Health- Research Paper

Heart Disease

Heart disease is a broad range of diseases that affects the heart muscle, blood vessels, etc.  There are many different types of heart disease.  Heart disease is just the broad category.  Hundreds of thousands of people suffer from heart disease in the U.S. alone.  Two different types include congenital heart diseases, which run in the family, and the most common, which is coronary artery disease.  Coronary artery disease kills over 370,000 people annually.  About 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States alone every year.  Which is every one in four deaths.

There are many symptoms for heart disease and some are more significant than others.  A very significant symptom is a heart arrhythmia, which can but not always means there is an underlying heart issue. The disease can cause this to happen.  Heart arrhythmias are just abnormal heart rhythms and can have other causes besides heart disease.  The causes of abnormal heart rhythms are some medications, drug abuse, diabetes, high blood pressure, excessive alcohol/caffeine, smoking and stress. Other symptoms of heart disease are heart attacks, strokes and heart failure, etc.  There are also big differences between men and women when it comes to symptoms of heart disease.  Women have less typical symptoms.  Typical symptoms would be chest pain, which is associated with heart problems.  But, women sometimes do not have this symptom.

The signs that people have heart disease are greatly varied.  Men usually have chest pain and usually have some of the risk factors such as they do not live the healthiest lifestyle and their body is in poor physical condition. Other signs for women are they do not live a healthy lifestyle and women are more likely to have signs that are unrelated to chest pain such as neck, jaw, shoulder, upper back, or abdominal discomfort.  More signs are shortness of breath, pain in one or both arms, nausea or vomiting, sweating, lightheadedness or dizziness, and unusual fatigue.  Women with heart disease usually also have some of the risk factors too.

What are the causes for heart disease?  There are many different types of heart disease so the causes are varied. The biggest difference is that some are congenital so it is nothing the person did wrong.  They just have a heart that does not function or did not develop properly. Heart disorders present at the time of birth are called Congenital Heart Disease.  Congenital Heart Disease can develop in the womb when the heart starts to develop which is one month after conception.  Other causes can be certain medicines, genes, medical conditions, and/or when a kid is growing into it adult.  About eight of every one thousand babies have such abnormalities. There is a valvular heart disease, which can be caused by infection, rheumatic fever, and connective tissue disorders, or you can just be born with it.  It can be hereditary. Also, people can get heart infections caused by parasites, viruses, and bacteria.

Cardiomyopathy is another type of heart disease.  There are three different types of Cardiomyopathy: Dilated, Hypertrophic, and Restrictive. Dilated cardiomyopathy is the most common.  What it does is it usually enlarges the left ventricle of the heart.  The cause is unknown but doctors and scientists believe that certain drugs, toxins, infections, reduced blood flow, and/or the parent can cause it.   Next, is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and is when the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick.  While it is usually hereditary, it can develop because of high blood pressure or age.  Lastly, is restrictive Cardiomyopathy.  It is the least common.  This happens when the heart becomes rigid and less elastic.  Sometimes it can happen for no reason or you can get it with certain diseases such as connective tissue disorders, if you have too much iron in your body and some cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation cause this kind of cardiomyopathy.

There is another problem to mention: Coronary Artery Disease.  This disease is caused by an injury to the inner layer of the coronary artery.  This “injury” can be caused by smoking, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.  So basically, living an unhealthy lifestyle. Coronary artery disease has no cure.  It is deposits of fat or plaque in the coronary artery and causes restricted blood flow.

Cures for heart disease can be as easy as living a healthy lifestyle.  Improving your lifestyle, which is as simple as eating whole, raw foods and exercising can do a great deal for your health. This is really the best thing you can do to improve your heart health.

There are two main parts to treatment/care for heart disease.  The first is interventions.  This is more for coronary artery disease (the most common in the country).  Coronary artery disease cannot be cured just treated.  These have to take immediate action because something bad has happened such as stroke, heart attack, heart failure, etc.  If you do not get professional medical help it can go downhill fast and the person who is suffering with this may die.

There is CPR, stents, angioplasty that is a little cutting to open the blocked arteries.  There is heart bypass surgery.  It is an extensive surgery when the coronary arteries are blocked, the doctor can make a new path for blood to the heart.  Also a heart transplant is possible.  Other interventions can be for heart arrhythmias, which is usually just a sign of something else wrong but not always.  There are medications to improve that. Cardioversion and electrical cardioversion are used when drugs alone cannot fix an arrhythmia.  Also pacemakers and ICDs (implantable cardio defibrillators) are used to regulate the heart’s function and help it.

There are also different medications that people can take when they have heart disease such as blood thinners, blood pressure medication, antiarrhythmics, and aspirin, which also help with heart disease, such as heart attacks and strokes.

Current researchers have been seeking to understand the risk factors that come along with coronary artery disease.  Risk factors can be age and sex.  Men are more likely to get coronary artery disease. More factors are family history, smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, overweight or obesity, physical inactivity, and high stress.  A lot of things can cause or put you at risk for coronary artery disease.

These risk factors can lead to chest pain, heart attack, heart failure, or a heart arrhythmia. Other current research has focused on how much obesity factors into heart disease and heart failure.  It has a huge affect. While obesity hurts your entire body, it really takes a toll on your heart.  This is why people are actually concerned for obese people’s health.  Because it is really unnecessary and problematic for the wellness of a person.  Coronary artery disease is a slow process that happens over a lifetime.  But, it is the most common disease in the United States striking fifteen million people according to the American Heart Association.  It is also very expensive.  In 2010, to treat coronary artery disease cost the US 316.4 billion dollars.  Also the American Heart Association has researched strokes and deaths and they showed a decline.  Strokes have gone from No. 3 cause of death in the US to No. 5 in the US in just over five years.

Other current research involves how to prevent/treat children born with heart defects.  Finding actual causes and preventing them so it does not happen anymore. Also, treating people who already have them and curing them.

 

What is great about heart disease is the fact that it can be so preventable.  This is why it is so odd that it is the leading cause of death in the United States.  While it has been taking root in our culture and there has been a steady decline in the number of deaths from heart disease, it is still the leading cause of death and has been for over ninety years.  The reductions in deaths can come from less people smoking, more routine emergency care for heart disease and stroke, scientific breakthroughs, more laws for healthy environments, etc.  Another thing is there have been huge campaigns that have improved awareness about healthy living. A lot of these campaigns are focused on improving the health and wellness of children which is great to try and increase the normality of living a healthy lifestyle and making it a habit in the next generation.

In conclusion, while heart disease is a very life-threatening illness being the top cause of death in the United States, there is still hope because it is slowly and steadily declining.  It is easier than you would think to prevent heart disease.  Lifestyle is key and it is great because almost everyone in the US is aware.

Bibliography

“Women: Don’t Ignore These 3 Subtle Heart Attack Symptoms”. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2016/03/women-dont-ignore-3-subtle-heart-attack-symptoms/. May 5, 2017

 

“Research”.http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Research/Research_UCM_481866_SubHomePage.jsp. May 5, 2017

 

“Heart Failure Risk Strongly Associated With Inactivity and Obesity”. https://www.cardiosmart.org/News-and-Events/2017/03/Heart-Failure-Risk-Strongly-Associated-with-Inactivity-and-Obesity. May 5, 2017

 

“Causes and Symptoms”. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronary-artery-disease/symptoms-causes/dxc-20165314. May 5, 2017

 

“Coronary Artery Disease”. http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/guide/heart-disease-coronary-artery-disease#1. May 5, 2017

 

Chesney, Margaret. Women, Stress, and Heart Disease. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates: Mahwah,

New Jersey. 1998.

 

Crawford, Michael H. “Coronary Artery Disease” in The World Book Encyclopedia Vol. #9.

Chicago, Illinois, 2017.

 

Myers, Rob. Heart Disease Everything You Need To Know. Firefly Books (U.S.) Inc: Buffalo,

New York. 2004

 

Rippe, James M. Heart Disease For Dummies. Wiley Publishing, Inc: Indianapolis, Indiana.

2004.

 

 

British Literature – Frankenstein

Was Frankenstein Wrong to Find a Solution to Death?

 

Everybody knows after reading the book Frankenstein by Mary Shelley that Frankenstein was not in the best state of mind when creating the monster.  Even though his ideas were disgusting, vile and should not be repeated, the problem he was trying to solve was the problem of death.  Was it the right thing to do?  Even though the way he went about it was wrong, is there a right way? Or, should we even try and find a solution to death? This all depends on your view of the afterlife and if death is really necessary.

This brings us to the question, is death necessary? Nobody wants to die.  Most are scared of it and almost everyone in history either has died or will die.  Death really is necessary according to various religions and worldviews.  Like in monotheistic religions, there is usually an afterlife that believers of that religion think they will go to after they die.  Or, more eastern religions believe that you will be reincarnated into something better if you were a good person. So, according to religions, death really is necessary to receive a better life in the afterlife.  For example, in the Christian religion people who believe in Christ go to heaven where there is no more pain, suffering, sadness, etc. Instead, most people are scared of death.  Probably because they are scared of the unknown or maybe fearful that not everybody goes to a “better place”.  Then, there are other people such as atheists who do not believe in the existence of God or an afterlife.  They believe that the only life they are going to live is here and now.  So they should live the longest, best life.  Since death is the only way to the “afterlife”, should we go to the extremes to try and extend life forever?

In the course of the book Frankenstein, people would think Frankenstein had good intentions and then they became more disgusted by the minute.  His mother died and then he becomes obsessed.  He is trying to create life probably to bring his mother back in the future.  This is because he had not dealt with the grief of losing his mother  properly and gone through the different stages of grief.  He was trying to take away his problem of losing his mother by trying to create life and bring her back.   Then he found a way to create life.  He wanted to make a creature out of body parts from slaughterhouses and corpses from graveyards to make a giant creature out of nothing.  When you put it this way, Frankenstein’s means and methods were very complicated and when he finished his creation he found it grotesque in appearance and hated it.  Although, the experiment was successful and he had created life, he was not happy with his creation.  This brought him to a lowly mental state and the rest of his life was not of the best quality even though he had a great family and friends.  He basically took it all away trying to make the discovery and then trying to correct his mistakes.

This brings up the question of how does this affect us? Are we actually doing this? Not in the sense that we are digging up the bodies and trying to make more humans out of them.  But, people do leave their brains and bodies to science and donate their organs to try and help other people.  If their organs were good just think that somebody who had died gave their lungs, heart, or kidneys to a living person and that extended the living person’s life because of that person’s organ donations. I believe organ donations are good because they can extend a person’s life and give them a better quality of life.  Blood transfusions are another great thing.  According to the Bible, the life of a man is in the blood.  So,  placing somebody’s blood into another person’s veins is good for people who cannot either make their own blood or need more blood to have their life better   Although, with all this medical research comes great responsibility.  Medical procedures that are not beneficial for the human life like ending the life of a child in the womb, is not good.  Scientific discoveries and medicine is supposed to make life last longer or restore it but abortion does not do either of those.  Things like that actually ends lives.  This reminds me of when Frankenstein left his monster and everybody saw the monster and thought he was hideous.  The monster said “When I looked around I saw none and heard of none like.  Was I, then, a monster a blot upon the earth from which all men fled and whom all men disowned?”  Lastly,  is cloning.  Cloning is wrong.  You should not clone one person to get exactly the same thing.  So then you have two of the same people.  Although there is that same thing with identical twins but that was created by God naturally. I do not think that we should try and copy it by cloning.  Cloning is wrong because a clone would just be a copy and a copy is nowhere near the same value as the original and that would be a disservice to the clone to be a reproduction. I believe that studying this is just taking time away to solve another more important problem.

Although the way Frankenstein went about trying to create life and sustain it by making a monster out of body parts was definitely the wrong way.  I do think that we should try to extend the life of people.  Even though we cannot fully extend life because there is God’s will and a time for everybody to die, we can help ensure that quality life for everybody on earth is better.

British Literature – Frankenstein

The Monster Humanity Never Gave a Chance

The Gothic and Romantic novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is a great book and a classic.  There have been hundreds upon hundreds of essays written on different topics in Frankenstein from Romanticism to Gothic, Science and the characters of both Victor Frankenstein and the monster he created. I found an essay called The All Too Human Monster: Examining Sympathy For Frankenstein’s Creation. This essay talks about the sympathy the monster never receives from anybody in the book.  But, yet somehow he grasps the heart of the reader through the detailed story of Victor Frankenstein and his creature.

I agree with pretty much all of the essay and I very much enjoyed it.  The amount of quotes in the essay help the reader understand that this is actually what happens in the book.  It focuses on sympathy that the reader feels towards the monster although he is very ugly and rough around the edges.  He really tried to be virtuous and a good person but he was only judged by his appearance. The monster says, “I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other.”  Humanity hated him and he did not have a fair shot.

The essay does show more of the pain of the monster through the various quotes from the book telling of the monster’s times at the DeLacey’s.  Also of the small favor that he wanted from Frankenstein which was a female companion so that he would not be utterly isolated.  He could be separated from humanity with another like him.  It talks about the creature trying to be virtuous.  Trying to help people like saving the life of the little girl and yet was met with bullets.  The monster did some very bad things as it says in the essay “The monster is certainly not blameless. ” He had his numerous crimes.  He killed William, Clerval, and Elizabeth.  People who were very close to Frankenstein.  His brother, best friend, and wife.  So, Frankenstein was very biased but then he was the one who had abandoned the monster in the first place.  He brought him to life, saw his ugliness and fled.

The monster gains the reader’s sympathy from the beginning because he is isolated.  He is disfigured and nobody can stand the sight of him.  This is funny because the only pleasant, semi-normal conversation he had was with a blind man, Mr. DeLacey.  But then when he was talking to Mr. DeLacey his son, Felix, walks in and attacked him with a stick.  Still, he tried to be virtuous and tried to live the life of a normal human being but people could not get over his appearance.  He could have torn Felix apart but he did not.

When the monster first saw his own reflection, he was filled with “the bitterest sensations of the despondence and mortification”.  He was abhorred at his appearance and shunned by humanity.  The only person he had a connection with was his creator.  The creator who abandoned him and cut him off.  After killing Elizabeth, the monster leads Frankenstein on a wild goose chase to the Arctic because without revenge he was nothing.  He had no one or nothing which is why he had to keep the chase going because even hate and revenge were better than nothing.

By the end of the book the monster thinks that since nobody can think he could be virtuous or that he was not a monster, he should just become the monster everybody thought he was.  After Frankenstein dies all that the monster has to live for is over.  In the Arctic, he says to Walton that he is going to go and burn himself alive so that nobody tries to do another experiment like him again.

Overall, I enjoyed the essay. I feel it really brought to light a sympathy for the monster that you would not think to have.  This essay had the book Frankenstein at the forefront.  There were loads of quotes and I thought it was well written.  It was easy to read and understand.  It followed the normal grammar guidelines and was very interesting and detailed.

Here is a link to the essay:

 

http://www.essaybyexample.com/free-essay-samples/essay-Shelley-Frankenstein.php

 

British Literature – Frankenstein

Romanticism Versus The Bible

Romanticism and the Bible take different views on most things, the condition human heart included.  Romanticism says the human heart is good and that a human heart would not do bad things unless society interferes.  Whereas, the Bible states that the cause of bad things in society is the sinful human heart.  Ecclesiastes 7:20 says, “For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin.”  The romantic view does not only differ with the Bible on this but four other main points of difference are the human heart, society, nature, and emotions.

First, is the human heart, and is man actually good? No, according to the Bible.  The Bible states in Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it?” This verse is very self-explanatory in that the heart is evil and people cannot know the extent of their sin. The Bible says that we are all born into sin and that we are inherently sinful.  This means man is wicked by default because of our sin nature. But, is that fair?  Of course it is fair because God is just and everyone has sinned.  Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  Also, is man responsible for his actions because God is sovereign?  Man is responsible for his actions because we have free will and we do what we want all inside of God’s will.  Should somebody be able to act out in sin if something bad happens to them in their childhood?  No.  It does not give them the excuse to do wrong because somebody has wronged them (1 Peter 3:9).  But, we do sin and that is nobody’s fault but our own because of man’s nature and sinfulness.  Everything in the world is broken and dies. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romanticism claims that man is naturally good but when, or if, a man does something bad society is to blame.  It is not right to blame society because society is not bad in and of itself.  What is society made up of?  People.  People make up society. It is wrong to blame something for your problem.  It is not society to blame but people.  True. Some people have a society that makes it hard to do the right thing or to be successful. But, again people founded that society.

Next, nature is very prominent in Romanticism because the Romanticist believes that nature rejuvenates the soul and actually physically restores somebody’s health. They say that being in nature increases emotions such as happiness, joy, and peace which are ultimately found in God alone according to the Bible since those are the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).  But, it is clear that nature does not restore some people because they do not like nature in the least.  It actually stresses them out.

The last thing they differ on is emotion. The Romantic relies on emotions to feel complete like happy, sad, or even angry. Like a romantic novel that are less focused on the scenery and more on the way the words sound and feel when you read them. Whereas, in the Bible we are not supposed to be sign seekers or rely on emotion. If you get moved during the church service to run around because the Holy Spirit told you to, let me tell you, it was not the Holy Spirit.  Gathering on Sundays and gathering with believers is to encourage you but it is not about you or how you feel after.  It is to worship the Lord.  You sing songs because He tells us to sing songs.  We listen to the Word being preached because He tells us to.  The only thing we are supposed to test  the Word in the light of Scripture (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

Romanticism and the Bible differ on various key views but this does not mean that we should totally hate Romanticism.  The occasional romantic novel is good from time to time.  But, we should not excuse somebody’s actions because someone did something wrong and then blame it on society or some other experience that happened to them.  But without faith in God it is impossible for man to do good. Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

 

Liebster Award

Thank you to Rebecca from The Studies of a Classical Violinist for nominating me! I’m super excited about this!

Facts about me:

  1.  My favorite color is gray!
  2.  I crochet!
  3. My three favorite TV shows are Doctor Who, Psych, and Sherlock.
  4. I love to travel.
  5. I have a little brother and a older half-sister.
  6. I love fashion and makeup.
  7. I love summer!(no school, lots of traveling, and the beach)
  8. I like going to the movies!
  9. I draw a lot.
  10. I don’t like camping at all!
  11. I don’t like reading books. (I love audiobooks!!)

Answering questions:

  1. What is your favorite flavor ice cream?  I love all ice cream!  But my favorite is probably Mint n Chip.
  2. What is your favorite name? I don’t know.  I haven’t really thought about it!
  3. Hunger Games or Mockingjay?  To be honest, my favorite movie was Catching Fire.  None of the others compare.
  4. What is your favorite subject in school? Why? Art. Because it stresses me out the least. My second would be English (Lit.).
  5. Read a book or watch a movie? Watch a movie.
  6. What does your dream home look like? It has lots of windows, big enough to have people over, and like a lot of Pinterest boards.
  7. If you have a pet what is its name? We have two dogs ones name is Miley and the other Panda.
  8. Indoors or Outdoors? I like going places! But, indoors.
  9. Have you ever had a big party before? If so, what was it for? I have never had a big party before.
  10. What skills do you have? I can cook and bake. I can sew, knit, and crochet.  I do BJJ. That’s basically it!
  11. Do you enjoy the Ron Paul Curriculum?  Yes I like it.

My nominees:

LOL! I don’t have any because don’t follow that many people’s blogs.

British Lit. “The Screwtape Letters”

My Dear Uncle Screwtape,

In regards to my patient, you said a couple letters ago that if my patient has fallen in love, it is not necessarily favorable either way.   That is still true, right? Oh well, it doesn’t matter.  Did you hear about the war? Should I try to get my patient to go to war and make his life so difficult with the people closest to him dying?  Or, what if he died in battle?  Would that be good?  But, would he still be in the clutches of the Enemy?  I have made up my mind. I will send the patient off to war. This will make him scared and only fend for himself.  Hopefully, this will cause him to not do his job and run away.  It will leave him alive, full of regret, and a failure to his friends and family.

Another annoying thing I feel is The Enemy helping the patient quite a lot and my attacks are not working. I am starting to feel restless so I try to force him into any temptation possible.  I think now especially since he thinks it is time to settle down and get married. I will force this one on him: sexual temptation.   Is that a destructive one? I think that would be easier than having him lose his mind or become a serial killer.  I have been trying to get him to fall in love with pretty much any girl around.  Should I try to get him to go after different women all the time or just focus on one woman? I think the latter because of the patient’s bad decision.  That horrible girl.  

Next, I was thinking if I was to bombard my patient with a certain sin all the time and if I were to catch him, that would be great.  At the same time, launching a different attack so that he will be overwhelmed by all his sins and get angry at The Enemy for putting him through all of this and just trying to get him to turn away from The Enemy and turn to us. To try and make him blame The Enemy for all the things that he is suffering through and all the things that get to him.

Is it better to have my patient in the same routine or have what he does be sporadic?  What is better? Should I try to make him angry when people interrupt him? It does not work much.  I will try to put in his mind the thought of himself as the owner of all that is his.  His body, his time, his thoughts, etc.  Even though it is not his. Or is this a waste of time? Should I just make him anxious about the war and the girl?

As I mentioned before in the letter, the patient has unfortunately fallen in love. But, I do know that  you will not approve of her because she is exactly the kind of person that you would hate.  I was right when you wrote back saying this about her and I agree, “The little brute. She makes me vomit.” This is why I did not want you to know about her even though you would have figured it out anyway.   How should I try to make the patient steer clear of her, her family, and her house?  Should I try to make him think himself a lower class or different from them?  I know because I have looked her up.  The sin that she falls into the most would be spiritual pride.  Because she was born and raised in the hands of The Enemy.  She occasionally feels that she is a higher breed of animal because her family and friends are strong in their so called “faith” and “love” for The Enemy.  All demons know what they mean by love cannot possibly be true.  Now I do not know what to do? The patient has been going to the girl’s house a lot.  Do not go off at me in your next letter.  But, the patient loves it there.  I know it is horrible!  Her family’s house is weird.  It is disgusting and repulsive and it smells absolutely dreadful.   

I am very upset that my patient keeps going there to hang out with all of the girl’s Christian friends and Christian family.  The aggravating thing is that these Christians are smart.  They are not stupid Christians.  This company he is keeping is certainly drawing him closer to The Enemy.   I am sad that I have to get advice from you.  But, at this point in my career I am failing, so, I need your help! I can not believe I have to take advice from my horrible uncle.  Do you know I think I am failing because I am getting bad instructions from the person that is helping me.  I also wish I had a different patient maybe one that hates The Enemy like us.

Oh, why could I not have gotten you arrested! I hate you! Then you have the nerve to send me that little booklet. Seriously, a booklet  for the new House of Correction for Incompetent Tempters?  Is this a joke? How dare you! I am going to be successful. I have just gotten off track. I will be fine, right? Do not answer that.  You know when you had to have Toadpipe finish your letter because you turned into a huge centipede?  That brought screams to my ears, utter disgust in my heart, and an evil grin on my face!  I really hope you feel better Uncle Screwtape.  I am deeply sorry for your incapability to control your temper and appearance.  I cannot wait to see what you turn into next time I see you in person.  

Your Insolent and Furious Nephew,

Wormwood

British Lit. “The Screwtape Letters”

Martin Luther

Martin Luther was a huge part in the early days of the Protestant Reformation. God used him in such a powerful way. But, he did not have an easy walk with the Lord.  He was really frightened of God while he was in the monastery as a monk.  He was mostly afraid of the wrath of God.  Martin Luther was a very hard worker and very diligent in his studies.  He was also tired of  seeing the Pope, a very wealthy man, taking money from the poorest of people while lying to them and saying that they, or a loved one, was going to go to heaven.  Which is not true.

Martin Luther was born on November 10, 1483, to Hans and Margaret Luder in Eisleben, Saxony of the Holy Roman Empire, now modern-day Germany.  He was raised in Mansfeld because his father worked at the local copper mines.  Hans sent Martin Luther to Latin school.  When Martin was only thirteen years old, he went to the University of Erfurt to study law.  But in 1505, Martin Luther’s life took a dramatic turn.  Now twenty-one years old, Martin Luther fought his way through a severe thunderstorm on the road to Erfurt.  A bolt of lightning struck near him. This was a very traumatic time for Martin Luther and it is noted that he said that day,  “Help me, St. Anne! I will become a monk!”  He survived that thunderstorm and became an Augustinian monk.  His father was furious because he wanted Martin to become a lawyer.  Martin Luther was very committed to the Augustinian order devoting himself to fasting, long hours in prayer, and frequent confession.  He described this time in his life as one of deep spiritual despair. It seems as if he lost his comfort in God because he was overcome with the fear of God’s wrath to an extreme extent.  This is when one of his superiors taught him not to think of all his sins but to think of what Christ did for him. In 1507, he was ordained to the priesthood and in 1508, Luther started to teach at the University of Wittenberg.  On October 19, 1512, Martin Luther got his Doctor of Theology.  He was received into the Senate of the Theological Faculty at the University of Wittenberg.  He spent the rest of his career in this position. He was also made the Providential Vicar of Saxony and Thuringia by his religious order in 1515. This meant he was supposed to visit and oversee each of the monasteries in his province.

The Reformation started in 1516.  Johann Tetzel was a Dominican friar and the Papal Commissioner for Indulgences.  Johann Tetzel was sent to modern-day Germany by the Roman Catholic Church to sell Indulgences to raise money to rebuild St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Roman Catholic theology stated that faith alone cannot justify a man but that justification depends on if you are active in charity and good works (fides caritate formata).  This is totally against scripture and the Bible which says justification comes by faith alone (sola fide) in Galatians 2:16. On October 31, 1517 Martin Luther wrote his Bishop, Albrecht of Mainz, protesting the sale of Indulgences.  He enclosed in the letter a copy of his “Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences” which became known as “The 95 Theses”. The 95 Theses told of the two main problems Martin Luther had with the Roman Catholic Church.  The first being the sale of Indulgences or that salvation does not come by faith alone.  The second problem was that the Roman Catholic Church did not follow scripture alone but the Pope. The Pope had absolute power. The 95 Theses would later become the foundation of the Protestant Reformation.

On November 9, 1518, the Pope condemned his writings as conflicting with the Catholic Church.  Later a series of commissioners were convened to examine Luther’s teachings.  Some found them to be heretical and some offensive.  In July 1520, the Pope issued a Papal Bull or public decree that concluded that Luther’s teachings were found to be heretical and he gave Martin Luther one hundred-twenty days to recant his writings in Rome.  Martin Luther refused to recant.  On January 3, 1521, the Pope excommunicated Martin Luther from the Roman Catholic Church.  But, on April 17, 1521, Luther appeared before the Diet of Worms in Germany.  Refusing to recant, whether the statement is true or not, is famous.  He apparently said, “Here I stand. God help me. I can do no other.”  On May 25, 1521, The Holy Roman Emperor Charles V signed an edict against Martin Luther that ordered all his writings to be burned.  Martin Luther hid for the next year where he began to work on one of his major life projects, the translation of the New Testament from Greek to German.  This great project took him ten years to complete. Luther returned to Wittenberg in 1521 where the Reformed movement, initiated by his writings, had grown beyond him.  It was no longer purely theological but it had become political.  Other people stepped up to lead the Reform and it became known as the Peasants’ War and was making its way across Germany. Martin Luther had previously written against the Church’s adherence to clerical celibacy and in 1525, he married Katharina von Bora, a former nun.  They had five children.  Martin Luther’s earlier writings were very influential and sparked the Reformation but he was hardly involved with the Reformation during his later years.  Martin Luther died on February 18, 1546.

Martin Luther is one of the most influential people in the Protestant Reformation. Before the Reformation, he was in Augustinian monk.  Martin Luther’s writings sparked the Protestant Reformation and he is highly regarded in the Protestant Church. His conversion was a memorable time in his life and being excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church would have been unimaginable.  He was not trying to separate from the church.  Instead, he wanted to reform the Roman Catholic Church.  After sparking the Reformation, he did not play a big part in it after..  He settled down, had a family and died at age sixty-two in the same year as his wife.  Today, Martin Luther is known as one of the Fathers of the Protestant Reformation.

 

British Lit. “The Screwtape Letters”

The Church and Demons

 

In The Screwtape Letters, Screwtape wants to help Wormwood get his patient to hell through different aspects of the church. This is because the church is made up of sinful, fallen people united together in Christ. This means there are hypocrites and mistakes made in the church which helps the demons. We need to know what aspects of the church are used to help the demonic agenda. The general categories that can sway people off the narrow road is the teaching of the church, the fellowship of the members, and the individual churchgoing person. These things are great gifts from God but can easily be twisted through sin to be difficult and misused.

The way pastors are to teach and act from a biblical perspective is very different from what the world thinks of a pastor. The elders and the pastor of a church are the ones to be teaching the congregation during a church service. They are also to only be men. They are to be the shepherd of the congregation and teach the church to stay out of sin (Titus 1: 5-9).  Unfortunately, this position has often been corrupted by sin and does not follow core teachings in The Bible.

Screwtape does not want the patient to go to a church with good, sound doctrine but instead the pastors Screwtape individually mentions are from two churches that are nearest the patient. These churches are alike in one way, the way being that both of the  churches  have bad teaching and they are leading people astray.  One pastor is the unnamed Vicar and the other Father Spike.  The Vicar has extremely watered-down the doctrine to supposedly make it easier for the hard-headed or stupid congregation.  This man is, according to Screwtape, not even a true believer. Then there is Father Spike. He is very bitter and has a range of opinions.  But, the fatal flaw in him, which Screwtape talks about, is that he actually believes.  Verses 7-8 of Titus 1 gives a list of characteristics of an elder.  Examples of this texts are:  He must not be arrogant, quick-tempered or violent.  He must be a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.  The Vicar is arrogant and lazy.  Whereas, Father Spike is not firm in his teaching and quick to change his mind.

Next, the fellowship of the members.  The members are supposed to be the united body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12).  Christ is the head and Christians are the body.  The body does the work of the Lord together joyfully.  But this is, unfortunately, not often the case with the congregations around the world.  They often have friendly conversations at church but do not see each other throughout the week or fellowship together. The first church the patient starts going to lacks good fellowship because the patient does not have people who he gets along with at church being a well-off, educated man.  In the same pew as him is the grocer and even though they are different, they should fellowship or do good toward one another because it is what you are told to do in the Bible. (Galatians 6:10, Colossians 3:16, and Hebrews 10:25)  The church the patient goes to when he first got saved is an example of fellowship being almost nonexistent in the congregation.

After falling in love with the girl in Letter 22, Screwtape is really starting to get mad at Wormwood’s stupidity because, after joining the same circles as this girl, he is in love with her.  The patient is surrounded by strong, intelligent, and unapologetically Christian people that are like him and he hangs out with them constantly.  Almost every day of hanging around people of like mind is very helpful in a Christian walk.  This is what infuriates Screwtape.  Wormwood does not see how greatly this will affect the patient.  This event is an example of good fellowship in the body of Christ.

The last aspect is the individual person in the church.  Before a person is saved by faith in Christ,  most people think of Christians as hypocrites and horrible people. This is because they do not understand that Christians are not Christians because they are good people, but because they are not good people in need of a Savior, which is Christ (Romans 3:23, Jeremiah 17:9, Romans 6:23). After a person is saved, they are called by God through the Scriptures to go to church.  This is when the demonic or Screwtape say that a Christian should go to a church because it suits them or is their style.  This causes people to go around and try out various churches so they become a connoisseur or “taster” of churches.  Another thing Screwtape wants Wormwood to do in the patient’s life is to make him think that just by going to church makes you a Christian.  Just going through the motions of the Christian life does not work well.  It works for the demons. The demons want the Church to be small so that not many people know “The Enemy” but they also want it to be small so it is like a secret society or clique.  Screwtape wants the church to be anything but God glorifying.  He wants it to be a secret society, social club, or a way to feel better about yourself, etc.  In the book, Screwtape tells Wormwood the best way to hell is a gradual one.  It is easiest because  you and everyone, were born on the road to hell and you would be going to hell if it weren’t for the sacrifice of the Son.  The only way to be right with God is to be in the Son and have faith in Jesus Christ to save you from your sins.  This means His death was for you.  That is what happened to the patient.  He went to heaven because he believed in Christ and that is what sent Wormwood to hell to be punished for his failure.

Screwtape does not want people to go to church so he was mad at the patient for even going to church and Wormwood for letting him.  But if a person goes to a church, the demons want it to be at an unhealthy church with issues. This is why the demonic agenda uses the sinful nature of the body of Christ.  Because we are fallen human beings, we lead people away from the church.  He does not even have to lead people away from the church because they will leave anyway because they hate God.  Things that God created have been flawed by sin. This means the church, the teaching, and individual humans are dead in sin and every person on earth needs Christ to go to heaven.  If they do not accept Christ as their Savior they will go to hell with their father below.(John 3:3, 3:16, 3:36, 14:6, Romans 10:9)

 

WC1 Week 6 Essay

The Athenian Government

The Athenian Government was set up in four different parts.  The Assembly consisted of all citizens who came to the meetings.  You could only be a citizen if you are a man with two Athenian parents. So, the Assembly was made up by about 30 to 40,000 men. This was only about 15 to 20% of the population in Athens.  Other people who were not citizens were women, slaves, metics, etc.  The citizens would debate and speak at the meetings where everybody got involved.  This is a real democracy where the people make the decisions. There was a lot of citizen involvement because the citizens made the decisions.  

The second part of the Athenian government was the Council of 500.  The 500 were chosen by lot, randomly out of the Assembly, and they chose the topics the Assembly was to debate and make decisions on. The 500 would serve for one year each.

Next, the Law Courts consisted of 6000 citizens who were chosen as diecasts.  The jurors and judges were drawn from the diecasts. So these 6000 citizens were the Judicial System.

Lastly, there were Magistrates.  The Magistrates were just government officials doing various jobs. They were either elected or chosen by lot.  There were 1000 of these offices that needed to be filled each year and almost half of these were chosen at random.  This was a true democracy where the citizens actually decided on the issues and made all the decisions.

 

WC1: Week 5 Essay

Aristotle’s Ethics

When Aristotle talked about ethics, the main point he is driving at is what is the best life? Or, how should a human live? He wanted to know is there an ultimate good which we can pursue for its own sake? He figured out the ultimate goal is happiness (eudaimonia).  The state of peace, blessedness, and contentment.

A lot of people mistake happiness for different things: honor, pleasure, wealth, virtue, etc.  These are all parts of happiness.  You want to live a life worthy of honor.  You do not want to live a life of just pleasure because then you are failing to live up to human potential.  People do not just want money they want what money can buy, stuff they think will make them happy.  Everybody wants to feel like a good person and virtue helps with that.  So, you should always be doing virtuous things. But, if you do not want to do virtuous things it is not that you are not virtuous but you are not active in your virtue.    

But, happiness is sought for its own sake.  There is no other goal after happiness.  What leads to happiness? It is all about having a purpose.  So, that brings us to the question what is man’s purpose? What makes us unique? Aristotle thought our ability to reason defines us, which is what made us special. He also thought happiness was virtuous activity.  Virtuous activity, in turn, brings pleasure.  Well then, what are virtues? Virtue involves the habit and conscious decision to do the right thing.  How do we become virtuous? To become virtuous one must do virtuous things.  So you have to be disciplined to do virtuous things so that you end up having a habit of just doing the right thing.

Happiness also includes friendship.  Useful friends and pleasurable friends are not stable.  So, you want a friendship from a good or a virtuous person.  This gives both of you the opportunity to employ virtue and reinforce the development of each other’s character.

Aristotle didn’t tell you to do the right thing because it would benefit other people.  He mostly made it about you doing the right thing because you are a reasonable logical human.  That is why he thinks humans should do the right thing.  But everybody wants people to do the right thing when it benefits them so it was a very self-centered thinking. His thought was to do what was good because of you and because you are a smart enough person to do the right thing while you are on the road to happiness.