Rise of the Phoenix and LA LA land

Los Angeles

Thanks for reading. This will be a progressive post and this is part one this morning. Please check for more later.

Part One:

I am back from Irvine/Los Angeles. I am in Phoenix. Thanks so much Phil for driving me around, buying me lunch and helping me find the eye clinic and a hotel. I hope next time we shall have more time to associate. God bless.

Dr. Johnson destroyed all the floaters he could see and his laser could reach.

I recommend his services for those with floaters, especially large ones. Thank you Dr. Johnson.

I may pursue a vitrectomy in the future and appreciate very much the advice given to me by Dr. Johnson.

Dr. Johnson

Okay, here is some stereotypical LA LA land. I get on the plane from Phoenix to Los Angeles and my two seatmates are seemingly gay and share a few kisses. I see a blonde woman on the plane that dresses like she is 25 years old, but 25 years old in the 1980s. I think she was at least over 45 years old. I get to an office for an appointment and the receptionist is quite attractive and with breast enlargements. I have dinner and the people beside me are discussing scripts. The building next to my hotel was an office building and not a restaurant, but it had Taco Bell written on it. I reason after research it is the Taco Bell headquarters.

I can only remember eating at Taco Bell once in my life.

I like the Los Angeles area in general terms.

I have also been in three theology/philosophy discussions so far and have mentioned 'vicious regress' twice, which is a regress that does not solve its own problem such as a regress of gods or time (see thekingpin68 blog). Yea it is one of my 'pets' and I gathered much of it from a secular humanist. So you will have difficult time proving I am closed-minded. I live and learn. ;)

In my case, I would assume my blog post has not been read, but I try to get readers.;)

Part Two:

Tonight it was suggested by someone that the New Testament writers were not lying but the oral tradition of these writers was corrupted by exaggeration.

But they meant well, but Jesus was just a man.

My reply:

With thousands of New Testament manuscripts stating the same essential message, there is no evidence of a significant theological corruption from the original historically based message. This presentation took place through oral and then written tradition.

The New Testament martyrs would not seemingly sanely die for a lie unless it was because of a stance of trying to maintain the benefits of things such as money, sex and power. This could be the case with a cult that emphasized such, but Christianity did not. As they were persecuted and sometimes executed by the state, it would make far more sense for many of the Christian leaders to go back to Judaism or other, rather than live the difficult life of a New Testament Christian.

I remain unconvinced, and Christianity remains historically reasonable and not a work of fiction.

Part Three:

As with in 2002, the Phoenix area interests me with its many churches. I see quite a few Lutheran and LDS buildings. There seems to be a relatively strong religious presence, much stronger than in the Vancouver area. I reason that I could potentially move here and find a job teaching theology/philosophy of religion. If not in Arizona then with one of the other States not too far away, or in the South. My Mom now has American citizenship and I will see if this can assist me at all.

Well, today is another day of moving with and for my brother and then I will dress up in my black 'PhD viva' suit again and go to a business meeting with my brother and Mom tonight, once again.

A lot more ladies talk to me in the US than in Canada or the UK...hmmm. This has always been the case seems to me over the years.

By the way, when I come back to BC, I will post on Facebook and Blogger photos of me in my black suit...

I have also been watching a bit of BYU Television.:(

Part Four

I went on a four wheeler for the first time Saturday and rubbed up against a Cactus with my bare arm. Welcome to Arizona. I also got stuck for a short time with another machine (four wheeler) and was shown how to deal with it.

I would need quite a bit of practice to be good at that sport/hobby.

The theology discussions continue. I hope and pray I am doing well.

Part Five: Finale

I am leaving back for BC Wednesday. I have contacted four institutions so far in Arizona concerning work as a professor (Associate/Assistant). I am also willing to work in a surrounding or close state and so that would leave California, Nevada, Utah (Would that not be funny?), Colorado, New Mexico and Texas to consider if I wish to move reasonably close to my family and remain able to assist my Mom that will move down here also. Biola University was suggested to me by a local institution that had no work for me presently and seemingly liked my CV. My Mom, brother, sister-in-law and one niece have all urged me to try and relocate here.

I am not ruling out moving elsewhere, but I will start seeking in this area. I am willing to move away from family as I did in 1999-2001 and my brother and family can therefore take over assisting my Mom.

I can send out CVs in the Greater Vancouver are but here are my thoughts.

The western United States is far more Christianized than the Lower Mainland of BC. I reason there are more career opportunities by far for me in the western USA and the South, if need be.

To be blunt, I am single, and there would be more Christian women to meet here. God willing, I would like to have a family one day. I realize that being a full-time very serious PhD student has very much limited my social life in BC, but my PhD is almost done for good. One time a theologian/pastor spoke at our church and compared a roughly 2% Vancouver church attendance with a roughly 15% American one...telling. Even with the cults and questionable Christian churches it still leaves a lot more Christians here than in Greater Vancouver. I need to face reality. Having lived in the UK, I doubt there are many more Christians there than in Greater Vancouver in regard to average church attendance.

I invite my blogging friends to pass along any potential job opportunities in their area, for example. I also look forward to meeting with some of my blog links/commenters in person, at their church, for example.

I remain committed to visiting friends in the UK even though it is unlikely I will work there. This does not mean I will not apply there as after all, I do have a British passport and almost two earned UK theses degrees. There is also the good possibility of me teaching at two places, in other words relocating temporarily for a summer.

Anyway, these are my hopefully progressive thoughts. God please lead me in Christ.

Russ:) (PHX)

Strange Occurrence 1995/The Horror

For my current more academic article please see: esb

1. The following is seemingly the most strange occurrence in my life outside of an episode with exorcism (not of me!) when I was a child where I witnessed someone demonized and the beings were apparently cast out in Jesus' name. This person exorcised was not told they were a demon and so I doubt it was hypnotism as opposed to exorcism and I know key people involved well enough that it was not a staged event.

I am not however, an expert in exorcism or hypnotism.

A professor of mine did do exorcisms and told me that my experience seemed legitimate in light of his experience and the New Testament.

I reason that finite spiritual beings exist Biblically. They do influence people at times, myself included.

At times some are under very heavy demonic influence which could be equated with demonization.

It is the summer of 1995, I had just graduated from Bible College. I wanted to visit Britain and Ireland because I had not been to the United Kingdom since 1976, as a little boy, and I also wanted to see if I could tolerate Britain in the context of potentially doing a PhD there. I returned in 1997 and did a University tour. Both trips took place with my good friend and Blogger commenter Saint Chucklins of Ridge.

Sir Chucklins and I agree that the 1995 trip was an excellent one. My only other trip as fun was in 1976 with the family. My 1997, 2004 (February) and 2004 (December) trips as well as my 2009 trip were mainly business/academic trips with plenty of stress involved. I also lived in Manchester from 1999-2001 and that was very stressful although I made some very good lifelong friends.

I have mentioned this story previously on this blog, but this writing is all new with more detail.

stupid questions

In 1995, Chuckles and I spent a week in London, which is one of my favourite places to spend a week or so in. While on the Tube/London Underground I saw a bearded lady in tears making out with a man that was trying to console her by kissing her. Now, I am making no firm judgment on this woman, or her everlasting destiny, but I have to be honest and state that I felt like I could vomit looking at her. She made a negative physical impression on me.

After our good week in London we kept the tour going and ended up in Birmingham, which at the time, at least, was the second most populated metropolitan area in Britain. Chuck and I were in our hotel rooms and he was shaving while I was watching television. There was a show featuring the Edinburgh International Festival which we viewed personally later in the trip. Chucky was stating that if he did not shave he would look ugly, and I stated that he would not look as bad as that bearded lady. At that point I looked at the television and within a few moments that bearded lady was introduced as a presenter at the Edinburgh International Festival. Bizarre!

The theological lessons?

Pray that one is ready for the unexpected. It is one lesson anyway.

2. As mentioned in blog comments, on Friday we had a small Halloween party here and watched The Last Man on Earth (1964) with Vincent Price. It was a reasonably artistic movie of the horror/suspense/thriller genres, I would give it 4/5, and it did not feature gratuitous violence. I think the four of us that watched it all perhaps pondered on the end times as a result of viewing the film. In the past, especially prior to being an adult, I watched some classic horror/suspense/thriller movies with Vincent Price such as Pit and the Pendulum (1961), The Raven (1963), The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971), Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972) and Theatre of Blood (1973). I have no desire to ever watch the Phibes films or Theatre of Blood again as they are too gross, and I have seen the Phibes films twice each. But I have to admit that the Price films do have some artistic merit.

Seems to me Pit and the Pendulum (1961), and The Raven (1963) were quite artistic and not near as gross as the other ones I just mentioned.

I have no stomach or patience for modern 'slasher' films whatsoever.

I reason:

Horror/suspense/thriller films can reasonably show evil and suffering.

These films can show evil and suffering as bad things, which they are.

Films that depend on gratuitous violence can limit their potential audience.

Therefore, the apparent or actual glorification of evil is not needed in these films.

Alnwick Castle, England