For those so inclined how bout we make this the official dumping ground for PWI thread hijacks. Consider this my restitution for having been possibly the most egregious hijacker of all time around here. My Lord has seen fit to convict me of this rude and arrogant habit of mine using of all people primarily Aragorn. (And Thunderbolt and a couple others)
If you feel the temptation to spout off about how Christians are brain dead low intelligence life forms in a thread about whether hangnails are covered under Canada's national health care system feel free to use the quote button, do up your post and copy n paste it here. This will leave the hangnail activists free to pursue their cause and still allow you to heap a bit more vitriol on the .0000001 of T-Nation members with anything like a credible historic Christian testimony.
We may even point you to one of the eight million threads that already exist dealing with your irresistible hijack. Being HIJACK HAVEN, absolutely anything goes. Politics, religion, world events, hangnails, have at it.
There will be no grades given out for how effectively or well anyone uses this thread except for Bodyguard who already gets an F, a dunce cap and detention. =]
I would like Sweet Revenge to tell me what a Christian is and what he thinks I mean by "cultist"? Please.
EDIT: Actually I'll tell you what I mean by "cultist". A "cultist", in Christian vernacular, is a member of any group or adherent to any doctrine or theology, claiming affinity with Jesus Christ, that is outside of historic orthodoxy. UNorthodox. Heretical in short. Non Christian cultist. You are one. Wear it proudly.
Not to hijack but I really don't think English teachers should teach Shakespeare in school. It has no relevancy in out world today and basically using an extinct language that is difficult to decipher. I believe that English teachers should teach proper grammar and how NOT to speak "txt". u dig holmes?
A breif introduction to them is fine, but devoting large amounts of time to them is stupid. Whats then is then, whats now is now. I see no reason for Shakespeare to be a large part of our education. Can you provide me any substance as to how it will benefit anybody today?
Oh, I get it now. Your definition of a Christian cultist is someone who doesn't believe exactly as you do.
Which activity is more 'Christian cultist'? (a) attending a yoga class, or (b) attending a Passover celebration, or (c) playing golf on Sunday, or (d) reading Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, or (e) having a "Know Thyself" or "To Thy Own Self Be True" philosophy, or (f) eating pork BBQ, or (g) thinking Communion actually IS flesh and blood, or (h) engaging in man-woman pre-marital sex (not the popular man-boy variety), or (i) dressing up for Halloween and giving kids bags of candy?
There is one gospel. One saving truth. Which IS the person and work of the one true saving Christ of God. Trust in anything or anyone else is an accursed heresy. For the one thousandth time. There are many groups and individuals with which I profoundly disagree on MANY items of doctrine who I yet embrace as authentic brethren in the Lord.
Christians are not Christians because of what they do. They are Christians because they have been supernaturally raised from death to life by the blood and in the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. A conscience and will made new in the indwelling imputed mind of Christ Himself WILL make them live as exiles in this world which will no longer know them because they now have a transformed view of absolutely everything. Especially themselves.
Anyone this is not true of has not been born again. OR, the bible is a lie.
I'm intrigued to be called a 'cultist', since to me, cults are groups among the likes of Scientology, the Manson Family, Heaven's Gate, Branch Davidians, etc. Also, I think of cults as religious groups that put undue psychological pressure on people to subscribe to 'their way' or their take on 'The Way', lest something very unpleasant happens....like the guarantee of no peace, ever, or eternal damnation --- that kind of thing. Such a restricted view is quite bigoted and bigots that chide other people for their different religious experiences (as being invalid) are another kind of cult, IMO.
Anyway, let's look at what you choose as the most 'Christian cultist' in the list: the philosophy of 'Know Thyself' or 'To thine ownself be true'. Do you think that philosophy can co-exist with Jesus Christ's salvation/enlightenment? What about Jesus words: The Kingdom of God is within you, or Heal Thyself, or Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. If the Kingdom of God is Within, do you think it might it be helpful to 'Know Thyself'?
In addition, wouldn't you have to 'Know Yourself' to recognize that your former self is dead and Christ lives in it's place, as mentioned in Galatians? And how else does God guide us if it's not through ourselves? Sure, guidance could come from without in the form of another person or book, but ultimately 'our self' makes a choice to accept or reject that guidance.
No man(or woman) knows himself until the Holy Spirit shows him his deadness in sin and need for Christ. No, that philosophy is overtly hostile to the true gospel.
Once again. ALL are conceived and born dead. The Father makes some alive, through Christ alone, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Every other pursuit of or offering to God is an affront to Himself and His majestic Son and is therefore itself sin.
The hottest parts of hell are reserved for those who are in religious idolatry. Churches included. Even my church. As I told Squating_Bear, Satan will send you to church himself. Pick you up and drive. As long as you will trust ANYTHING other than the sinless life, blood sacrifice and resurrection of the one and only divinely decreed access to the true and living God.
As I use the word, a "cultist" is someone embracing either one of those other ways or a fatally aberrant version of the gospel as Paul condemns in the first of Galatians.
I don't believe it's your fault that you don't appreciate it, and I mean that with absolutely no sarcasm or derision. I think part of the problem is that you are not being taught Shakespeare well. If you were, you would be aware of a few things:
It is not hyperbole to state that Shakespeare's works are in a very large measure responsible for the way we speak English today. His particular use of the language, his absolute genius for wordplay, sarcasm, wit, idiom and, yes, foul language were all so influential, so copied and ripped off and played upon, that there is no way to honestly look at our language today without looking to Shakespeare to understand its origins.
2a. There is almost NO CHARACTER OR TROPE today that is not already contained in Shakespeare. Shakespeare did not invent all of the character types we know today, but he invented a large portion of them, and the ones he was not the first to create, he did better than anyone else. From poor little whiny rich boy Hamlet, to the pure, sociopathic evil of Iago, from the racism and jealousy contained in Othello, to the doomed lovers in Romeo and Juliet. When you feel like you need a shower after witnessing something evil or dirty, you can thank Shakespeare for Lady MacBeth, whose constant hand washing never could quite get them clean. My favorite, though, is the rich, egotistical King Lear, who cares more and loves based upon how well he is flattered by his two conniving daughters, rather than listening to the one daughter who actually loves him, who refuses to pander to his hubris.
2b. There is no MOVIE, BOOK, play, hardly even a comic book today that will contain a character that is not already contained in Shakespeare. Certainly every major cultural trope contains characters who were first given to us by Shakespeare.
It's good stuff! Sure, it's not exactly accessible language, but nothing truly good is easy. You should know that. Look what website you are on. Shakespeare was a better writer than possibly anyone ever. His stories and the way he tells them transcend human ability. Very few writers are able to tap into that ability beyond human ability, that sustained "zone," for lack of a better modern day equivalent word, that allows them to write damned near perfect stories, with fabulous wit, incredible characters, that wrap us up and shut off the rest of the world and entrap us in his for the time we are reading or watching.
A couple of suggestions. If you want to read a book that will explain FAR better than I ever could what I am stating here, and will make Shakespeare not only interesting, but make you need to read the plays covered within, almost any book by Harold Bloom on the subject is the way to go. Harold Bloom is to literary criticism what Shakespeare is to literature, only he writes today and is very easy to read and his books are extremely enjoyable. He's also smarter than almost anyone I know. Here is a good introduction:
Since you probably won't read that (if you or TigerTime will promise me you'll read it, I'll buy it for you), then might I suggest a movie to take the modern viewer into the world of Shakespeare and give you a little bit of an idea what the early viewer was feeling.
The most accessible of these would be Baz Luhrmann's 1996 Romeo and Juliet, with Leonardo DiCaprio and the fabulous, lovely Claire Danes. The language has not been changed but the setting is a modern one. It is not a perfect rendition by any means, but it is very cool and you can see how much easier it is to understand the language when you watch it performed. Highly entertaining.
Better yet, forgo language altogether, and watch one of the best and most influential directors of all time give his version of (my opinion) Shakespeare's best play, King Lear. Akira Kurosawa's Ran is an EPIC (not the stupid internet appropriated meaning of the word, either) rendition of King Lear set in Medieval Japan. It is a fantastic, colorful, grandly tragic, bone-chillingly violent retelling of Shakespeare that is testament to the fact that Shakespeare's stories transcend culture and are translatable literally anywhere on earth.
I'll stop now, but I hope that I have given some idea that the works of Shakespeare are NOT just some old stories with outdated language and ideas. They are anything but. And I am truly sorry if your teachers are teaching it as if it "has" to be taught.
It does "have" to be taught. It should be taught as if it needs to be.
I have never read Shakespeare. Just about at all. That is no pronouncement of good or bad. Simply the truth. Honestly? I'm not really interested. Maybe I should be ashamed of that, but that kind of reading just never appealed to me. I started something of his once years ago and just never could continue. I doubt I ever will. Don't get me wrong. I understand his place in history and everybody declares what a genius he was so I'm sure he was. Just not my thing.
It definitely needs to be approached in the right mindset, which is NOT one of casual reading.
I also do NOT think Shakespeare should EVER be read without a proper reader. The Riverside Shakespeare is excellent for containing everything you need to give the texts a proper reading with nearly exhaustive notes in the margins. Highly recommended. I'm almost certain no high schools are offering similar context in their assignments. Reading Shakespeare out of context is just a waste of time.