Stupidity or Specialty

I find that God can teach you from any source. As such I read rather widely. One of my favorite novels is “The Lord of the Rings.” In this book, we are offered some rather important advice.

“He is wise enough on his own ground.” Gandalf to Frodo in Elrond’s house.

The above sentence is the rebuke Gandalf offered Frodo shortly after Frodo criticized the innkeeper’s intelligence. Yes, the innkeeper had a hard time remembering to do things, but he wasn’t stupid. If you have ever read “The Lord of the Rings,” then you’ll remember that Old Butterbur recognized the threat that the Black Riders represented. Frodo didn’t get this. He seemed to think that Butterbur was just too stupid to realize how important certain things were.

The same thing happens today. People are judged as intelligent or not based on: their beliefs, what they’ve read, what they like to do in their free time, the movies they watch, their political inclinations, their religious beliefs–or lack thereof–, or simply because they have an impairment. It seems like this is just a way to make us feel better about ourselves. That feeling is fleeting at best. Comparing the intelligence of two different people is a lesson in futility. The basic intelligence tests only test the ‘book smarts’ to put it mildly. Many who rate on the average side of the IQ, are more intelligent in the skills called ‘street smarts’ or even the more mathematical skills. So comparing people only works when you are comparing people in the same field of experience.

Let’s face it, we all have our fields that we’ve specialized in. Just because someone hasn’t specialized in the same field, that doesn’t make him or her stupid, they’ve just specialized in another field. It’s more blatant in those we call savants. I mean, they have their one area of genius, but they aren’t capable of living on their own. These people aren’t stupid, they’re just highly specialized in their abilities. Yes, some of them are better at math than any calculator.

Critical thinking skills have been traded for a sense of superiority. It’s time for a change. Past time, really. We can start by considering other people’s points-of-view. It might take a little work, as well as a dictionary, but we will be following the golden rule as laid down by Jesus in Matthew.

We need the dictionary because words don’t always mean the same thing to different people. Words even have different meanings in different professions. This is why a mechanic isn’t stupid because he doesn’t understand the medical lingo. Neither is a doctor stupid because he doesn’t understand legalese, of course–other than lawyers–who does understand legalese? Sometimes I wonder about some of those.

Let’s take the word ‘coin’ for example. Most people think of money when they hear the word ‘coin.’ But a writer ‘coins’ a phrase. Did the writer buy the phrase? No, it’s just a phrase that he or she made popular.

Or how about the word ‘key.’ It can be a piece of metal that opens a lock. But it can be the answers in a back of a book of puzzles, or a sheet that lets teachers grade their students’ papers. It can be the word that decrypts an encrypted document. Also, it can be the most important person or piece to a plan.

The thing is we should be seeing both sides of the arguments. There are two sides of every coin, so to speak, but as a whole people have started only taking the one side that they are more comfortable with as truth. This leads to some brutal arguments, online at least, and much ignorance on both sides of the argument. Instead of seeing our opponents as stupid, perhaps we should see things through God’s prism, as such we can.

God’s ways and thinking are higher and better than ours. Instead of trying to pull each other down, we should be reaching for God’s ways. After all, with His way of seeing things, you would think that He had the habit of talking down to His creation. But really, that didn’t happen in the Bible. He only called the children of Israel stupid, after He told them not to do something, and they turned around and did it anyway. Stupid is as stupid does. And many other parents have said the same thing in similar instances.

So the next time you want to call somebody an idiot, a moron, or stupid, remember that it may be your lack. The other person may be specialized in a different field, and you have yet to find a common ground. It’s time we try to see what’s on the other side of the coin.

John Avery’s The Name Quest

I received this book for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Mr. Avery has spent fifteen years of his life studying the Bible, and learning the names and titles of God. With this book, he intends to deepen the reader’s relationship with God.

Story Telling: What can I say? This is Christian book. Mr. Avery seems to think that if you can just understand more of the nature of God, then you will love Him all the more.

Likes: Mr. Avery is advocating a personal relationship with God.

Dislikes: I don’t understand why Mr. Avery had to use Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek in this book. Why is it so hard to have faith that God can and will talk to us in our own language? Going back to the ‘original languages’ seems to be a step toward a spiritual hierarchy. Didn’t God say that He looks upon the heart? It seems pretty rotten for us to say that you need to know the original languages just to get ahead. I wonder if any of those who learn these languages have accounted for linguistic shift?

Conclusion: No, I don’t really have a favorite anything in this book. With all of the extra languages and Bible versions, I felt a bit lost. It was just too many roads; His is strait and narrow.

Milo Swanton’s Fealty to the King-The Children of Cain 1

I received this book courtesy of Mr. Swanton for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Brutez has a dream. A dream to se the tribes of the Snarshyim collected under one banner. In his mind, they are all related, there is no reason for all the fighting. This is his story, of course he gets some unexpected help.

Story Telling: Mr. Swanton has a gift for world building. The tribes are well developed. And the characters’ thoughts were easy to follow.

Likes: A story leading to peace is something to celebrate. Brutez is determined to find peace for all there is of the Snarshyim.

Dislikes: This is a rather bloody book. Not exactly one of my preferences. And then there is the aspect of these characters being related to Cain. Granted they aren’t shown in the worst light. I just see it as a dangerous precipice. Using Biblical characters, or–as in this case–their descendents, is a slippery slope.

Favorite Scene: My favorite parts had to be Jorgis’s journey to understand the scrolls that he and his friend found, or when God’s word came to the Snarshyim.

Conclusion: In my opinion, this book should be read by those firm in their faith. For the most part, it’s an okay story, just too bloody for me.

The King James Version Holy Bible

Overview: In the sum of sixty-six books, and multiple human authors, God has set out His story, and plan for human salvation. Of course we get some interesting side stories, like Ruth, or Samson, Jonah, just stories that don’t seem to fit with the “and that’s why Jesus came” main plot.

Story Telling: God uses a vast range of styles to write this book. You have the historical: Genesis, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles; the poetic: Psalms, Lamentations; legislative books: Exodus through Deuteronomy (Odd that these have so much history as well. Maybe God was onto something.); and lots of biographies. There are stories that show examples of the human condition at it’s finest (Abraham, David, Job) and at it’s worst (Ahab, Jezebel) with many in between (Jonah).

Likes: It’s a pretty hopeful book, as long as you take it to heart and don’t use it against others. It is rather easy to read, and easier to understand than Shakespeare. Not to mention, God is talking to you through it.

Dislikes: Written in the Bible: the genealogical lists do much in proving Jesus came as fully human, and can trace His lineage back to David then to Adam, but it’s the most boring part of the whole Book. Outside of the Bible: it’s the fact that nobody seems to see the Commandments, Laws, or other bits of wisdom included therein as applicable to themselves. These are just for everyone else. If we applied it to ourselves, in a personal sense, the world would be better off.

Favorite Scene: My favorite part of this Book is the fact *Spoiler Alert* God wins. He gets exactly what He wants.

Conclusion: Everyone should read this book cover to cover at least once. Learn from it, apply what you can to your life, and see where God will lead you from there. After all, the only thing you can change in this world is yourself.

Tom Tatum’s If Tigers Were Angels, With God All Things are Possible

Ben Taylor has quite a few regrets. Even though he lucked out in marrying his childhood sweetheart, he has ignored the special times with his family in favor of climbing the corporate ladder. He’s missed out on special days with his children. And now, his life doesn’t feel as satisfying as he would hope. Andy, his next door neighbor, has a secret that will change everything.

This was an interesting story. Ben is just the average workaholic. This attitude always gives a lot of regrets. Let’s face it, the job won’t be there for you. His choices aren’t what I personally would have chosen, but he seemed happy with them. Case in point, when he is making a life-altering decision. I wouldn’t decide such things on my own. This was a decision that needed to be discussed. Of course, Grace was a bit closed off at that moment.

My favorite part here was the whole idea that Jesus can reach us through our chosen mediums. It fills me with hope, because it makes it so that Jesus really can’t be cut out of the world. My favorite scenes were where Ben was playing ball with the children. That and when Ben and Jason were reconciled.

I found that Mr. Tatum’s story telling improved greatly when it came to “On Green Diamonds.” But you can see the seeds of that work, all throughout “If Tigers Were Angels.” It’s my belief that you don’t need to go into the ministry in order to Spread The Word. Many do so without even trying. It was a good story, and I think you’ll enjoy it.