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No One Better

Essays in Honour of Dr. Norman H. Young

Edited By Kayle B. de Waal and Robert K. McIver

In honour of the work and legacy of Norman H. Young, this compilation of essays covers a range of topics on the Old Testament, New Testament, mission, sociology of religion, identity, and church history. The Old Testament essays include typological readings of Esther, the goodness of God, and the centrality of the cross in understanding all of Scripture. The New Testament essays reflect research in the Gospel of Matthew, the Epistle to the Hebrews, and the book of Revelation, offering new insight into the interpretation of the Apocalypse. Additional essays provide focus on mission, identity, and sociology of religion. This cutting-edge collection breaks fresh ground in research and analysis, bringing the latest scholarship to bear on each chosen topic.
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John’s Apocalyptic Matrix: Violence and Virtual Reality Ancient and Modern

Extract



JON PAULIEN

Loma Linda University

“The Matrix is everywhere. It’s all around us, … It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth… Like everyone else, you were born into bondage, kept inside a prison that you cannot smell, taste, or touch. A prison for your mind.”1 “What is the Matrix? Control. The Matrix is a computer-generated dreamworld built to keep us under control…”2

Morpheus, in The Matrix

Violence, ultimately, is about power and control. It is the last resort when negotiation, manipulation and other means fail to keep things “under control.” It is a tool by which the powerful control the weak. It is a tool by which the weak manipulate the powerful.3 But violence has an evil twin, deception.4 Communism and Naziism, for example, exerted authority with force, the governmental use of violence. But their propaganda machines also used deception to blind their people to the oppression they were suffering.

Violence and Deception in The Matrix

The Matrix movies portray a similar mixture of violence and deception.5 These movies connected powerfully with the first post-modern generation.6 According to Adam Gopnik, “The first film struck so deep not because it showed us a new world, but because it reminded us of this one.”7 Read Mercer Schuchardt called it “a new testament for a new millennium.”8 The subplot of the movies is a war between...

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