Review of The Contract Between Heaven and Earth, by Gwen M. Plano and John W. Howell

Contract by John W. Howell and Gwen M. Plano reviewed by Mark Bierman.

Mark Bierman

The Blurb:

The earth is under the threat of a catastrophic political event which could result in international warfare and destroy all life on the planet. In heaven, a divine council decides that extraordinary measures are essential. They call for an intervention that involves two souls returning to earth. The chosen two sign a contract that they will work to avert the disaster.
Brad Channing, a Navy SEAL, and Sarah O’Brien, a teacher, become heaven’s representatives on earth. The story follows them as they individually and then together face overwhelming obstacles and eventually end up on a strategic Air Force base in California. It is there that they discover a conspiracy to assassinate the President of the United States. The terrorists have a plan for global dominance, and they are determined to complete their mission. Although military leadership appears to have the President’s best interests at heart, it is not…

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How come:

from Paula Graham

Paula Graham

we built churches, so achingly stunning

for ‘loving’ deities in whose names we have and

 continue to commit the most hideous atrocities imaginable.

Chapter-House-Wells-Cathedral  chapter house Wells Cathedral  1310

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A Christmas Homily: Why Did God do That?

According to the New Testament, the God of Israel becomes
mortal: Immanuel, God with us.

God can descend as an adult and live as a God.

God can choose birth to a royal house and live as a man of the educated
upper class.

Instead, God decides to break the Law of Moses by impregnating a young,
unmarried peasant girl who is already betrothed and likely to suffer
execution by stoning  for the crime of adultery.

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.” Matthew 1:18-19

Joseph later adopts Jesus as his own.

Everything about the birth of Jesus is unsavory in terms of Mosaic Law and the rigid class system of the ancient world.

“Unlawful intercourse with a woman betrothed to a man was adultery, because the betrothed woman was deemed as inviolable as the married woman. The punishment for this crime was stoning to death at the place of public execution (Deut. xxii. 24). The punishment for Adultery according to the Mishnah (Sanh. xi. 1) was strangulation; the rabbinical theory being that wherever the death penalty was mentioned in the Bible, without any specific statement of the manner of its infliction, strangulation was meant. The Jewish Encyclopedia


The child of an incestuous or adulterous relationship was branded a mamzer.

 

A mamzer was not permitted to become a member of the Jewish body politic (Deut. xxiii. 3 [A. V. 2]), and could not intermarry with a Jew or Jewess (Ḳid. iii. 12), although it did not lose its right to inherit from the husband of its mother, who, while not the legitimate father, was for this purpose the putative father.”’ The Jewish Encyclopedia

There is no room at the inn for Mary’s mamzer, so he is born in a cave where he sleeps in a device for feeding livestock.

(Away in a manger, no crib for his head)

So, why did God do that?

 

Animated GIF of Matt Damon doing math on a mirror
found on GIPHY

Why did God choose to live and die as an outcast?

 

 

Rob Goldstein 2018
Portrait of the Christ with Red Hair (c) Rob Goldstein 2018
Animated gif from GIPHY

Meditation: A Portrait of the Christ

Matthew 38-48

38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:

39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.

41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

 

Based on a “Christ Blessing” by Andrea Solario

 

 

 

“Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person.” Albert Einstein