About Anthony Weber

Anthony graduated from Cedarville University in 1995 with a degree in English Education, and from Trinity College of the Bible and Theological Seminary in Newburgh, Indiana in 2004 with a Master's Degree in Theology and Philosophy. Anthony is a husband and father of three, an author ("Learning to Jump Again"), high school and college teacher, pastor, blogger (tcapologetics.org, empiresandmangers.blogspot.com), and co-founder of etcetera, a "street-level philosophy group" in Traverse City, Michigan.

Who Are We? Personal Identity and The Walking Dead

The Season Four finale of The Walking Dead attracted 15.7million viewers, 10.2 million of whom were in the 18-49 imagesdemographic, shattering the previous records  (the Game of Thrones season finale garned 5.4 million; Duck Dynasty reached 6 million; Breaking Bad’s Season Four finale recorded just under 2 million, and the final show of the entire series hit 10.3 million).

 In other words, The Walking Dead is a cultural phenomenon. A lot of people are turned off by the gore (and it’s certainly gruesome), but The Walking Dead offers a gold mine of philosophical, moral, religious, and cultural talking points. I’ve written elsewhere about these issues (see links at the end). What caught my attention at the end of Season Four was the way in which Carl brought up one of the most important questions of all.

Michonne, Rick, and Carl are walking toward Terminus, a fabled place of sanctuary and rest in the midst of the apocalypse. As they get closer, Carl asks, “Will we tell them what we did?” Rick responds, “We’ll tell them who we are.” And Carl asks the right question in response: “Who are we?” [Read more...]

The Apologist and the Pastor

There seems to be a growing frustration on behalf of those trying to work apologetics into the fabric of local church life.Handshake  Sometimes the frustration reflects a clash with leadership (“I told my pastor we needed more apologetics in church, and he got really hostile!”) Other times, it reflects a general mindset in the church (“I told my small group we should study apologetics, and they all said that we can’t argue people into the Kingdom.”)

As a pastor who believes in the importance of apologetics, perhaps I can offer some helpful insight about how to introduce apologetics into a church. My comments will address how to interact effectively with pastors, though the principles may be helpful in other situations as well. [Read more...]

Stephen King’s 11/22/63: Defying The Dark

“I know life is hard, I think everyone knows that in their hearts, but why does it have to be cruel, as well? Why does it have to bite?”

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There’s something about Stephen King’s writing that gets to me. Yes, he has a very grim view of the world.  The darkness in Unknownhis universe is pervasive, but that’s how King gets us to long for the light. Perhaps I feel this way because I am intrigued by the religious imagery that permeates many of his booksIn an interview with NPR, King said the following about his belief in God:

“I choose to believe it…. If you say, ‘Well, OK, I don’t believe in God. There’s no evidence of God,’ then you’re missing the stars in the sky and you’re missing the sunrises and sunsets and you’re missing the fact that bees pollinate all these crops and keep us alive and the way that everything seems to work together. Everything is sort of built in a way that to me suggests intelligent design. But, at the same time, there’s a lot of things in life where you say to yourself, ‘Well, if this is God’s plan, it’s very peculiar,’ and you have to wonder about that guy’s personality — the big guy’s personality.” [Read more...]

UnWholly

In Unwind, Neil Shusterman gave us a brilliantly disturbing look at a culture in which parents can have teenage childrenUnknown “unwound” – a process which kills them as every part of their physical body is separated and given to someone else.  Shusterman introduced some weighty concepts in Unwind: Do we have souls? Do people have intrinsic worth? What makes human life valuable?  Fortunately, UnWholly continues with the same skill and depth.

Though the book continues following Risa, Conner and the community of teens hiding in the desert, a key story arc involves Camus, a human composed entirely of the Unwound. He is a creation of science and human experimentation, the ultimate alpha human, the apex of beauty and strength.  He will be a beautiful symbol of what science can offer a deconstructed humanity. [Read more...]

Neil Shusterman’s Unwind: Cutting The Baby in Half

“In a perfect world mothers would all want their babies, and strangers would open up their homes to the unloved. In a perfect world everything would be either black or white, right or wrong, and everyone would know the difference. But this isn’t a perfect world.”

unwind
Unwind  is the first book in Neal Shusterman’s critically acclaimed trilogy. The story takes place in a dystopic culture that has embraced the killing of innocent human life for the greater good. As Shusterman so adeptly shows, it’s neither great nor good.
In the not-so-distant future, the conflict over abortion has worsened. The pro-life crowd is killing doctors at a regular clip; the pro-choice crowd is flaunting their freedom by getting pregnant just to sell fetal tissue. The inevitable war fractures the country and threatens to topple the nation.The two sides reach a compromise: there will be no more abortion, but parents can have the government Unwind their children between their 13th and 18th birthdays.
Unwinding is a process made possible by a recent medical breakthrough called neurografting, in which  every part of a human can be detached and placed into another human. Since all the parts of the Unwound person are still alive, that person is still alive in some sense – or at least that’s how the argument goes. Abortion without death. All the pleasure of choice with none of the burden of responsibility. It’s all very tidy.