not everyone acknowledges the Bible as the only laws of life, I do. My moral standards are not my own and just 'based' on the Bible. They are straight from the Bible. I can say it is wrong because GOD first said it was wrong.

I believe Homosexuality is a sin as stated through scripture. Here are just a few references:
"Do not profane the name of your God: I am Yahweh. You are not to sleep with a man as with a woman, it is is a perversion." Leviticus 18:21,23
"If a man sleeps with a man as with a woman, they have both committed an abomination. They must be put to death, their blood is on their own hands." Liviticus 20:13
"Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of heaven? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality." 1 Corinthians 6:9

" For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people. Therefore shall ye keep mine ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the Lord your God." Leviticus 18:29-30

And no matter how many few times something is stated in the Bible, it is still a command. Just as "Thou shalt not murder" is. Should we take it lightly just because it wasn't sad x amount of times? One time or ten times said, it is important and to be acknowledged and obeyed no matter what.

God is to be worshiped and served. We don't worship scripture.

I would be willing to discuss things further with you if it is out of curiosity and an open mind. I am not willing however, to debate if you simply desire to prove me wrong in my beliefs from Scripture.

Wiola said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wiola said...

Thank you for your reply.

Yes, the Biblical morals could be seen as universal morals. I just stated how complicated it could be to talk about Biblical morals, since there are many different interpretations out there. (It’s always difficult to talk about morals though.) My examples of where I know Christians differ in their interpretations had not necessarily anything to do with my own interpretations. I just exemplified what I know other Christians are debating at the moment. However, I find that many Christians seem to have forgotten the importance of the double commandment of love.

Since you brought up all these verses, am I supposed to address them? I am well familiar with these verses, but not familiar with your translations of them.

Usually I share my opinion, because I want some reaction. One can either agree or disagree with my opinion. Actually it’s preferable if someone disagrees since that could even make me question some ideas which I have taken for truths. I find it’s important to question your ideas once in a while – it makes you grow as a person. Discussions are supposed to help you to easier decide what you believe/think and what you don’t believe or think.

You talk about having an open mind. You can meet my interpretations with your kind of interpretations, if you want to. Our translations of these verses differ though, so I would first show the translation I have and then write a short comment.

So, the double commandment of love commits us to (seek to) live out God's love in our relation with our fellow man. I do not think you can love someone, while you hate an essential part of them. Homosexuality is generally recognized (by the American Psychological Association, the AMA, and others) as a way of being; a part of who we are that's not subject to change. Expressing hatred of it in others is damaging to some and helpful to none.

Wiola said...

I wrote a post about whether homosexuality is a sin on my own blog instead:

God never spoke American English, so when you say the Bible is pretty straight forward about its meanings, I wonder if you have studied the actual meaning of the Greek words.

Bria said...

I would like to withdraw from this discussion Wiola. I do not have the time to debate with you and if you are firmly grounded in your beliefs and I in mine, and you are not seeking truth, then this could go on for ages.
I respectfully decline from this debate.

Wiola said...

I realize I ramble too much quite often - and for that I should apologize. I understand you don't have the time (and it must be hard to read through my messy notes sometimes). Anyway, take care, Bria.