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The Scars We Carry – Geeks Under Grace

Source: The Scars We Carry – Geeks Under Grace

When I was younger–and had more time to watch anime–the classic Fullmetal Alchemist was one of my favorites. Of course, later on the more accurate Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood released with high acclaim. I never watched it (shame on me) because I thought it wasn’t much different than the one I saw years back. Since it was on Netflix, I added it to my queue and got around to it recently, finishing all 64 episodes. It was so much better than the first series!

Episodes 1-13 are basically a refresher for those like me who watched the first series. After that, though, the story takes a very different turn. I was glued to my screen, whether on my phone, laptop or TV (thank God for streaming!). I never did read the manga, but I knew that there were many major changes based on the manga, and I was very happy with them. The new characters, plot twists, higher stakes, and even religious dialogue were well done. One character that I kept thinking about, though, was Scar. I honestly thought he would just be killed off in a random battle. All that he went through resonated with me, not because my race was wiped out in alchemic genocide, but because of how he grew into a better person. I strive to do that, and I believe we all do to some extent. His pursuit of revenge ends up being his only reason for living, until he encounters a more fulfilling purpose.

Source: The Scars We Carry – Geeks Under Grace

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Lunar Silver Star Story: Wind’s Nocturne Analysis | Beneath the Tangles

Music is a big part of my life, as I listen to it for hours every day. Mostly it’s for background purposes, whether at the gym, during prayer and worship, or while reading, writing, or driving. I never realized how important it was to my life until several years ago, nor did I notice that video game music (VGM) had made such an impact on me. After discovering OCRemix (a website dedicated to remixing VGM from every era or console) and listening to older tunes from some of my favorite games, I got hooked on the genre. There have been a few touching songs that have left an imprint on my heart, and one of those is from Lunar: Silver Star […]

Source: Lunar Silver Star Story: Wind’s Nocturne Analysis | Beneath the Tangles

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Patema Inverted: Upside Down Sinners | Beneath the Tangles

Hulu has lots of anime to choose from, including movies (as of this writing). I have not seen too many anime films, aside from most of what comes out Ghibli Studios and the occasional One Piece movie. I recently found a few on Hulu that looked interesting, though I had never heard of them. Patema Inverted seemed cool as it involves people who live upside down. It reminded me immediately of a movie called Upside Down that has the same concept. In the future, scientists perform a failed experiment to harness gravity’s energy, which causes destruction over much of the Earth’s surface. A reverse gravity effect causes most people and objects to “fall up” and go into the sky. Imagine falling into […]

Source: Patema Inverted: Upside Down Sinners | Beneath the Tangles

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5 Excuses Christians Use to Sin

Via Geeks Under Grace – 5 Excuses Christians Use to Sin   *Click to read more!*

I was not raised a Christian, nor was my family (they still are not to this day). Not knowing the Christian “lingo,” mannerisms, music or sub-culture made me an anomaly when I was in church or around other Christians. Obviously, I knew about sin and what was right or wrong. At times, I noticed Christians doing things I knew God didn’t lead them to do, but they seemed convinced it was ok. Now, the five sins I’ve listed below may offend some to a disagree, but that’s ok because I would love to hear your opinions. If you do get angered, check your heart and ask yourself why that is.

I believe some Christians want to dance the fine line between the desires of the flesh and the Spirit (Matthew 26:41, Romans 8:5). They think it’s OK to do certain things, since the Bible doesn’t specifically address them. Some examples are smoking marijuana, looking at pornography, playing or watching extremely demonic/violent media, and the like. Sure, the bible doesn’t say “don’t smoke pot,” but is it a sin to do it? What about other habits that church denominations get into arguments about; are these right or wrong? Will I go to hell if I don’t follow a certain doctrine over another?

It’s so confusing, and to be honest, I’ve wrestled with these questions for years. I have come to some conclusions after reading scripture, praying, and asking the Holy Spirit for guidance. There are five major sins I have seen Christians excuse themselves of by saying “God told me it’s OK,” or “It’s not that bad!” and I want to bring these to light. I would love for you to discuss these points in the comments section so we can have a dialogue about them.

Via Geeks Under Grace – 5 Excuses Christians Use to Sin   *Click to read more!*

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Treasure Chest: The Church Of Fire Emblem, Geek Communities and Religion in Anime

Here we are again, ladies and gentle geeks, another month has passed and I have got the goods for you once again. This time around, we have lots of great anime articles to wet your appetite. From a Christian anime panel that was done in Hawaii, to a breakdown of lots of religiously-themed anime. Fire Emblem Fates seems to be a hot game on the 3DS, since the series never saw much light of day in the States. It’s good to see more quality RPGs get exposure, especially from a biblical perspective.

If you’re interested in how to interact with or learn about geek communities, you will find a well-written piece fromIntersect Project in the Misc. section. From Geeks Under Grace, there’s a new book out about the Kingdom of God and video games, which I am looking forward to reading!

"League of Legends Fan art - Tahm Kench Retreat!!" | Art by Benlo. Used with permission.

“League of Legends Fan art – Tahm Kench Retreat!!” | Art by Benlo. Used with permission.

Gaming Articles of the Month

  • I am not a big MOBA player, as I have not played too many. LoL (League of Legends) is a popular franchise in the genre that impacted Tim in his walk with Christ. Read his story here –> [Geekdom House]
  • Even though it is primarily an anime website, ChristAnime covered an obscure RPG called Avalon Code and how its book of prophesy relates to the Bible. [ChristAnime]
  • Fire Emblem is all the rage these days with its new 3DS title out. This strategy RPG is compared to the church and how we are all different parts of one body by Joshua Cauller. [Theology Gaming]
  • Here is another post on my own blog, Gaming & God, from Neighborhoodotaku. He discusses symbolism from the bible in Fire Emblem Fates[Gaming and God]

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Anime Articles of the Month

  • Steins;Gate can be seen as a brilliant illustration of the truth that God, in his love for us, lays His plans for our benefit. This is a three-part series so don’t miss it! [Beneath The Tangles]
  • A panel was hosted by TeresaChristina at Kawaii Kon all the way in Hawaii. She writes about how it went, the results, and how God’s grace was over it all. [Otaku In My Veins]
  • One of the most popular anime this year is ERASED. I thought it was great, and so did Charles, who wrote a guest post for Geekdom House. He talks about how we can ask God to help us make the right choices, and how we can learn from the wrong choices we make that cannot be undone. [Geekdom House]
  • Have you ever noticed Buddhist, Christian, or other religious content in anime? Well, Annalyn wrote a guest post forMy Anime List and it’s got examples of these and more. [My Anime List]
  • Medieval Otaku put together a fantastic list of anime that are either overtly Christian, or have strong Christian/Catholic themes behind them. It’s my personal favorite of this month’s anime list. [Medieval Otaku]

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Misc. Geeky Articles of the Month

  • How do geeks in the church build communities? Are there even groups like that out there? Christiopher shares some ideas on how to connect to this niche of people (who are growing every year!) right where you live. There are two parts. [Intersect Project: Part 1] [Intersect Project: Part 2]
  • A podcast on how the church can learn from super heroes and from the recent movie Civil War[Russell Moore]

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Top Geeks Under Grace Articles of the Month

  • A review of a book about the Kingdom of God and RPGs. It’s interesting because there are few books out there that combine video games and Christianity, so if you’re interested, pick this one up. It leans more towards Christian topics than actual video games; instead it uses RPG concepts to convey the gospel. [Geeks Under Grace]
  • Andrew gives four ways fantasy literature connects with God, and how we can learn from this genre as well.[Geeks Under Grace]

I hope you enjoyed this month’s Treasure Chest! If you know of an article that should be featured, please leave the link below or message me @ GamingandGod. God bless you, and keep on geeking out!

 

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TREASURE CHEST: CATHOLIC GAMERS, VIC MIGNOGNA, FANS FOR CHRIST, AND GOD IN HYRULE

Via TREASURE CHEST: CATHOLIC GAMERS, VIC MIGNOGNA, FANS FOR CHRIST, AND GOD IN HYRULE   *Click to finish the article!*
Welcome to Treasure Chest, where articles from across the internet intersect the geek and the spiritual. Whether you seek a review on the latest Christian video game, hot anime articles, or other geek-related interests, you’ve come to the right place. I do my best to find the best of the best in articles, videos, and anything else I can find a link to that has to do with faith and geeks for the month. I just got a long list of new sites to look through this time (thanks to our Editor-in-Chief Casey), so I hope to bring more variety to the Treasure Chest column than I usually do. I gave Geeks Under Grace articles their own section just so they are not mixed up with the others. If you have any suggestions, comments, or just want to tell me which post you liked the best, let me know! Any feedback, good or bad, is a big help 🙂

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Gaming Articles of the Month

  • Friar monks made a video game to attract people to their service? Yes they did, and you can watch it here. Also,give the game a try and see if you can collect all the candles! [Fox 5 News]
  • Remember when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of a Catholic church? Well, a fellow Christian gamer just put up his 76 theses of being a critic and they are quite interesting. [C.T. Casberg]
VIA TREASURE CHEST: CATHOLIC GAMERS, VIC MIGNOGNA, FANS FOR CHRIST, AND GOD IN HYRULE
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Gaming with God: The Origin Of Our Depravity

Via Gaming with God: The Origin Of Our Depravity

*Click the link to read more!*

ave reached the conclusion of Tales of Xillia 2, and what an ending it was! There are actually three endings: a bad one that can be seen before entering the final area, The Land of Canaan, or the last choice that you make which leads to the death of one of the characters. The game continues after completion with new quests, bosses, a hidden dungeon and the ability to replay from the beginning with your items, levels or other bonuses. It was the introduction of the creator of the worlds, Origin, that got my creative juices flowing, though. He is the maker of all spirits and has appeared in several other Tales games.

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Chronos, the spirit of time and space, wants to eradicate all of humanity so his friend Origin does not have to continue to suffer. To stop Chronos, the heroes have to pass Origin’s Trial and erase all the Fractured Dimensions. A sacrifice must be made, and it’s either Ludger or Elle that the player can choose, and you get a separate ending for each.

What I want to dive deeper into about is Origin, his purpose, and how it relates to our own lives. He is the creator, basically God in the Tales world. He is obviously inspired by Eastern religions because of his involvement in reincarnation. For myself, being a Christian I do not believe in cyclical reincarnation as the Bible states that we all die once and then are judged (Hebrew 9:27), nor am I sure what the “void”, though I assume it’s hell. Origin’s judgement that all humanity is full of sin and depravity is interesting because he states that at the end of life, all that’s left in our souls is evil.

Via Gaming with God: The Origin Of Our Depravity

*Click the link to read more!*

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Digimon Tri: Growing Up With Our Friends

Via Digimon Tri: Growing Up With Our Friends (Beneath The Tangles)

Friends are so special to us all. One thing that I love about being a human being is relationships, as I’m more of an extrovert than introvert. In fact, during my life, I have had many friends come and go, from close ones to those that I didn’t get to know very well. Digimon Tri, the new series based on the famous, original Digimon series, has always focused on the Digidestined and their tight bond. Without working as a team, instead opting to work alone, they would have have quickly and clearly lost. This reminded me about how important our friends are, and how that dynamic changes as we grow up as is seen in the new series.

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This has happened to me as well, when I want to make certain decisions while others want to analyze the situation more or hesitate. I’m the kind of person that likes to try new things and am not too afraid of the unknown, while others make up excuses and shy away. I have had to do things on my own at times because I cannot find someone who will try something new with me (usually, only my wife will do it). For example, it can be a new restaurant, museum, concert, or even an anime convention!

Via Digimon Tri: Growing Up With Our Friends (Beneath The Tangles)

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FINAL FANTASY IX’S “MELODIES OF LIFE”: A LYRICAL INTROSPECTIVE

via FINAL FANTASY IX’S “MELODIES OF LIFE”: A LYRICAL INTROSPECTIVE

*Click the link above to finish reading the article!*

In honor of poetry week, I wanted to write about a certain song from one of my favorite RPGs. Many Japanese songs are written almost in the form of poetry, in my opinion. Sure, many times they don’t rhyme, but poetry doesn’t always have to rhyme. For me, poetry is when words are when paint pictures in our minds as we hear them. There are a few video games that can pull this off well, and Final Fantasy IX’sMelodies of Life” is one of them. I was also inspired to write this article by a previous one created by Japesland on Beneath The Tangles.a1582982219_10

Final Fantasy has some of the best music ever. Not just in terms video game soundtracks, but in terms of music in general. The feelings that you get when you are in a boss battle during Final Fantasy VII, or the fantastical history you experience while hearing To Zanarkand from Final Fantasy X  cannot be easily replicated. A classic title in the franchise is Final Fantasy IX, which is the story of Zidane and Garnet who join together to save the world from destruction. It’s a beautiful story of love, drama, pain, maturity and heroism–everything you would expect from the series, of course. The soundtrack, though, had some memorable tracks and one of them was the elegant, “Melodies of Life.” It’s rare to find a lyrical song in a video game, and rarer to find one that makes sense with happenings in the game. I am a big fan of music in general, and listen to it every day, so when I hear bad production, I can tell. Looking back at this song, what it is saying, and how it relates to the game, revealed many parallels to the Bible and God’s love. Let’s go over this memorable melody, stanza by stanza, as there’s a lot to unpack in each section.

via FINAL FANTASY IX’S “MELODIES OF LIFE”: A LYRICAL INTROSPECTIVE

*Click the link above to finish reading the article!*