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Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Hunger Games - what a world without Jesus would be like (hint: it's not good)


Well, I recently finished reading the Hunger Games books by Susan Collins, and I have some thoughts.
Not thoughts on the characters or the plot, necessarily - although I could go that route, far better writers than me have already done so. No, my thoughts are more on the moral vision of the Hunger Games universe. Is it Christian, or anti-Christian?
I think the answer is: neither. It's pre-Christian. In other words, it's pagan.
To be clear: I'm using the word "pagan" quite literally; in the sense that Socrates or Buddha were pagan. This isn't necessarily a bad thing in itself. I read and enjoyed all three books (at least the first two. MockingJay was pretty awful). But when I was reading them, I kept searching for any trace of Christian morality and found none. Again, this doesn't mean the books are bad. Reading them only made me appreciate Christianity - or, more importantly, Christ- all the more.
In the Hunger Games universe, which purports to take place in some post-apocalyptic future, it's clear that Christianity hasn't died out; Christianity never existed. The Hunger Games universe is a Godless, unbaptized universe; and this is part of the reason why it's such a melancholy one.
For example: the principal plot of the books, as anyone who knows anything about them already knows, is a gladiator combat between kids for entertainment - a form of human sacrifice, if you will.
This particular sin is a uniquely pagan one. The ancient Romans did it.
Pictured: the ORIGINAL hunger games.
But it hasn't been seen since. Any civilization that has been influenced by Christianity simply wouldn't - couldn't - do it.
I'm not claiming that Christian civilizations haven't sinned - they have. And post-Christian civilizations - like Nazi Germany and Communist Russia - have sinned even more spectacularly. But no one since Christ has thought of murdering human beings for entertainment. Why?
It's because Judaism and Christianity view human life as sacred, since human beings are created in the image and likeness of God. (Genesis 1:27). This truth has permeated all of Christian civilization, and still remains even in post-Christian civilization. Think about it: before the Nazis killed the Jews, they tried to dehumanize them - to tell themselves a lie, to claim that Jews "aren't really human". Even the Nazi's couldn't face the idea of murdering other human beings. The same is true for all the great murders that take place - people always deny the humanity of the ones they're killing.
This problem didn't occur to the ancient Romans. The Romans never claimed that Gladiators weren't humans; they just didn't care. And the people of the Capitol never pretend that the Tributes aren't human. They just don't care. They have no problem killing other humans for their own entertainment - because for them, human life isn't sacred. Human beings aren't created in the image of God. Therefore we can have them kill each other for a laugh.
What does this mean? Does it mean Christians shouldn't read the Hunger Games? NO. At least not for this reason. If we're forbidden from reading non-Christian literature, that would rule out a lot of good stuff, like the Iliad, Odyssey for example.
In fact, I think we Christians can learn a lot from the Hunger Games; and we can use them to teach others how great Christianity is. If you ever talk to somebody who says "the world would be better without all these stupid religions and religious people," just ask them if they've ever read the Hunger Games. 'Cause that's what the world would be like without Jesus. That's what it was like.
ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED? No? Good. Cause, you know, the guy whose head I just chopped off was made in God's image, so we really shouldn't be clapping about it... 
So, if you read the Hunger Games, don't forget to thank God for saving us from such a world. The Hunger Games shows what a universe without God is like. If God had not sent His only Son to redeem us from our sins, reveal our own sacred origins to us, and die to pay for our sins... well, we might still be living in Panem.
"Trust me: you don't want to live in Panem." 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Regina talks about JP2HS on the Radio!

Last week Regina Doman was a guest on the Totus Tuus Catholic Hour radio show, and she talked a lot about  the JP2 High books. This is really good stuff, plus she mentions ME :)
You can listen to it by clicking here.
The interview with Regina starts about 25 minutes in, so if you're the impatient type, you can download the MP3 file here. and then skip forward to 25:11

JP2 High comes to the Nook!


Howdy all ye Nookers out there!  All the JP2 High books are now available on the Nook! Check it out! (P.S. all Regina's books are there too!)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Goal: to get Book 5 out by Christmas

Well after the meeting this weekend, the whole team is hard at work. Can't say too much, but suffice to say that some of us are working on book 5, and some are working on book 6. Our goal is to have Book 5 out by Christmas.
Oh, and also...you ain't seen nothing yet.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Monday, April 23, 2012

Nice Review of UP on Amazon

Thanks to Olivia for a great review of Book 4. Check it out here, but be warned, there are some spoilers! Don't read unless you've already read book 4! And if you have...maybe write your own Amazon review? :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Nice review of CR

Check it out: http://www.randombuzzers.com/books/reviews/view/9172/
This is a great, intelligent review.

Win a copy of Book IV (CONTEST CLOSED!)

Greetings readers, here's a few updates.
First off, for those of you wondering about Book 5, the first draft is almost done. Don't get excited yet, it's still a long way from publication, but it IS in the works. More info will come later.
Secondly, have you heard of shelfari? It's this thing owned by Amazon.com, sort of a wikipedia for books.
Anyway, I'm writing up a pages for Book I, IIIII and IV. Check them out - it's pretty interesting. And, because this is like wikipedia, anybody can edit the page, so feel free to edit if you like!

Lastly, I must make an appeal to those of you who have read, and love, Books 3 and 4 -- please go to Amazon.com and give them high ratings! Book 3 is here and Book 4 is here. Show dem some love! Book 4 has no reviews yet - I will send a signed copy of Book IV to the first three people who write them! 

So here are the rules: Just write a review of any of the books, and I will look it over. If it's good - a good appraisal of the book - I will send you a signed copy of Book IV. But I only have three copies to give out, so first come, first serve! NOTE: I'm not looking for just five star reviews, just honesty!
Just write a review and then email me at christian.m.frank@gmail dot com. Happy Easter!

UPDATE: The contest is closed now! Thanks to the three fans who wrote reviews! Don't worry, there will be more contests in the future!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Facebook it up!

www.facebook.com/johnpaul2high
Hey, have you checked out the JP2 High Facebook page yet? If not, go and check it out, and 'like' it if you...er...like. Lots of good stuff there - the latest news, photos, quizzes...and there will be more to come, like contests...and prizes! Have fun!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Book IV: Undercover Papist

Happy St. Joseph day! To celebrate Joseph the worker, I'm happy to announce that we've finally finished working on, and have  now published, JP2HS Book IV!!!

Ta-da!! 

And it's good. Oooh, it's very good. In all seriousness, I'm more excited about this book than any other.

For those of you who don't know this already, Books 3 and 4 of the series were originally one big book (full explanation here) and so Book 3 kind of ended on a big cliffhanger. So you'll want to read it just for that. But there's more. This book also solves one of the great puzzles in the series...and gives more information on an even greater one. Some mysteries are solved....and some mysteries get even deeper. 
I'll say no more. You'll have to read the book to find out! 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy C&M Day (again)

Just wanted to re-post this:
http://johnpaul2high.blogspot.com/2011/02/happy-c-day.html

You know, I was intending to do a lot more of these, but life got in the way.

Did I mention Book IV is coming out very soon?