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 Post subject: Re: "Magic"
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:49 pm 
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In the current story I'm working on I don't have any magic. However, in another one I did. There were two types, one from God and another from demons, sort of like others have said.

The 'magic' from God was given to specific people, at specific times for a specific purpose. There was an order and reason to it. Likewise, it was the original, pure magic. It was an expression of God's greatness.

However, the demonic magic was a corrupted and twisted version of God's magic. It had no purpose to it other than the temporary pleasure and benefit of the magician. There were always terrible consequences to all who used this sort of magic.

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"Poetry for me is a way of putting words together that awaken things in people that wouldn’t have been awakened had you written it another way. That's a broad definition of poetry. And the line between that and preaching is very difficult to discern.” – John Piper

"The way I see it, culture is made upstream and people consume it downstream. The problem is, Christians tend to be a downstream bunch...We don't get involved in media. We complain about media. We don't get involved in the film industry. We protest the films. We don't get involved in the music industry. We lament the decline of pop culture. So, what happens is, we end up downstream fishing all the garbage out of the river instead of being upstream determining what gets put into the river...Let's move upstream."-Mark Driscoll


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 Post subject: Re: "Magic"
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 11:15 pm 
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I think perhaps I have not made meself clear lol. But alas, I shall shut me mouth....For now ;)

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 Post subject: Re: "Magic"
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:03 am 
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Magic: "the art of producing a desired effect or result through the use of incantation or various other techniques that presumably assure human control of supernatural agencies or the forces of nature."

In my magic, at least, there are no incantations, and no control of supernatural agencies. Mere control of the forces of nature is something God has occasional lent to prophets (within, and to the degree, of His allowances), and in fact we've almost achieved control of strong and weak nuclear force.

In short: The bible only forbids magic of a demonic, or deceptive, origin. There is no other kind of magic in the real world, and there is no other kind of magic in my world. Certain chosen people merely have greater control of their environment than most.

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I am Ebed Eleutheros, redeemed from slavery in sin to the bond-service of my Master, Jesus Christ.

Redemption is to be purchased, to have a price paid. So I was redeemed from my master sin, and from justice, which demanded my death. For He paid the price of sin by becoming sin, and met the demands of justice by dying for us.

For all men have a master. But a man cannot have two masters. For he will love one and hate the other. You cannot serve God and sin. So I die to the old, as He died, and I am resurrected to the new, as He was resurrected.

Note: Ebed is Hebrew for bondsman, Eleutheros is Greek for unrestrained (not a slave).


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 Post subject: Re: "Magic"
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 5:12 pm 
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Millardthemk wrote:
I think perhaps I have not made meself clear lol. But alas, I shall shut me mouth....For now ;)


I actually understand exactly what you are trying to say, I believe, and I agree, for the most part.

Our focus really should not be on getting 'magic' to work in our worlds. Our focus should be on having a unique world that glorifies God. Part of that uniqueness would naturally include things that one could call 'magic' because it would be magic in our Familiarworld. But actually, people in your Otherworld would not really call it anything different, necessarily. It would be natural.

Of course there is other kinds of magic, like in our world. 'Black' magic.

Maybe I will expatiate further later. :)

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I am knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order, and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.

note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.

Proverbs 25:8 Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame.


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 Post subject: Re: "Magic"
PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:58 am 
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Just thought I'd share this here. This is a post I made on my blog a few weeks ago about magic, what the Bible says about it, and how I deal with it in my stories. It does a better job of explaining things then my first try. Tell me about you think.

Writing for His Glory wrote:
The fantasy dilemma:

When it comes to writing your faith, fantasy is one of the hardest genres. Fantasy is all about magic, how it influences the world and the people who use it. We all know that there are fantasy books out there that are fine and others you want to steer clear of. If you are a Christian and you write fantasy, there are fine lines that shouldn’t be crossed. If you’re like me and fantasy is your niche, and you’re wondering, how do you keep it in a faith basted standard, here is what I discovered.

Magic: The Big M – What is it about this little word when it comes to Christianity? Well first of all, in Exodus 22:18 God tells the Israelites, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” (Sorceress/er in other translations.) Umm, if God said that I’m guessing it’s bad. He goes on to say, “Do not practice divination or sorcery” (Leviticus 19:26), “Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God” (Leviticus 19:31), “I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, and I will cut him off from his people” (Leviticus 20:6). God ends with saying, all mediums and spiritists must be put to death by stoning, “their blood will be on their own heads.”

Second, where do these people get their power? They’re not called spiritists for nothing. From spirits, aka demons, aka Satan.

This is the reason why I am against books/movie such as Harry Potter. The good guys are witches when God is very clear that witches ARE NOT GOOD!

Now, there are different kinds of “magic”. There is the fairy tale magic that is purely mythical. There are miracles, (but we all know they’re not magic.) Then there is real magic, and that is altogether evil.

My Solution: When I decided to write a fantasy my first decision was, I was NOT going to use magic, of any kind. Well… I discovered how hard a thing that really was. So this is what I did. I have sorcery in my fantasy novels, but it is ONLY USED BY THE VILLIANS. I DO NOT portray it as a GOOD THING. I show it for what it really is EVIL. (Plus it makes for an awesomely creepy villain.)

To read the full entry visit my blog here---> http://storygirlsblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/29/writing-by-faith-part-2/

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 Post subject: Re: "Magic"
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:43 pm 
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In one of my stories and its sequel, I've always referred to magic as God-given (a rare gift). When one is given the ability to use magic when he/she does nothing to receive it, and has to discover it and learn how to control it properly and in the right way. It's usually things such as controlling water, fire, and so on (I've used levitation once, though).

On the other hand, there's the kind that people make themselves to learn, to acquire through dark means (which just isn't healthy, anyway). They try to force magic upon them, when it's something God hasn't chosen to give them.

Could there also be "neutral" magic? Magic that isn't good or bad? It's just.... there?

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Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

-The Love of God (Frederick Lehman)


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 Post subject: Re: "Magic"
PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:49 pm 
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Zoey Lillylight wrote:
In one of my stories and its sequel, I've always referred to magic as God-given (a rare gift). When one is given the ability to use magic when he/she does nothing to receive it, and has to discover it and learn how to control it properly and in the right way. It's usually things such as controlling water, fire, and so on (I've used levitation once, though).

On the other hand, there's the kind that people make themselves to learn, to acquire through dark means (which just isn't healthy, anyway). They try to force magic upon them, when it's something God hasn't chosen to give them.

Could there also be "neutral" magic? Magic that isn't good or bad? It's just.... there?


The neutral magic would be a simple part of nature.

If you're saying that it would be something that isn't explainable, but not evil or good either, then you first need to say what you mean by evil or good. Second, if it is a part of nature, how could it not be evil or good? Like a bush. It isn't evil or good as in that it does good deeds, but at creation, God still dubbed bushes as good. When the fall came, man plunged all nature into evil. That bush could be evil in the sense that it is poisonous and could kill someone.

I hope I answered your question well.

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"Many who live deserve death, and some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Do not be so eager to deal out death and judgment, for even the Wise cannot see all ends."
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"When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth"
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________________________

Current projects:
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Lost Son: 3,782 words http://www.holyworlds.org/forum/viewtop ... 117&t=1844
Red Son: 1,726 words http://www.holyworlds.org/forum/viewtop ... 117&t=3008
Prodigal Son: Developing Stage
Grateful Son: Developing Stage
The Setting Sons: Developing Stage
All titles are tentative
_______________
Other books:

Tobias the Swift: Developing Stage

Wings from above: Developing Stage

Yeah, most of my books are in the development stage, but I have a lot of ideas! :P


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 Post subject: Re: "Magic"
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:13 pm 
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Inesdar wrote:
There are three types of magic in the end.

Good- from God
Neutral- part of nature
Evil- Demonic

It's pretty much up to the author which one they want to use. All three are possible. That's pretty much what Tolkien did.


Actually, in the end, there is only one: from God.

If something is part of nature, then God put it there for us to use for His glory (although it can be used for evil). That is how demons (and angels) got their power, although it isn't meant for us to use, only for them. Sometimes God steps out of His natural way of doing things (His natural laws) in a miracle (which is outside of our power and always good).

The only way that any of the above (except wrongfully using demonic power) can be called magic is for God to have designed that world with different natural laws (so that some things that would need to be miracles, are natural, or vice versa). Thus: cobha.

But I see what you mean, although I think it isn't super helpful to delineate it that way.

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I am knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order, and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.

note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.

Proverbs 25:8 Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame.


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 Post subject: Re: "Magic"
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 7:17 pm 
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I think it answers my question. When I had asked, a certain part of a story I wrote was in my mind then, but after reading your comment, Griffin, I think what I thought to be neutral is probably the good kind. I'm gonna have to think about that more...

_________________
Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

-The Love of God (Frederick Lehman)


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 Post subject: Re: "Magic"
PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:29 am 
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Zoey Lillylight wrote:
I think it answers my question. When I had asked, a certain part of a story I wrote was in my mind then, but after reading your comment, Griffin, I think what I thought to be neutral is probably the good kind. I'm gonna have to think about that more...

Glad I could help!

_________________
Griffin
"Many who live deserve death, and some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Do not be so eager to deal out death and judgment, for even the Wise cannot see all ends."
-Gandalf

"When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth"
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, (in Sherlock Holmes)
________________________

Current projects:
Heroes and Demons series:
Lost Son: 3,782 words http://www.holyworlds.org/forum/viewtop ... 117&t=1844
Red Son: 1,726 words http://www.holyworlds.org/forum/viewtop ... 117&t=3008
Prodigal Son: Developing Stage
Grateful Son: Developing Stage
The Setting Sons: Developing Stage
All titles are tentative
_______________
Other books:

Tobias the Swift: Developing Stage

Wings from above: Developing Stage

Yeah, most of my books are in the development stage, but I have a lot of ideas! :P


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 Post subject: Re: "Magic"
PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:51 am 
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Inesdar wrote:
The question I meant is whether it is inherently good/evil/neither to use the magic Jay. Not the source that it originates from. It is good to do the will of God, thus miracles are good. It is evil to serve demons. And if 'magic' is one of the laws of nature it is neither inherently good or evil to use it.


Ah yes, very good. I am in agreement then. :)

_________________
I am knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order, and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.

note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.

Proverbs 25:8 Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame.


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 Post subject: Re: "Magic"
PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 2:02 am 
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Nice discussion guys! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

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 Post subject: Re: "Magic"
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:28 pm 
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It can. And it lends itself that way very easily I think.

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 Post subject: Re: "Magic"
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:09 pm 
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I call this the problem of power.

See, it feels so cool to give our characters special gifts. It's neat to work with elves who have telepathy, and humans who are specially good with animals, and [fill in the blank].

But, it's not real.

And yet, we as readers desire it. Have I not felt it? Wouldn't it be so good if I could use a Jedi mind trick in the style of Obi-wan to make people want to make my scripts into movies? Wouldn't it be cool to wave my hand and make my vegetables turn into my favorite foods?

But it's not real. And there's the danger. When people start wanting that power so badly -even to do good things - that they will do anything to get it...then they're in trouble.

On the other hand, a book without power causes its own set of problems...

So power is not bad in and of itself, in books.

It's how you portray that power. Is it all-important? Is it elitist? Is it a cure-all? Then by all means do a heavy revision and fix it. ;)

(**note** this is one of my problems with the Force. It's elistist - randomly bestowed on children who are then given to the Jedi to be raised into their religion - and seems to be infallibly powerful, giving that power completely into the hands of Jedi who can learn to 'control' it..........ehhh, that breaks several of the rules of safe and useful power portrayal right there!)

Linguistics relating to power are important too. You don't have to slap the label of magic on everything. It makes some of us nervous. ;)

Some good portrayals of power are in LotR. Particularly, the One Ring. To the characters, it has a lot of power in it. However, because of its maker, Sauron, it is also very dangerous. BUT 'I deem it best for mortals not to touch any Rings' (paraphrased). It's not just the One Ring that's bad. It's any power that is not originally meant for humans (men, hobbits, etc) that is dangerous. Even when taken in a way to help others.

Anyway...there are my ramblings. :)

(for the record, while I might eventually deal with the supernatural, miracles, and inherent gift/etc power...I will never use the word magic. Too many connotations!)

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 Post subject: Re: "Magic"
PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 4:26 am 
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I, at least, solved the "problem of power", as you so richly put it, in this manner.

First, I wanted to make the workings of the "cobha" (look for it on this forum, it's a great concept) distinctly different from witchcraft, and to resemble the way power operates in this world. So, my "power" works like an extension of the body-like a telescope or pair of binoculars-and is exercised like a muscle, it has limits, a purpose, it can be trained, developed, and injured.

But there is still the problem of the source, and possession of the power.

The source was simple: A set of objects which were imbued with power by God. Not a foreign concept when you think about it: Adam's body was filled with a spiritual power from God that we probably cannot understand.

When a person touches these objects, they become permanently attached to the "wearer", until this person dies or is separated by extreme circumstances. When the person dies, the next person to touch the object becomes the new "wearer".

This defeats the two main problems with power in general: It's simply a gift you can use or abuse, and you don't come to possess it by mystical happenings or random selection (although Providence certainly plays the major role), but instead by circumstance: Not unlike many talents and gifts today.

A sprinter isn't always born to sprint: Sometimes their circumstances cause them to tend that direction. So rather than being some mystical force, it all goes back to God's Providence.

That's the way I feel it should be.

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I am Ebed Eleutheros, redeemed from slavery in sin to the bond-service of my Master, Jesus Christ.

Redemption is to be purchased, to have a price paid. So I was redeemed from my master sin, and from justice, which demanded my death. For He paid the price of sin by becoming sin, and met the demands of justice by dying for us.

For all men have a master. But a man cannot have two masters. For he will love one and hate the other. You cannot serve God and sin. So I die to the old, as He died, and I am resurrected to the new, as He was resurrected.

Note: Ebed is Hebrew for bondsman, Eleutheros is Greek for unrestrained (not a slave).


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 Post subject: Re: "Magic"
PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 9:14 am 
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Those last two posts were amazingly done, and I agree wholeheartedly with what you are saying.

A quick note: 'having magic in your stories,' by itself, does no more to encourage the use of magic than having murder in a mystery story encourages us to murder. If it is a good thing in your story (I am using the black magic definition of magic here), then you might have problems. But if you have magic and it is evil, then that is really really good: if anything it will dissuade people from using magic. See?

_________________
I am knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order, and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.

note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.

Proverbs 25:8 Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame.


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 Post subject: Re: "Magic"
PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 10:36 pm 
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Neil of Erk wrote:
It's simply a gift you can use or abuse, and you don't come to posses it by mystical happenings or random selection (although Providence certainly plays the major role), but instead by circumstance: Not unlike many talents and gifts today.
I think many would agree, however, to an unbelieving eye the distribution of talents and gifts that God gives individuals seems very random. For instance, there are many cases where talents run in a family, but other times when a no one in a family shares common talents. God gives them however He chooses. Some talents can be learned as skills. A lot of people can learn to sing and dance better even if they never progress quite as far or as easily as someone with the talent for it. On the other hand, some people seem unable to get any better at these talents no matter how long and hard they work on it. In my worlds, the ability to use "magic" (which isn't really magic at all in those worlds), like any talent, is given by God as he chooses, in what can sometimes seem to be a random manner, some have a lot of talent, some have enough that with a lot of work they can learn to use it, and some have absolutely no ability at all to use it. This is the general overarching approach I use in most of my worlds.

In Christ,
Jordan

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 Post subject: Re: "Magic"
PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 10:57 pm 
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That is a good point, however, I should clarify, skills and talents operate differently in my mind.

A skill is something one can learn, master, or loose. A talent in generally and inherent part of your being.

Being mathematically inclined could be called a talent. Being good at math is a skill.

So, the power in my world is like both of those. You have to learn it, so it's a skill, but same may have a natural inclination to this skill, in which case they would be talented.

I generally don't like apparently random distribution of power. It always seems rather convenient which characters do and don't have the ability to use such power.

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I am Ebed Eleutheros, redeemed from slavery in sin to the bond-service of my Master, Jesus Christ.

Redemption is to be purchased, to have a price paid. So I was redeemed from my master sin, and from justice, which demanded my death. For He paid the price of sin by becoming sin, and met the demands of justice by dying for us.

For all men have a master. But a man cannot have two masters. For he will love one and hate the other. You cannot serve God and sin. So I die to the old, as He died, and I am resurrected to the new, as He was resurrected.

Note: Ebed is Hebrew for bondsman, Eleutheros is Greek for unrestrained (not a slave).


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 Post subject: Re: "Magic"
PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 10:58 pm 
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Sir Emeth Mimetes wrote:
Those last two posts were amazingly done, and I agree wholeheartedly with what you are saying.


Thank you for the compliment.

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I am Ebed Eleutheros, redeemed from slavery in sin to the bond-service of my Master, Jesus Christ.

Redemption is to be purchased, to have a price paid. So I was redeemed from my master sin, and from justice, which demanded my death. For He paid the price of sin by becoming sin, and met the demands of justice by dying for us.

For all men have a master. But a man cannot have two masters. For he will love one and hate the other. You cannot serve God and sin. So I die to the old, as He died, and I am resurrected to the new, as He was resurrected.

Note: Ebed is Hebrew for bondsman, Eleutheros is Greek for unrestrained (not a slave).


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 Post subject: Re: "Magic"
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 3:37 am 
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Neil of Erk wrote:
That is a good point, however, I should clarify, skills and talents operate differently in my mind.

A skill is something one can learn, master, or loose. A talent in generally and inherent part of your being.

Being mathematically inclined could be called a talent. Being good at math is a skill.
I have the same distinction in my mind :) In fact, I find it cool that most talents are linked to skills (i.e. somebody may be a gifted musician, but they have to learn the skill of playing an instrument).
Neil of Erk wrote:
So, the power in my world is like both of those. You have to learn it, so it's a skill, but some may have a natural inclination to this skill, in which case they would be talented.
I like it. My worlds work much the same way.
Neil of Erk wrote:
I generally don't like apparently random distribution of power. It always seems rather convenient which characters do and don't have the ability to use such power.
Again, one could argue that talents seem to be randomly distributed ;) But I understand what you're talking about and I agree that there are way too many instances in fantasy where the distribution of power seems uncannily convenient.

In Christ,
Jordan

_________________
~Seer~

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"I am so glad I'm getting locked in the basement today." - Airianna Valenshia

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"Sorry, I was busy asphyxiating Mama R." - Seer

"I'm a man of many personalities, but tell you what? They're all very fond of you." - Sheogorath from Elder Scrolls Online


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