Monday, April 09, 2007

Don't Move! There's a Fire-Breathing Freak-Beast From Hell Behind You!

I have a little problem with the Biblical documentaries that they've been showing on the television screen over Easter, and the problem is this: they've been spending far too much time on all that 'message' stuff, and far too little time on talking about all the hell-beasts and dragons and what-not that the Bible contains. I mean, don't get me wrong, message and meaning is good - but when the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse gallop through your house and Gog and Magog are just about to rend you apart between their ravening maws, you won't be thinking that much about message, will you? No, you will not.

And hey - I'm down with all that morality stuff. I can remember not to boil a lamb in its mother's milk as much as the next man, but what am I going to do when a fire-breathing dragon swoops down on me and begins to eat maidens? Feed it cakes of pitch, fat, and hair and make it explode, that's what. And so what if that's from the Apocrypha? My point is still the same.

Thanks to the Bible we learn heaps of useful and practical advice for day to day living, like when our Ass starts talking to us, then it's probably a good thing to listen to it. Or when you see a sultry seductress pouting at you and you just happen to notice that she has seven heads and ten horns, then restrain your natural lustful desires to go to bed with her, because she's probably the Whore of Babylon. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but you don't want to end up cast into a lake of fire and/or burning sulfur: that's just impractical, and chronically unsexy. In addition, if you're thinking about getting a haircut, and your hairdresser ''just happens" to be called Delilah, then think again, man! It could be severely emasculating (and potentially damaging to your eyes.) Also - and we're probably getting a little off topic here, but it's worth it - if all of a sudden the heavens open up and you see burning fires and whirlwinds and freaky stuff, like totally-out-there four-headed man-ox-lion-eagle-hybrid, then be cool, man. It's probably not an example of genetic engineering, it's just that you're going to have a couple of prophecies. Also, don't be surprised if your name is Ezekiel and you live in the 600th century BC, and if you are, can I borrow your chariot, mate? Those things are totally cool.

So, next time biblical strumpets look alluringly your way, or apocryphal hell-beasts start attacking your house with fire and sulfur, or some random president/Prime Minister asks kindly if you'd like to get a cute number starting with '6' tattooed across your forehead, or just any everyday shit like that, don't say I didn't warn you! It's all in the Bible: useful, practical rules for getting along in a supernatural universe filled with demons and angels and freak-beasts of every description, where the wrong move could see you cast into Eternal Perdition or even end up betting on the wrong man in the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Races (otherwise known as the Caulfield Cup). And that's just too horrible to even contemplate.

(This community service has been brought to you after watching a documentary recommended by Tim (yes, another Tim) who might have a slightly different take on the issue of man-eating hell-monsters, but you never know.)


Steve said...

Tim, with your interest in CS Lewis and such, are you actually Christian, ex-Christian, or something else? No need to disclose here if you don't want to, but I am just curious. (It is devilishly hard trying to work out where some blogger's are coming from, don't you think?)

You are probably aware of the sceptics use of The Life of Apollonius as an example of a alternative miracle worker narrative from around the time of Christ. Today I found that it is on the internet, and if you like miracle stories, there are many there to be read.

It would seem that his most famous feat was preventing a young guy from marrying a vampire. The revelation of the intended bride's true identity was made at the wedding breakfast. The story in full is here:

See para 25 onwards.

I didn't know that vampires as such were that ancient in origin.

As the woman was quite a looker, apparently, I wonder if Apollonius found himself invited to few weddings after that.

TimT said...

No, that's all right. I'm not a Christian, but maintain an interest in religion, and especially Christianity, which is the common language and inheritance of most western writers until the 20th century.

C S Lewis was interesting in that he was a good Christian writer and thinker at a time when atheism and political commitment was becoming de rigeur. In some ways, this freed him intellectually, since he was able to dive into tradition and use traditional language when other writers found their political and philosophical commitments driving them away from tradition, into some form of modernism.

In this respect, Lewis is part of a counter-historical trend; he takes up where writers like G K Chesterton and Hillaire Belloc leave off.

Steve said...

I think it is fairly unusual to find a non-Christian who likes Lewis much, so that's good to hear.

I know that some of his arguments are not very sound, but I still think there is much he got right, and he is simply a pleasure to read.

I have recently started re-reading his later novel "Til We Have Faces". It is one of his more unusual works, and I am re-reading it because there was some point made in it that I thought important, but I can't remember exactly what it is!

I tried reading one of Chesterton's books, The Everlasting Man, because Lewis admired it. Stylistically, I found it rather dull reading, unlike the always readable Lewis. I think I tried a Chesterton novel too, now that I think of it (The Man who was Thursday), but also gave up.

No comment on Apollonius?

TimT said...

I'll follow the link a bit later, Appollonius certainly sounds like an interesting chap.

Chesterton was at his best writing short pieces. His early Father Brown detective stories are excellent, as are his essays on various topics. He did a wonderful line on paradoxical quotes, and if you google 'G K Chesterton quote' you'll probably find hundreds of them online.

Lewis is interesting in that almost everyone loves his 'Chronicles', but few people venture beyond them.

Email: timhtrain - at -

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