Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ryan Daley, Butt Monkey Extraordinaire

This is still a mostly Ryan section and Lord, is it dull.

So the YTF minus Ryan decide to read some of Bruce's notes. Apparently in addition to sermon notes, Bruce wrote about his friends. Basically he talks about how Ryan was the last to make his decision and mentions something about an idea that could put his relationship with the TF. But I thought Bruce was the top of the complicated hierarchy that RTCs love. Why would he have to worry about kowtowing to the TF or is this a case that all characters in this story recognize that they are not as worthy as Rayford and Buck.

Meanwhile the goons who grabbed Ryan are about to let him go, but Ryan convinces them to hold onto him. This seems stupid but it's possible that he could be expressing concern for another human being and therefore is refusing to be released unless Darrion is released as well, but such concern is a rare thing in an Ellanjay novel so I can't be sure.

Next, the YTF discover their Junior-Hole-in-the-Ground filled with the Bibles they've collected and Ryan's diary. Naturally because they respect and care about Ryan's privacy, they decide to read it. Good to know you have such caring friends, Ryan.

Meanwhile back to Ryan. He bluffs the goons by telling him about his "Father" who is preparing a mansion for him. Naturally of course, us astute readers can tell he's referring to his heavenly father, but the goons have all the intelligence of a character in a Jack Chick tract so they don't pick up on this.

Okay, next chapter, Darrion talks about her aunt and uncle who disappeared while being held in custody in Romania because they knew too much about Nicky Fansipan, thus setting up for Darrion's inevitable conversion.

Meanwhile we get another appearance of Chloe, who so far has made more appearances in this series than her father, as the remaining YTF continue reading Bruce's notes, which allow Bruce to have a presence in the novel without actually being here, making me wonder if I need to revive my "Bruce Barnes is Useless" tag. Basically, he talks about the Red Horse being released, which means WWIII will start but Nicholae will come out of it as the great peacemaker though it will all be a lie.

Next cut to Ryan and Darrion and we get a discussion of Enigma Babylon Faith vs. RTC faith.

"That's the difference between what Enigma Babylon One World Faith teaches and what I believe. The new religion says you should trust yourself. Decide for yourself which way you should go. As long as you follow your inner voice, you'll be okay."

"That's not exactly what they teach, but go on."

Yes, go on you patronizing git, go on completely misrepresenting my faith.

"The new religion says I should put my faith in faith, in whatever I find that makes me feel like I'm following God."

"You got a problem with that?" Darrion said.

"Yeah, it's just plain wrong. You can't let your feelings guide what you believe. You believe what is true."

"And what is true? One persons's truth might not fit somebody else. See, now you're being exclusive."

One of the repeated problems with these novels: the so-called bad people accidentally end up making more sense than the Elsie Dinsmore characters.

Basically Ryan says she should believe in God rather than belief and does the whole, God sent his son to die for us spiel. Darrion responds by saying, "How can you be so sure?"

Here's Ryan's response in all its (non)-glory:

"I'm not sure because I have great faith. I'm sure because God is great. God showed how great he was in the miracles he performed. The Bible predicts the disappearances and the rise of the one-world government. It's coming true all around us.

So you believe in God only because of what you've seen. Then how is this helpful for the readers in the audience who likely won't ever see said convoluted prophecies ever come true? What is supposed to be the basis of their faith? This is why these books are worthless when it comes to educating on the faith.

The chapter ends with Buck posing as Ryan's father and tracing the call and that's it for this week. Have fun taking apart Ryan's logic, fellow snarkers.


Firedrake said...

Everyone else: "I got a personal and privileged revelation from Our Lord and Savior!"
Ryan: "I got a rock."

I think Bruce is the TF's spiritual advisor, who obviously has to be subservient to the Real Manly Men who Do Stuff.

I don't know why people ever keep diaries any more. Everybody knows they're going to get read eventually.

Darrion = ordinar(y)? Or ordain(e)r?

I think that if you're a proto-RTC you're supposed to believe that miracles are happening all the time. God loves you and makes your life easier, but only ever in ways that can't be proven, and sometimes he kicks you in the nuts and tells you it's what you need. Yeahright, sounds like those lab monkeys that get driven mad when the action/reward correlation gets randomized.

Does anyone think to ask "what is there about Christianity that's incompatible with following it EBOWF-style, as 'whatever [you] find that makes [you] feel like [you're] following God'"? Why, anyone would think that L&J had only a vague and unformed notion of what this "world religion" would look like and hadn't worked through the details! Perish the thought.

Mind you, my mental version of Darrion is still the one who's been paying attention at EBOWF school (and of course in the compulsory role-playing game lessons) and, being level seven, has the Real Power...

Anonymous said...

Strong Son of God, immortal love,
Whom we, that have not seen Thy face,
By faith, and faith alone, embrace,
Believing where we cannot prove.

Thou wilt not leave us in the dust;
Thou madest man, he knows not why,
He thinks he was not made to die:
And Thou hast made him: Thou art just.

Thou seemest human and divine,
The highest, holiest manhood, Thou.
Our wills are ours, we know not how;
Ours wills are ours, to make them Thine.

Our little systems have their day;
They have their day and cease to be;
They are but broken lights of Thee,
And Thou, O Lord, art more than they.

We have but faith: we cannot know;
For knowledge is of things we see;
And yet we trust it comes from Thee,
A beam in darkness: let it grow.

Not for the first time, I think the RTCs are poorly served by their abandonment of actual hymns in favor of "praise choruses".

hidden_urchin said...


I keep a diary because I know (well, hope) it will be read someday.

Anyway, Ryan actually manages to out-evangelize Ray and Bucky here. He actually ties it to what is happening. Granted it doesn't help readers who are looking for guidance in real world evangelism but *finally* someone is saying "you should believe what I believe because I have proof. Here it is."

Ruby said...

Meanwhile back to Ryan. He bluffs the goons by telling him about his "Father" who is preparing a mansion for him. Naturally of course, us astute readers can tell he's referring to his heavenly father, but the goons have all the intelligence of a character in a Jack Chick tract so they don't pick up on this.

In particular, this Chick tract: