Renaissance ART communicates the gospel. Whether one is religious, a passive admirer of beauty, or even a student, he must engage THE CREATIVE BRILLIANCE and christian narratives found in paintings, sculptures, music, and architecture. they are all messages which deeply touch the heart, the soul, and the mind.
It's unfortunate that later aRTISTS like bach, monet, emily dickinson, van gogh, melville, el greco, and thoreau were obscure in their life-time and often TOO POOR TO SUSTAIN THEIR NEEDS, MUCH LESS THEIR DREAMS.
if only, like leonardo da vinci, donatello, botticelli, galileo, and the teenage michelangelo, they had billionaire patrons like the medici family in florence, italy. If only there was a way in the 15th century to pool everyone's financial desire to be an influence for all that is good, right, and beautiful.
Funny you should ask. moondog radio is the place to shape culture now and ignite those god-given talents. It is a network of like-minded believers wanting to be used of god. A group of sincere christians desiring to be an actual answer to someone's prayer to create new christian music and ministries.
just by reading this YOU ARE IN A POSITION TO SUPPORT THEM IN A SPECIAL WAY with encouragement, prayer, and finances. who knows, YOU MAY BE spurring on the next chris tomlin or KLOV/ AIR1.
Moondog radio PROVIDEs a 24/7 PLATFORM FOR STRUGGLING ARTISTS AND THOSE WHO HAVEN'T QUITE MADE IT INTO THE MAINSTREAM. IT IS ALSO A place FOR intentional EVANGELIZING, SHAPING CULTURE, AND EDUCATING OURSELVES ON IMPORTANT CHRISTIAN ISSUES. We do that by PROGRAMming THE BEST UNSIGNED CHRISTIAN MUSIC, NEWS, DEVOTIONS, PHILOSOPHICAL INSIGHTS FROM CHRISTIAN LEADERS, AND COMEDY. With more than 500,000 listeners tuning-in we being heard.
I'M ASKING IS THAT YOU GO DEEP WITH ME; TO WILLINGLY AND READILY PARTICIPATED IN MY LIFE AND THE LIVES OF THE ARTISTS AND THEIR ART. AS CHRISTIANS, WE HAVE A PROFOUND FINANCIAL OBLIGATION AND POWER THAT REFLECTS OUR VALUES AND THE BLESSINGS ASSOCIATED WITH BEING RESPONSIBLE STEWARDS.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A MEMBER OF THE MEDICI FAMILY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. pray for moondog radio and remember that AS A CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY WE CAN MOVE SOME PRETTY BIG MOUNTAINS. SO, BECOME A PART OF THE TEAM today. be a patron of whatever you can afford: $1, $5, or $10.
BLESSINGS IN CHRIST!
MIKE "MOONDOG" BURNETTE
The Christian Church was a major influence on European art, providing the primary source of work for artists throughout the Renaissance. There is no doubt that the history and the communication of the Church are indelibly reflected in the history of art for the religious, the student, and the passive admirer of beauty. amazingly, More than four centuries later, while strolling through the quaintest European village you will encounter the creative BRILLIANCE preserved for all to see. but how did it get there?
To fully appreciate the legacy of art and the creatives that shaped our culture you need to understand a little about the history of patrons. The Medici were prime examples of patronage during the time of the church from the sixth through fifteenth centuries. Their more than $150 billion of wealth, in modern dollars, supported the arts and sciences of Michelangelo, da Vinci, Donatello, Botticelli, and Galileo. in their work we find a creative confluence of PHILOSOPHY, theology, history, art, and science that, to this day, engages the heart, mind, and soul.
Throughout time artists have wrestled to balance their art, countless rejections, and endless bills, often too poor to sustain their needs, much less their dreams. That is, for example, until he is fortunate enough to hear that someone has taken an interest in his project and might be persuaded to lend financial support. The road of this creative is often bumpy and full of misdirection, but perhaps this time the patron, his salvation, purchases a art work, provides an income, and enables him to create and reach a greater audience. he is saved, all because of this deliverer-patron.
For Christians the very idea and act of creating is a natural and normal outgrowth of being created in the image of God with the capacity for imagination and thought. But, whether you are a Christian or not, art is always religious in nature. One may or may not acknowledge their religious nature and Creator, and the art produced may or may not be consistent with one's own religious beliefs. Nevertheless, all art is religious. Whether you are considering a Shakespeare play, a Leonardo da Vinci painting, a Cage non-composition or Dadaism, all art reflects a certain worldview, which is to say a certain religion. This means that art is not neutral. Something is being asserted about God and the world He has made, and that something measures up to varying degrees to what God Himself has revealed to us.
We are then clearly motivated consciously and even subconsciously by our worldview in the selections of art we hang on our walls and the music we allow into our ears. Every choice we make is a vote for a particular artist or piece of art, and that vote has consequences as real and effective as the political votes we cast. Our conscious motivation in patronizing the arts should be to educate, strengthen believers, evangelize and ignite god-given imagination. Creatives are a vital part of the body of Christ, often seeing and speaking for us. being an artist in a culture which in many ways has turned from god is a calling in much need of support.
I would like to suggest ways in which patronage can be cultivated by Christians today. first, recognize that the artist has a calling in their culture which is no different than any other. Just as philosophers, theologians, preachers, and teachers contribute to the kingdom of God, so does the artist. The church should be the first to understand, embrace, and promote the powers and influence of the artist or art. A healthy Christian art is a praiseworthy response to the Great Commission. it also makes the duty of EVANGELISM easier to do. the viewer of leonardo da vinci's "the last supper" or michelangelo's "the last judgement" fresco in the sistine chapel is faced with the story of christ and biblical issues that they must at least understand academically.
Secondly, if christians are going to impact their culture, then they've got to educate themselves. all knowledge, history, and art is interrelated. How much easier can it be to discuss the new life and hope we have in jesus christ than when relating to the art which surrounds us on a daily basis, right in front of our noses.
thirdly, if you know of someone involved in the arts, then you are now in a position to support them in a special way. For some, this may mean financial support. Some of the arts are less expensive to the artist. For example, the painter will spend more on his art than the writer, and the radio, television or film producer will spend more than almost any other artist. Of equal or greater importance than financial support is the act of encouragement.
The act of creation is always an uncertain one, and it is very easy for those with artistic gifts to become discouraged. As a radio talent and programmer, I know I have often found it difficult to dedicate myself to my calling the way I should because I sometimes feel I am the only one around who cares about this sort of thing. so I encourage you to befriend and support the work of those not found in the PANTHEON of recognized artists or arts. I imagine most of their creations are being produced at very reasonable rates and who knows you may be purchasing the next thomas KiNKAde, influencing a new Francesca battistelli or supporting the next KLOV/ AIR1.
finally, My art is radio communication and music entertainment. by creating a new unsigned CHRISTIAN music station i provide a platform for struggling artists and those who haven't quite made it into the mainstream. It is also a platform for evangelizing, shaping culture, and educating ourselves on important christian issues. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week I program the best unsigned christian music, news, devotions, philosophical insights from christian leaders, and comedy. we now have more than 500,000 listeners from all around the world.
We all need to be on-guard! stop allowing the mainstream media to spoon-fed us their ungodly pablum. What I'm asking is that you go deep with me; to willingly and readily participated in my life and the lives of the artists and their art. As Christians, we have a profound financial OBLIGATION and power that reflects our values and the blessings associated with being responsible stewards.
Becoming a patron is not as expensive as you might think. I have always made at most a modest salary, and yet I have always tried to devote a certain portion of my paycheck to supporting the art of my choice, whether it be for attending a christian concert, movie, or buying the cd of an artist visiting our church.
Christian movies in recent times have been overstated and underwhelming, often poorly communicated and marketed. but Why? The church in the twenty-first century has not been a very good patron of the arts, and when it has, excellence has not usually been its signature. But, that's changing now!
The real question with regard to the role of the Christian as patron is not "Should I become a patron?" but "Will I act as a responsible patron?" We have access today to more resources, more time, more capital, more kinds of art and more objects of art than anyone in the history of the world. nearly everyone living in the United States in the twenty-first century is richer than the nobles of the renaissance. being a christian patron is a vote for what is good and right. it is being a light for truth in the media darkness of violence, pornography, propaganda, and blasphemy in movies and TV. many of us are rightly concerned about our taxes being used to fund UNPRINCIPLED, idolatrous, and pornographic art. But how are we doing with our own time and money? I fear that if we do not patronize Christian artists, the practitioners of ungodliness will control the market. you don't have to be a member of the medici family to make a difference. as a christian community we can move some pretty big mountains. So, I ask you to become a part of the team...to become a monthly patron of moondog radio for $1, $5, or even $10 a month. if you can't afford $1, then I request a million dollars worth of prayer!
Blessings In Christ!
Mike "MoonDog" Burnette
Since Thanksgiving 2014 I've lost 40 lbs. I figured if I could make that hurdle, then I could do anything. Christmas parties and goodies at work can be overwhelming, but I made the decision to lose weight and by gosh I wasn't going to let a turkey and Christmas cookies sabotage my efforts. I purchased some products based on Marie Osmond and Terry Bradshaw's advice --and it started paying dividends. Also with my daughter's recommendation I got an app on my phone called "MyFitnessPal." It allows you to calculate your calories for the day, scan food packages, look up restaurant menus, and lets you know how well your proteins, carbohydrates, and fats are sizing up.
For me the calories and exercise go pretty well until I introduce work and family responsibilities. I've succeeded in trying to be a good husband, father, son, and friend -- but at times it requires an extra piece of cake. So, what's a guy to do? Quite often it is the mental hurdles that weigh us down -- pun intended. So, I thought it might be a good money making venture for someone with the technology skills to create "MyMentalHealthFitnessPal." Instead of calculating and helping you balance protein, fat, and carbs -- it would calculate and balance contentment, relationships, confidence, self-esteem, flexibility, zest for life, resilience, and meaning and purpose.
On a serious note, if you’ve made consistent efforts to improve your mental and emotional health and you still don’t feel good—then it’s time to seek professional help. Because we are so socially attuned, input from a knowledgeable, caring professional can motivate us to do things for ourselves that we were not able to do on our own. But, putting all seriousness aside you will find many compliments and contributions to your mental health at MoonDog Radio -- because yes...it's entertaining, informative, and what the MD ordered.
MoonDog Radio uses an old school radio principle called having a relationship with your listener now. Live radio is real, relevant, and relational - the on‐demand services haven’t quite mastered this yet.
MoonDog Radio is easy to use and it's run by real live humans. There’s a relatively talented and funny DJ – Mike “MoonDog” Burnette that will get you up-to-date with the latest. Also, you never have to hit a thumbs-up or thumbs-down button to generate your sound, just lean back and enjoy great music and interviews from a huge field of unsigned Christian artists; the 99 percent not being played on mainstream Christian radio.
It’s your companion in the gym, car, kitchen, and out in the garage. Feeling lonely? Looking for positive, encouraging messages? Turn on MoonDog Radio. The station is more than just announcers, news, entertainment, and great music. It’s about connecting a community of believers around the world with entertainment, educational products, and services. You don’t find that on impersonal places that call themselves radio like Pandora, Spotify, iTunes, AGOGO, Stitcher, and Omny. These products are great when you’re engaged, but not when you’re jogging, raking leaves, or mowing the yard.
Metrics has its place, but will never replace our conversations. Use your new media devices to send me songs, requests, shout-outs, or to just check-in from where you are in the world. The technology changes, but genuinely caring about people has been around awhile. I’ve already had friends check-in from Japan, Germany, Italy, and all over the USA. I hope you’ll send me something today to: MoonDog_Radio@yahoo.com
MoonDog Radio has its own voice. It’s a personalized voice that connects our neighborhoods, families, and community of Christian believers around the world with entertainment, information, products, and services. Now is the time to start investing in the next generation of Christian radio -- revolutions need revolutionaries and MoonDog Radio needs them now.
Have you ever watched the movie Good Morning Vietnam with Robin Williams? That's how I begin to explain what I did in the Air Force as an American Forces Radio & Television broadcaster. Whether it was "MoonDog Outside The Wire" or "Mike In The Morning", if you were ever in Afghanistan, Iraq, Germany, Italy, Korea or Japan in the last 26 years you may have heard me waking-up our service members with the hottest entertainment and information from home.
On the air I jokingly referred to my mission as "Defending The Top 40", but I took giving my listeners a taste of home seriously. From the time of the Gulf War, through Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan I took my show on the road-- providing tunes for convoys of Soldiers retaking Kuwait, entrenched with the Peshmerga in Iraq, and flying in Blackhawks through the Hindu Kush. You've never experienced anything like hanging out with your listeners in a Bashir Valley mud hole trading MRE [Meals Ready To Eat] recipes with guys far from home.
I started my broadcasting career announcing made-up groups and interviewing my playmates into a vintage 1960's Solid State portable tape recorder -- which was fun to hide in the living room when the adults where visiting. That's how I discovered ...well, never mind!
Since my fake interviews of the 60's, I've met and interviewed Kid Rock, Duran Duran, Jennifer Lopez, Ja Rule, Willie Nelson, Foreigner, Patti LaBelle, Paul Overstreet, Big & Rich, Lone Star, Gatlin Brothers, Rudy Boesch from Survivor, and worked with Elvis Duran and the Morning Zoo right after 911, providing trips home for the holidays to our
troops and families. No matter who I interviewed-- it was always the most fun getting local service and family members on the air to play games and give away stuff -- a dinner, a trip, but mostly moments to laugh and smile when nobody from home was close enough to hold your hand. I enjoyed every minute of serving my nation as an American Forces Radio broadcaster, but the time past too quickly. Now as a U.S. Air Force retiree and Christian I'm on fire to bring the same entertainment programming zeal to the Church.
I love the Christian music industry and think that KLOVE/AIR 1 and Salem Broadcasting, just to mention two great organizations, that do a bang-up job. But, there are a host of unknown Christian artists and songs that never get played. Your friends and neighbors -- great artists who don't have labels. visibility or know-how. MoonDog Radio is sort of a farm-team for major league radio stations. The place to get your original Christian music noticed 24/7 by fans and Christian radio stations around the world. If you have a well produced song that you'd like considered for air, then send now to MoonDog_Radio@yahoo.com via Google Drive or leave a message.
DJ's - this is also the place to begin your radio career or host a weekly program for your church group. I can provide the air-time, training, and feedack -- better stuff than you'll get at the Columbia School of Broadcasting -- I guarantee it. If your interested, then send a message to MoonDog_Radio@yahoo.com.
SPONSOR - advertise your business, church, non-profit organization, conference, concert, debate, and more on MoonDog Radio. Also, gain visibility by sponsoring humorous apologetics series sensations "Thinking Man", "Will Amaze" and "Pastor P Augusta D." Additionallly, as a listener sponsor, you can donate $1 a day, $365 a year, or whatever the Lord lays on your heart. Sponsorship and production rates for your business or organization are in the drop-down cart on the front page.
I thank God for this opportunity to have fun and communicate in a way that glorifies God, educates, and influences our culture in positive ways. I like to laugh and have fun while I'm doing that. This is in no way an exhaustive list; however, in the interest of full disclosure a few of my pastoral, theological, and apologetic influences include Francis Schaefer, Alvin Plantinga, William Lane Craig, J.P. Mooreland, Ravi Zacharias, John Lennox, Alister McGrath, Gary Habermas, Francis Beckwith, Michael Licona, Paul Copan, Norman Geisler, Lee Stroebel, Mary Jo Sharp, David Jeremiah, Greg Laurie, Robert Jeffers, Rick Warren, and the late Jerry Falwell, Sr.,Chuck Smith, and Gretchen Passantino..
Blessings In Christ!
Mike "MoonDog" Burnette
TWAS THE NIGHT OF THE DEBATE
TWAS THE NIGHT OF THE DEBATE AND ALL THROUGH THE HALL
ALL THE THINKERS WERE THINKING, AND SPOKE AS WERE CALLED.
ONLY A PREMISE WOULD STAND BETWEEN A MORE LOGICAL VIEW,
AS CONCLUSIONS WERE MADE, AND ACCUSATIONS WERE SPEWED.
WILLIAM LANE CRAIG BEGAN WITH REASONS TO BELIEVE THERE’S A GOD, THE ATHEIST APPEALED TO A SPAGETTI MONSTER – HOW ODD. BILL SPOKE OF THE ORIGIN OF THE UNIVERSE, FINE-TUNING, AND LIFE. HIS KALAM-COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENT CUT LIKE A KNIFE.
OBJECTIVE MORALITY AND THE RESURRECTION WAS SHARED. AS HE SILENCED HIS CHALLENGERS WITH REASON AND CARE.
THE THINKERS WERE NESTLED ALL SMUG IN THEIR THOUGHTS,
THE AUDIENCE ANTIPATING HOW EACH CHALLENGE WOULD BE FOUGHT.
WITH VISIONS OF “NOTHING AND INFINITY” IN THEIR HEADS,
THE OPPOSERS DID STAMMER AND WEAVE A BIG WEB. AND BILL IN HIS SWEATER AND COLORFUL TIE
LAYED OUT THE FACTS, NO ONE COULD -- REASONABLY DENY.
WHEN OUT IN THE AUDIENCE THERE ROSE SUCH A CLATTER,
AS HE SAID, “OUT OF NOTHING NOTHING COMES” – IT DIDN’T SEEM TO MATTER. “WE JUST HAPPENED” THEY SHOUTED AND "THAT’S ALL THERE IS. STOP BELIEVING IN FAIRY-TALES, AND THIS MADE UP GOD BIZ.”
MOONDOG WAS HOSTING AND DISHED OUT ADVICE -- "PLEASE STICK TO THE FACTS – AND EVERONE PLAY NICE.” WHEN, WHAT TO MY WONDERING EYES SHOULD APPEAR
BUT A BEARDED MAN WITH A BOOK “WARRANTED CHRISTIAN BELIEFS” KEPT NEAR.
A LITTLE OLD DEFENDER, SO LIVELY AND BRIGHT,
I KNEW IN A MOMENT “ST. PLANTINGA” WAS IN THE FIGHT
MORE RAPID THAN EAGLES, HIS PROTEGES CAME,
AND HE WHISTLED AND SHOUTED AND CALLED THEM BY NAME:
"NOW MORELAND! NOW HABERMAS!
NOW, STROBEL AND SHARP!
ON, LICONA! ON, TUREK
ON, KOUKL AND COPAN!
TO THE TOP OF THE STAGE!
TO THE TOP OF THE HALL!
NOW DEFEND AWAY! DEFEND AWAY!
DEFEND AWAY ALL!"
INVALID ARGUMENTS FLEW, AS A WILD HURRICANE FLIES. TRUTH OFTEN TRADED FOR A PACK FULL OF LIES. WHEN THEY MET WITH AN OBSTACLE, ABOUT A “BIG DADDY IN THE SKY” UP TO THE MICROPHONE THE DISCOURSERS DID FLY.
WITH COLOR CODED POWERPOINT-SLIDES OF ARGUMENTS GALORE, CASES WHERE MADE FOR GOD’S EXISTENCE, THAT NO ONE COULD IGNORE.
HIS EYES--HOW THEY TWINKLED! HIS DIMPLES, HOW MERRY!
HIS CHEEKS WERE LIKE ROSES, HIS NOSE LIKE A CHERRY!
HIS DROLL LITTLE MOUTH WAS DRAWN UP LIKE A BOW,
AND THE BEARD ON HIS CHIN WAS AS WHITE AS THE SNOW.
THE STUMP OF A PIPE HE HELD TIGHT IN HIS TEETH,
AND THE SMOKE IT ENCIRCLED HIS HEAD LIKE A WREATH. [NO CHANGES NEEDED FOR SANTA OR PLANTINGA ON THAT PART]
THE ATHEIST ALL GROANED WITH EACH POINT THAT WAS MADE, BUT OFFERED NO EVIDENCE IN THEIR AD HOMINEM PARADE. PLANTINGA GRINNED AS HE LAUGHED AND SAID “REALLY?” “THAT’S THE SORT OF THING ONE MIGHT THINK IF THEY WERE SAY, JUST PLAIN SILLY.” HE SPOKE LOTS OF NUMBERS AND LETTERS, TO EXPLAIN -- THAT WITHOUT THE NOTION OF A GOD, WE COULDN’T KNOW ANYTHING. HE FILLED ALL THEIR MINDS, WITH THOUGHTS NEVER HEARD, BUT ALWAYS PROVIDED SOME THOUGHTS FROM THE WORD:
"JESUS IS THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIGHT."
"OH, AND I HAVE 22 ARGUMENTS FOR THEISTIC BELIEF", BUT I HEARD HIM EXCLAIM, 'ERE HE DROVE OUT OF SIGHT,
"MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, IS A PROPERLY BASIC BELIEF!"
MoonDog Radio will enhance your media outreach and ability to communicate your unique personality, promotions, and programming. I produce radio commercials, promos, comedy, provide feedback, book reviews, and engage with your social media sites. I'm also quite capable of interacting with you as an alter-ego or producer. Write me at MoonDog_Radio@yahoo.com or email@example.com to schedule a consult today: https://www.moondogradio.com/
HERE'S YOUR CHANCE TO WIN TWO GREAT APOLOGETICS BOOKS THIS CHRISTMAS: "Reasonable Faith" by William Lane Craig and "The Resurrection of Jesus" by Michael Licona. All you need to do is send me a YouTube link of you reading my poem "TWAS THE NIGHT OF THE DEBATE" creatively as possible. A winner will be chosen and announced by January 6th. Mail to: MoonDog_Radio@yahoo.com
I hate being interrupted by commercials – unless they’re actually really good. But, what makes it good? In life we intuitively know that great communication requires a trusted relationship. We spend time developing emotional bonds with our friends that are honest, simple, inviting, memorable, and fun. Isn’t that why you enjoy spending time with good friends? Real friends listen without trying to sell you something – they’re there when needed. Our friends give us trusted advice about house repairs, plumbers, mechanic, and restaurants. That’s how relationships work, and that’s how good media communication works too – building emotional bonds of trust.
So if you really want to connect with your audience you’ve got to go beyond a simple message of awareness that merely sells your benefits and features. You’ve got to grab their emotional attention. Become a part of what's important on the platform they're viewing -- entertainment, information, and education. It should all converge into what matters most to your audience.
Slice-of-life commercials trigger our emotions. These mini-dramas capture elements we can all relate to -- the things that make us laugh, cry, fear, angry, surprised, and disgusted. You’re tapping into emotions, meaning, and purpose – not intruding on your audiences most valuable asset – time.
As an example I’ll use the most mundane, boring subject I can imagine: suppose I own a store that sells the vegetable Kale, and I want to sell more of it. Should I tell you that “we have a friendly staff that sells fresh Kale at reasonable prices” or that “Kale is a ‘powerhouse food’ full of anti-oxidants which may prevent cancer and add years to your life – and we always have an organic bunch that we’ll save for you.” The first example was just being aware of what “we” have; the second example was making you aware of “why it matters to you” – emotional attention.
That’s a sample of how MoonDog Radio tells your story; marketing your unique messages in the media (radio, TV, and social media platforms). Let me enhance your ability to communicate your personality, promotions, and programming. I will consult with you, and produce what you need for your unique style, messaging, and platforms.
MoonDog Radio can also produce commercials, promos, comedy, provide feedback, book reviews, and engage with your social media sites. I'm also quite capable of interacting with you as an alter-ego or producer. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consult today: https://www.moondogradio.com/
Once or twice in my life I have been told to "go to hell." To my regret, in less spiritual moments of my life, I have also blurted the command at others. In everyday language we use expressions like this easily and angrily -- "there'll be hell to pay", "hell yeah", "that's a hell of a thing to say..." You get the point. As an emotive expression we embrace the word, but as a real destination place -- not so much.
Is Hell a barbarous realm of torture where the Devil lives or just a word to express anger and elation -- or something else? A friend told me he wouldn't become a Christian because of the cruel concept of hell -- which he believed to be a fiery, painful place of suffering and torture. In our conversations I gathered that most of his information and descriptions of hell were what he was taught as a child or had seen in a movie -- not the Bible. It was apparent that he had never actually studied what is said in the Bible about Hell.
He didn't believe it was logical, justified, or equitable -- there was no acceptable reason that, in his words, "God could be so inhuman." He didn't have a framework for an objective standard for morality other than using the word "Universe" as a God replacement, and clinging to the random odds that some unknown forces would work in his favor -- if he lived as good as he thought he should be.
Even though many Christians differ on this interpretation, I like what Christian philosopher William Lane Craig says about hell: "I don't think hell is what is depicted in medieval paintings of torture wracks, pinchers, and red hot irons. It seems to me that the essence of hell is what Paul describes in I Thessalonians. 1:5 "they shall suffer the punishment of *exclusion from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His might. I think that is the anguish of hell -- the separation from God from all that is good and beautiful and lovely -- to be left with one's crabbed and selfish heart forever."
*"destruction": ὄλεθρος/ólethros does not imply "extinction" (annihilation). Rather it emphasizes the consequent loss that goes with the complete "undoing."
Hell is a fire, but not in any sense that we're aware of. The Bible describes the reality of hell in forceful figures of speech. It is said to be a place of darkness (Matt. 8:12; 22:13), which is “outside” [the gate of the heavenly city] (Rev. 22:14-15). Hell is away from the “presence of the Lord” (Matt. 25:41; 2 Thess. 1:7-9). Of course, these are relational, not necessarily spatial, terms. God is “up” and hell is “down.” God is “inside” and hell is “outside.” Hell is the other direction from God. The nature of hell is a horrifying reality. It is like being left outside in the dark forever (Matt. 8:12). It is like a wandering star (Jude 13), a waterless cloud (Jude 12), a perpetually burning dump (Mark 9:43-48), a bottomless pit (Rev. 20:1, 3), a prison (1 Peter 3:19), and a place of anguish and regret (Luke 16:28). To borrow the title of the book by Lewis, hell is the “great divorce”—an eternal separation from God (2 Thess. 1:7-9). There is, in biblical language, a great gulf fixed” between hell and heaven (Luke 16:26) so that no one can pass from one side to the other (Geisler).
Nowhere does the Bible describe it as a “torture chamber” where people are forced against their will to be tortured. This is a caricature created by unbelievers to justify their reaction that the God who sends people to hell is cruel. This does not mean that hell is not a place of torment. Jesus said it was (Luke 16:24). But unlike torture which is inflicted from without against one’s will, torment is self-inflicted. Even atheists have suggested that the door of hell is locked from the inside. We are condemned to our own freedom from God. Heaven’s presence of the divine would be the torture to one who has irretrievably rejected him. Torment is living with the consequences of our own bad choices. It is the weeping and gnashing of teeth that results from the realization that we blew it and deserve the consequences. Just as a football player may pound on the ground in agony after missing a play that loses the Super Bowl, so those in hell know that the pain they suffer is self-induced. Hell is also depicted as a place of eternal fire. This fire is real but not necessarily physical (as we know it), because people will have imperishable physical bodies (John 5:28-29; Rev. 20:13-15), so normal fire would not affect them. Further, the figures of speech that describe hell are contradictory if taken in a physical sense. It has flames, yet is outer darkness. It is a dump (with a bottom), yet a bottomless pit. While everything in the Bible is literally true, not everything is true literally (Geisler).
Norman Geisler offers some good theological and philosophical arguments for the existence of Hell. First, the Bible, Jesus, and Apostle Paul taught it. Secondly, God's sovereignty, love, justice, human dignity, and Christ death on the cross demands a Hell. Third, God cannot force free people to love him if they choose to ignore or disbelieve. Also, there would not be real justice were there no place of punishment for the likes of Stalin and Hitler, who initiated the merciless slaughter of multimillions. As C.S. Lewis said, “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done”’ (Screwtape Letters, 69).
Want to get some funny looks -- next time your angry or elated just yell, "Heaven Yeah!"
Religious literacy is at an all time low -- many are totally ignorant of the content and meaning of the greatest classical pieces of art, music, and architecture in the history of the world. Have we failed to educate ourselves and our children? Also, have the schools become so fearful of the "separation of church and state" debate that they've failed to communicate and educate the next generation properly?
Play you're own version of "Jay Walking" and show a few people a picture of Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper" and ask them why it's called "The Last Supper" and who is sitting around the table -- is it One Direction, Menudo, or New Kids On The Block....no...try again. Have they ever heard of the 12 Disciples, Peter, Judas -- have they ever read the Bible -- the best selling book in the world -- every year. Reading is educational friends -- whether you embrace the message or not. At a minimum you'll read stories that are reflected in historical art, music, and architecture about love, joy, peace, forgiveness, redemption, restoration, kindness, mercy, and grace.
What do they know of The Vatican [St. Peter's Basilica & Sistine Chapel], Notre Dame, Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood [perhaps one of the most iconic images of Russia], Wittenberg [Martin Luther, 95 Theses], Mont Saint Michel, Sagrada Familia, Las Lajas Sanctuary, The Church of St. George , The Great Synagogue, The Monasteries of Meteora, Borgund Stave Church, Durham Cathedral, Pieta, Leonardo da Vinci, Veronese, Michelangelo, Titian, Veronese, Luini, Bosch, Bellini, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Rembrandt, Bach, Beethovan, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Straveinsky, Verdi, and Vivaldi.
If half those names, places, and works are unknown to you, then perhaps the entertainment industry and educational systems have cheated you too. Don't let ignorance and hate rob you of your heritage -- visit a museum, listen to Haydn, read the Bible, visit a church -- they don't bite -- normally!
There are a lot of military terms we use in everyday life like "fight", "battle", "out-maneuver", "threat", "pre-emptive strike" and "gather intel". We are relating our ministry or business to war when we compare and contrast these sayings -- looking for ways to win.
The late Colonel John Boyd, known as the “Fighter Pilot who changed the Art of War”, was an F-86 fighter pilot and commander who believed that "when at a disadvantage a competent pilot could still overcome that disadvantage by 'Attacking the Mind' of his opponent." His studies helped him better understand human reaction time and coin the term O.O.D.A. Loop [Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act]. His model for decision-making in air combat soon became an organizational business model.
Boyd's analysis demonstrated there are many cases when you're "out-gunned", but can still gain competitive advantages that bring victory. His example is that of an F-86 Fighter which was slower than the Soviet MIG-15. The MIG was faster and
could turn better -- but the American plane won more battles because the pilot's field of vision was superior.
The fact is that from where you sit you may not be as strong as the next guy, but may have a better view of what's really going on -- that helps you assess a situation better and faster than your competition. As a result you gain a clear competitive advantage that allows you to out-maneuver others -- who may be caught by surprise, put off balance, and not know what to expect -- that's when "playing with their mind" starts them second guessing themselves and making mistakes. Is that a Christian attitude -- well, it depends on the degree of character and application.
There is no doubt that our successes and promotions come from God -- sometimes despite ourselves, but most often using the creative mind and skills He gave us. That's where MoonDog Radio steps in -- I use that mind, talent, experience, and programming knowledge to help pastors, apologists, and personalities stay one step ahead of the competition through radio-social media production and consulting. A Chrisitan production and consulting firm like this can lift the media outreach burden from the pastor, apologist, or personality so that they can concentrate on research, writing, and teaching.
An effective media outreach keeps you relevant and engaged in the current discussion -- staying one step ahead of the competition and, at he same time, being prepared to react to what they do. With world-wide, real-time communication, and on-going rapid improvements in social media and technology, you need someone at the helm who can keep updating and revising your strategies to keep pace with the ever-changing environment.
Boyd's O.O.D.A. Loop is a useful lesson for any ministry or business.
His model outlines a four-point decision loop that supports quick, effective and proactive decision-making. The four stages are:
1. Observe – collect current information from as many sources as practically possible.
2. Orient – analyze this information, and use it to update your current reality.
3. Decide – determine a course of action.
4. Act – follow through on your decision.
You continue to cycle through the OODA Loop by observing the results of your actions, seeing whether you've achieved the results you intended, reviewing and revising your initial decision, and moving to your next action. The OODA Loop was modeled closely to the PDCA "Plan, Do, Check, Act" that William Deming championed from Walter Shoehart -- who was fond of the "classical pragmatists" Charles Sanders Peirce (1839–1914), William James (1842–1910) and John Dewey.
I'll speak more to their influences and the historic philosophies under-girding LEAN & SIX SIGMA methods in a future article.
Assess your situation today and learn how to have a better, faster, and more attractive media outreach. Allow MoonDog Radio to help you that clear competitive advantage today.
Blessings in Christ! MD