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 Post subject: Re: CF Theological Questions/Problems
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 3:33 am 
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In superhero universes there are usually three types of heroes.

Supernormal- A supernormal is an "ordinary human" who can use there extraordinary intellect and/or inhuman level of physical training and mastery to keep up with superhuman entities. In addition to this many of said characters make use of tools, or advanced technologies to give them the edge they need. Notable Characters: Batman, Iron-man, Blue Beetle.

Superhuman- Characters "Blessed" with natural gifts and abilities beyond the scope of normal humans. Aliens, Mutants, "Unlucky" Scientists and there families. These are the most common heroes and what you seem to refer to as "Dynamics". Notable Characters: Superman, All the X-Men, The Hulk.

Supernatural- Now we are getting into the meat of things, Supernatural heroes are the less explored side of things in comics, but such characters have always been a thing. Weather they be Pagan gods, True Mages, Or even chosen champions of greater cosmic forces, they have long been a mainstay of the superhero genre. There will always be those who will argue such beings get there power from more physical means, but their existence is truly worth exploring. Notable Characters: Doctor Strange, Doctor Fate, and Wonder-woman.

Hybrids: Hybrids are also noteworthy, for example Scarlet Witch is a Mutant but her Mutation is that she is able to use magic, or Spider-man and Mister Fantastic who despite being superhuman still an invent and make use of numerous tools and devices. Or perhaps Iron Fist a Master Martial Artist who used his training to obtain the mystical power of the Iron Fist. Or Maybe Doctor Doom a villain who actually makes use of Super Science AND Dark Sorcery.

But lets get down to the bones of it. While it is interesting to explore the Idea of a Supers world without supernatural elements, it might be important to include such characters. While it would be important to keep them few in far between (Especial as the Nature of these characters would be far less secular and may be difficult to write) but a Clear supernatural element would be interesting to explore. Possible Characters could include.

A snarky College student chosen to be Gods prophet in this new age. The Young mans stories would roughly resemble those of Doctor Strange only with a clearly more evangelical bent.

Also I don't think healing is as much a problem so long as you limit it to doing stimulating the bodies natural ability to heal, I.E. a healer can fix a broken leg, but never cure the blind.

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 Post subject: Re: CF Theological Questions/Problems
PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 1:17 am 
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I think it's a very difficult thing to treat Christians like natural superheroes for a few reasons. Firstly, I think it levels the playing field between Christianity and mythology. It gives the sense that any legends of any faith were merely scientifically explainable events, or that Christ was no more than an extra-dimensional being or from a highly advanced race in the same way Marvel has portrayed Thor, or how DC pulled Hawkgirl into Egyptian mythology. It essentially becomes a mythological bandwagon where we want to tweak the Truth in order to join in on the worldly fun. Superheroes are not worldly by definition, but God is a completely real and completely powerful person. We're playing with fire here. Fire has a glorious beauty and purpose, but misusing God is spiritually disastrous in the same way that fire can be physically.

Secondly, treating God's power like a super power can very easily deny the Truth of the gospel. Throughout history, God has chosen many inadequate people for His holy work as proof that it is He who works and not man's natural prowess or ability. However, He holds his people to very high standards. We know, of course, that all of God's chosen people have sinned and strayed, and that many made excuses about their weaknesses very often along the way. However, it was only a select few who were given special revelations pertaining to prophecy, and it was always when they were submitting to the Lord. Whenever a prophet or a judge in the Old Testament defied God, they were very often struck dead on the spot. Those who received the most revelations concerning Jesus and the end times were David (a man after God's own heart), Daniel (who was faithful to the Lord from his youth and would rather have been torn apart by starved lions than miss a single moment in communion with his Lord), John (the disciple whom Jesus loved), and Paul (who only wished to continue living if it was to further the work of the Lord). Of course these men sinned, but they received these revelations because of their intimate and abiding relationship with God. To force a lapsed believer or an antihero into carrying some of Christ's most precious information to His people, and still allow them to continue on their morally relative way is a slander to the gospel. Consider that Isaiah could not become God's prophet until the glowing coal from the altar had cleansed his lips. Consider also Jesus' words to the Pharisees, that a wicked generation looks for a supernatural sign. Of course the Holy Spirit reveals Himself to the people of God's choosing, but the first revelation any of these people have is going to be of their own mortally depraved state. To receive further knowledge of God's character, nature, and plan, God's people have to seek Him actively, not wait for Him to nag them into doing His work. Jonah was a merciful exception, but he too could not preach God's message until he had surrendered himself to God's will. To have a character wielding God's power without repentance has dangerous implications and seems to show that God can be added to our resumé without any sort of repentance from our sins. I also think of Simon the sorcerer here, who thought he could pay the apostles to give him the power to pray that others would receive the Holy Spirit.

Thirdly, we must strongly consider the way the power of God operates. God does not bestow super powers upon us before turning us loose into the world to do good. He specifically avoids consistent systems and formulas for drawing Him out, because we are so bent on relying on a certain way of doing things. Anything God does is going to draw people to rely more on Him in every way. We so readily look to reading the right books on how to fund a mission trip or increase church attendance, that we overlook our dependence on the Lord for a system where we can produce results for ourselves. This would easily become the same problem with supernaturally powered heroes. If they have constant access to their powers, or if their powers are always conjured in the same way, what's to keep them grounded in the Lord? What is there to show the people that this is the work of God, and not the work of a mere megamortal or natural force?

None of that is to say we should not have the power of God and a faith in Christ portrayed at all. I simply say we leave it untainted. God's glory is infinite. His plan for His people is so indescribably beyond our comprehension, that we could cry ourselves to death before understanding a billionth of how merciful and loving He is. Leave the flashy lights to the faiths and behaviors of the world. Should Christians be dynamics? Absolutely. God has called many people of high power as well as low, but not for their own merits. He uses them in ways they would normally be hopeless in their own strength. Should we have Christians without powers? It's pretty obvious that we should for the same reasons. Christianity is vitally important, but it's not something we can play around with like any trope or literary trend. It's something that needs to be considered with heavy reliance on God's guidance, and no small amount of fear and trembling.

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 Post subject: Re: CF Theological Questions/Problems
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:37 pm 
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One you assume the character I suggest is lapsed. That is not the case just more or less normal. Not an unbeliever but hardly a saint. You also suggest they would continue in there sinful ways. which is also not the case. Many heroes of the bible where chosen and uplifted from obscurity. Not as kings, or even priests, but as common men of common faith. The Prophet character is in no way an antihero unless you count that they are far more meek than a more common hero.

While I see the danger of everything else you have mentioned. Was not Samson blessed with inhuman strength by the Lord? I would have to say such a man could compare with any problem.

I think its important to have characters with powers who are not dynamics to make the point that not all power has a scientific basis.

Hawkgirl and Hawkman where cool when their origins where mythological the sci-fi alien stuff totally butchered the characters.

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 Post subject: Re: CF Theological Questions/Problems
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:50 am 
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I apologize for the confusion. I thought you had said he was lapsed in the other thread.

God does have a habit of lifting his heroes from obscurity to prove that it is He who works. The difficulty is with Him using the same methods by which anyone gains their powers. It entirely defeats the purpose. It's not that dynamics can't be Christian, but they do cause complications. The more power they have, the more easily they will learn to rely on their own strengths rather than His guidance. That's where I have a problem with dynamic powers descending from on high in the way that they do from the psuedo-gods in comic books. Even Samson, arguably the most superhero-esque Biblical character, lost his strength when he broke the last of his Nazarite vows. He had used his powers for himself, and they were removed from him and his eyes gouged out followed by a life of humiliation because of his disobedience. (With great power, comes great culpability.)

Spiritual gifts can be a little different (is foresight a dynamic ability?), but they still can't be something that a person can rely on within themselves rather than putting their full trust in God. Prophecy is a particularly difficult issue because of the theological implications. With the exception of the Apostle John's revelation on Patmos, most post-ascension prophecies have been strictly personal or from one individual to another, or for relatively small church groups. I don't quite know what you intend by not having your character be a saint, but that is who the prophets were. Sinful and fallible, certainly, but fully devoted to the cause of Christ and doing everything at His bidding. Discerning the signs of the times is one thing, but prophecy has always been a gift of the Spirit that requires a very close personal connection to God. That's probably why we don't see it very often anymore. For someone to prophesy in this day and age would mean that they would stand out spiritually against our modern social and Christian backdrops. Prophecy is a gift that has a strong likelihood of making others want to rely on that individual rather than on God, so the prophet has to be so reliant on God that the power doesn't go to their head. They are required to point people to God with that gift.

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 Post subject: Re: CF Theological Questions/Problems
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 9:15 pm 
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Like I said they are not very RELIGIOUS but are deeply devoted to God as in not highly devoted to Dogma and not a regular church goer. But they still pray and read their Bible a lot. I wanna portray how many young Christians don't feel at home in the church, and how that should not be the case. Also where do you keep getting the idea that his powers are Dynamic abilities? The Prophets every ability is a Gift of the Spirit that stems only from God. The Prophet cant use his abilities for selfish purposes, Though God does look after his interests from time to time. The Prophet is constantly reminded where his powers come from, part of the reason his "Watson" character is an Angel.

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 Post subject: Re: CF Theological Questions/Problems
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 11:57 pm 
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I did not say I thought he was a dynamic. You made that abundantly clear in your first reply. I responded to the statements you made regarding dynamics and Samson, and speculated on whether or not foresight would be a dynamic ability that fit within the cobha of the Crystal Falls universe. I also aim to make the point that (especially given how pagan gods have been used in comics) it is very easy to reduce the power of God to the same formulas as any super power or mythological occurrence.

"Casual", "non-religious", and "doubtful" are usually associated with lapsed believers, so you may need to clarify on that point.

Just to make sure we're on the same page...

Quote:
Dogma is a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true. It serves as part of the primary basis of an ideology or belief system, and it cannot be changed or discarded without affecting the very system's paradigm, or the ideology itself.


Dogma doesn't seem very negotiable by definition. Perhaps you meant something else?

Even if the character is not interested in theology, there are still some heavy theological implications that come with any character being God's prophet. It's a very narrow line to walk without taking liberties with God or skewing His truth. It's just not something that can be taken for granted.

@Seer, since it falls under theological questions and problems, how should we have angels fit into the CF world?

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 Post subject: Re: CF Theological Questions/Problems
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:26 am 
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I see your point. But like I said his attitude changes overtime. He goes from a Fringe christian wrestling with inner demons to a strong very spiritual individual.

Very much like how Doctor Strange transforms from a self-centered Neurosurgeon with inoperable nerve damage. To supernatural defender of the Marvel universe. Only with Christian Morals and spiritual apotheosis in place of Pseudo-Eastern Mysticism.

It would hardly be a story worth writing if the main character goes through no real character growth. And if they are gonna start from somewhere in a story about spiritual growth have them start from a position of uncertainty. A believer on the fringe of doubt, rising to a Paragon of the faith.

The Angel could be tricky so If we want to avoid that we could have it be a disciple of the previous prophet. Could do more plot-lines that way without offending anyone. As in make them a love interest, kill them off, have them end up at odds. It can be hard to create a fallible angel without wading into Blasphemy. Could it work? Demons are fallen angels, Angels exist in the knowledge that God is Real and there is no question for them about what his will is. So an Angel can be a hard character to make interesting, without diving off the idiot cliff into the river of Stupid Person Theology (A.K.A. Hollywood Theology) But If we come up with a general consensus on how we would use angels overall we could do some stuff.

I was thinking the angel would be vary mysterious rarely talk and answers most questions with another question, as well as have a habit of Batman-ing away whenever the heck they feel like it. With a touch of Fourth-wall breaking humor.

Another important thing is to make sure that God's presence is always felt in the story without Him ever being Physically there (Which is technically an impossibility, But you should get my point) Its really hard to write God into a story without either being Preachy, heading into Hollywood Theology, or Both. That's part of why I wanted to use an angel. Get an angel wrong people send you hate mail, get God wrong people throw rocks at your house. But to make sure God is present and his voice is heard without having a booming voice from the sky say.

"Hey the bad Guy is behind that dumpster!"

Or worse yet spell everything out for the main character in no uncertain terms. A lot Like how in Prophet God sends the main character dreams about children dying in order to show him what he wants. Or how the main character saw information that was not on the written on news reports. That was actually a really funny scene well except for the whole vandalism part. That was just sad. But Like maybe have the prophet hear people say what they are really thinking when they talk instead of what they said.

In many of the stories where pagan gods give out powers or aid, there actions are either placed in the context of a character in a story or straight up ripped from christian theology in the first place. Should I be afraid to do something from the bible just because a comic book might do the same thing with a "god" who wouldn't even be able to do that in the first place?

Also its important to place God on such a level as to make Galactus look like an Ant in comparison. Might have the Angel make comment like.

"Why does he need to interfere? Would you use an atom bomb when a firecracker would do just as well?"

I might do Both the Angel and the Previous Disciple. With the Angel acting more as a messenger who gives out information. And the Disciple being a Dynamic who acts as "Muscle". Maybe The Prophet cant even see the angel until the Dynamic convinces him he really is a Prophet.

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 Post subject: Re: CF Theological Questions/Problems
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:53 pm 
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The world-building that's gone into this may be more conducive to a personal novel than a group world. The entire lore of the prophets would be really difficult to work into the canon of the world and the Bible when it is very exclusive to this individual. It could cause theological complications if another character's lore contradicts the idea of the incarnations of the prophets.

As for the atom bomb and firecracker, God is the Alpha and Omega, beginning and end, who clothes the lilies of the field and not a sparrow falls without His notice. He is infinite, and therefore, infinitely more powerful than Galatus, but that doesn't mean He isn't in the most minute of actions that take place here.

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All resemblance to persons, people, friends, relatives, quotes, cultures, artificial intelligences, inside jokes, pets, unclaimed personalities, sentient objects, extra-terrestrials, inter-terrestrials, and draperies living, dead, undead, or comatose in any of my work are purely coincidental, incidental, circumstantial, inadvertent, unplanned, unforeseen, and unintentional. There's seriously no way I was referring to you. Honest.

The story so far:
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Legacy: Character and plot development stage.
Get a feel for the land. Visit Lor-Amar today!

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 Post subject: Re: CF Theological Questions/Problems
PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 2:02 am 
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It was more about proportionate e response why send lightening and thunder when working through more subtle means works just as well if not better.

And wouldn't any lore that contradicts Prophets contradict God? Not a good idea to have any lore like that.

I get it if you think the idea is too controversial, risky, or maybe just too large scale. But Ultimately its important to be honest about that sort of thing.

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 Post subject: Re: CF Theological Questions/Problems
PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 12:56 pm 
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No, actually, I agree with Rinja. I think what you're saying will water down Christianity itself in CF. If you want to write this in your own world, that's fine, but it doesn't sound like a good fit for the collaborative universe.

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 Post subject: Re: CF Theological Questions/Problems
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 2:39 am 
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Hey guys.

Pardon my absence.

Just read through all of this, and I've got to say that I agree that my first thought of having a Prophet figure in the CF universe was that it didn't seem to line up.
First off, I believe that prophecy has ceased now that the scriptural canon is closed. Prophecy is God speaking through the individual to His people. It is the Word of God. To make claims of prophecy today is to say that the canon is not closed, the Bible/Scriptures are in some way insufficient, and that you can add to the Word of God as it has been held from the time the canon was deemed closed by the early church, which was several (speaking mildly) centuries ago.
So prophecy in a modern-day superhero world is not something I'm theologically okay with. As a collaborative world, however, there are obviously going to be points where not all contributors agree. There are some things that have to be determined as canon, however, and I think we need to determine as a whole body politic whether prophecy is CF canon or not.

To balance where I'm coming from, though, I really like the idea of an unexplained figure who shows up out of the blue with words of advice, wisdom, warning, woe, etc..... a mystery-man who seems for all intents and purposes, like a prophet. I think that characters who show up in fictional worlds smelling slightly of the supernatural and left unexplained, can be brilliant touches of roundness - bringing us a taste of the unknown and unexplained. This is important, I think, for any world. It brings a dimension of reality that is quite easy to forget as worldbuilders. We want to get every detail right, hammered out, in perfect order. And yet from the viewpoint of our characters, there ought to be a LOT that mimics the way WE experience life: a series of unexplained happenings that confusingly seem to hold a golden thread of movement and progression - chaos orchestrated by the hand of God, but no less chaotic and inexplicable to our comprehension.

The key lies in leaving characters like this unexplained.

The mystery, allure, and power of such a figures lies in that he/she is unexplained. They are just there, they do their thing, and we hear no more of them.

I would not be averse to having a CF-canon stock character, code-named The Prophet for ease of reference, who wanders around and pops up in different works, dropping "prophetic utterances" onto our different characters. The nature of these sayings could be however significant the individual author wants them to be, but should be in general pointers to fundamental Scriptural truths that help the character in some way; again, either minuscule or significant. Exact details of appearance, manifestation, can be left up to the authors: with this type of character, the greater the inexactness between stories/works, the better it fulfills its role for the world.

Yay? Nay?

Areth,

Ka

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 Post subject: Re: CF Theological Questions/Problems
PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2015 1:57 am 
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I have to say that ultimately just makes the character into nothing more than a preachy Deus ex Machina. The role of giving scripture based advice to characters is much better served by a minister or church elder. Especially with the growing mistrust of the clergy in our world. It would be great to have a message saying hey you can trust your local Preacher/Priest, they are there to help you. Having an element of supernatural mystery is important but If your not going to go all the way honestly it would be better just to not have that kind of character.

Maybe a better Idea is to have a Preacher/Priest/Church Elder type character who is also a Dynamic of some sort. One of the biggest slip ups I have ever seen in comics was when they retconed Nightcrawler out of the priesthood, it was one of the biggest missed chances in comics ever. (And was filled with a tone of horrible storytelling ploteholes and what could only be summed up as hate speech).

So have a Hero or Ex-Hero who is also a clergyman, have his/her powers be something completely out there and not thematic with that at all though, (I.E. nothing that traditionally screams holy or unholy) Why, because we want to be original. back on track, this guy is a bit older more experienced and knows his way around a bible. He's good at finding the right words to say or right advice to give. I think that works allot better, and has the added benefit of saying hey you can trust the church we aren't out to get you.

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 Post subject: Re: CF Theological Questions/Problems
PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:12 am 
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Hmmm... I do see your point, Dawnbringer. I didn't quite intend to say Scripture-based as much as Scripturally sound/consistent.
And is it really deus ex machina if your character happens across a stranger in the streets who speaks into the character's struggle in a way that is both unsettling and profound...?
And that's literally ALL the guy does in the story. Like a cameo. Almost like, "I know you, your story, your struggle, and here's a little something to challenge you, to prick you where you are wounded/struggling deepest so that you probe for yourself to find the true nature of your strory..."
*shrugs*
Not really sold on the idea, but it does vary from the normal any-character-that-is-not-essential-to-the-story-is-a-blank-face norm. Which might be a good norm, I guess. I don't know... :book:

Now what you said...THAT I can see working. Especially if it is the one guy who runs the safe-house/training-facility/base-camp in CF for struggling dynos with his wife. Because he's already been given a canon "father-figure" mentor role in the CF-universe. I can really see that. Either current elder or former elder/church leader, too.....
I like it.

Areth,

Ka

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 Post subject: Re: CF Theological Questions/Problems
PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2015 7:24 am 
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For some reason I am thinking the Elder/Preacher/Priests power ought to be animal communication and command. Just cuz, also likes to use squirrels to gather Intel for active heroes.

Its also important to never come out and say this guys denomination so the message doesn't get scewed, while it would be obvious weather or not he was catholic, orthodox, or Protestant beyond that choice there should be no telling.

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 Post subject: Re: CF Theological Questions/Problems
PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 3:23 pm 
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Jim and Holly are non-dynamic, but that's not to say other characters can't fill similar roles.

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Get a feel for the land. Visit Lor-Amar today!

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 Post subject: Re: CF Theological Questions/Problems
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 9:44 pm 
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What exactly is everyone discussing? In less than two to three hundred words please.

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 Post subject: Re: CF Theological Questions/Problems
PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 4:17 am 
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Crystal Falls is a Holy Worlds community story world that centers around super heroes. Since it operates under a Christian worldview, this thread is for discussing what would and would not be possible in a Biblically sound fictional universe (i.e. "god" heroes such as Thor and the implications that may come with an alien race, or a super hero with ultra healing powers.)

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Haud Retene Haud Reverte

All resemblance to persons, people, friends, relatives, quotes, cultures, artificial intelligences, inside jokes, pets, unclaimed personalities, sentient objects, extra-terrestrials, inter-terrestrials, and draperies living, dead, undead, or comatose in any of my work are purely coincidental, incidental, circumstantial, inadvertent, unplanned, unforeseen, and unintentional. There's seriously no way I was referring to you. Honest.

The story so far:
Birthright: Eleventh chapter pending. 28280 words.
Heritage: First chapter drafted.
Legacy: Character and plot development stage.
Get a feel for the land. Visit Lor-Amar today!

Other novels on the brain:
Quicksilver
Shen'oh Story
Crusoe's Star
War Blazer
Seven Arts Story
The Queen's Knave
Polarians
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All Librarians Are Secret Agents


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 Post subject: Re: CF Theological Questions/Problems
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 2:51 pm 
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Alright, thanks. What's the problem with an alien race? The Bible doesn't say God didn't make one... unless I am mistaken?

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 Post subject: Re: CF Theological Questions/Problems
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2015 1:10 am 
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Well, the theological implications therein are the topic of this thread. :D I don't think we've gotten to aliens yet, but that's the general idea.

_________________
You can't spell grin without ̶gRIN
Words are my ̶bread and ̶butter.
http://unshakablegirl.com/
http://www.ravelry.com/designers/kitra-skene

Haud Retene Haud Reverte

All resemblance to persons, people, friends, relatives, quotes, cultures, artificial intelligences, inside jokes, pets, unclaimed personalities, sentient objects, extra-terrestrials, inter-terrestrials, and draperies living, dead, undead, or comatose in any of my work are purely coincidental, incidental, circumstantial, inadvertent, unplanned, unforeseen, and unintentional. There's seriously no way I was referring to you. Honest.

The story so far:
Birthright: Eleventh chapter pending. 28280 words.
Heritage: First chapter drafted.
Legacy: Character and plot development stage.
Get a feel for the land. Visit Lor-Amar today!

Other novels on the brain:
Quicksilver
Shen'oh Story
Crusoe's Star
War Blazer
Seven Arts Story
The Queen's Knave
Polarians
Exile Realms
All Librarians Are Secret Agents


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