Here are some of the Frequently Asked Questions that have been asked of the Analogyman.
- What do you mean by “you’re closer than you think?”
- What do you mean by “light from dark places?”
- What do movies have to do with God? How is watching a entertaining movie going to make a person like me to find gods truth? Aren’t you grasping at straws?
- I am a person that is always looking for answers and I watch movies for entertainment not guidance. But I guess I don’t see some of the comparisons and even after you wrote them I still don’t see them nor do my peers.
- Do you really believe a God of righteousness would lead us to the world for answers?
- Are you a preacher or religious scholar?
- Are you one of those people that believe if you give them the right answer and convince them of the truth they will follow your God?
- Looking at your website, true North and all your other videos you assume that all intelligent people need to be convinced with knowledge.
- If you are truly saved you will realize in the Bible even Christ himself just used Scriptures and Himself to reach the people.
- Browsing through your website kind of surprised me that you as Christian would think God the Holy Spirit would approve of such use of time and what your eyes are seeing. I briefly looked at the language content and nudity of these movies you watched to draw an analogy from and some of them I had more morals not to watch when I was a lost person. And I especially would not even watch them now with the God of heaven in my heart.
- But spiritually speaking as one brother to another (I hope you truly know God) why would God sanction a website like this or even lead a Christian to find a Diamond in the sewer to give it to someone who is in the sewer.
- God says be holy as I am holy and somehow I can’t see this and when a colleague found your site he asked the same thing— what is “Christian” doing this for and he personally thought you where on drugs.
- You say you’ve posted your website because, supposedly, “the Church” is not having much affect, I take it your methods are having a whole lot more affect getting people saved?
- I got saved from a simple chick tract. I heard people like you try to explain so many things about the Bible which confused and angered me more. But one of my students handed me a tract and said he would love me to meet his Lord. At that is all it took for me was someone to show me they loved me and not just convince me. Why don’t you stop trying talk in the terms of people that are smarter than you and just share the Gospel and stop complicating it?
- When is the last time you got out from behind your camera and walked the streets and saw that 99% of Canadians are not intellects but common normal people. That need to hear a simple story Jesus Loves them.
- QUESTION: Alright then, what’s the bottom line? Why ANALOGYMAN? Why even
suggest that your readers could possibly find light in dark places? Aren’t you “grasping at
1. What do you mean by “you’re closer than you think?”
People everywhere are seeking answers— the meaning of life, the purpose of existence, why God (supposedly) doesn’t show himself so we can all see him— the problem is, the pieces of the puzzle are laying about EVERYWHERE, but we don’t have any way of knowing when we’ve found a piece unless somebody who’s put the whole puzzle together comes alongside and tells us.
Analogyman simply uses things that are familiar to everybody in the culture (I’m talking about the world-wide 21st Century Google culture) and uses them to say, “what you’ve guessed might be true is absolutely true because God has said so in his book, the Bible.
2. What do you mean by “light from dark places?”
Since the theologians and the philosophers have argued the issues for centuries and muddied the waters so badly that even desperate seekers can’t find a way out, I try to go deep into the muddy waters and point out that even in the deepest darkest places of the world there are bits and pieces of the truth that can lead out into the light. It’s just that people have no way of knowing which piece is true and which is false— only somebody who’s been in dark places and discovered the way out can really help. (Isaiah 9:2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.)
The movies, for instance, are FULL of little hints that could lead people out into the light— it’s just that Christian people rarely make an effort to understand the cultures they live in.
3. What do movies have to do with God? How is watching a entertaining movie going to make a person like me to find gods truth? Aren’t you grasping at straws?
Can something be “entertaining” if it doesn’t spark your interest or curiosity? Why do you like to be entertained? Isn’t it partly to escape reality? And why would you need to escape reality? Because reality is full of unanswerable questions from which you want to be distracted.
And how in the world could reality be completely stripped of God’s truth? So whether artist and writers and film-makers believe in God or not, they can’t help but include bits of “God’s truth” in their story lines. There are so many examples of this I can only refer you to the particular Analogyman episode that piques your interest, because curiosity is a God-given gift designed to draw you to the truth.
And as for “grasping at straws” — so many people in our culture are so desperately seeking answers, and the church seems to be unaware of this national crisis — that non-Christians really are “grasping at straws” (ie. extraterrestrials will come to rescue us/ maybe we really are just prisoners of the Matrix/ maybe the Justice League or Spiderman will save us). Why in the world would Christians turn their backs on people who are obviously searching for the truth?
4. I am a person that is always looking for answers and I watch movies for entertainment not guidance. But I guess I don’t see some of the comparisons and even after you wrote them I still don’t see them nor do my peers.
I’ve already answered this (3) but I know the average reader will require more explanation. The Analogyman episodes should answer your questions. Keep in mind that everybody asks different questions and there’s not one size fits all. So your 2nd point “I don’t see some of the comparisons” needs explanation. Analogyman is not designed to entertain Christians. In fact, I find it odd that Christians even admit to needing to be entertained. It reminds me of Nero fiddling while Rome burned. With so many people is jeopardy, why isn’t there a greater effort to reach across the great gulf that separates the two cultures— the Christian and the non-Christian cultures? I suspect the answer is this: because many people misunderstand how teaching is supposed to work. As a teacher, my FIRST obligation is to find out what you know and what you don’t, and frame my lesson to FIRST capture your interest. So to read any of my Analogyman episodes without first having seen the movies circumvents the process. For example, I first saw LOGAN’S RUN before I became a Christian, and from my non-Christian perspective the premise of the movie shocked me to the core: “What if your entire culture is lying to you, and submitting without a fight to “Carousel” is deadly?” At the time, I understood the movie was FICTION, but reason alone told me “what if this fictitious situation has a real-world analogy? Can I afford to ignore the alarm bells going off in my mind? ” It turns out years later that the irreligious establishment was wrong when it told me “there’s no God and there’s nothing after death”— and the religious establishment was lying to me with such inane prattle as “you’ll find out after you die and you can decide then.”
As for your comment “I still don’t see them, nor do my peers” — remember people run in flocks like sheep, so if you only get the opinions of your peers, remember that they can be victims of the same misconceptions. It’s safest to step OUT of the circles you run in and consider both sides of all issues. I was a thorough-going atheist and now I’m a thorough-going Christian. Some of the people who helped me most — like Carl Sagan and Isaac Asimov— were WAY outside …. and from WAY OUTSIDE you actually can see a lot more of the big picture. That’s why I’m excited about people who like CONTACT and WHAT DREAMS MAY COME— these people are so close to the truth, they just need a bit of tweaking and they’re IN.
5. Do you really believe a God of righteousness would lead us to the world for answers?
I can only give you Christ’s own answer here: “And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.” Luke 19:40 When the Christian church is mum, or irrelevant, or arrogant, God uses “the world” to lead people to the truth. It takes longer and many people fall through the cracks because of it. Christians are in the world to guide others into God’s truth— and when they don’t, God uses whatever He can find.
6. Are you a preacher or religious scholar?
I was a whosoever and now I’m a whatever.
7. Are you one of those people that believe if you give them the right answer and convince them of the truth they will follow your God?
I believe God’s method is to reason with people. [Isaiah 1:18] We are told to be “ready always to give a reason for the hope that is in you”. [1 Peter 3:15] When people are confused about their circumstances and their beliefs, I try to come alongside and try to understand them, and then offer them some light from the Bible. When people have been genuinely seeking and have unearthed the really despairing questions (like why am I here? Where am I going? What am I worth? What’s the purpose for life on earth?) then I KNOW they’ve already searched over that ground and I can say to them, “here’s a piece you missed!” and when they plug that piece in the lights come on. I don’t convince them, I just provide the pieces they’ve missed in their search.
8. Looking at your website, true North and all your other videos you assume that all intelligent people need to be convinced with knowledge.
I believe that intelligent people need to be alerted to their assumptions. Marilyn vos Savant once wrote a whole book about this: “We can learn the necessity to question our assumptions, but, to do that, we first have to recognize our assumptions ¾ and that’s a lot harder. This is arguably the greatest logical weakness of bright people.” All I do is come alongside intelligent people and ask them what their basis is for believing what they believe— and 90% of the time they believe stuff they were taught (brainwashed) before they were old enough to be discerning. After all, we are all composites of the knowledge we’ve been taught. I was convinced that 2 + 2 = 4. If, 20 years later, I am convinced otherwise, I would be a fool not to go back and reconsider my entire belief system. When I get new knowledge that trumps old knowledge it’s my responsibility to change my mind. Can I coerce a man to change his mind? “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still” leaves room for another tactic: a man can be convinced if by his own free will he is willing to listen to a contrary opinion. It’s DISGRACEFUL how many Christians let me spout off my atheist beliefs without ever gently trying to convince me with God’s truth. Unsaved people are not stupid, they’re just ignorant— and by the number of people surfing the internet looking for truth you’d think the Christians would wise up and meet them half way.
9. If you are truly saved you will realize in the Bible even Christ himself just used Scriptures and Himself to reach the people.
No, Jesus used analogies along with “Himself and Scriptures”. That’s what a parable is— an analogy.
An interesting sidelight is that Jesus used parables to BRING THE GENUINE SEEKER (the contrite, humble, broken person) into the kingdom but KEEP THE ‘EXPERTS’ OUT. The amazing thing is that with all the theological jargon floating around in some churches, very few ‘expert’ preachers and teachers seem to be capable of making an analogy— when in fact the true proof of whether a person really understands something is when he can make an analogy.
10. Browsing through your website kind of surprised me that you as Christian would think God the Holy Spirit would approve of such use of time and what your eyes are seeing. I briefly looked at the language content and nudity of these movies you watched to draw an analogy from and some of them I had more morals not to watch when I was a lost person. And I especially would not even watch them now with the God of heaven in my heart.
I was not a Christian for the first 30 years of my life and I frequently went to “Hollywood” movies to assuage my loneliness, my longing for purpose and meaning, and my search for truth. I know you Christians think that I was stupid to search for truth in Hollywood movies, but where was I supposed to go? And if I wasted years of my life watching these films, yes, I suppose God didn’t approve of such use of time and what my eyes are seeing. But my point is, that because of my having seen them before I became a Christian, I KNOW there are still millions of people out there that have either seen them or are going to see them and I want to be there to draw the analogies now. Luckily I can still remember these movies and the effect they had on me, and how CLOSE some of them were to the truth which I finally discovered when I was 30. And I KNOW that if a Christian had pulled alongside and started a conversation with me, I would have been able to explain my own thoughts — and he could have then filled in the blank spots and led me to the truth. If anybody had bothered to try to see the world from my point of view, they would have had opportunity to share with me the world from their point of view— and I would have had at least a chance. I’m not asking Christians to go to these films. I’m asking non-Christians to reconsider what they saw when they went to see these films— and to plug in the pieces of the puzzle that they missed when they first saw them. I believe in the old Tae Qwon Do proverb, “understand the big picture and all the pieces will fall into place”. Once a person is shown the connections and gets a chance to see the BIG PICTURE he is never the same again.
11.But spiritually speaking as one brother to another (I hope you truly know God) why would God sanction a website like this or even lead a Christian to find a Diamond in the sewer to give it to someone who is in the sewer.
The site is not for Christians, it is for people who are not Christians, for LOST PEOPLE.
The final word on this is what Oscar Wilde said years ago: “we are all of us in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
12. God says be holy as I am holy and somehow I can’t see this and when a colleague found your site he asked the same thing— what is “Christian” doing this for and he personally thought you where on drugs.
I spent years on drugs as a teenager. But before I started down that road, I asked my high-school literature teacher (whom I greatly respected) “Is there some secret to life I need to know about?”
She wanted to know why I was asking. “Because there are people in my life telling me that the real secrets cannot be found rationally by going to school— they can only be found transcendentally” meaning DRUGS).” She told me not to take drugs— but she didn’t tell be about Christ. Why not?
13. You say you’ve posted your website because, supposedly, “the Church” is not having much affect, I take it your methods are having a whole lot more affect getting people saved?
I know the culture enough to know that the unchurched think of the church as boring and irrelevant. Sorry. As for my methods, I have no idea how effective I am being. I’m no expert in building websites or even writing blogs. All I know is that I’ve taken very seriously a passage I found in Jude 1:22,23: “And of some have compassion, making a difference and others save with fear, pulling [them] out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.” I’m assuming that what little I can do may be taken up by others who catch my vision. Obviously I can’t get any help from the Christians because they don’t seem capable of understanding what I’m doing. And I won’t get any help from the non-Christians until someday, somehow, God lights a fire under a person as desperate as I was. I was like Paul the apostle— “ a brand plucked from the fire”. So I’m working on the assumption that there are still others like me out there somewhere, and I do what I do in the hopes (like in the film I AM LEGEND, where US Army virologist Robert Neville is desperately radio-ing daily hoping to find another survivor)— that if there’s somebody out there that catches my vision they will try to make contact.
14. I got saved from a simple chick tract. I heard people like you try to explain so many things about the Bible which confused and angered me more. But one of my students handed me a tract and said he would love me to meet his Lord. At that is all it took for me was someone to show me they loved me and not just convince me. Why don’t you stop trying talk in the terms of people that are smarter than you and just share the Gospel and stop complicating it?
I spent the first 10 years handing out hundreds of Chick tracts, going door to door and getting so much apathy that I began to see that apathy is now a cultural disease. That’s when I began to research the materials that eventually became TRUE NORTH. I never gave up with my tracts and personal outreach, but I began to see that my fellow Canadians might have to be approached from another direction. In fact, I recently gave a Chick tract to an intellectual who was offended that I would expect him to be so low as to read a comic book— so I also gave him my TRUE NORTH tract— to which he reacted that it was “too complicated”. So which is it? Too simple or too complicated or both? I suspect the answer is people do not understand that there are a LOT OF PIECES necessary to understand salvation. My professor friend who was so quickly saved by a student handing him a tract probably had a lifetime of experiences and concepts behind him that were suddenly coalesced into a genuine salvation experience. It is difficult for me to disagree with him that it was the “simple gospel” that saved him — of course the final conclusion (“the butler did it!) is so simple one wonders why all the detectives on the case didn’t figure it out sooner! But the final realization is the conclusion of a long process… and I’ve discovered that one of my roles in this process is to join people in their journey and just nudge them along bit further. That’s what Analogyman is — a nudge, a goad, whatever it takes.
15.When is the last time you got out from behind your camera and walked the streets and saw that 99% of Canadians are not intellects but common normal people. That need to hear a simple story Jesus Loves them.
As I said in the last FAQ, I still walk the streets and I do all that— I’ve just ADDED something to help the millions I’ll never be able to reach by my old methods. I do what Paul taught me to do— “For though I be free from all [men], yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all [men], that I might by all means save some.
16. QUESTION: Alright then, what’s the bottom line? Why ANALOGYMAN?
Why even suggest that your readers could possibly find light in dark places?
Aren’t you “grasping at straws”?
ANSWER: My main purpose for ANALOGYMAN is to “light up the darkness.” I believe with all mind, my heart, and my soul that TRUTH is all around us— even in the darkest places. We can’t get away from it— the Universe could not continue to exist without it. The problem is that you, dear reader, have no way to know that you have discovered a truth when it’s standing right in front of you. When you come across a situation — a line in a conversation, or a scene in a movie, or a comment at work, or at school— something that acts like a truth, looks like a truth, feels like a truth, makes sense like a truth— you really have no way to prove you’ve got your finger on a truth.
And yet you seem to know in your heart that there’s something special here— even if you can’t describe it or explain it. Take for instance that amazing scene in the film I AM LEGEND , where the virologist Robert Neville ( played by Will Smith), tries to explain why he just KNOWS that in the impossible situation they are in (a deadly virus has killed 90% of the human race and is threatening it’s extinction) that he MUST fight back, he MUST not give up—and he quotes a line from Bob Marley to make his point— “light up the darkness.”
What he is saying here is a TRUTH. It is a truth I heard when first I came across this anonymous quotation: “Not until the wounds of the world are healed, not until the last thirsty soul has been led to the river of life, has an able-bodied man a right to lay down his armour and call a halt.” Most of us known instinctively that it’s not over until it’s over. That’s a TRUTH.
How did Robert Neville know that he had stumbled on a TRUTH? “Never give up” is a truth. In a relativistic society, the only way any one of us would know if they’ve stumbled on a truth is when it’s endorsed from OUTSIDE the system we euphemistically call “the World”. Someone completely unaffected by the world’s philosophies could theoretically confirm that something is absolutely true. Let’s face it, we all have things we just KNOW are absolutely true— we just don’t have a way of absolutely proving it. “We hold these truths to be self-evident” for instance, is a phrase in the American Declaration of Independence that we take absolutely for granted as being true— even though we have no way of proving why we know this.
The only way we could know anything absolutely for sure is if we had a benchmark— an external fixed point, an immovable “true north” outside the “system”. The “system,” I’m talking about here is the “world system”— the vast conglomeration of experts and public figures who know everything about everything, but who do not know the God who created everything. The Creator is that one fixed immovable point. He has outlived philosophies, regimes and civilizations.
Ultimately the only unchanging fixed point in the whole Universe is God— and He has written a book of TRUTH called the Bible. And it’s by that book that I judge right and wrong, truth and error, light and darkness
In this dark world of ignorance and confusion, I have found a book that allows me to discern absolute truth in a sea of error. That’s ALL I have to offer my readers. Whatever truth you think you know, I have a way of absolutely confirming whether it true or false— it because if it is written in the Book that it’s true , then it is an absolute truth.
So ANALOGYMAN simply provides a service. In a world where people don’t read the Bible, don’t respect the Bible, don’t know the Bible— how are they supposed to know whether their beliefs, their hopes, their dreams— and their nightmares — are true or false? And where else do people get their hopes, their dreams and their nightmares nowadays? They get them from their environment, from the public media, from their films. A fictitious film can be more full of actual truth than an address from the White House or a pronouncement from a prestigious seminary professor.
And it’s the only way I know of to light up the darkness. As the darkness closes in, I find myself driven to the truths of the Bible— eternal truths like the fact that God created us all to have fellowship with Him, that there is a heaven waiting for us after we die, that we will one day meet our loved ones again in the afterlife, that life has a purpose, that the Creator has designed life to be enjoyed, and that peace, love, joy, happiness, prosperity and security are part of the design package.
Knowing this, how can I not go down into the darkness? How can we not light up the darkness?