26 Dec 2012

Goodbye, the beloved country


Goodbye, the beloved country - by P.K.Odendaal - December 2013 


I am emigrating from South Africa to Canada in February 2013. 

The progress in South Africa had just become too much for me. We have climbed every ladder and list of dubious goals in the world, reaching for the top of each. Although we have not reached any of the top positions yet, we might, with some perseverance, reach them soon. These lists include the most corrupt country, country with the highest crime rate, country with the highest murder and rape rate, and other such coveted accomplishments.
Our murder rate for a peaceful South Africa is still in excess of those killed in Syria at the height of their civil war, and far in excess of those killed in Afghanistan and Iraq - what a noble feat. Peace has never been so violent. 

22 Dec 2012

What do you not want to see


What do you not want to see? - By P.K.Odendaal - January 2013

I was inspired by the article by Annemie titled: 'What do you see?' She inspired us to look deeper into everything to see the detail, emotion, meaning, creativity, art, light and darkness, texture and colour, harmony, emotion and passion in everything.
Of course, there are also times when we do not want to see, and these are times I call: 'What do you not want to see' - the things you turn a blind eye to. It is times when we wish our eyes were closed. Some people then stick their heads in the sand, but I, not wishing to get sand or smoke in my eyes, look, but do not see, plainly because some things make my eyes sore, and some things make my heart sore. What would happen if I really tried to see these things? I think the world would be a much better place, if I also saw that. However, I am programmed not to see it.

20 Dec 2012

Dialogue with an atheist - Part 7 - Spirits

Dialogue with an atheist - Part 7 - Spirits - by P.K.Odendaal - December 2012
 

GLC:        Hi Atheist, why are you coming back time and again. I thought you would have shunned my company many moons ago.
Atheist:   I don't know. I do not like Christians, but somehow you give me something to think about now and then. You sometimes have a point - a weak one, but still. And you do not shun or force Christianity down my throat immediately, like other Christians do. I am so fed up with them about that. But ... what are we talking about today.
GLC:        We are going to jump directly into the spiritual world - the one you are so sure does not exist. You must have gathered from the subject of our previous dialogue, called 'Evil', that I would now follow with Spirits, because spirits are the abode of evil. Evil does not exist anywhere else, despite this humorous poem by Lewis Carroll (from Phantasmagoria):

12 Dec 2012

Dialogue with an atheist - Part 6 - Evil

Dialogue with an atheist - Part 6 - Evil - by P.K.Odendaal - December 2012.


Atheist:   Last time you talked about evil, and I wish to take you up on that. Why do you say Dawkins and company are evil and the Israelites are not? I thought the latter were indeed the worst - if one can believe the Bible.
GLC:        Sorry for the ambiguity. I meant that I regard Dawkins and company as evil, but they cannot be described as evil to an atheist, because there is no concept of evil for an atheist. Evil, Satan, Hell, Perdition and the Last Judgement are words defined and created in the Bible - by God and the writers of Scripture. Of course, if you do not believe in God, then Evil, Satan, Hell and the Devil are also non-existent concepts.
Atheist:   That is an insult to me - of course I know what evil is and means. I see it around me every day.

7 Dec 2012

Dialogue with an atheist - Part 5 - War and peace

Dialogue with an atheist - part 5 - War and Peace -  by P.K.Odendaal - December 2012


Scripture

Atheist:   Hi GLC, I have been looking for you everywhere after you insulted my heroes or revered writers last time. You got very uptight, and I thought that you were so clinically rational.
GLC:        Hi Atheist. I am not only rational - I am also passionate and a lot of other things. You however are the strictly rational one. So what are you up to today?
Atheist:   I am throwing you a curved ball today, and I cannot wait to see you being caught out on first base.

2 Dec 2012

Dialogue with an atheist - Part 4 - by P.K.Odendaal - December 2012

Dialogue with an atheist - Part 4 - by P.K.Odendaal - December 2012


What is an atheist really

GLC:        Hi Atheist, interested in another session with me, about things material and immaterial? Or shall I say physical and meta-physical? Or what about this one ... carnal and spiritual?
Atheist:   You have this funny effect on me - I detest you, but still I cannot help but listening to you - the same effect as people like Dawkins and hitchens have on Christians.
GLC:        I do not mean it to be a sort of punishment, but rather an excursion into realms and domains where you would feel ill at ease, but still domains which exist. I know you are a materialist, and that you only believe in physical things, but leading a life of bondage in only one domain must cramp your lifestyle immensely.
Atheist:   Ok, go ahead, what do you have in store today?

17 Nov 2012

Dialogue with an Atheist - Part 3 - Gravity of the situation

Dialogue with and atheist - Part 1 - by P.K.Odendaal - October 2012

Gravity of the situation.

GLC:        Hi Atheist, I did not know that you would come back for another session of our dialogue. You looked very perplexed last time.
Atheist:   You left you too much to think about, although I cannot get myself to think where you got it wrong - but wrong you surely got it. So I might redeem myself today with some fresh new arguments.
GLC:        And speaking of redemption. Why would you want to redeem yourself. Where did you get lost or lost your faith or your self-composure. I thought that only Christians looked for redemption.

14 Nov 2012

Dialogue with an Atheist - Part 2

Dialogue with an Atheist - Part 2 - by P.K.Odendaal - November 2012


Less tangible objects.

GLC:        Hi there, Atheist, where are you hurrying to?
Atheist:   I am off to some business at the bank.
GLC:        Why did you all of a sudden remember to rush off to the bank just when you saw me?
Atheist:   I do not like you Christians. You think the world belongs to you. Everywhere you have people in high places trying to dictate policy along Christian principles, which the rest of us do not like.
GLC:        You are not perhaps talking of some church going people who wish to force their church dogma onto you?
Atheist:   Yes, exactly.

1 Nov 2012

Zwischenzug - 2 - What does that mean?

Many thanks to the USA who were the largest readers of my blog this week  - I appreciate it and I hope I can make a contribution to debunking the lies, doubts, misconceptions and mis-understandings of our world of today.

It made me think of the Conference on Sustainable Development, held in South Africa some five years ago, in Durban. It was not the climate change one which become known as the Durban Disaster, but might well have been.

When the conference started, each delegate received a question on a piece of paper (I am told) which read like this :

What, in your honest opinion, is the solution to the shortage of food in the rest of the world. 

Delegates had to hand in their replies before the end of the conference. When none were handed in, the organisers wanted to know why the delegates did answer it.

Someone gave this reply:   

It was because nobody fully understood the question.

The delegates from West Africa did not know what honest meant, those from Russia did not know what an opinion meant, those from the Middle East did not know what a solution meant, those from Europe did not know what a shortage meant, those from the rest of Africa did not know what food meant, and those from the USA did not know what the rest of the world meant.


28 Oct 2012

Dialogue with an atheist - Part 1


Dialogue with and atheist - Part 1 - by P.K.Odendaal - October 2012 

This is a continuation of my previous dialogues, and like the others, this is also a hypothetical dialogue. Not that it is fictional. It is a summary of all the discussions and arguments I have had with atheists and agnostics over many years, and of the principles of their unbelief written in many books I have read. In this dialogue my own words will be prefixed by the acronym GLC meaning a God Loving Creature. 
GLC:        So Atheist, what do you believe in?
Atheist:   I can better tell you what I do not believe in. I am an atheist and I do not believe in God. I only believe in things that I can see or observe - things material and physical. Things which I do not believe in is anything else. I do not believe in the meta-physical world or something intangible.


27 Oct 2012

Adult Sunday School - Part 17 - The Dead shall rise


Adult Sunday School - Part 25 - The dead shall rise - by P.K.Odendaal - October 2012. 

Ouch! ... that's a terrible blow to atheists. They think that they can just die one day, and never live again - and never answer for their deeds on earth or anywhere else. How convenient. Atheists believe in determinism which states that each cause has an effect. But, they omit to state that it is only they who are free from this injunction, as their lives and deeds - and death - has no consequences or effects. How inconsistent is that belief? Enough of that. I am here to bury Caesar, not to praise him, lest he should rise again.
But there is a way you may rise again.

20 Oct 2012

Adult Sunday School - Part 16 - The Sign of Jonah


Adult Sunday School - Part 16 - The Sign of Jonah - by P.K.Odendaal - October 2012

Jonah is one of the shortest books in the bible, but so full of meaning and prophecy, that one can hardly ignore it. In fact - it is one of the first books newcomers read, being such a wonderful and even far-fetched story of someone being swallowed by a whale and later spit out on a beach.
So whilst it is a miracle, we will not stop there, but probe deeper into the underlying meaning, especially since Jesus Christ told us that He was giving us the sign of Jonah, when asked for a sign (by the people). Mat 12:39  But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: v:40  For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

19 Oct 2012

From the Grave

From the Grave by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

When the first sere leaves of the year were falling,
I heard, with a heart that was strangely thrilled,
Out of the grave of a dead Past calling,
A voice I fancied forever stilled.

All through winter and spring and summer,
Silence hung over that grave like a pall,
But, borne on the breath of the last sad comer,
I listen again to the old-time call.

18 Oct 2012

Zwischenzug - 1 - Thank you

As a 'zwischenzug' (an intermediate neutral move in chess) between articles, I wish to thank everyone for reading my blog. I appreciate it - and please feel free to question or support my arguments. 
 
I have been surprised this week with two unexpected outcomes.
 
The first one is that my latest article, Adult Sunday School  - The Lamb of God, reached unexpected reading statistics, pushing it up to sixth place overall within six days. It inspires me to extend this series.
 
Secondly, I was surprised to find that for the last week, Russia was my largest audience. That really means something for me, due to the history of that country. I always maintain that  South Africa (the country I live in) and Russia have very similar histories. South Africa has a short, sad and sorry history, and Russia has a long, sad and sorry history - both tainted largely by suffering, greed and the monopoly of power, combined with unnecessary wars. But then, is that not the history of every country in the world?
 
I feel strongly about questioning everything we accept as normal and at face value - even the simple things, and like to probe its uncertainties with new perspectives - mostly unsuccessful - but here and there I can feel the light breaking though in this twilight between knowledge and ignorance, or between light and darkness.
 
Please share with your friends and acquaintances.

Thank you !

13 Oct 2012

Delila

Delilah - by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

In the midnight of darkness and terror,
When I would grope nearer to God,
With my back to a record of error
And the highway of sin I have trod,

There comes shapes I would banish -
The shapes of deeds I have done;
And I pray and I plead till they vanish -
All vanish and leave me, save one.

Adult Sunday School - Part 15 - The Lamb of God

Adult Sunday School - Part 15 - The Lamb of God - by P.K.Odendaal

Written October 2010, Rewritten April 2012, April 2014, April 2019

Writing about the Lamb of God is a continuing process as new insights are gained every time the scripture is studied again. It is Pass-over 2019 now and I have freshly considered the last week of the life of Christ. In this last week He is fulfilling the prophecies of the Lamb of God and showing us what will transpire towards the end of the world. Once again I gained new perspectives on this subject since I wrote the original article back then.

6 Oct 2012

Adult Sunday School - Part 14 - The Last Judgment


Adult Sunday School - Part 14 - The Last Judgment - by P.K.Odendaal - October 2012. 

This used to send shivers up my spine, but not anymore - and you can prepare yourself for this to take the sting out of it. But sure as we live, there will be a Final or Last Judgement of the World. It will be like a court case for individuals and nations, and it is easiest to think of it in terms of a court case on earth, as what we have on earth is based on a justice system instituted by God for Israel.
The basis for any such a court case is the presence of a judge (Jesus Christ), an accuser (Satan), an accused (me and you), witnesses (anyone we wish to call), and the Law (Mosaic Law and the Bible). We all know the procedures which will be followed. Satan will bring in an accusation against us, we will plead guilty or not, and if we plead innocence, we will need to defend ourselves with suitably prepared witnesses and arguments in terms of the Law (and the rest of the Bible).

4 Oct 2012

Philosophy - Part 24 - Deeper into the Sunset Limited


Philosophy - Part 24 - Deeper into the Sunset Limited - by P.K.Odendaal - October 2012. 

Somehow this story haunts me often, and although I have spent much time on it here on the blog, it comes up again and again as a general life crisis for many people, although not for me personally. I know their position and their plight quite well, as I almost tripped in front of that train many years ago. Although we have gone much deeper than a superficial treatment of the disease, we have not explored its depths satisfactorily.
What is concept of the The Sunset Limited? It is the pinnacle of a life of self-destruction, ending sadly with an inevitable nihilistic act - in this case jumping in front of a train to commit suicide. It is clear from the story that White has no other viable option. If we listen to him carefully, we can clearly hear the words of Nietzsche in the background of his thoughts.

3 Oct 2012

Upon the Lonely Moor

Upon the Lonely Moor - by Lewis Carroll.

I met an aged, aged man
Upon the lonely moor:
I knew I was a gentleman,
And he was but a boor.

So I stopped and roughly questioned him,
"Come tell me how you live!"
But his words impressed my ear no more
Than if it was a sieve.

2 Oct 2012

Goodbye

Goodbye  - by Ella Wheeler WilCox

Goodbye - yes, I am going
Sudden? Well, you are right;
But a startling truth came home to me
With a sudden force last night.

What is it? Shall I tell you?
Nay, that is why I go.
I am running away from the battlefield,
Turning my back on the foe.

Riddles? You think me cruel!
Have you not been most kind?
Why, when you question me like that,
What answer can I find?

29 Sept 2012

Solitude

Solitude - by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
weep, and you weep alone.
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
but has trouble enough of its own.

Sing, and the hills will answer;
sigh, it is lost on the air.
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
but shrink from voicing care.

Adult Sunday School - Part 13 - The Rapture and The Bride


Adult Sunday School - Part 13 - The Rapture and The Bride - by P.K.Odendaal - September 2012.

The rapture refers to a group of Christians, known as the Bride of Christ, leaving the earth, in their transformed, bodies, whilst alive, to go to Heaven, in order to  be the bride at the Marriage of the Lamb.
It is not spelled out in detail in the Bible, but we have quite a few scriptures which hints at it, and there are many stories and prophecies out of which we can learn about it.
And it starts quite early in the Bible, because this is what the Bible is really all about. Adam is created by God, and God prepares a bride for him, out of his own body. God creates mankind and prepares a nation, Israel, out of them, to be His wife - whom He has divorced subsequently. Lastly God creates His Church on earth, from which he prepares a bride for His Son. The same theme goes on and on, especially when you read the numerous Bible stories related to a wedding.

27 Sept 2012

A Hymn to God the Father

A Hymn to God the Father - by John Donne
 
Wilt Thou forgive that sin where I begun,
Which was my sin, though it were done before?
Wilt thou forgive that sin through which I run,
And do run still, though still I do deplore?
When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done,
For I have more.
 
Wilt thou forgive that sin which I have won
Others to sin and made my sin their door?
Wilt Thou forgive that sin which I did shun 
A year, or two, but wallowed in a score?
When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done,
For I have more.
 
I have a sin of fear, that when I have spun
My last thread, I shall perish on the shore;
Swear by thyself that at my death Thy Son
Shall shine as he shines now, and heretofore;
And having done that, Thou hast done,
I fear no more.

26 Sept 2012

The Lie

I will be publishing poetry I really like - hope you like it too.

The Lie - by Sir Walter Ralegh

I dedicate this poem to President Ahmadinejad of Iran after his interview with Charlie Rose in October 2012

Go, Soul, the body's guest,
Upon a thankless arrant:
Fear not to touch the best;
The truth shall be thy warrant:
Go, since I needs must die,
And give the world the lie.

Say to the court, it glows
And shines like rotten wood:
Say to the church it shows
What's good, and doth no good:
If church and court reply,
Then give them both the lie.

22 Sept 2012

Adult Sunday School - Part 12 - Absalom


Adult Sunday School - Part 12 - Absalom - by P.K.Odendaal - September 2012 

We have looked previously at Joseph as a type for Jesus Christ, and we find the same type of story repeated in another form with another person named Absalom.
It starts strikingly in the form of Absalom as the son of David. 2 Sa 13:1  And it came to pass after this, that Absalom the son of David ...
Compare this with : Mark 10:48  And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.
So they both were sons of David prophetically speaking.
It ends strikingly with both being killed by hanging on a tree. That is enough for us to start to make comparisons. There are of course again differences as a son of mankind cannot completely mimic the story of a son of God.

17 Sept 2012

Philosophy - Part 23 - Revisiting The Sunset Limited


Philosophy - Part 23 - Revisiting The Sunset Limited - by P.K.Odendaal - September 2012 

Some people approach me from time to time, to ask me for advice on social and spiritual matters, and although I almost always understand their problem and offer them some general help, I am usually unable to really understand what goes on inside them, why they have this question or problem, and what I should say to them - and I usually end up offering them the wrong or irrelevant advice.
When I saw the film 'The Sunset Limited', I had this overpowering desire to understand the dilemma of White and to offer him some advice - advice which Black was apparently unable to offer him, to prevent his second suicide attempt. And that is what started this series on philosophy.

15 Sept 2012

Adult Sunday School - Part 11 - Let my people go


Adult Sunday School - Part 11 - Let my people go - by P.K.Odendaal - August 2012 

Now that we have learnt what a type is and how one story is mapped to another, we can look at Exodus and Revelation, in which Exodus is mapped to Revelation. Both have the central theme of releasing God's people from bondage into bliss.
To understand this story we must start with what belongs to whom.
God has made the earth and it belonged to Him, but He decided to give dominion over it, without any strings attached, to Adam and Eve, to dress and to keep: Gen 1:26  And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

11 Sept 2012

Philosophy - Part 22 - Orthodoxy and Heresy


Philosophy - Part 22 - Orthodoxy and Heresy - by P.K.Odendaal - September 2012 

This piece is also known as the forces of man, in contrast to my previous article on the forces of God - see part 8. The forces of man are orthodoxy, heresy, rationalism, empiricism, induction, determinism and materialism.
I will try to define them as well I can.
Rationalism - the explanation of things in terms of our reason or our worldview.
Empiricism - the explanation of things in terms of our experimentation results, without an accepted theory. It is the notion that similar experiments will yield similar results, even if we do not know what the reason for that is.
Induction - the explanation of things in terms of their outcome in previous similar circumstances and conditions and extrapolating them into unknown areas. If we say one plus one is two, then we can safely assume that two plus two is four.

9 Sept 2012

Adult Sunday School - Part 10 - Gideon


Adult Sunday School - Part 10 - Gideon - by P.K.Odendaal - September 2012

How do you go from rejection, bitterness, accusations and humiliation to arrogant and steadfast faith? How can any man go from the one extreme to the other? Just ask Gideon. For me he is an example of what can be done if you are touched by God - more than once. Many of us are touched by God and it stays a touch - and even soon disappears.
Read the article by Annemie here :
I have been touched by God many times, and it stays an anchor for my soul in times of abject depression, which fortunately are quite rare.
We start off with Gideon - himself, his family and his nation being rejected and forgotten by God, with no hope and no God.

2 Sept 2012

Philosophy - Part 20 - A parody on friendship


Philosophy - Part 20 - A parody (well almost) on friendship - by P.K.Odendaal - September 2012 

In my own life, friendship is paramount. I will offer many oxen on the altar of friendship in the hope that one of them will come alive again one day. I am still waiting. I regard friendship as sacred and precious and enriching, and a special relationship that will add lustre and comfort and richness to my life. Still my life is void of this. Why should this be?
I may be part of the problem and not of the solution, but where did I miss the opportunity? What could it have added to my life? The friend in need and the friend indeed proposition never showed up. I was always supposed to be the fool as the friend indeed, and never found a friend in my need.
I had to reconsider my position, especially after a friend of mine asked me what the bounds of friendship were. I started to wonder. Was there indeed such a concept as friendship or is it some unattainable utopia we hope for.

1 Sept 2012

Adult Sunday School - Part 9 - Revenge


Adult Sunday School - Part 9 - Revenge - by P.K.Odendaal - September 2012
 
We have seen that the law had to come, and that minimised but partly legitimised revenge, although it was not meant to. It was meant to give redress only.
But, despite this, mankind persisted in revenge on a grand scale, and we have only to look at Samson to see this. Samson is our type for revenge, because that is more or less what his life consisted of - and the sad part was that he was such a man of God called a Nazarite who was called to free his people from bondage by the Philistines. Instead he brought them into further bondage.

One day in Avignon

https://plus.google.com/photos/102381076648563287639/albums/5783094259167149697#photos/102381076648563287639/albums/5783094259167149697

29 Aug 2012

One day in Alaska

https://picasaweb.google.com/102381076648563287639/OneDayInAlaska#

Philosophy - Part 17 - Induction


Philosophy - Part 17 - Induction - by P.K.Odendaal - August 2012 

It is probable that all we know, we know from a process called induction - a very powerful mathematical and scientific tool, greatly neglected by fields like philosophy, psychology and religion. Mathematical induction is a method of mathematical proof typically used to establish that a given statement is true for all natural numbers. In science and philosophy it is a kind of reasoning that constructs or evaluates general propositions that are derived from specific examples.
One such an example is a statement by Goldbach, called the Goldbach conjecture. In 1742 he conjectured in a letter to Euler that every even number from 4 onwards is the sum of two prime numbers like in 12=5+7. No proof of this is known other than that Tomas Oliveira e Silva proved in 2008 that it is true for all whole numbers up to 1018.


25 Aug 2012

Adult Sunday School - Part 8 - Joseph


Adult Sunday School - Part 8 - Joseph as a type for (of) Jesus - by P.K.Odendaal - August 2012

We find the story of Joseph in Genesis chapters 30 to 50, and nowhere else in the Bible has one man gotten so much coverage as Joseph, except Jesus Christ, and the point is that it is a very important story. Not so important as a story of Joseph, but much more importantly, as a foreshadow of the story of Jesus Christ.
The story of Joseph contains numerous intrigues, prophecies, examples and lessons interspersed with the best mankind has in terms of courage, long-suffering, forgiveness and love - characteristics we find in Jesus Christ himself. So we are not going to read this story as a story of Joseph. We are going to delve deeper into it and regard it as a story of the life and times of Jesus Christ.

One day in Barcelona - Sagrada Familia

Another series in my photobook :

https://picasaweb.google.com/102381076648563287639/SagradaFamiliasASymphonyOfBeauty#

Fun with Maths - Part 2 - Squaring the circle


Fun with Maths - Part 2 - Squaring the circle - by P.K.Odendaal - August 2012. 
There are numbers which are not natural or rational numbers, and are called transcendental numbers. These are numbers which cannot be expressed exactly in our number system, having infinite decimals, like p and e - with the result that we will never know what the circumference of a circle is equal to exactly, if we have its radius. The formula is easy C (circumference)=2*p*R (Radius).
There are two ways of trying to establish it.



20 Aug 2012

Philosophy - Part 15 - For King and Country


Philosophy - Part 15 - For King and Country - by P.K.Odendaal - August 2012

How many innocent, non-suspecting and honest people have been killed because of King and Country? And if you think that conscripted soldiers are not innocent, what are they then? Most countries do not have standing armies, so the soldiers are conscripted from the non-suspecting, innocent and honest population - and if they are pacifists, like myself, they go to jail for refusing. I did not go to jail, but complied with the call to arms, and did not protest against such, as I did not even know or care a hoot of why we were in that war - and that is why all countries take their youngest men. These men do not even know what the war is about - and it always happens the same, fighting for some pie in the sky.
And the truth is always the first casualty in any war. And a war is not about who is right, it is about who is left.

19 Aug 2012

Adult Sunday School - Part 7 - The Law


Adult Sunday School - Part 7 - The Law - by P.K.Odendaal - August 2012

We find ourselves in the beginning of the world. Adam and Eve, who knew God personally, may have died already. What do we find? Violence, revenge, war, aggression - and people in bondage, even slavery. And this despite God's will that we be kind to each other and enjoy His creation.
How did this transpire then? It is because we could sin with impunity. There was no law. God wanted us to be free and not subject to any laws other than the one forbidding us to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil.
But we had eaten of this fruit - we now know what sin and evil is, and we are going to pursue this line for survival, not knowing that it leads to death.
Of course we will not be punished for our sin and evil, other than dying because of it one day. So there is this uneasy peace with God, and it is building up tension between us and God and between us and our fellow men. We were on a path of self-destruction.

18 Aug 2012

Fun with Maths - Part 1 - Divisibility


Fun with Maths - Part 1 - Divisibility - by P.K.Odendaal - August 2012

I find Maths exciting, fun and empowering. At its most elementary I know how old I am, what my bank balance is, and what my age will be at my next birthday. This opens up my world to comparisons and many other such useless things.
But, it is also the basis on which the Universe is created. Simple, powerful, logical, complex and mystical. No wonder the early Pythagoreans were thought to be mystic philosophers.
I have had coffee with a maths teacher of Canada once, and I thought that the coffee 'break' would be a very fruitful discussion on physics, until I found out that he knew nothing about physics. I was totally flabbergasted, and could not imagine that someone would know maths well, but would know nothing of physics. To me it was like a mechanic walking around with a box of spanners, not knowing what a spanner is used for.

15 Aug 2012

Philosophy - Part 15 - What do you see?

This part was written by Annemie Odendaal on invitation.

As a painter, you are required to look at things a little differently, a little deeper. Paint that emotion behind the eyes, capture the magic that isn't visible on the surface. You have to look at an object and see how things really are. You can not draw from memory, you have to really look investigatively. We have to examine every angle, it is the only way to develop or grow in your style.

Years ago the Impressionists tried this for the first time,followed by the post-impressionists, expressionists and cubists. Until then, everybody painted just what they saw on surface and from memory. Everything was picture perfect and pretty. Almost documentary, which make sense, since there wasn't any cameras.

11 Aug 2012

Adult Sunday School - Part 6 - Shaking the Earth again

Adult Sunday School - Part 6 - The earth is shaken for a last time. - by P.K.Odendaal - August 2012. 

Whilst we are busy with the destruction of the earth and the subsequent reconstruction and replenishment on many occasions, it will be prudent to take it to its final conclusion. What we know is that in most of these cases only the earth was shaken, but in the end of times, the heaven will be shaken as well as in:
Heb. 12:26  Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
In previous parts I have already dwelt on the meaning of heaven as referring to the sky. Our conclusion is thus that on many of the occasions when the earth was destroyed it was done from inside itself as a sort of implosion, but in Revelation the skies will also be shaken, meaning that the whole earth will tumble as in:

1 Aug 2012

Adult Sunday School - Part 5 - The first sin


Adult Sunday School - Part 5 - The first sin - by P.K.Odendaal - August 2012

And so the world was new again and there was no sin and no law and no evil, only a serious warning by God that they should not eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, because they would then die (spiritually).
Gen 2:17  But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
It is clear from this that when there is no law and no knowledge of evil then there cannot be any sin. This verse says that once you know what is good and evil, then you will know what is sin and then you will die of your sin.

30 Jul 2012

Philosophy - Part 14 - Keep it plain and simple

Philosophy - Part 14 - Keep it plain and simple - by P.K.Odendaal - July 2012

Life is so complicated ... or is it ... or do we only make it so? I think we are the real complicators, not life. And we make it complicated in our effort to make it easy.

Let us say I have to carry water from a stream to my house. Now this is very easy and monotonous and tiresome. However, I can take this burden from me and install a pipeline with a pump set - and then I will have an almost unlimited supply of water to my house at no sweat. Who worries about the extra cost when there is a thing called debt? After some time the pump set breaks down or the electrical supply is stolen - the latter being standard practise in our country.

28 Jul 2012

Adult Sunday School - Part 4 - Regeneration

Adult Sunday School - Part 4 - Regeneration and Replenishment of Earth. - by P.K.Odendaal - July 2012


And so we come to Genesis 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
We have seen in the previous part how the earth was laid waste, being void, and without form and without light. It was time for God to remake the vessel :

Jer. 18:4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make.
If we read this story as the story of creation, we will see many anomalies and discrepancies. If we read it as the regeneration of earth, we will find it interesting. If we read between the lines or on a deeper level, we will find it vital and exciting - and I will try to bring all three to you.

27 Jul 2012

A dialogue between Moses and Aristotle - Part 3

A dialogue between Moses (1392 - 1272 B.C.) and Aristotle (384 - 322 B.C.) - from Transcripts of their debate.
Written by P.K.Odendaal - 16 Feb. 2011

PART 3: Is there a proof for the existence of God ?

Moses:    Now that we know your logical system, can you help us to make a logical conclusion between free will and a knowledge of the existence of  God.

Aristotle: Yes, here it is (if I understand you correclty):

                A : God wanted to make man like himself to be friends with, and to converse with him and to appoint him to reign over the universe as a king and priest.

                B : If man had to be like God, he had to have free will.

                C : If man knew for sure, by scientific analysis, rational thought or deduction, that there was a God, who was righteous and who punished sin, then man would have been under duress and fear of punishment and eternal damnation, thereby inhibiting his free will.

                Z : QED - it easily follows that God cannot reveal himself in any scientific or rational way, if He wants people to exercise their Free Will unhindered

23 Jul 2012

A Dialogue between Pope Leo X and Thomas Paine

A dialogue between Pope Leo X (1475 - 1521 A.D.) and Thomas Paine (1737 - 1809 A.D.) - from Transcripts of their debate.

Written by P.K.Odendaal - March 2011

Foreword for all my Dialogues
Note by the Scribe (writer) : This piece was compiled with the latest facts and interpretations of History and the Bible. It is, after all, an unfinished work as the dialogue will only be conducted after the rapture when everyone will know everything, but it is also conceivable that it has already taken place, because there is no clear scripture that says one first has to go to a place of detention before inheriting your prize - be that eternal life or eternal damnation.

In any case, chances are that this would be a very accurate transcription of that dialogue. Part of this is of course speculation.

22 Jul 2012

Adult Sunday School – Part 3 – Disaster strikes

Adult Sunday School – Part 3 – Disaster strikes – by P.K.Odendaal – July 2012
We have seen that God has created the heavens and earth in Genesis 1:1 - and all was well.
But then … sin was found on earth ... and God destroyed almost everything on earth, with only a few souls remaining. Scripture says He shook the earth.
The aftermath of this tragedy is described in Genesis 1 verse 2 : And the earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. In Hebrew the word ‘hayah’ is used which means ‘it became’ and not as translated ‘it was’.
It is clear from this scripture that something terrible happened. If you read this as part of the original creation, you need to explain why God created such a chaotic thing. After Gen. 1:1 the earth was perfect, because God does not create chaos. But, in the meantime, something terrible has happened.

18 Jul 2012

Philosophy - Part 13 - The Survival of the Weakest

Philosophy - Part 13 - The Survival of the Weakest - by P.K.Odendaal July 2012

This part is about three philosophies - Humanism, Darwinism and Christianity (partly).

I am not a Humanist. The fact that I cannot suffer fools gladly proofs it - and also the way in which I despise corrupt politicians and politicians who make idiots of themselves, seals the argument.
Darwinism is a philosophy, elevated by some misguided individuals like Dawkins and Gould to a status of science, 'stealing' the tenets of the Science of Evolution, to make their philosophy have a shade of truth. Every science has at least one or more axioms to build on. Darwinism has none.

17 Jul 2012

Adult Sunday School – Part 2 – In the beginning

Sunday School for Adults – Part 2 – In the beginning - by P.K.Odendaal – July 2012.
The story of creation is very much misunderstood and abused and derided by atheists and agnostics, because they, and many of us, think that it is narrated in the first book of Genesis.
However, if you read that piece carefully, you will find that it is not the story of creation. There are at least eight serious anomalies, which cannot be explained away, and thus we were taught in Church that it is merely a myth covered in a cloak of religion, much like the religion of many Christians in the world is a myth covered with a 'form of godliness, but denying the power thereof' (2Ti 3:5). We are rather encouraged to 'refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise ourselves rather unto godliness' (1Ti 4:7).  And this I will try to do in this series. I will go into this supposed story of creation in more detail in a next part of this series. Today I am addressing the actual story of creation.


15 Jul 2012

The Gift of Flight – Part 2 – Tripple Sevens (or fly me to the moon)

The Gift of Flight – Part 2 – Tripple Sevens (or fly me to the moon) – by P.K.Odendaal – July 2012.
My hair still stands on end when I think of it.
I had just finished my training and licenses for commercial pilot, instructor and instrument rating, and thought that I knew everything. And as always happens, I was then inspired to reach for a higher goal, not being satisfied with the conventional course or accomplishment of conventional pilots. No offence meant.
The game plan was this : The Air Force needed pilots having their own aircraft to assist them in moving the senior staff of the Defence Force around to meetings and field units and even reconnaissance. In turn the Air Force will pay for the hiring of the privately owned aircraft, provide fuel and training, and it would be a win-win situation for pilots and the Air Force. There would be no combat missions, so a pacifist like myself could participate. The training provided would be excellent and extracurricular with regard to commercial flying.

13 Jul 2012

Adult Sunday School – Part 1 – Introduction

Sunday school for adults – Part 1 – Introduction – by P.K.Odendaal – July 2012
I was brought up in a strictly religious environment. Every week I had go to Church – about three times, attend Sunday School, 'Kinderkrans' (Children's religious ring), CSV ('Christian Student Association'), Hostel 'stiltetyd' (quiet time) – seven times a week, and many other. So when I left school, I had had enough of religion. But … it prepared me for the day I met God and Jesus Christ some twenty years later.
Today I am astounded to hear that all these things have been banned from the school program or curricula, and I mostly find people who have never been to Church and who do not even have a Bible. I am writing this series for them, to solve their BKDS, which, as everybody knows, is their Bible Knowledge Deficit Syndrome.


7 Jul 2012

Philosophy – Part 12 – Giving meaning to it


Philosophy – Part 12 – Giving meaning to it – by P.K.Odendaal – July 2012
I had thought that Part 11 would be the end of this series, but something bothered me about the incomplete task, partly uncompleted due to the hopelessness of White's situation and his only tenable option, that of suicide staring him in the face - and the inability of Black to persuade him to the contrary. To me it seemed that White had to die, because, for him, there was no meaning left in life. He followed the advice and philosophies of the philosophers and writers of his time, and that of previous eras, and came to the conclusion that nothing means anything.
From the dialogue (The Sunset Limited by Cormac McCarthy) :
White :    It doesn't mean anything. Everything that happens doesn't mean anything else.

1 Jul 2012

The gift of flight – Part 1 - My great escape

The gift of flight – Part 1 – My Great escape - by P.K.Odendaal – 1 July 2012.
I went underground yesterday, and became a mole - and I carried the 'big pack' on my body. No, I did not join Al Qaeda, nor carried a car bomb, and I did not become a counterfeit spy. I carried a Life Pack whilst visiting a Coal Mine in the course of my work, at Arnot, a town I do not wish to live in, neither die in - a town now buried somewhere in my memory for making me infamous.
Whilst I looked at the coal, and the blackness, and the danger underground, I suddenly remembered the day I nearly lost my life on the surface very nearby - and in broad daylight - more precisely at its airfield.
The occasion was after my yearly flight test, when I returned the borrowed aircraft, a Cessna 182 RG, to its owner. On that day I had to do three serious flight tests, and I did, at that stage, not have a suitable  aircraft of my own, with which I could do the tests. So I asked a good friend of mine, Flip, a farmer just outside this town, whether I could borrow his aircraft for these tests.

24 Jun 2012

Philosophy - Part 11 - I am, therefore I think.

Philosophy – Part 11 – I am, therefore I think – by P.K.Odendaal – July 2012.
We ended our last part by realising that the philosophy of old was finally written off as a waste of time and words, because it was proven false time and time again. But, there was something else going on in the offspring of Philosophy, namely Science. The axioms which were being used to base Science on, was not being proved true or false, mainly because it was intuitively correct and generally accepted, without any scientific proof.
Some of the oldest axioms comes from Euclid (300 BC) in the form of postulates. His method consists in assuming a small set of intuitively appealing axioms, and deducing many other propositions (theorems) from these. He was the first to show how these propositions could fit into a comprehensive deductive and logical system. He was so successful with this that we still today believe his postulates to be true.

21 Jun 2012

A parody on Marriage

A Parody on Marriage - By P.K.Odendaal - 21 May 2012.


Note added on 21 April 2015.
I do not want to upset you from the start, as it was only my intent to upset you at the end, but so exciting and depressing is this subject that I decided to upset you all the time as a marriage upsets many people most of the time or is that all people some of the time.
The fact is that a marriage requires each of us to compromise because we are not the same, we react quite differently and our interest are quite diverging. Therefore, if I compromise, I become a lesser version of myself and for most of us, specially those who are creative and innovative, a lesser version of ourselves will only make us unhappy. So, before we have even started, we are already on this slippery slope of a disconnect and conflict inside ourselves between what we are and what we want to be and the stark reality what we do not want to be and what we should be or are expected to be in the marriage.
End of note. 
No, love and marriage does not go together, like the now almost proverbial horse and carriage, although some of us are more inclined to put the carriage before the horse.
I normally enjoy writing satires, but marriage is just such a serious subject, that this has to be a parody, and I find myself in uncharted waters. However, what is said here, needs to be said, and it fell upon me to say it, albeit in a parodicidal way. You might not believe anything I tell you here, because it is as strange as fiction. It is about a serious thing called marriage and the ungrateful task of choosing the right marriage partner, for a marriage which is in any case a strange thing. However, if you listen carefully, you just might get some wisdom here which cries out in the streets.


20 Jun 2012

Philosophy - The downfall of mankind - Part 10 - The Duality of Life and Paradoxes

Philosophy - Part 10 - The Duality of Life and Paradoxes- By P.K.Odendaal - 21 May 2012.
And now we have finally come to our long delayed analysis of Black and White in The Sunset Limited. Even here, as the dialogue goes, things are not so easy to follow, having an intrinsic uneasiness due to the duality of life, complicated further by the false theories of philosophers, now totally exposed by people like David Hume and Jean Paul Sartre. This whole piece of TSL is a symphony of errors drawn from these and other philosophers, yet we are unable to make a rational reply to their irrational theories.

6 Jun 2012

Travel blog 2012-02 Death in Venice

Travel Blog 2012-02 - Death in Venice - by P.K.Odendaal - 5 June 2012

It is all over now ... and we knew all along the end it was in sight, for quite some time. But, even so, when it came, it was unexpectedly and most unwelcome and almost heartbreaking.
Yes, we have left our cruise ship today after twelve magnificent days at sea and in many different ports, and bade her farewell, having made some new acquaintances along the way. But what is more serious is that the highlight of our trip, or so we thought, turned out to be such a disappointment. Everybody knows Venice is beautiful and breathtaking, and on this fourth visit of us, I intended to make the visit even more spectacular by visiting all the beautiful cathedrals and churches of the city - a favourite pastime of mine.

29 May 2012

Travel blog 2012-01 Rome is burning


Travel blog 2012 - Rome is burning - by P.K.Odendaal - 28 May 2012.

So it is back to my travel blogs as it is summer in the Northern Hemisphere again, and as always, my mind will take priority on this trip, whilst my body follows the fixed itinerary.
And the location of my body is on board ms Nieu Amsterdam, a drifting island somewhere in the Mediterranean. I find the state form of this island kingdom quite exotic. It is not capitalist, although I can see some strains of capitalism here and there. It is also not communistic, and any sign of socialism has been hidden carefully. I do not know whether this is on purpose. We have a dictator in charge of everything, and he does not care whether I have a say or not - he just won't listen to me or any popular vote on board - in fact here we have no voting rights at all. we call him the Captain, and a real dictator he is at that, but he sees to it that he keeps his word and gets us to the right destination on time, every time. And, come to think of it, he looks really well after us, and has told us that he only has our interests at heart and none of his own ... now that is an excellent good dictator .. you can take my word for it. I wish the whole world was filled with their kind. The food and lodging is better than any country I know of, and we are really free to do what we like ... I mean within bounds. Jumping overboard is not allowed and neither is staging boycotts or strikes.

16 May 2012

Philosophy - Part 9 - We are the aliens

Philosophy - Part 9 - We are the aliens - 14 May 2012 - by P.K.Odendaal

I hear the steel drums sing their song
They're singing man you know you've got it wrong
I hear the voice of the yellow bird
Whispering to me this is quite absurd
Sure as bananas need the sun
We are the criminal guilty ones
From Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dream coat.

When I see the aliens in the computer games of young kids, and the things these aliens do, I come to the shocking realisation that what we are, we think them to be and project our violence onto them, whilst in reality we are the aliens, totally estranged from this world and its realities.
So neuroses has really gotten us in a big way. And when we see the way mankind destroys its own, how governments and banking systems are destroying the wealth of this world, leaving man poor and disenfranchised, it is easy to see that the whole world has become neurotic - even psychotic.

4 May 2012

Philosophy - the downfall of mankind - Part 8 - The Forces of God

Philosophy Part 8 – The forces of God – by P.K.Odendaal – 1 May 2012

You should not doubt that, even whilst what I served you in the previous part, also started out as nothing, because God created everything from nothing. If we look at the accepted dogma of the creation of the earth, we find basically that the whole universe was founded and formed from nothing but Light and the Forces instituted by God.
What is a force? Nothing you will ever be able to see or measure or experience – therefore nothing in terms of the belief of our philosophers which we now leave with a sense of sadness for them, and a thankfulness for the prime position we now know we have inherited for free. Life and Love eternal.
How do we do know there are forces ? We look at behaviour like the philosophers did – and we only think they are forces, because they seem to disturb the normal state of rest of things or change their state of inertia. That is why we call them forces.

1 May 2012

Philosophy Part 7 - Death and Hell in two easy steps

Philosophy Part 7 - Death and Hell in two easy steps – by P.K.Odendaal – 22 April 2012

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Black and White (from The Sunset Limited – in case you missed part 1) is waiting for us where we left them off – ready to end our story – White in the process of ending his life and going the way mankind has always chosen in the face of so many better choices. And the choice is really only between two extremes – Love leading to Life or Despair and Nihilism leading to Death. And we are so apt in choosing Death every time.
And that brings us then to the climax of this series of articles of mine – and of human excellence and human endeavour which is self destructive in the end. It is called more theoretically Scepticism and Nihilism – the first leading to the latter. Why do people who were once so successful, eventually chose the one way they should not – that of Nihilism. Why did Hitler drag a whole world and fifty five million people into destruction with himself after he was so successful in unifying a devastated nation. Why did Russia, via Stalin, go on a bout of self destruction after they were so successful in winning the Second World War against the Germans. Why did China chose the same destructive route with their Great leap Forward. Why do super successful celebrities end in drugs, rehabilitation and ultimately death and self destruction.

19 Apr 2012

Philosophy - the downfall of mankind - Part 6 - Capitalism and Communism

Capitalism and Communism – by P.K.Odendaal – 14 April 2012

Maybe I am right, maybe I am wrong, but I get the impression that Capitalism and Democracy are two intertwined Government forms. They are thought to be bed-fellows and you can't have the one without the other. I also get the impression that it is Conventional Wisdom that Communism and Dictatorships go together.
Being very sceptic, weary and on my guard for Conventional Wisdom, I came to the conclusion that the Conventional Wisdom is wrong again – as it almost always is on profound issues. Therefore I have decided to set the record straight.
Capitalism is based on Capital, owned by Individuals and Companies, and managed by Individuals and Companies according to a set of principles which change from State to State, depending on the development stage and maturity of corruption in the specific State. The idea is that the State should not inhibit Capitalism or the way the Capitalists wish to manage their Capital. If the State is Democratic, the State will wish to control that Capital, taking the control thereof from the Capitalists. And this is the conflict and why Capitalism and Democracy are in fact two vehement enemies. To try and reconcile them in  one State is useless, having been proved so two thousand four hundred years by Athens and Plato.