Well, this is it. The end of the school year. Conversely, that means the end of posts for this semester. For this short farewell, I would like to go back over the books that I posted on. I started this year off by reading Aristotle’s Rhetoric and Anslem’s Cur Deus Homo. Rhetoric was an interesting book, and I read it the entirety of the first semester. It really backed up many of the rules of logic and reasoning that I had learned in my previous logic courses. Cur Deus Homo was really profound for me. The reasoning employed in explaining some of the mysteries of Jesus’ life and death was truly brilliant. I learned a lot from it. After Cur Deus Homo I read Dante’s Inferno. Inferno was a really intriguing piece of literature. Its descriptions of Hell and the afterlife gave my mind quite a lot to think about, and I hope that it provoked your thoughts as well. I can honestly say that Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales was the book that I least enjoyed reading. Because it was written in Middle English, it was incredibly difficult to read and to garner any meaning from, but at least now I can claim that I read a book written in Middle English. For the next semester, I started on More’s Utopia and Cicero’s Rhetorica ad Herennium. While Utopia was just another dream of utopian society, it did get me thinking about how difficult it would be to actually achieve a utopian society today. Rhetorica ad Herennium also reinforced my understanding of the laws of rhetoric and reasoning. Following Utopia I read Martin Luther’s Commentary on Galatians. While his reasoning did not follow according to what I believe at some points, it was still an insightful look into the book of Galatians. Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion was an informative look into the reasoning behind Calvinism. It really helped my understanding of that religion. I don’t really have much to say about the last thing that I read, Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar. I mean, it was an interesting play but I didn’t really interpret anything profound from it. All in all, this year was really a great year. I would like to thank all of my readers for sticking with me through the whole year and providing me with creative feedback. I hope you guys have a great summer. Thanks.
In all honesty, I don’t have much to say about Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar. It was an interesting portrayal of Caesar’s betrayal. The only thing that really stands out to me here is how the conspirators felt the need to fool Brutus into helping them kill Caesar.This is because Brutus was such an upright man that they felt like he could not be corrupted. Other than that, I really don’t know what to say about the play other than it was pretty good.
In Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar, a plot has been formed against Caesar under the pretense that Caesar was trying to grab power for himself. Brutus, a good man and one of Caesar’s best friends, is drawn into the plot thinking that he is acting for the good of Rome, while most of the other conspirators are simply doing it for power. Now, the question I ask is why Caesar had to be murdered. Why not simply put in jail or even just spoken to. It is a sad thing that people so desperately want power that they are willing to do such things.
So, in the play, Cassius has been talking to Brutus to try to turn him against Caesar. First he (Cassius) has described the problem. Caesar was so loved by the people that the people were trying to make him king. Cassius and others in the Senate, however, did not want that. Therefore, they made a plot to kill Caesar before he acquired too much power. Cassius needed Brutus on his side, so he deceived him to think that Caesar was trying to make Rome into a monarchy and that he had become corrupted (when this was really not the case). Brutus was deceived into thinking that he was acting for Rome’s good, when he was really just killing a brilliant and innovative man.
William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar is believed to have been written around 1599 A.D. It is about the plot and execution of the conspiracy to assassinate Caesar. Interestingly enough, Caesar himself only appears in a few scenes. The main focus is about the conflicting emotions that he feels during the whole plot. I’m not sure what I am going to take away from this, but I will try to make my posts during this interesting and fun to read.
This second part of Institutes of the Christian Religion is significantly more like what I expected to read in a book by John Calvin. It explained a lot of the theory of Calvinism. However, I must say that I do not agree with all of Calvin’s doctrine. Despite his reasoning behind them, I believe that his beliefs were not Biblically sound, and that while I know that he was a great man of God, I believe that he was mistaken concerning a couple things. Specifically, I did not agree with his ideas about free will and irresistible grace. I found them to not align with what I know and hold as true about God. Calvin’s document provided some great insight into many topics of the faith, but his reasoning (upon which the denomination of Calvinism is based) is flawed.
Prayer is sometimes an exercise in patience. When praying, one cannot expect that God will immediately answer the prayer. As we discussed beforehand, God’s glory can be magnified through answered prayer. I believe that God’s glory can be even further glorified through prayer being answered at different times. If there was a set time before your prayer being lifted up and God responding to it, then prayer would be sorta pointless. The concept of anticipation and the need for patience is very important to having a point to prayer.
If God already knows our needs and desires, then why do we need to pray to Him? It is a valid question posed by Calvin in his book. He (Calvin) goes on to explain why he believes that prayer is necessary, despite this apparent contradiction. First of all, he asserts that it is unfair to expect God to simply give us everything we would have otherwise asked of Him in prayer- first of all, because that would be ridiculous, and second of all, because when God answers our prayers then we are able to see His power at work. Additionally, the Bible talks in many places about the power of invoking God’s name. Jeremiah 10:6 says, “There is none like you, O Lord; you are great, and your name is great in might.” Also, Romans 10:13 says, “For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’” These are just a few examples of how powerful the name of God is. In His name, people have preformed miracles and cast out demons. Why then, shouldn’t prayers be answered in His name as well?
Some people know the conscience as that little voice inside their head, or the thing that makes them feel guilty when they do something wrong. Now, where does a conscience come from, and who has it? Well, I believe that everybody has a conscience, and that the conscience is part of the resonating image of God that I talked about earlier. However, the conscience is not to be confused with the Holy Spirit, which those who have accepted God have inside them.
Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” What, specifically, is faith? A lot of people believe that faith is a blind belief in something that you have no tangible evidence for, specifically speaking about God. Let me give you an example that counters this. I believe that the wind exists. Why? I cannot see it blowing. Yet I know that it exists because of the evidence that it gives. Trees blowing, dust moving, etc. In the same manner, I know that God is real because there is evidence of His existence. Creation itself speaks of the glory of God! Everyday answered prayers and miracles are my evidence of God. You too can see the abundant evidence of God, if you would just look.