Chronicles from the future: The Northam-Jaeger Relationship & Confessions

Chronicles from the future: The Northam-Jaeger Relationship & Confessions

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August 20 th

This morning they removed my bandages. When a gentleman came to see me, not for the first time, whom I now know as Ilector Jaeger, my face lit up! He gave me a firm handshake and with obvious joy he praised and congratulated the older physician. I didn’t know that eighteen years ago, Jaeger had been Andrew Northam’s teacher. From what they explained to me, this now famous and widely celebrated spiritual man, this “eminent thinker”, whose work has now been widely read and whose lectures at the Reigen * are attended by thousands, back then was still unknown to the public. He contributed towards young Northam’s education for four years, wholeheartedly offering him the care and affection of a spiritual father.

Then they became caught up in life’s responsibilities and they each went their separate ways.

When the superior Ilectors discovered who had stood by Northam’s side as a teacher and a guardian in his early years, they called upon him and asked him if he could dedicate some time to him again in the afternoons. And it was very moving to see the now middle-aged thinker coming alone, without the escort of the Unjie*, and devoting his precious time to convey the same childhood learning to the same person now a twenty-eight-year-old man who, physically at least, resembled his spiritual son of two decades ago. What’s more, as they informed me, he had unexpectedly been resurrected—but as a completely different man, disturbed and half deranged—after his fifteen-minute trip to the land of the dead. I remember how delighted Jaeger was when Professor Molsen told him that the freezing process had been done hastily but just in time. His brain hadn’t suffered the slightest impairment.


August 21 st

Today, for the first time, Jaeger was accompanied by Stefan, Andrew’s closest friend and three years his senior. He is an earnest young man; I truly took a liking to him.

Jaeger let him observe the lesson for a while. Then I showed him my first writings. I had already started to write and I continued writing in his presence. I thought he’d be impressed by the fact that I had recovered my writing skills even from the first days, but Jaeger had already informed him about my past research on Ibsen, about which I had talked to him as well.

“This is not Andrew’s handwriting,” was the only thing Stefan said.

Apart from the superior Ilectors, only four other people knew about Northam’s unique case: the two physicians, Ilector Jaeger and Stefan. I pleaded with Jaeger to keep it a secret and to not let me become an object of curiosity in the eyes of the whole world. He promised, but he also added something that I didn’t understand: “The Valley of the Roses will have the last word; it’s up to them to decide how long this will be kept a secret from the rest of the world.”

As for Stefan, he will start coming regularly in a few days; he has got a lot to teach me about Northam and his life. He says that I need to know all that before I expose myself to this new world. The words that Jaeger said, shortly before Stefan’s departure, come to mind: “In any case, Andrew Northam’s family and friends will seek him out. Since the news of his recovery has become known, what’s going to stop him from going back to his normal life?”

When we were left alone, I asked Jaeger to tell me what the Ilectors had been saying about all this and I told him what happened that night when the young physician saw me crying at the thought of my mother. “Try to put yourself in my shoes for a moment because, trust me, in such a bizarre and grotesque situation it’s worth considering both sides. Your course of life flows normally and unobstructed, at the same pace as always. For you, Northam is the one who’s changed. For you, this is a case of “personality shift” of a man who was revived after fifteen minutes of clinical death. A very rare parapsychological phenomenon associated with language switching. Your friend is a man who once was one of yours and now speaks a dead language. But I haven’t changed at all. What I see is a piece of the future. Taking that into consideration, how can I not think that I’ve lost my mind? That I’ve gone mad?”

I was sobbing uncontrollably. I was utterly at sea because I could not believe that in there might be the slightest rift in the solid axes of time and space that I knew. The rift had to be somewhere inside me. I had to be the paranoid one!

“Only you can tell me the truth. If it’s been two thousand years, like the young physician told me, then I’m going mad. You can’t imagine how fresh, how recent the memory of going to sleep is in my mind; it feels like yesterday. I could hear my mother’s breathing; she was sleeping in the next room. I can almost see the basin of water next to my bed and the fringed towel with the blue-green embroidery on it. It’s like she is in front of me right now.”

I stared at him in agony, but Jaeger made no attempt to avoid my gaze. He could understand most of my German. “I don’t think,” he said holding his gaze steady, “that hiding even the tiniest vestige of truth from you will help still your heart but, trust us, we know much more than you do. We don’t live in the times of Descartes and Kant anymore. Many things have changed. But not everything can be measured solely on the basis of the intellect and constricts of the mere human brain. Are you absolutely sure, for example, that at the time you went to sleep, as you say, Andrew Northam did not yet exist? And are you absolutely sure that, right at this moment, your mother has ceased to exist?”

His incredible response struck me less than it would have a few days ago when it would have seemed inconceivable for me to process. Now, what brought tears to my eyes was the way this great man spoke to me, in such a different manner from the physicians. And he talked to me in my own tongue…

Chronicles from the Future is now available in Kindle or paperback format through Amazon.

Copyright Achilleas Syrigos. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be republished.

When you trust in God, there is no need to fear.


Life can be difficult. Being a Christian in a non-Christian world poses all kinds of problems. The world does not know Jesus. The world does not love Him. The world does not understand why He came. You, on the other hand, do know Jesus. You do love Him. And, you do understand why He came. He came to save you from your sins and to give you new life. He came to bring you peace and joy in the Spirit. He came so you might have fellowship with God.

These things you already know. And you also know that though you are saved from sin and filled with the Spirit of God, life in this world still is not perfect. It is still difficult.

The Christian is, in a sense, in a battle with the world. And the world is at war with the Christian — with you. The world offers vices, self-fulfillment, and greed. The world wants to convert you to its paganism, to its ungodly devotion to the unholy. And if you don’t conform, if you don’t bend the knee to its idols and sacrifices, you will be ridiculed, mocked, and attacked.

So the world is against you. The evil one is at war with you. And in the battle, there are all sorts of struggles. On the inside, you struggle against sin: pride, lust, greed, boasting, and various wantings. On the outside, you struggle against illness, poverty, marriage problems, job difficulties, an unsure future, and more. Maybe right now you are facing a serious struggle. Or maybe you=ve recently had to deal with a difficult situation. Maybe you fear that one is coming.

As a Christian, what do you do when life is coming down on you hard when there seems to be no way out when your relationship with God is being affected? When you are worried or afraid? When you are in distress?

What do you do when you are facing such monumental obstacles? How do you resist temptation, flee from evil, or believe beyond your ability to understand how your problems can be solved?

Context: Israel and Judah were divided.

  • Jehoshaphat was the 4th king of the separated kingdom of Judah around 850 to 875 B.C. He was a zealous follower of the commandments of God. In his 3rd year, he sent out certain princes, priests, and Levites, to go through all the cities of Judah, teaching the people out of the Book of the Law. Because he sought the Lord, riches, and honors increased around him. “Jehoshaphat sought the Lord with all his heart” (2 Chr. 22:9).
  • Moab, Ammon, and the Meunites came to make war against Jehoshaphat.
  • Jehoshaphat was afraid and rightly so, for the army approaching him was indeed a mighty one, beyond what he would be able to handle. He was in trouble.

Read 2 Chronicles 20, verses 1-9, 14-15, 22-23, 30

    You should trust God and not fear because of who He is. Please look with me at v. 6.
    “and he [Jehoshaphat] said, ‘O Lord, the God of our fathers, art Thou not God in the heavens? And art Thou not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Thy hand so that no one can stand against Thee.

  1. ‘”Jehovah is:
    1. “…the God of our Fathers”
      1. of Adam and Eve, of Noah, of Abraham, of Moses
      2. therefore, He is the God of History.
      1. Therefore, He is the God of Holiness. Heaven is the holy dwelling place of God.
      2. Therefore, He is above all things. He is pure, righteous, and incapable of sin.
      1. therefore, He is the God of Sovereignty. All kings and peoples are His. And as such, He has the right to rule them as He pleases.
      1. therefore, He is the God of power.
        1. He can do as He wishes. He can create or destroy. Raise up or tear down.
        1. Is He big or small?
        2. Is He all-powerful or is He a wimp?
        3. Does He love you or does He just put up with you?
        1. The people of Judah knew who God was and that is why they looked to Him and trusted Him.
        2. IIn other words, you should trust God because He is holy He is a King, and He is all-powerful, and because He loves you very much.

        1. God has already accomplished great things:
          1. He gave the land of Canaan to the descendants of Abraham.
            1. God chose Abraham and promised him he would be a great nation.
            2. God raised up Moses and, through many miracles, delivered His people from the bondage of the Egyptians. He parted the Red Sea He destroyed the Egyptians.
            3. God raised up Joshua and the Hebrew armies to take the land of Canaan. And there, God planted them in the land that they might bear fruit as His chosen people so they could worship Him, honor Him, serve Him, and prepare the way of the Messiah.
            4. The Hebrew could reach down, grab a hand full of dirt, and touch the promise, feel the reality of God’s accomplishments. He could touch the promise!
            5. *** Because the Hebrews knew God and what He had already done for them, they sought Him again.
              Then look at what they did…

            1. They sought God , v. 12, “O our God, wilt thou not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on Thee.”
            2. They praised God , v. 19, “And the Levites, from the sons of the Kohathites and of the sons of the Korahites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel, with a very loud voice.”
            3. They put their trust in God , v. 20, “…Jehoshaphat stood and said, ‘Listen to Me, O Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, put your trust in the LORD your God, and you will be upheld….'”
            4. They gave thanks to God , v. 21, “And he said, ‘Give thanks to the LORD, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.”
            1. Did you know that a Christian’s true character is often revealed when he faces a real problem? How do you handle your problems? Do you panic? Do you complain? Do you raise your fist in the air and shout at God? Do you begin to doubt and then run for a quick fix (run to a sin, the television, or “not talk about it”)?, or do you go the Lord in prayer, humility, praise, and trust, and refuse to give fear and worry any place?
            1. He has delivered you from the enemy called sin, by redeeming you through His Son.
            2. He has brought you out of the land of the Valley of the Shadows of Death and given you a place to rest, and caused you to lie down on green pastures.
            3. He has taken your heart, at one time the home of evil, and delivered it into the hands of His Son, Jesus.
              1. The cross is the only reason you have for any hope of deliverance from any conflict, problem, battle, or worry.
              2. The cross is the absolute guarantee of God’s commitment to you. You will never be forsaken. You cannot be forsaken you cannot be forgotten by God.
              1. They were delivered from an enemy that sought to kill them.
              2. You have been delivered from an enemy that has sought to have you damned.
              3. The cross, the blood, the pain, the humiliation of Jesus 2000 years ago has bought you peace, safety, and security in the land of promise: eternal life with God.
              1. Will He do any less for you when you face difficulties in your life?
              2. Will He let you be destroyed? No!
                1. How do you handle sin, sickness, heartbreak, pain, uncertainty, etc…
                2. Do you trust God or do you doubt? Hasn’t He fed you, clothed you, warmed you?
                1. God has called you not that He might forsake you, but that He might sanctify you, make you holy, and that you might enjoy Him forever.
                2. Because He loves you… very much.
                1. v. 15 – Do not fear or be dismayed… for the battle is not yours but God’s.
                2. v. 17 – Stand and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf (v. 17).
                3. These were statements in the future tense. These were God’s words of Promise!!

                Review: How Haruki Murakami fell down a literary well

                His middle-aged, perfectly ordinary, pasta-cooking protagonists often end up at the bottoms of wells, trapped for days like the protagonist of “Killing Commendatore,” or drawn down the ladder for some thinking time like Toru Okada in “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.” Wells serve as portals in Murakami’s work, tunnels into memory and forgetting. Now Murakami has found himself stuck in the dank dark, so immersed in the total recall of the work that came before that he cannot see his way into the future.

                His new short-story collection, “First Person Singular,” is predicated on a “Two Truths and a Lie”-type premise. Some of the stories allegedly are taken directly from the mega-novelist’s real life. Others are standard Murakami fiction: a polite and charming talking monkey scrubs backs in a ryokan bath a college student in the 1960s embarks on his first love affair a jazz lover reminisces about a fantasy Charlie Parker album. “Memoir or fiction?” the back cover asks. “The reader decides.”

                The real question is: Does the reader care? Each story is like the greenery filler in a grocery store bouquet: stiff and charmless, background fodder, indistinct organic matter. They’re like copies of copies of copies of Murakami’s older work all the specificity and vivacity is blurred out. The women are rubbed down into featureless nubs, the men deflated caricatures — popped balloons. The only appeal left to make to the reader is the brand name on the cover.

                Murakami has never been the recluse of popular repute, but “First Person Singular,” his fifth story collection and 22nd book, arrives as he seems more willing than ever to commodify his bigger-than-cult status. In November he’ll publish a glossy book about his apparently impressive T-shirt collection. Like Billie Eilish and the estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat before him, he just released a line of T-shirts with Japanese mega-retailer Uniqlo (it promptly sold out). His author website, once typical fare, is now a machine designed to open Murakami’s personal life up to his readers: click here for an annotated photo of his writing desk, there for a collection of snaps from Tokyo “to give American readers a sense of Japan.” If the Murakami of old revolutionized Japanese stories by importing American culture, the Haruki of today has made himself into a key export.

                The chaotic, dreamlike qualities remain, but writer Haruki Murakami’s work has a new touch of optimism.

                Sadly, his reach now exceeds his imaginative grasp. Murakami has been overplanting in his fields for years, and they have grown fallow. Dusty, dull, inhospitable to life.

                I say this as a Murakami completist, a devoted fan of his misanthropic magic. A math professor, of all people, gave me my first Murakami, an uncorrected galley proof of “The Elephant Vanishes” — a gateway drug to his brand of surrealism, which refuses to admit it is surreal. From there I downed “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle” and “Norwegian Wood” — the two tentpoles of his fiction — and worked my way in and out of his oeuvre. “Kafka on the Shore’’ and “Sputnik Sweetheart” liberated my notions of character identity and presaged the literature of disassociation represented more recently by novelists like Catherine Lacey and Katie Kitamura.

                But after 2005’s dreamy Oedipal redux “Kafka on the Shore,” Murakami put out insultingly onerous chronicles — “1Q84,” “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage” and “Killing Commendatore” — attempts to recapture the thrilling, mazelike quality of “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.” Each performed the patented Murakami shtick: a lovelorn man on the cusp of 40, often oddly infatuated with a startlingly young woman, embarks on a quest to make sense of a set of indiscernible, probably meaningless “clues” to solve a psycho-emotional mystery only he perceives. These puzzles were innovative when Murakami first published them three decades ago, but an innovation spun a dozen different ways is just repetition.

                The eight stories in “First Person Singular” share a deadening lack of curiosity. In the first story, “Cream,” an unnamed young man receives an invitation to a piano recital when he arrives the concert space is locked and deserted. On the walk home he meets a man muttering about “a circle with many centers,” who then vanishes. The point? “What took place that day was incomprehensible, inexplicable, and at eighteen it left me bewildered and mystified.” OK. The title story follows a maybe-Murakami into a bar where a “friend of a friend” berates him for a supposedly “horrible, awful thing” he did. He leaves, and “a wave of bewilderment and confusion swept over me.” I’m not leaving out the details this is really all there is.

                That’s the tenor of the rest of the collection: men shrugging and muttering, “That was weird.” (Only “Confessions of a Shinagawa Monkey” lives up to its promise.) Unlike the best of Murakami, in which strange coincidences subsume the characters’ lives, pulling them into vast underground conspiracies that reorient their (and our) relationship with the “normal” world, “First Person Singular” butts up against oddities and then walks away, slightly bewildered.


                DreamWorks SKG era (1994–2004)

                On October 12, 1994, a trio of entertainment players, film director and producer Steven Spielberg, former Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, and music executive David Geffen, founded DreamWorks SKG (the three letters taken from the surnames of the founders). To build the talent base, Spielberg brought over artists from his London-based studio, Amblimation, while Katzenberg recruited some of the top animation staff from Disney. [8] Some of Amblimation's artists came to DreamWorks in 1995, when the studio's last feature was completed, [9] with the rest doing so following the studio's closure in 1997. [10]

                In 1995, DreamWorks signed a co-production deal with Pacific Data Images to form subsidiary PDI, LLC (PDI owned 60% of PDI, LLC, while DreamWorks SKG owned 40%). This new unit would produce computer-generated feature films, beginning with Antz in 1998. In the same year, DreamWorks SKG produced The Prince of Egypt, which used both CGI technology and traditional animation techniques.

                In 1997, DreamWorks partnered with Aardman Animations, a British stop-motion animation studio, to co-produce and distribute Chicken Run (2000), a stop-motion film already in pre-production. [11] Two years later they extended the deal for an additional four films. With Aardman doing stop-motion and the existing traditional and computer productions, they covered all three major styles of animation. [12] This partnership had DreamWorks participating in the production of stop-motion films in Bristol, and also had Aardman participating in some of the CGI films made in the United States.

                Three years later, DreamWorks SKG created DreamWorks Animation, a new business division that would regularly produce both types of animated feature films. The same year DW acquired majority interest (90%) in PDI, and reformed it into PDI/DreamWorks, the Northern California branch of its new business division. [13]

                In 2001, Shrek was released and went on to win the first Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film. Due to the success of CGI animated films, DWA decided the same year to exit hand-drawn animation business after the next two of total four hand-drawn films. Beginning with Shrek 2 (2004), all released films, other than some co-produced with Aardman, were expected to be produced with CGI. [14] The releases of Shrek 2 and Shark Tale also made DWA the first animation studio to produce two CGI animated features in a single year. [15]

                Public corporation (2004–2016)

                The animation division was spun off into a publicly traded company named DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (doing business as DreamWorks Animation LLC) on October 27, 2004, and traded via the New York Stock Exchange. [16] Katzenberg headed the new division, while Spielberg and Geffen remained on board as investors and consultants. [17] DWA also inherited interests in PDI/DreamWorks. They made an agreement with their former parent to distribute all of their films until they delivered twelve new films, or December 12, 2010, whichever came last. [15]

                On January 31, 2006, DWA entered into a distribution agreement with Paramount Pictures, which recently acquired DWA's former parent and distribution partner, DreamWorks SKG. The agreement granted Paramount the worldwide rights to distribute all animated films, including previously released films, until the delivery of 13 new animated feature films or December 31, 2012, whichever came last. [18] Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit was the last film distributed by its former distribution arm and Over the Hedge was the first film distributed by Paramount.

                DWA's partnership with Aardman ended after the release of Flushed Away in November 2006, having delivered three out of five films. The announcement was made before the film's release, on October 3, citing "creative differences". [19] DWA retained the co-ownership of rights to all films co-produced with Aardman, with an exception being Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005), for which they only kept the worldwide distribution rights. [14]

                On March 13, 2007, DreamWorks Animation announced it would release all of its films, beginning with Monsters vs. Aliens (2009), in stereoscopic 3D. [20] Together with Intel, they co-developed a new 3D film-making technology, InTru3D. [21]

                In 2008, DWA extended its production pipeline into Bangalore, India, where they established a special unit within Technicolor, named DreamWorks Dedicated Unit. The unit is owned by Technicolor, but DreamWorks hires and trains the animators, who then contribute to DreamWorks projects. DDU at first worked only on TV specials, such as Merry Madagascar (2009), Scared Shrekless (2010), and DVD projects. [22] Eventually they started contributing to DreamWorks' feature films as well, beginning with animating part of Puss in Boots (2011). [23]

                Since 2009, the studio has been a regular guest on the list of Fortune Magazine's 100 Best Companies to Work For. As the only entertainment company on the list, they ranked 47th in 2009, [24] 6th in 2010, [25] 10th in 2011, [26] 14th in 2012, [27] and 12th in 2013. [28]

                Beginning in 2010, the studio had planned to release five feature films over the course of every two years, [29] but the next year the studio revisited their plans, "but beyond 2012, Katzenberg said the studio will play it by ear, even if that means abandoning his proclamation that DWA would try to release three pictures in a single year, every other year." [30] In 2010, DWA became the first animation studio that released three feature-length CG-animated films in a year. [31] The same year, the company purchased the film rights to the Trolls franchise. [32]

                Diversification and expansion (2012–2015)

                In July 2012, DreamWorks Animation won a $155 million bid to acquire Classic Media, [33] which has since been renamed to DreamWorks Classics. [34] In August 2012, DreamWorks Animation formed a joint venture with Chinese investment companies to establish a Shanghai-based entertainment company, named Oriental DreamWorks, to develop and produce original Chinese films and their derivatives. [35]

                According to a Los Angeles Times report, DreamWorks Animation was in talks with Sony Pictures to distribute its upcoming films, such as the 2013 releases of The Croods and Turbo. The report also mentioned a possibility where Sony would handle United States distribution while 20th Century Fox would handle international distribution. Renewal of the deal with Paramount was also open, but only with more favorable terms for Paramount (they even offered a one-year extension of the deal, but Katzenberg desired to get a better deal). [36] [37] Around the same time, DreamWorks Animation entered talks with Warner Bros. for a potential distribution deal as well, only to be turned down by the studio. [38]

                In August 2012, DreamWorks Animation signed a five-year distribution deal with 20th Century Fox for all territories. [39] However, the deal did not include the distribution rights of previously released films, which DWA acquired from Paramount later in 2014. [40] Rise of the Guardians (2012) was the last DreamWorks Animation film to be distributed by Paramount, and The Croods became the first DreamWorks Animation film to be distributed by Fox.

                On April 11, 2013, DreamWorks Animation announced that it has acquired the intellectual property for the Trolls franchise from the Dam Family and Dam Things. DreamWorks Animation, which has "big plans for the franchise", has become the exclusive worldwide licensor of the merchandise rights, except for Scandinavia, where Dam Things remains the licensor. [32] On May 1, Katzenberg and DWA announced their intent to purchase YouTube channel AwesomenessTV, which was finalized later in the month. [41]

                The following month, DWA announced a multi-year content deal to provide 300 hours of exclusive original content to the video on demand Internet streaming media provider, Netflix. [42] Part of the intent of the deal was in part to establish a more reliable income for DWA to defray the financial risk of solely relying on the theatrical film market. [43] The next day, DWA completed a five-year licensing agreement with Super RTL to start that September for the Classic Media library and the Netflix slate. [44] With the Netflix and Super RTL deals in place for TV, DWA announced executive hiring for its new television group, DreamWorks Animation Television in late July. Former Nickelodeon senior executive Margie Cohn became Head of Television for the group. [45] In September that same year, DreamWorks announced that it has acquired the TV library of London-based Chapman Entertainment with the programs to distributed through DWA's UK-based TV distribution operation. [46]

                The next year, in February, DreamWorks announced the foundation of a new publishing division called DreamWorks Press, to publish books in print and digital form. [47] In June, the rights to Felix the Cat were acquired by DreamWorks Animation from Felix the Cat Productions, owned by Don Oriolo. [48] The same month, DreamWorksTV channel debuted on YouTube and operated by AwesomenessTV. [49] DreamWorks Animation then purchased Paramount's distribution rights to the pre-2013 library in July, and since then, DreamWorks Animation's then-distribution partner 20th Century Fox has distributed the library on their behalf until 2018, in which DreamWorks Animation's sister studio Universal Pictures has assumed these responsibilities. [40]

                The studio was reported to be acquired twice in the end of 2014. First, it was reported in September that the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank was in talks to acquire DreamWorks Animation for a price of $3.4 billion, [50] but the next day, it was reported that SoftBank had withdrawn its offer. [51] Next on November 12, it was reported that Hasbro was in talks to buy DreamWorks Animation in November. The proposal reportedly calls for the combined company to take the name "DreamWorks-Hasbro" and for Jeffrey Katzenberg to become its chairman, but as a matter of policy, neither Hasbro nor DWA publicly comment on mergers and acquisitions. [52] Two days later, the talks were reported to have fallen through. [53]

                DreamWorks Animation announced their launch into the television broadcasting business on December 9, 2014, by creating their own channel called the DreamWorks Channel. With HBO Asia handling affiliate sales, marketing and technical services, the network will launch in several Asian countries (except China and Japan) in the second half of 2015. [54] The channel first premiered in English on August 1, 2015, and a Thai-dubbed channel launched in September 2015. [55] Also in December, DWA sold a 25% stake in AwesomenessTV for $81.25 million to the Hearst Corporation. [56]

                On January 5, 2015, DreamWorks Animation announced that Bonnie Arnold, producer of the How to Train Your Dragon series and Mireille Soria, producer of the Madagascar series were named co-presidents of the studio's feature animation division. At the same time, it was also announced that Bill Damaschke will step down from his position as Chief Creative Officer. So far, under Arnold and Soria's current tenure they signed Jason Reitman [57] and Edgar Wright [58] to work on their own animation debuts. Two weeks later, PDI/DreamWorks completely shut down as part of its parent company's larger restructuring efforts. [59]

                Universal Pictures era (2016–present)

                On April 28, 2016, Comcast officially announced that its NBCUniversal division intended on acquiring DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion, valuing the company at $41 per share. [60] Jeffrey Katzenberg was to remain involved in the company as head of DreamWorks New Media, but was to cede control of the studio to Illumination's CEO Chris Meledandri, who would oversee both. [61] The sale was approved by board members, but subject to regulatory approval. [62] [63]

                At Guggenheim Partners' TMT Symposium, NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke discussed how the purchase of DWA would fit into its business strategies. Burke explained that Meledandri planned to "take a lot of the existing DreamWorks franchises and add value as we create new franchises", and that the main goal was to "[take] the low-single-digit returns of the movie business and turn it into a different kind of business" by creating new intellectual property that can be merchandised and adapted into theme park attractions. Burke reaffirmed a commitment to animated features, stating that Universal would be able to release as many as four animated films per-year, divided between DreamWorks and Illumination. Burke also outlined that the purchase would be beneficial to Universal's expanding presence in China (where it is building a new Universal Studios park in Beijing). [64] [65]

                DreamWorks Animation's last film distributed by 20th Century Fox was Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017), and their first film distributed by Universal Pictures was How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) with Abominable (2019), Trolls World Tour (2020) and The Croods: A New Age (2020) following afterwards, and with Spirit Untamed (2021), The Boss Baby: Family Business (2021), and The Bad Guys (2022) in development. [66] [67]

                On June 21, 2016, the acquisition was approved by the United States Department of Justice. [68] [69] The purchase was closed on August 22, 2016 the company now operates as a division of the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group. [70] [71]

                Although a spokesperson stated that Meledandri would work with Universal Pictures to determine "the most effective path forward for Illumination and DreamWorks Animation", he did not take over DreamWorks as was previously announced, and the two studios remain separate. Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria retained their positions as co-presidents of DreamWorks' Feature Animation division, while Margie Cohn will lead a television animation division for the entire Universal Pictures group. DreamWorks' digital, marketing, consumer products, and gaming divisions will be absorbed into NBCUniversal. [67] [72] [73] [74] [75]

                On December 21, 2016, Mireille Soria stepped down from her position as co-president of DreamWorks' Feature Animation division. [76] [77] [78]

                In January 2017, Christopher DeFaria joined DreamWorks Animation in the newly created position of president of the DreamWorks Feature Animation Group. [79] As president, DeFaria will oversee all aspects of DWA's feature animation business, including slate strategy, development, production innovation and technology and business affairs. [79] [80]

                On August 1, 2017, it was announced that DreamWorks Animation and Blumhouse Productions would be working on Blumhouse's first animated film, Spooky Jack. [81] The film was initially set to be released on September 17, 2021, but was removed from the release schedule as The Bad Guys took over its release date. [82] [83]

                On October 6, 2017, it was announced that Abhijay Prakash would be COO of DWA. [84] He was later promoted to president of the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group in February 2019 following the release of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, [85] and DreamWorks Animation subsequently hired former Sony Pictures Imageworks head Randy Lake as the new chief operating officer of the company three months later. [86]

                On November 13, 2017, it was announced that DreamWorks Animation had started a shorts program, called DreamWorks Shorts, which will show original animated short films before DWA's feature films, much akin to what Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios do for their feature films. The first short film to be produced under the program was Bird Karma, which premiered in Spring 2018. [87]

                On February 2, 2018, CMC Capital Partners bought DreamWorks', Shanghai Media Group's, and Shanghai Alliance Investment's stakes in Oriental DreamWorks, owning the studio in its entirety Oriental DreamWorks was later renamed to Pearl Studio. Pearl Studio collaborated with DreamWorks to produce Abominable, with the film's original director, Jill Culton, returning. [88]

                On February 27, 2018, DreamWorks Animation announced that Kelly Betz has been promoted as Chief Financial Officer. [89]

                On May 2, 2018, Hulu announced its first license deal with DreamWorks Animation, becoming the exclusive streaming home for future DWA feature films, as well as library films. DWA had streamed exclusively through Netflix since 2013. [90]

                On July 25, 2018, Viacom Media Networks announced that it was in talks to acquire AwesomenessTV for a fraction of the company's $650 million valuation in 2016. [91] [92] Two days later on July 27, 2018, Viacom officially acquired AwesomenessTV for $25–50 million and integrated the company into Viacom Digital Studios. Jordan Levin will leave his position as CEO following the acquisition. [93] [94] However, the deal does not include the DreamWorksTV YouTube channel, which is still retained by NBCUniversal, where it will be integrated into NBCU Digital Enterprises Group, a new digital entertainment division led by President Maggie Suniewick. [95] On July 30, 2018, Variety reported that the deal is worth at least $50 million. [96]

                On January 9, 2019, Christopher DeFaria stepped down from his position as president of the company, with DreamWorks Animation Television head Margie Cohn promoted to oversee all film and television operations. [97]

                On January 16, 2020, five new DreamWorks Animation shows were announced for Hulu and NBCUniversal's new video streaming service Peacock. [98]

                DreamWorks Animation has an ongoing partnership with Hewlett-Packard that has been active since 2002, [99] and the studio exclusively uses HP workstations and servers. In 2005, DWA partnered with HP to introduce HP Halo Telepresence Solutions, technologies that allow people in different locations to communicate in a face-to-face environment in real time. [100]

                In 2005, AMD signed a three-year deal to provide Opteron processors to the studio. This relationship ended in 2008, and DreamWorks announced that they would use Intel Xeon processors for all future productions. [101] The same year, both companies announced a technology called InTru3D that allows DreamWorks to produce all of their future films in 3D, beginning with Monsters vs. Aliens. [102]

                DreamWorks also has a partnership with NetApp in order to supply cloud-based storage that allows the company to complete its films. [103]

                The DreamWorks Experience: Royal Caribbean Cruiseline

                The DreamWorks Experience is a package of character interactions and experiences, including shows: Ice shows, Aqua shows, Sailaway parties, parades, wow moments, meet and greets, and character dining, featuring from the Shrek franchise: Shrek, Princess Fiona, Puss in Boots, Kitty Softpaws. The Kung Fu Panda Franchise: Po the Panda, Tigress the Tiger. The Madagascar franchise: Alex the Lion, Gloria the Hippo, King Julien the Ringtail Lemur, Mort the goodman Lemur, The Penguins: Skipper, Kowalski, Rico, Private. How to Train your Dragon franchise: Toothless, Meatlug, Stoick, Valka, Gobber, and other DreamWorks Animation characters.

                The DreamWorks Experience was announced for Royal Caribbean cruise ships, including ships of the Freedom Class : Freedom and Liberty, Voyager Class : Voyager of the Seas Oasis Class: Oasis, Allure, Harmony, and Quantum Class: Quantum, Anthem, Ovation, in June 2010. [104] On April 11, 2019, the DreamWorks program was removed from all ships due to DreamWorks and Royal Caribbean not renewing their contract. [105]

                The DreamWorks Experience: Gaylord Hotels (2011–2015)

                In April 2011, the DreamWorks Experience was announced for resorts owned by Gaylord Entertainment in Nashville, Orlando, Dallas, and Washington, D.C. for a four-year contract ending January 1, 2015. After Gaylord was bought out by Marriott, Marriott owners did not renew the contract. [106]

                DreamPlay by DreamWorks: City of Dreams Manila

                The world's first indoor interactive play and creativity center theme park located within City of Dreams Manila opened on June 12, 2015. [107]

                DreamWorks Water Park

                On July 11, 2012, then CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg announced it would build the DreamWorks Water Park, an indoor water park at American Dream in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The park would have attractions from Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How To Train Your Dragon franchises. [108] On November 21, 2019, days before the planned opening, it was delayed to March 19, 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, [109] [110] [111] [112] [113] the park officially opened on October 1, 2020. [114]

                David Guzik :: Study Guide for Acts 11

                A. A controversy in Jerusalem regarding ministry to the Gentiles.

                1. (Act 11:1-3) Peter hears objections to his association with Gentiles.

                Now the apostles and brethren who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God. And when Peter came up to Jerusalem, those of the circumcision contended with him, saying, "You went in to uncircumcised men and ate with them!"

                a. Now the apostles and brethren who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God : The greatness of the work among the Gentiles in Caesarea could not be kept hidden. Besides, there was no desire to hide it, even though many Jewish Christians ( those of the circumcision ) would be confused and offended.

                b. "You went in to uncircumcised men and ate with them!" The charges against Peter are simple: "You, who are supposed to be a faithful Jew, associated with and even ate with Gentiles!" This offended these Christian Jews, so they contended with Peter.

                i. We must remember that sharing a meal together was a special sign of fellowship in that culture. This was considered to be a significant compromise by these Jewish Christians.

                c. When we see what the reaction of the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem was to what Peter did, we can see how wise it was of Peter to take six witnesses with him to Caesarea and his meeting with Cornelius (Acts 10:23 11:12).

                2. (Act 11:4-15) Peter explains his ministry to the Gentiles.

                But Peter explained it to them in order from the beginning, saying: "I was in the city of Joppa praying and in a trance I saw a vision, an object descending like a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners and it came to me. When I observed it intently and considered, I saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. And I heard a voice saying to me, 'Rise, Peter kill and eat.' But I said, 'Not so, Lord! For nothing common or unclean has at any time entered my mouth.' But the voice answered me again from heaven, 'What God has cleansed you must not call common.' Now this was done three times, and all were drawn up again into heaven. At that very moment, three men stood before the house where I was, having been sent to me from Caesarea. Then the Spirit told me to go with them, doubting nothing. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered the man's house. And he told us how he had seen an angel standing in his house, who said to him, 'Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon whose surname is Peter, who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved.' And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning."

                a. Peter explained it to them in order from the beginning : This account is an obvious condensation from Acts 10:9-43. God is emphasizing the importance of these events by repeating the story.

                b. What God has cleansed you must not call common : At first, Peter thought God was speaking about food. But Peter came to understand the vision of the sheet and kosher and unkosher animals has to do with people, not food (Acts 10:28). There is a sense in which the sheet represents the church, having both "kosher" (Jews) and "unkosher" (Gentiles) on it, with no distinction.

                c. The conclusion is important: The Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning shows that God's stamp of approval was on this ministry to the Gentiles. How could these believing Jews withhold their approval when God had given His?

                3. (Act 11:16-18) Peter interprets these events by remembering the words of Jesus.

                "Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, 'John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?" When they heard these things they became silent and they glorified God, saying, "Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life."

                a. If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God? If God was moving ministry out to the Gentiles, who is Peter that he could withstand God ? Peter recognized the importance of sensing where God is going and heading that same direction, instead of trying to persuade God to go your direction.

                i. It is important also to note these Christians would see this was all in accord with the Scriptures. They had both the word of the Lord Jesus, recorded in Mark 1:8, and the Old Testament promise that Gentiles would come to the Lord through the Messiah (in passages such as Isaiah 49:6).

                ii. There are many today who look at some work or another and say, "look what God is doing." But activity alone isn't enough to validated a work of God. It must also be in line with God's Word. This work among the Gentiles passed both tests.

                b. They became silent : The Jewish believers in Jerusalem first react with a stunned silence. But then they glorified God , because they saw He was now working among the Gentiles also!

                i. This is a powerful passage, demonstrating that the hearts of the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem were soft enough to be guided by God. It is a glorious thing when God's people will allow their prejudices and traditions to be overcome by God's Word and God's work.

                ii. The church in Jerusalem embraced these Gentile believers at first, but it would be a long time until all the objections were answered.

                1. (Act 11:19-21) The church in Antioch grows as Gentiles turn to the Lord.

                Now those who were scattered after the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but the Jews only. But some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.

                a. Preaching the word to no one by the Jews only : At first, Christians scattered over the Roman Empire preached only to Jews. But they eventually began to preach Jesus Christ to Gentiles as well.

                b. Some of them were from Cyprus and Cyrene … spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus : These unnamed disciples from Cyprus and Cyrene are genuine heroes. They began the first mentioned "mission to the Gentiles" (here called Hellenists ) in Antioch.

                i. In Antioch, we have the first example of Christians deliberately targeting Gentiles for evangelism, and this effort had great results.

                c. When they had come to Antioch : Antioch was founded about 300 B.C. by Seleucus I, one of the inheritors of Alexander the Great's empire. He had a thing about founding cities and naming them after his father, Antioch, and he did this about fifteen times. This city of Antioch was called "Syrian Antioch" or "Antioch on the Orantes." Back then it was a city of more than half a million today it is a Turkish city with a population of about 3,500.

                i. Antioch was considered by many the third greatest city in the Empire, behind Rome and Alexandria. The city of Antioch was known for its sophistication and culture, but also for its immorality.

                ii. "The city's reputation for moral laxity was enhanced by the cult of Artemis and Apollo at Daphne, five miles distant, where the ancient Syrian worship of Astarte and her consort, with its ritual prostitution, was carried on." (Bruce)

                d. And the hand of the Lord was with them : Because God was with them, their ministry was blessed and multiplied, the result was that a great number believed and turned to the Lord .

                i. A ministry can't turn people to the Lord unless the hand of the Lord is with them. You can turn people to a personality without the hand of the Lord you can turn people to a social club without the hand of the Lord you can turn people to a church or an institution without the hand of the Lord . But you can't turn people to the Lord without the hand of the Lord .

                2. (Act 11:22-24) The ministry of Barnabas in Antioch.

                Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch. When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord. For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.

                a. They sent out Barnabas : The church in Jerusalem sends an able man in Barnabas, previously known for his generosity (Acts 4:36-37) and his warm acceptance of Saul of Tarsus after he was converted (Acts 9:26-28).

                b. When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad : At the church in Antioch, when Barnabas had seen the grace of God, he was glad . Can people see the grace of God at our church? Or do they see a legal relationship with God?

                c. Encouraged them with all purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord : Barnabas rightly focuses on his main job as a leader of the congregation. He strengthened the church family itself, with the result that a great many people were added to the Lord .

                i. This is the plan for church growth spoken of in Ephesians 4:11-16. Leaders in the church dedicate themselves to building strong, healthy Christians. As the saints are equipped for the work of the ministry, they grow into maturity, and do their ministry, and it causes growth of the body.

                3. (Act 11:25-26) Barnabas and Saul work together in Antioch.

                Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul. And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.

                a. Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul : Barnabas remembers this precious brother Saul, and how he had been sent out to Tarsus for his own protection (Acts 9:28-30). Now Barnabas goes and finds him.

                i. To seek Saul is more literally to hunt him up Barnabas had to do some looking. MacArthur says the original word "suggests a laborious search on Barnabas' part."

                b. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people . Together, Barnabas and Saul taught a great many people , making the church in Antioch strong.

                i. Saul had spent some twelve years in Tarsus since we last met him these years were not "wasted" or "lost," but spent in quiet ministry and preparation for future service.

                c. The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch : How did the name Christian ever become associated with the followers of Jesus?

                i. The ending ian meant "the party of." A Christ-ian was "of the party of Jesus." Christians is sort of like saying "Jesus-ites," or "Jesus People," those of the group associated with Jesus Christ.

                ii. Also, soldiers under particular generals in the Roman army would identify themselves by their general's name by adding ian to the end. A soldier under Caesar would call himself a Caesarian. Soldiers under Jesus Christ could be called Christians .

                iii. In Antioch, they probably first used the term Christians to mock the followers of Jesus. "Antioch was famous for its readiness to jeer and call names it was known by its witty epigrams." (Gaebelein) But as the people of Antioch called the followers of Jesus the "Jesus People," the believers appreciated the title so much that it stuck.

                iv. Christians must be willing to take the title "Jesus People," and must also be worthy of the name. Instead of claiming any other title - Roman Catholic, Protestant, charismatic, whatever - we should be just plain Christians .

                v. Eusebius, the famous early church historian, describes a believer named Sanctus from Lyons, France, who was tortured for Jesus. As they tortured him cruelly, they hoped to get him to say something evil or blasphemous. They asked his name, and he would only reply, "I am a Christian." "What nation do you belong to?" He would answer, "I am a Christian." "What city do you live in?" "I am a Christian." His questioners began to get angry: "Are you a slave or a free man?" "I am a Christian" was the only reply. No matter what they asked about him, he would only answer, "I am a Christian." This made his torturers all the more determined to break him, but they could not, and he died with the words "I am a Christian" on his lips. (Eusebius, Church History)

                4. (Act 11:27-30) A prophetic word announces a famine.

                And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch. Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar. Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea. This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

                a. Showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar : We don't know exactly how Agabus showed by the Spirit this famine was on the way. But the Christians took the word seriously, and generously begin preparations to meet the needs.

                i. "We know from other sources that Claudius's principate was marked by a succession of bad harvests and consequent scarcity in various parts of the empire - in Rome, Greece, and Egypt as well as in Judaea." (Bruce)

                b. You can tell these are truly disciples and Christians, because they gave generously to meet the need. They gave, each according to his ability .

                i. We also see they determined to give. If a person does not determine to give, they often never do.

                c. Sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul : The high regard that Barnabas and Saul had among all is evident by the fact that they were trusted with the relief fund.

                © 2001 David Guzik - No distribution beyond personal use without permission

                CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

                The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

                The Start Down

                I wish we could leave Diana’s story there. I wish we could leave her as I saw her one day that summer in New York, at the Four Seasons restaurant, in her mint-green suit and early tan, when she came for the wildly successful auction of her dresses. Then she was a woman of substance who had found her future. But Diana was always fragile in her new roles. Love, or the lack of it, always dragged her down. With that descent came an emotion that never bedeviled her pioneering efforts on behalf of land-mine victims or aids patients: fear.

                Hasnat Khan was slipping away. He didn’t want to go public—which meant, in effect, that he didn’t want to marry her. Hasnat couldn’t face the onslaught of becoming Di’s New Guy in every tabloid newspaper. He recoiled from the prospect of his work at the hospital being invaded by reporters. There had been a nasty foretaste when the first story of a rumored affair appeared in the Sunday Mirror. Panicked when she heard that it was about to run, Diana turned to Richard Kay for a red-herring counter-story.

                “It”—the Mirror’s story—”is bull____,” Kay quoted Diana in the Mail, which was always happy to trash the competition. The Princess, wrote Kay, “is understood to be deeply upset at the allegations because of the hurt they will do William and Harry. Diana told friends ‘It has given me a lot of laughs. In fact, we are laughing ourselves silly.’” Khan did not share the purported mirth. He was as wounded by Diana’s silly denial as he had been irritated by the exposure in the first place. He got on fine with William and Harry—especially William, who had had a long session getting career advice from him one weekend—so that reference annoyed him, too. He was starting to receive racist threats in the mail, which he found stressful. For three weeks after Kay’s story, Khan refused all contact with Diana, rendering her predictably hysterical. The secrecy of their affair actually suited Khan, who had no desire to arouse the wrath of his own relatives.

                Diana was better qualified than anyone to know that you marry not just a man but his family. Hasnat Khan was a Pathan, a member of a group of peoples in Pakistan and Afghanistan descended from warriors and notable for their fierce attachment to their cultural traditions. His parents had tried twice, in 1987 and 1992, to marry him off to a suitable Muslim bride with equivalent social standing, and by 1996 they were impatient to try again. It is one of the ironies of Diana’s life that she was always searching to replace her dysfunctional family with one that didn’t want her. This time, as usual, the situation was doomed, but for a novel reason. With the Windsors, she was suitable but not desired. With the Khans, she was desired but not suitable. After Diana had spent 18 months misleading the press, an Express reporter landed an interview with Hasnat’s father, Rashid Khan, who offered a bruising assessment of Diana as a bridal prospect for his son. “He is not going to marry her,” the elder Khan said. “We are looking for a bride for him. She must belong to a respectable family. She should be rich, belonging to upper middle class. Preferably to our bradery (relations) or tribe which is Pathan. But if we do not find her in our own tribe, we can try outside it. But preferably she should be at least a Pakistani Moslem girl.” This was the first time a Spencer had been disdained as “not quite our tribe,” and it only challenged Diana to try even harder to nail Hasnat down.

                It was a hopeless assignment. In May 1997, Diana biographer Kate Snell tells us, Diana’s lover was deeply upset when, without forewarning him, she used the cover of a three-day trip to Pakistan to raise funds for Imran Khan’s cancer hospital in order to descend without notice on Hasnat’s sprawling family in an upscale suburb of Lahore. They clustered around and took her picture and served her English tea until a simultaneous power and water failure drove them outside to sit in a circle in the garden of their walled compound, making pleasant, if stilted, conversation with the charming stranger from the United Kingdom. It was a surreal scene, especially when one considers that Diana pictured herself moving in with them as their new daughter-in-law. The Khans were all perfectly charmed by Diana, who ended the evening lying on the floor watching cartoons with the youngest kids, but charm was irrelevant. Hasnat’s mother had no intention of letting the union happen, and Hasnat had doubts of his own.

                He loved Diana, yes. How could he not? This beautiful, radiant creature, adored by the world, had chosen him, an obscure Pakistani doctor, when she could have had her pick of any billionaire on earth. But it must have troubled Khan that the love he gave her never seemed to be enough. Was anyone’s? “Diana needed more love than perhaps any Englishman can give,” observes Diana’s girlhood friend and later Tory M.P. Hugo Swire. But there may have been no man alive who could have answered the clamorous needs brought on by Diana’s early abandonment by her mother, who chose her lover over her family when Diana was six.

                Hasnat’s pager would go off 20 times a day on his medical rounds. For a woman so sensitive to the needs of others, Diana was strangely blind when it came to those of the people closest to her. She wanted to own his future, arrange his life. She wanted to re-arrange his surgical schedule so that he could travel with her. “Diana believed, against all the evidence,” opined the essayist Clive James in The New Yorker shortly after her death, “that there was some kind of enchanted place called Abroad, where she could be understood and where she could lead a more normal life.” James saw this place as a recurring theme in the last years of Diana’s life. Her dream was a marriage between two globe-trotting humanitarians, rushing to trouble spots with her compassion and his doctor’s bag. An overdose of public adoration had made her almost delusional. She told me over lunch that day in New York that she thought she could resolve the conflicts of Northern Ireland: “I’m very good at sorting people’s heads out.” She wanted to lift Hasnat out of the annoying grind and insane hours of the Brompton Hospital into some medical habitat where they could live together in sunny exile with a swimming pool—in Australia or South Africa. At an international think-tank dinner in Rimini, Italy, she found herself next to Professor Christiaan Barnard, the septuagenarian heart-transplant pioneer. She lobbied him hard to get Hasnat a position in South Africa and twice gave him dinner at Kensington Palace to discuss Hasnat’s future. The proud Dr. Khan went ballistic, according to Kate Snell, when, on finally meeting Barnard, he was asked to submit his résumé.

                In June, the Khans arrived en masse in Stratford-upon-Avon for their annual holiday. Their presence must have deepened Hasnat’s doubts that a superstar princess could ever be absorbed into his close-knit Muslim family. It was clear to his relatives that he was wrestling with both his love for Diana and what he knew he had to do if he wished to pursue a serious medical career. A bad augury for Khan was a Sunday Mirror story on June 29 alleging that he and Diana had become unofficially engaged after the “astonishing family summit that sealed their love” in Pakistan in May.

                In Snell’s account, Khan, forced into the open, expressed to a trusted Pakistani confidant his agony about what to do. His friend’s advice was unequivocal: “End the affair and get on with [your] life.”

                Resolved to do that, Hasnat met Diana in an agreed-upon spot in Hyde Park at 10 o’clock one hot night in the second week of July. Knowing she was to be rejected, Diana reproached him with scalding words and tears. She could not really accept that it was over. But Khan was not a man who played games. In August the Khan family, returning to Lahore, gave Hasnat gifts for the beautiful princess who had visited them. He told them to mail them to her instead. He wouldn’t be seeing Diana anymore.

                Diana began to sink. She felt she had nowhere to go, no one to share her miseries with. She had cut off Simone Simmons. She was not on speaking terms with her mother— Frances Shand Kydd, sadly, had become a drunk. She had lost her driver’s license in 1996 after failing a Breathalyzer test. She told someone close to her that she had bicycled to a friend’s funeral and, because it started to rain, hitched a ride home in the hearse. She was increasingly indiscreet about the royal family, referring to them as “German dwarfs,” and said the Queen’s dresses looked like something from the Red Cross. Frances infuriated Diana by giving a paid interview to Hello! magazine in May 1997 in which she innocently remarked that her daughter’s loss of her H.R.H. title was “absolutely wonderful,” since it allowed her to find her own identity. More seriously, she angered the Princess with the ferocity of her objection to her daughter’s relationship with Hasnat Khan—”a Pakistani and a Muslim.” Diana cut her off after that. Frances’s letters apologizing to her were returned unopened.

                Increasingly lonely, Diana became unhealthily dependent on Paul Burrell. His busybody influence only fueled her various paranoias. “He didn’t like anybody he thought was closer or had more access to her,” says Mervyn Wycherley, Diana’s former chef. Burrell had hardened her attitude to Fergie too. A friend of the duchess says Burrell whispered to Diana that Fergie, on her book tour in the United States, was using her relationship with the Princess to get publicity. In fairness, it was the TV interviewers, not Fergie, who kept bringing Diana’s name up.

                In bad periods like this, the insecure Diana felt watched and spied on. She had her rooms at Kensington Palace twice swept for bugs. On a trip to Rome with her Argentinean friend Roberto Devorik, she startled him with her violent suspicions. A portrait of Prince Philip hanging on the wall evoked an outburst: “He hates me. He really hates me and would like to see me disappear.” She would wind up dead in a fake accident, she told Devorik. “I am a threat in their eyes. They only use me when they need me for official functions and then they drop me again in the darkness. . . . They are not going to kill me by poisoning me or in a big plane, where others will get hurt. They will do it when I am in a small plane, in a car when I am driving, or in a helicopter.” Devorik asked her why anyone should want to kill her. If she was so afraid, why didn’t she travel with a bodyguard, still available to her from the royal protection squad? She told him she thought they spied on her. She was fed up with being followed around.

                Explanation of the Ranges

                Doctor Who Ranges

                Monthly Range: Monthly releases, featuring the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Doctors, with both new and old companions.

                Story Style: Classic Who, Full Cast Audio Drama

                Notes: Releases before The Raincloud Man were relatively random (with the exception of the 8th Doctor stories up to the end of the Divergent Universe arc. Following this release, Big Finish started to group together releases into trilogies, often linked, featuring one specific Doctor, with some exceptions.

                Story Style: Mixed, Full Cast Audio Drama

                Notes: Features the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Doctors, as well as appearances by actors imitating the 1st through 3rd Doctors, as well as many companions from every era of Classic Doctor Who.

                The Fourth Doctor Adventures: New stories featuring the Fourth Doctor and his companions, Leela, K-9, Romana I, and Romana II.

                Story Style: New Who, Full Cast Audio Drama

                Notes: The range is split into multiple series (seasons for US listeners) Series 1, 3, and 4 features Leela and K-9, while Series 2 features Romana I and K-9, and Series 5 and 6 features Romana II and K-9. Each series generally follows a loose arc, similar to New Who.

                Bonus Releases: Big Finish’s range featuring their free December Subscriber Bonuses, as well as music and other special stories.

                Notes: December Subscriber Bonuses are available to anyone who purchases a Monthly Range Subscription of 6 or 12 stories containing that December's Monthly Range story. Some of the stories can be bought separately, while other stories can only be obtained as subscriber bonuses.

                The Eighth Doctor Adventures: New stories featuring Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor and new companions Lucie Miller, Tamsin Drew, and Alex.

                Story Style: New Who, Full Cast Audio Drama

                Notes: This range is similar to The Fourth Doctor Adventures, featuring season-long and series-long arcs. Each series occurs chronologically for the 8th Doctor and his companions. The series is followed by the Dark Eyes range (see below).

                Companion Chronicles: A range featuring companions of the Doctor relating stories of their adventures with their Doctor.

                2 hours for a few releases

                Story Style: Classic Who, Enhanced Audio Book

                Notes: This range generally features two to three actors performing in a sort of “enhanced audio book”. They perform as themselves and others, and often narrate the story as well. They were originally designed to features new stories for the Doctors who weren’t a part of Big Finish (1st through 4th Doctors), but eventually expanded to include at least 1 story from each of the first 8 doctors.

                Dark Eyes: A series of box sets featuring the 8th Doctor with companions Molly O’Sullivan and Liv Chenka.

                4 hours, consisting of 4 approximately 1 hour stories

                Story Style: New Who, Full Cast Audio Drama

                Notes: This range begins following the end of the Eighth Doctor Adventures story To the Death.

                Destiny of the Doctor: The second 50th Anniversary range, produced in conjunction with the now defunct AudioGo, featured 11 stories with each of the 11 Doctors.

                Story Style: Enhanced Audio Book

                Notes: This range features stories for each of the (then) current 11 Doctors. Most features a companion from that Doctor’s era narrating and performing, similar to the Companion Chronicles range.

                The Lost Stories: A range dedicated to unproduced scripts of the Classic Who era, featuring stories from the first 7 Doctors.

                Story Style: Classic Who, Enhanced Audio Book (Doctors 1-3), Full Cast Audio Drama (Doctors 4-7)

                Notes: The range consists of stories planned for television, but never produced. Included in here are further stories featuring the 6th Doctor and Peri, the planned Season 27 with the 7th Doctor, and various stories featuring the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Doctors.

                The Early Adventures: Somewhat of a spiritual successor to The Lost Stories range, featuring new full cast audio dramas with narration for the 1st and 2nd Doctors.

                Story Style: Classic Who, Enhanced Audio Book and Full Cast Audio Drama (Combination)

                Notes: Notable in this range is the recasting of new actors in the roles of actors who are deceased. As of writing (June 2015), both Barbara Wright (Jacqueline Hill) and Ben Jackson (Michael Craze) have been recast, by Jemma Powell and Elliot Chapman, respectively. It is similar in style to the 1st and 2nd Doctor stories of The Lost Stories range.

                The New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield: A range featuring new stories with the 27th Century archaeologist, Bernice Summerfield, as she encounters the 7th Doctor and Ace.

                4 hours, consisting of 4 approximately 1 hour stories

                Story Style: New Who, Full Cast Audio Drama

                5 hours, consisting of 2 stories, one

                3 hours long and the other

                Story Style: New Who, Full Cast Audio Drama

                Short Trips: A series featuring short stories by many of Doctor Who’s actors, writers, and directors.

                Notes: This story has two styles the first consists of the first four releases, which consist of a box set of 8 stories each the second consists of single, half-hour releases.

                Special Releases: A range that features various special releases featuring various Doctors and companions.

                Notes: This range is somewhat of a catch-all for noteworthy releases that don’t fit into any specific range. Included are stories like UNIT: Dominion, The Fifth Doctor Box Set, and The Worlds of Doctor Who. It is different from the Bonus Releases range, which consists of December Bonus Stories and the soundtracks to the early Big Finish releases.

                The Stageplays: A range consisting of three audio adaptations of the Doctor Who stageplays from the 1960s and 1980s.

                Story Style: New Who, Full Cast Audio Drama

                Notes: These are full cast remakes of the stage productions. The Ultimate Adventure has a sequel story in the Companion Chronicles range, called Beyond the Ultimate Adventure.

                Unbound: A range consisting of “What If…” scenarios for the Doctor and friends.

                Story Style: Classic Who, Full Cast Audio Drama

                Notes: These releases consist of various “What If…” scenarios from the Doctor’s past (e.g. “What if the Doctor and Susan has never left Gallifrey?”, “What if the Valeyard had won?”, etc.).

                Excelis: A range that features various incarnations of the Doctor and friends arriving on the planet Excelis, as it goes through it’s own history.

                Notes: This range is somewhat unique in that it is a story told in order from a planet’s perspective (similar to episodes such as Blink and Love & Monsters).

                Novel Adaptations: This range consists of audio adaptations of various 4th and 7th Doctor Virgin novels from the 1990s.

                Story Style: Classic Who, Full Cast Audio Drama

                Notes: The range has so far only featured 4th Doctor and 7th Doctor stories. It has featured both longtime Big Finish companions, such as Bernice Summerfield, Ace, and K-9. It has also introduced novel characters to Big Finish, such as Roz Forrester and Chris Cwej, and reintroduced old Doctor/Companion groups, such as the 4th Doctor, Romana II, and K-9.

                Doom Coalition: A new range of 8th Doctor box sets, featuring the 8th Doctor, Liv Chenka, and new companion Helen Sinclair, as they travel the universe, fighting foes and meeting up with friends, both past and future.

                4 hours, consisting of 4 approximately 1 hour stories

                Story Style: New Who, Full Cast Audio Drama

                Notes: These stories follow in the aftermath of the Dark Eyes range.

                The New Series: A range featuring stories with characters and enemies from the 2005 series of Doctor Who.

                4 hours, consisting of 4 approximately 1 hour stories

                Notes: These stories consist of stories featuring New Series Doctors and New Series characters, and stories featuring the Classic Doctors with characters and enemies from the New Series.

                The War Doctor: A range featuring John Hurt’s War Doctor as he fights in the Time War.

                3 hours, consisting of 3 approximately 1 hour stories

                Story Style: New Who, Full Cast Audio Drama

                Notes: These stories take place during the Time War.

                The Tenth Doctor Adventures: A range featuring David Tennant and Catherine Tate as they travel the universe.

                3 hours, consisting of 3 approximately 1 hour stories

                Story Style: New Who, Full Cast Audio Drama

                Notes: These stories are available as a box set, or as individual stories.

                Doctor Who Spin-Off Ranges

                Bernice Summerfield: The very first Big Finish range, featuring the 27th Century Archaeologist, who travelled with the Doctor. Consists of both single releases and box sets, as well as tie-in books.

                Jago & Litefoot: A series of box sets, featuring Professor Henry Gordon Jago and George Litefoot, popular character from The Talons of Weng-Chiang, solving mysteries and encountering new versions of the Doctor.

                Dalek Empire: A series following the wars between humanity and the Daleks, as the Daleks fight to conquer the universe.

                I, Davros: A series that explores the history of Davros.

                Cyberman: A series similar to Dalek Empire, featuring the battles to stop the advancing Cybermen armies, as they attempt to crush mankind.

                Iris Wildthyme: A range featuring Iris Wildthyme, a mysterious, boozing woman, who travels around the universe, trying to save it with the help of her companion, Panda. Consists of several single releases and a couple of box sets.

                Gallifrey: A political drama series, featuring Madame President Romana and Leela, as they navigate Gallifreyan politics, alien invasions, and other timelines.

                Graceless: A spin-off series of box sets from a 2009 Monthly Range trilogy, The Key 2 Time, featuring Tracers Abby and Zara as they travel the universe, trying to find a purpose.

                Sarah Jane Smith: A series where former companion Sarah Jane Smith investigates alien occurences.

                UNIT: A series featuring the retired Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart advising a new team as they tackle domestic and alien threats.

                UNIT: The New Series: An series featuring the Brigadier’s daughter Kate Stewart and her team, defending the Earth against alien threats.

                Counter-Measures: A series of box sets following the specialist team, Counter-Measures (who first appeared in Remembrance of the Daleks) as they investigate strange phenomena and dangerous technology.

                Vienna: A series of box sets following the exploits of glamourous bounty hunter Vienna Salvatori (first introduced in the 7th Doctor Monthly Range story The Shadow Heart).

                Charlotte Pollard: A series of box sets focusing on the former 8th and 6th Doctors companion, Charlotte “Charley” Pollard as she travels around the universe on her own for once.

                Torchwood: A series featuring the members of Torchwood Three, led by Captain Jack Harkness, back in action once again as they work to protect the world, through any means necessary.

                The Diary of River Song: Part of Big Finish's The New Series range, featuring Professor River Song as she travels the galaxy, working to defend the universe from evil, while navigating around her future husband's timeline.

                Starting Points for Various Doctors

                What follows will be a discussion of the various places that one can start within Big Finish. Generally, most people recommend a few starting points for diving into Big Finish.

                Most people recommend starting with the Eighth Doctor Adventures range. It’s a good starting point for two reasons: it is very similar to New Who and it features a Doctor that isn’t well established on-screen. Apart from Doctor Who: The TV Movie and Night of the Doctor, Paul McGann’s Doctor hasn’t been featured in any other stories. Many people like to start with a clean slate, and so they will recommend this range as a good starting point.

                Others recommend starting with the Eighth Doctor Monthly Range. This is more for listeners who have come from the Classic Series, who are interested in Big Finish. It’s another excellent starting point for similar reasons listed above the main difference is that it’s in the style of Classic Who.

                Another good starting point would be the Fourth Doctor Adventures range. Featuring one of the most popular Classic Doctors, The Fourth Doctor Adventures represents a happy medium between Classic Who and New Who. The style is similar to New Who, but incorporates elements of the Classic series as well.

                The final starting point that I would recommend would be one’s Favorite Doctor. Pick your favorite classic Doctor and go from there. As I’ll explain below, there are several starting points for most of the Doctors, so just choose a starting point for your favorite Doctor (or a Doctor you’re curious about) and go from there. There are many arcs for each Doctor and their companions, as well as arcs with new companions for certain Doctors.

                Starting Points: The Doctors

                I want to stress that this list of starting points does not amount to recommendations of stories. This is simply a list of starting points for each Doctor, regardless of the quality of the stories.

                The First Doctor presents something of a challenge for Big Finish and for the casual listener, due to the fact that William Hartnell passed away before Big Finish was founded. However, his surviving companions have, with one exception, all worked with Big Finish, mainly working in the Companion Chronicles and The Lost Stories ranges.

                Because of this, there are few long arcs such as the ones that can be found with other Doctors. Instead, there are several sets of stories. Contrary to what I said above, for the first three Doctors, I will be suggesting stories alongside the list of starting points.

                The Beginning Stories: Not an arc so much as a collection of stories, these stories feature Carole Ann Ford in stories set before An Unearthly Child.

                The Rocket Men Pair: The first two parts of a trilogy featuring the Rocket Men, a gang of space pirates. The final part is featured in the Fourth Doctor Adventures range. I’ve listed that story below, so you can get the whole trilogy if you like.

                The Sara Kingdom Trilogy: A trilogy of stories featuring the companion Sara Kingdom, from The Dalek’s Master Plan. Big Finish is well known for taking either forgotten and unloved characters and fleshing them out, giving them a chance. Sara Kingdom is one of the best examples of that, as she was given an expanded role through Big Finish.

                The Oliver Harper Trilogy: The First Doctor is the only one of the first 4 Doctors to be given a new companion, Oliver Harper.

                Other Recommended Stories

                Like the First Doctor, the Second Doctor presents something of a challenge for Big Finish and for the casual listener, due to the fact that Patrick Troughton passed away before Big Finish was founded. However, his surviving companions have all worked with Big Finish, mainly working in the Companion Chronicles and The Lost Stories ranges.

                While there is an arc featuring Zoe in the Companion Chronicles range, for the most part, there are few major arcs involving the Second Doctor and his companions.

                Jamie and Zoe Arc: Nothing more than a series of stories, some connected, most not, featuring Jamie and Zoe travelling with the Doctor.

                Like the first two Doctors, the Third Doctor is somewhat of a challenge to begin listening to. While Pertwee did make a posthumous appearance in one Big Finish production (Monthly Range 50 - Zagreus), he has the least number of releases of any Doctor.

                However, the few stories that make up his era in Big Finish have some excellent gems. There is also a release which came out in 2015 which featured a recast 3rd Doctor, played by Tim Treloar.

                Liz Shaw: Liz Shaw was one of the 3rd Doctor’s first companions. Before she passed, she recorded several stories with Big Finish.

                Jo Grant: Apart from Richard Franklin, Katy Manning is the only regular active actor from the 3rd Doctor era. She has several excellent stories in the Companion Chronicles range.

                Other Recommended Stories

                For many years, Tom Baker declined to participate in Big Finish’s audio productions. As such many of his companions participated in Big Finish’s Companion Chronicles range, telling stories of their times with the Doctor. Then, in 2011, Tom Baker agreed to come back for a standalone series of full-cast audio dramas, entitled The Fourth Doctor Adventures.

                I take most of Tom Baker’s starting points from this series, though there are some other trilogies and additional stories in other ranges.

                The Fourth Doctor and Leela

                The 4th Doctor travels with Leela in 3 out of the 5 seasons of the Fourth Doctor Adventures.

                The set consists of 27 stories, including 2 The Lost Stories, Philip Hinchcliffe Presents, and 1 Bonus Release. Here is a visual list and here is a written list of each of the stories in chronological order.

                Please note that before Tom Baker began working with Big Finish, there were several other stories featuring Leela in the Companion Chronicles range. Here is a visual list and here is a written list of each of the stories in chronological order.

                The Fourth Doctor and Romana

                The 4th Doctor traveled with Romana I for a single season, before Mary Tamm’s passing, and Romana II for two seasons. Mary Tamm appears as Romana I in 7 stories, while Lalla Ward appears as Romana II in 20 stories. Here is a visual list and here is a written list of each of the stories in chronological order.

                Please note that before Tom Baker began working with Big Finish, there were several other stories featuring Romana in the Companion Chronicles range. Here is a visual list and here is a written list of each of the stories in chronological order. I’ve also included the recent Novel Adaptations range stories in this list.

                Peter Davison has the distinction of being the first Doctor to be featured in his own, standalone story, Phantasmagoria. Peter Davison has been a stalwart of the Monthly Range, showing up frequently with Nyssa. Recently, Matthew Waterhouse returned to the role of Adric in The Fifth Doctor Box Set, and will likely make some appearances in the Monthly Range, reuniting the original TARDIS team again.

                All of the 5th Doctor’s starting points come from the Monthly Range, and features TARDIS crews from every point in his life.

                The Fifth Doctor and Nyssa

                Nyssa is the 5th Doctor’s most frequent companion, appearing in nearly every 5th Doctor story to date. She appears in 24 releases as the only companion. Here is a visual list and here is a written list of each of the stories in chronological order.

                The Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan, and Turlough

                The second four-person TARDIS team to grace the 5th Doctor’s TARDIS. There is a long-running arc with this set of companions, that began with an aged Nyssa in Cobwebs and continues to the present. Here is a visual list and here is a written list of each of the stories in chronological order.

                The Fifth Doctor, Peri, and Erimem

                A somewhat controversial companion selection, Big Finish expands Peri’s travels with the 5th Doctor and introduces new companion Erimem (Erimemushinteperem), an uncrowned Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, as they head towards the inevitable end of 5’s era. Here is a visual list and here is a written list of each of the stories in chronological order.

                Please note that the first two stories and the last story feature Peri only. Erimem is introduced in The Eye of the Scorpion and leaves the TARDIS in The Bride of Peladon.

                One of Big Finish’s greatest accomplishments is turning the brusque, aggravating 6th Doctor into a Doctor who could stand with the best. The 6th Doctor’s Big Finish era gets a lot of love, due in no small part to excellent writing, much improved companions (including new ones), and a general likeability that was absent in the TV Series. The 6th Doctor appears with both old companions Peri and Mel, and new companions, such as Evelyn, Flip, and Charley.

                As with the 5th Doctor, all of the 6th Doctor’s starting points are drawn from the Monthly Range.

                The Sixth Doctor and Evelyn

                Evelyn Smythe is (dare we say it) the first elderly companion to travel with the Doctor. A saucy history professor, Evelyn provides an excellent match for the 6th Doctor’s boisterous personality, putting him in his place when he needs to be, and cheering him up in times of sadness. Evelyn appears in 21 stories with the 6th Doctor. Here is a visual list and here is a written list of each of the stories in chronological order.

                The Sixth Doctor and Peri

                While the terrible American accent is still there, Peri has been given better writing (especially stories like Peri and the Piscon Paradox and her most recent Monthly Range trilogy), which has helped her to become a better companion. Peri appears in 25 stories with the 6th Doctor, spanning ranges such as the Monthly Range, The Lost Stories, and the Companion Chronicles. Here is a visual list and here is a written list of each of the stories in chronological order.

                The 6th Doctor’s final companion, Mel hasn’t been featured with Big Finish much (due often to Bonnie Langford’s extremely busy schedule). She appears in only 8 stories with the 6th Doctor, all in the Monthly Range. Here is a visual list and here is a written list of each of the stories in chronological order.

                Of the two Doctors who got the short end of the stick, Sylvester McCoy’s 7th Doctor at least benefited from having some good writing and excellent companions during his tenure as the Doctor. Big Finish has really taken the darker, manipulative side of the 7th Doctor and expanded on it. This has allowed him to star in some of the darker stories that Big Finish has produced (e.g. Colditz, Night Thoughts, LIVE 34, etc.). The 7th Doctor appears in some stories with old companions Mel and Ace, as well as travelling with some new ones, such as Hex and Klein.

                Most of the starting points are drawn from the Monthly Range, though there are some stories that come from the Companion Chronicles and Special Releases ranges.

                The Seventh Doctor, Ace, and Hex

                Thomas Hector “Hex” Schofield joins The Doctor and Ace for a long arc of stories. Much like Evelyn Smythe, Hex is an extremely welcome addition to the TARDIS team. He acts as a little brother/punching bag to Ace a bit, while grounding the somewhat detached 7th Doctor and Ace. Hex appears in 26 stories with the 7th Doctor, across the Monthly Range and Companion Chronicles ranges. Here is a visual list and here is a written list of each of the stories in chronological order.

                Please note that stories Robophobia, The Doomsday Quatrain, House of Blue Fire, and Project: Nirvana do not feature Hex or Ace. However, these stories set up the final bits of an arc, which continues in Protect and Survive. While they are not essential to listen to, they do help with the understanding of the following stories.

                The Seventh Doctor and Mel

                Poor Mel just doesn’t get featured at Big Finish a lot. She appears in only 14 stories, which may be the lowest number of stories for a Monthly Range Doctor. However, many of her stories are widely acclaimed, showing that once again, Big Finish is adept at taking unloved Doctors and Companions and make them likeable. She appears in 8 stories with the 7th Doctor, all in the Monthly Range. Here is a visual list and here is a written list of each of the stories in chronological order.

                The Seventh Doctor, Klein, and Will

                Elizabeth Klein is a unique companion in Big Finish. She first appears a villain, a Nazi scientist from another timeline who the 7th Doctor try to rehabilitate. When her timeline is erased, she reappears as a UNIT scientist, where she has a much better, if not still distrustful, relationship with the Doctor. In her later trilogy, she appears with an assistant, Will Arrowsmith. She appears in 8 stories, from the Monthly Range and the Special Releases range. Here is a visual list and here is a written list of each of the stories in chronological order.

                Paul McGann’s 8th Doctor has arguably benefited the most from Big Finish. While the 6th Doctor went from unloved to critically acclaimed, and other companions garnered acclaim, McGann’s Doctor went from a footnote to fully fledged Doctor thanks to Big Finish. In addition to starring in several Monthly Range stories, he was given his own standalone series of stories, the Eighth Doctor Adventures, and has two series of box sets (Dark Eyes and Doom Coalition). The 8th Doctor is one of Big Finish’s most popular and also one of the best starting points for Big Finish.

                The 8th Doctor’s starting points vary from the Monthly Range to the Eighth Doctor Adventures. He has appeared in a large variety of ranges and stories, which makes for many good starting points to jump in at:

                The Eighth Doctor, Charley, and C’rizz

                The very first 8th Doctor stories released featured a new story, a new theme song, and a new companion, self-styled Edwardian adventuress Charley Pollard. The 8th Doctor travelled with Charley (and eventually C’rizz) for 31 stories across 5 different ranges. Here is a visual list and here is a written list of each of the stories in chronological order.

                Please note that C’rizz first appears in The Creed of the Kromon and leaves the TARDIS in Absolution.

                The Eighth Doctor, Lucie, and Tamsin

                The 8th Doctor was the first Doctor to be given his own standalone series, the Eighth Doctor Adventures. A departure from previous Big Finish stories, the Eighth Doctor Adventures featured series-long arcs, New Who style stories, and more mature stories. Lucie Miller is the companion of this range, featuring in 31 stories in the range, while another companion, Tamsin, replaces Lucie for a small arc of 5 stories. Here is a visual list and here is a written list of each of the stories in chronological order.

                The Eighth Doctor, Molly, Liv, and Helen

                Following the events of the Eighth Doctor Adventures, the 8th Doctor began appearing in several box sets, under the banner of Dark Eyes. Featuring VAD Nurse Molly O’Sullivan and Liv Chenka (who previously appeared in the 7th Doctor story Robophobia) travelling with the Doctor, fighting the Daleks, The Master, and a new threat, The Eminence. Following the Dark Eyes box sets, the 8th Doctor and Liv began travling with new companion Helen Sinclair, as they fought the Time Lord menace, the Eleven in Doom Coaltion. Across both ranges, there are 8 stories. Here is a visual list and here is a written list of each of the stories in chronological order.

                EDIT: Various typos and grammar also shiny gold, thanks kind stranger!!

                EDIT 2: I'm going to try my best to keep this as updated as possible for the foreseeable future.

                Mods please put this in the sidebar!

                Odds and Ends

                This section is sort of a catch all for everything that isn't covered in the FAQ section. Please let me know if there's something youɽ like to add to this section.

                How to Buy Stories

                Big Finish’s website can be daunting to navigate, so here I will present a guide for purchasing stories from Big Finish. Full disclosure, this is from an American purchaser perspective other countries might differ. Here is the full picture guide of how to purchase stories.

                So You Want to Get the Stories That You Bought (Download Only)

                Every story available for download can be downloaded in two formats, MP3 and M4B. Each story can be downloaded onto either your personal computer or your phone or tablet (indicated by the phone and tablet icon to the right of each download).

                Purchasing a physical CD copy of any story with a download option entitles you to a free download version of the story (so you won’t have to wait to hear your CD, if you like). To find the download version, follow the same directions listed above.

                December Bonuses and Bonus Stories

                I realize that understanding December Bonus stories and Subscription bonus stories can be somewhat confusing, so I’ll expand on it a little bit here.

                When you choose to purchase a subscription of Monthly Range stories, there are two opportunities for bonus stories. The first is automatic, and occurs with any 12 story subscription that you take out. Let’s say that you decide to take out a subscription from the main range, beginning with 169. The Wrong Doctors. This gives you the 12 releases from there (169 to 180, inclusive).

                Now, when you purchase any 12 release subscription, you are entitled to any ONE DISC story, under £10.99 (or $10.99 for USA). When you’re taking out the subscription, the next screen will feature every range, with every story that you can choose as your free release. Here is a picture guide on how to pick your bonus story.

                Now lets say that you instead choose a 12 release subscription, starting with 170. Spaceport Fear. Now not only do you get the free, 1 disc story, because your subscription also included 181. Afterlife, you will receive Bonus Releases XII. Trial of the Valeyard completely free.

                They have discontinued these bonus stories in recent years, however earlier releases will still allow you to gain these Bonus Releases.

                I should also note that for the December Bonus releases, you can also take out a 6 release Subscription and get the December Bonus story. However, you will not be able to select another free story, as that feature is only available with the 12 release subscription.

                Non-Doctor Who Ranges

                In addition to Doctor Who audio dramas, Big Finish also produces several Ranges unrelated to Doctor Who, ranging from other TV shows to adaptations of classic stories and characters.

                2000 AD: A range based on the eponymous comic featuring Judge Dredd, played by Toby Longworth.

                Big Finish Factual Books: A range featuring physical and ebooks devoted to the behind-the-scenes of several different ranges involved in Big Finish.

                Big Finish Fiction: A range featuring physical and ebooks devoted to the various ranges Big Finish has the rights to.

                Big Finish Audiobooks: A range featuring interviews with famous actors involved with Big Finish, including Tom Baker, Jacqueline Pearce, and Colin Baker.

                Big Finish Classics: A range featuring audio adaptations of various classic novels, such as Phantom of the Opera, Frankenstein, and The Picture of Dorian Gray.

                Big Finish Comedy: A range with comedic books and audio dramas.

                Big Finish DVD & Film: A range with only one release, Cleaning Up, a spy drama starring Mark Gatiss and Louise Jameson.

                Blake’s 7: A range based on the ‘70’s British sci-fi drama, which features both audio books, full cast audio dramas, and novels.

                Dark Shadows: A range based on the cult American soap opera featuring the supernatural goings-on of the town of Collinsport, Maine.

                Drama Showcase: A range of original dramas, with both humorous and tragic stories.

                Mervyn Stone: A range featuring Mervyn Stone as he solves mysteries.

                Pathfinder Legends: A range based on the Dungeons & Dragons spin-off tabletop game.

                Sherlock Holmes: A range featuring Nick Briggs and Richard Earl as Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, in Big Finish’s take on Sherlock Holmes.

                Survivors: A modern retelling of Terry Nation’s ‘70’s plague epidemic TV show.

                Terrahawks: A continuation of Gerry Anderson’s puppet show Terrahawks

                Textbook Stuff Classic Horror: A range with unabridged audiobooks of classic horror stories.

                Textbook Stuff Classic Poetry: A range with unabridged audiobooks of classic poems.

                The Avengers: A range featuring adaptations of the ‘60’s spy show with John Steed and David Keel, as well as adaptations of the classic ‘60’s comics featuring John Steed and Emma Peel.

                The Confessions of Dorian Gray: A range with stories based on Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, where Dorian is a real person.

                The Night of the Triffids: An audio drama adaptation based on Simon Clark’s 2001 novel, acting as a sequel to The Day of the Triffids.

                The Omega Factor: A range featuring stories that act as a sequel to the original series, again starring Louise Jameson.

                The Prisoner: A range based on the acclaimed ‘60’s series, featuring a new Number Six in The Village.

                The Scarifyers: A range of comedic supernatural stories starring David Warner, Terry Molloy, and Nicholas Courtney.

                Toby Hadoke’s Who’s Round: A range featuring a series of interviews with people involved in Doctor Who’s history.

                The Sigmund Freud Files: An English language adaptation based off the award-winning German language series, about Sigmund Freud as he solves mysterious cases in 1920s Vienna.

                Every story available for download can be downloaded in two formats, MP3 and M4B.

                Unless they've gone back and added it since I bought them 2 years ago, the first 50 main range are not all available in M4B. I want to say only a dozen or so are? The rest are MP3 only.

                Frequently Asked Questions

                Just what the gosh darn heck is Big Finish?

                Big Finish ( is an award-winning audio production company that specializes in producing audio plays for many shows, obviously including Doctor Who, but also including Blake’s 7, Dark Shadows, Survivors, and The Prisoner. Founded in the late 1990s, they originally produced audio dramas featuring Doctor Who novel spin-off character Bernice Summerfield. Then, in 1999, they were given the license to produce a variety of Doctor Who audio plays. Today, they’ve not only expanded their Doctor Who range into a variety of different stories featuring several Doctors, but have also created new characters and spin-off ranges based on Doctor Who, among other things.

                Oh, so they produce some crappy fan stories, with horrible impressions and stuff?

                Nope! Big Finish actually produces professionally-made audio dramas and audio books, with many famous and notable actors and actresses. Within Doctor Who, nearly every single living actor and actress to play a Doctor or Companion have worked with Big Finish. They have worked with every single living Doctor from the classic series, as well as Jon Pertwee, John Hurt, and David Tennant. They’ve also featured various actors and actresses, such as Michelle Gomez, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jacqueline Pearce, and Bernard Cribbins, in new roles.

                An audio drama is quite similar to a radio play. It’s simply means that it is a fully cast audio production actors don’t just narrate what’s going on, they actually act out what’s happening in audio form, with a soundscape and professional audio engineering.

                This whole thing sounds pretty expensive, why are they so expensive? And where are the torrents for this stuff?

                Big Finish is a small company that rely on the sales of their work to continue as a company. By all accounts, the licenses for the various ranges Big Finish works with are expensive to maintain, regardless of quality. They also have to pay the actors involved in the stories, and have to pay for studio time, writing, and directing. Piracy greatly hurts the company, preventing them from making money to produce more audio dramas and maintain licenses. If they can’t produce more audio dramas, then that means no new Doctor Who stories. So don’t pirate them!!

                OK, OK you bastard, I’ll buy them. But still that’s pretty expensive, is there any way to save money?

                Big Finish run sales quite often I would say that at the very least, once a month Big Finish has a sale of some sort going on. They will also often discount select stories or entire ranges, making them more affordable. Keep on eye on Big Finish’s main site, their Facebook page, or their Twitter page for announcements on sales.

                Many stories are also permanently discounted the first 50 releases in the Doctor Who Monthly Range are all discounted at $3. Big Finish also has “Pre-Order Prices” for some of their releases (typically box set releases) for the month that a qualifying story is released, Big Finish will typically offer around a 20% discount on that box set, until the end of the month.

                Big Finish also offers Subscriptions and Bundles on certain stories and ranges. Subscriptions are usually a set of sequential stories that can be bought for a discount. Sometimes the discount is negligible, while other times it can amount to the buyer getting several stories for free. Sometimes, Big Finish will often offer bonus stories for purchasing a subscription containing a specific story. Here is an example of how to purchase a subscription.

                Bundles are slightly different from ranges, but often also help to save some money. Bundles usually are collections of related stories that Big Finish groups together, either to make purchasing easier or to help you save money. Here is an example of how to purchase a bundle.

                Subscriptions and Bundles are important, as they can save you a large amount of money. For example, a 12 release Subscription to the Doctor Who Monthly Range will cost you $109, while buying all 12 releases individually will cost you $155.88, meaning you save nearly $50 by taking out a subscription.

                Please note that not every range has bundles and/or subscriptions, though most of them have at least one.

                Does Big Finish have the rights to all of the Doctors, including the New Series Doctors?

                In 2015, Big Finish gained the rights to several characters and monsters from the new series, up until Matt Smith's final episode, Time of the Doctor. Big Finish has plans to produce stories featuring Doctors created in the new series.

                As of writing, both John Hurt and David Tennant (the latter alongside Catherine Tate) have signed on to star in separate stories featuring the War Doctor and the 10th Doctor, respectively. Big Finish also has an entire range devoted to stories from the new series, with stories featuring UNIT as led by Kate Stewart, stories featuring Strax teaming up with characters from the Classic series, stories featuring River Song, as well as a box set featuring the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Doctors encountering monsters from the new series, such as the Weeping Angels, the Sycorax, and the Judoon.

                David Guzik :: Study Guide for 2 Timothy 3

                “As he lies in his cell, a prisoner of the Lord, Paul is still preoccupied with the future of the gospel. His mind dwells now on the evil of the times, now on the diffidence of Timothy. Timothy is so weak, and the opposition so strong.” (John Stott)

                A. Perilous times mean that discernment matters.

                1. (2Ti 3:1) Perilous times in the last days .

                But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:

                a. In the last days perilous times will come : The word translated perilous has the idea of troubles, difficulty, and stressful situations. This sort of atmosphere will mark the last days .

                i. “The word was used in classical Greek both of dangerous wild animals and of the raging sea. Its only other New Testament occurrence is in the story of the two Gaderene demoniacs who were as savage and untamed as wild beasts and whom Matthew describes as ‘so fierce that no one could pass that way’ (Matthew 8:28).” (Stott)

                ii. The characteristics Paul will describe speak not of bad times, but of bad people. “We should note what the hardness or danger of this time is in Paul’s view to be, not war, not famine or diseases, nor any of the other calamities or ills that befall the body, but the wicked and depraved ways of men.” (Calvin)

                iii. “The description in this and in the following verses the Papists apply to the Protestants the Protestants in turn apply it to the Papists Schoettgen to the Jews and others to heretics in general. but it is probable that the apostle had some particular age in view, in which there should appear some very essential corruption of Christianity.” (Clarke)

                b. In the last days : This is a broad term in the New Testament, broad enough to where one could say that the last days began with the birth of the Church on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:17). The days of the Messiah mark the last days yet the term is especially appropriate to the season immediately before the return of Jesus and the consummation of all things.

                i. Though some think that any attention paid to the last days or Biblical prophecy is frivolous, we should be able to discern when the last days are or at least when world conditions are like the Bible described they would be in the last days .

                ii. “There are sanguine brethren who are looking forward to everything growing better and better and better, until, at last, this present age ripens into a millennium. They will not be able to sustain their hopes, for Scripture gives them no solid basis to rest upon. Apart from the second Advent of our Lord, the world is more likely to sink into a pandemonium than to rise into a millennium.” (Spurgeon)

                iii. In Matthew 16:1-4, Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of His day because they did not or would not understand the meaning of their times: Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times (Matthew 16:3). It is possible that Jesus would have the same rebuke for some Christians today who are unaware of the last days and the soon return of Jesus Christ.

                2. (2Ti 3:2-5) A description of the human condition in the last days.

                For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!

                a. Men will be lovers of themselves : This is certainly characteristic of our present age, when men and women are encouraged to love themselves. People are told to love themselves unconditionally and that such self love is the foundation for a healthy human personality.

                i. We don’t need to be encouraged to love ourselves we naturally have such a love. Neither should we be taught to hate ourselves, but as Paul said in Romans 12:3: For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. We must see ourselves as we really are – both the bad of what we are in the flesh and the glory of what we are in Jesus Christ.

                ii. This love of self is the foundation for all the depravity that follows in Paul’s description: “But readers should note that lovers of themselves, which comes first, can be regarded as the source from which all the others that follow spring.” (Calvin)

                iii. “It is no accident that the first of these qualities will be a life that is centered in self. The adjective used is philautos, which means self-loving. Love of self is the basic sin, from with all others flow. The moment a man makes his own will the centre of life, divine and human relationships are destroyed, obedience to God and charity to men both become impossible. The essence of Christianity is not the enthronement but the obliteration of self.” (Barclay)

                iv. “‘Lovers of self’ aptly heads the list since it is the essence of all sin and the root from which all the other characteristics spring. The word is literally ‘self-lovers’ and points to the fact that the center of gravity of the natural man is self rather than God.” (Hiebert)

                b. Men will be. lovers of money : The love of money is nothing new, but today people have the ability to pursue our love of money like never before.

                i. In recent years newspapers featured a story about a woman named Brenda Blackman, who enjoyed some measure of success teaching a course titled How to Marry Money. The course attempts to show men and women how to marry rich, and costs $39 per person. In the course Blackman offered helpful hints, such as how to search through your prospective mate’s checkbooks to study their deposits and then assess their income levels. She built her student’s confidence by leading them in a chant several times through the lecture: “I want to be rich! I deserve to be rich! I am rich! I was born to be rich!” In one class, Blackman was asked by a woman if it was all right to settle for a man whose income was about $100,000 a year. “No way,” she replied. What if he was perfect in every other way? “If he was in his peak earning years and he was maxed out at $100,000 – forget it,” Blackman advised. When someone asked her about the place of love in such relationships, Blackman said that finding a mate with that much money is the hard part learning to love that person is easy by comparison. “How could you not love someone who is doing all these wonderful things for you?” she said. Blackman was single as she taught these courses.

                c. Men will be. boasters, proud, blasphemers : Boasting, pride, and blasphemy are nothing new but today, they seem far more prominent than ever.

                i. Boasting, pride, and blasphemy each act as if I am the most important person. Each of them say, “You don’t matter and God does not matter. All that matters is me.”

                ii. Today boasting, pride, and blasphemy are apparent everywhere, especially among the celebrities that our cultures idolizes. Many people today become wealthy by calculated boasting, pride, and blasphemy.

                d. Men will be. disobedient to parents : Since the mid 1960s there has been a frightening breakdown in the authority once assumed by a child towards their parents.

                i. Several years ago a judge in Orlando Florida ruled that an 11-year-old boy had the right to seek a “divorce” from his parents so that he could be adopted by a foster family. But though there are few legal divorces from parents by children, it is far more common that young people simply disregard their parents.

                ii. In the 1990s, a 13 year-old Los Angeles area graffiti vandal was quoted in the Los Angeles Times: “It’s like a family to belong to a crew. They watch your back, you watch theirs. You kick it everyday with them. You get friendship, love, supplies, everything.” He also says: “I’ll tag anything. Now I don’t care. Well, sort of. I wouldn’t like no one to write on my stuff. I do it to get known, to get up, regardless if people feel that I’m causing damage to property. I’d say the damage I’ve done is quite a bit. During the day I carry a screwdriver or a knife for protection. But at night I carry a gun. I have three guns. I hide them. My mom took a.38 from me. I’m getting it back.” When asked about once when he got caught, he said: “My parents sort of talked to me about it. Of course they told me, ‘Don’t do it again.’ But I’m not gonna listen, and they don’t have to know about it.”

                e. Men will be. unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving : Ever since Adam, humankind has been marked by these things to one degree or another. Here, Paul said these things will be especially prevalent in the last days.

                i. Unloving (translated without natural affection in the KJV) literally means, “without family love.” Paul said that the end times would be marked by an attitude of growing disregard of normal family love and obligation.

                f. Men will be. slanderers : Men have always told hurtful lies about other men but today, in media and in politics, slander has been elevated to both big business and big money.

                i. In politics, candidates routinely and knowingly distort their opponent’s positions, just to make their competition look bad – and they don’t feel bad at all about the lying if it helps them get elected. In media, editors and news directors serve as prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner to innocents who are wrongly suspected – and usually refuse to apologize when they are proven to be wrong.

                g. Men will be. without self control : The story of no self-control can be written across almost everything today – sex, drugs, alcohol, food, work. Whatever we do, we often do it out of control.

                i. In the 1990s the Los Angeles Times published an article about Michelle, who was a successful writer and editor. She feared the day her husband might discover her secret stash of credit cards, her secret post office box or the other tricks she used to hide how much money she spent shopping for herself. “I make as much money as my husband. If I want a $500 suit from Ann Taylor, I deserve it and don’t want to be hassled about it. So the easiest thing to do is lie,” she explained. Last year, when her husband forced her to destroy one of her credit cards, Michelle went out and got a new one without telling him. “I do live in fear. If he discovers this new VISA, he’ll kill me.” A school teacher explained more: “Men just don’t understand that shopping is our drug of choice,” she joked, even while admitting that some months her salary goes exclusively to paying the minimum balance on her credit cards. “Walking through the door of South Coast Plaza is like walking though the gates of heaven. God made car trunks for women to hide shopping bags in.” A young professional named Mary explained: “Shopping is my recreation. It’s my way of pampering myself. When you walk into [a mall] and you see all the stores, it’s like something takes over and you get caught up in it.”

                h. Men will be. brutal : Cruelty and brutality are nothing new in the world but Paul wrote by inspiration of the Holy Spirit that the last days would be marked by a particular brutality.

                i. A newspaper article in the 1990s described how an Oxnard man was accused of murdering his roommate after the two disagreed over the brand of beer the man had brought home. The accused man brought home Natural Light, and the murdered man wanted him to bring home Michelob. As he poured the Natural Light down the kitchen sink, he was stabbed to death.

                ii. We like to think of ourselves as more advanced than previous generations but surely more people have been murdered in our century than ever before these are violent, brutal times.

                i. Men will be. despisers of good : There just seem to be too many examples of this in modern society to pick out examples. For one example, there was a time when most people thought letting people live was good and killing them was generally a bad thing. Today, we live in a culture when the simple good of life is now despised and attacked, through abortion, through the glorifying of violence and murder, and through euthanasia.

                i. On March 6, 1996, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals declared the United States Constitution gives every American the right to kill someone else. Essentially, the court said that if you think someone might want to die – even if they have never said so – you can kill them and no law can stop you. You can kill someone if you are a doctor, a nurse, a pharmacist, a family member, or a “significant other” to a person you think wants to die. From the Judge’s ruling: “When patients are no longer able to pursue liberty or happiness and do not wish to pursue life,” they can be killed. The Federal Judge directly tied his decision to the right to abortion on demand. The reasoning seems to be that if the state must allow us to kill humans in the womb, it must also allow them to kill them later.

                j. Men will be. traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God : These characteristics are all about one thing: Self. Men are traitors because of self, they are headstrong because of self, they are haughty because of self, and they are lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God because of self.

                i. This attitude marks our current age. For example, think of national advertising slogans from the late 1990s:

                · Nothing is taboo. · Break all the rules. · To know no boundaries. · Relax: No rules here. · Peel off inhibitions. Find your own road. · We are all hedonists and want to do what feels good. That’s what makes us human. · Living without boundaries. · Just do it.

                The message is the same: You make your own rules. You answer to no one. You are the one that matters. Your universe revolves around you.

                ii. We don’t have to choose between pleasure and God. Serving God is the ultimate pleasure Psalm 16:11 says, At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. But we do have to choose between the love of pleasure and the love of God. Living for God will give you many pleasures, but they only come as you love God first and refuse to love the pleasures themselves.

                k. Having a form of godliness but denying its power : In our self-obsessed world, people feel very free to have a “salad bar” religion – they pick and choose what they want. They feel free to be very “spiritual,” but sense no obligation to be Biblical.

                i. In the late 1990s it was reported that the Reverend John Canning delivered the eulogy after Leo and Hazel Gleese were slain, telling mourners that he had been so close to the couple that he could call them Mom and Dad. On Friday, six weeks later, Canning was led off to jail in handcuffs, charged with beating and strangling the 90-year-old couple. Police say the Gleeses were killed in their home January 2 after they discovered Canning had abused the power of attorney they gave him and was stealing their savings. “It’s the most despicable thing I’ve ever heard of,” said Phil Ramer, a Florida Department of Law Enforcement agent. “Of all people in the world you should be able to trust, it’s your pastor. They couldn’t do it in this case, and he wound up killing them.” The pastor was a suspect from the start because he waited a day to report he found the couple dead in their home. “When it takes somebody a day to report two dead bodies, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to say who the suspect is,” Ramer said. The minister passed the time before reporting the deaths by spending a day at the beach and dining out with friends.

                ii. A 63-year-old married woman wrote to Dear Abby to justify her adultery. She writes: “He’s also married. We meet once a week at a motel for three hours of heaven. My husband knows nothing about this, and neither does my lover’s wife. Sex with my husband is even better now, and it’s not as though I am denying my husband anything. I teach a class at church every week, but for some reason, I feel no guilt.”

                iii. When we talk about the power of godliness, we often mean it in the sense of “power to give me what I want.” But this is exactly opposite of what Paul meant here. The power of godliness that men will despise in the last days is the power it should have to guide their lives power in the sense of rightful authority – and many, many, today deny that God has the power to tell them what to do through His Word.

                l. From such people turn away! The command to turn away from people described by the characteristics in this list is especially difficult in our present day.

                i. People who do the things on this list are not only common today but they are often also our cultural heroes. The simple responsibility of Christians is to turn away not only these attitudes, but also from the people who do these things.

                ii. Many think it is enough if they themselves are not like this, and give little heed to the company they keep. But if we spend time with people like this – either personally or by allowing us to entertain us – they will influence on us. As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:33: Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”

                iii. From such turn away also means that Paul knew those marked by the spirit of the last days were present in Timothy’s own day. However, we should expect that they would be even more numerous and have increased power in the last days shortly before the return of Jesus.

                iv. “This exhortation clearly implies that Paul did not consider the state of moral depravity just pictured as wholly a matter of the future. He was keenly aware that the evils about which he was forewarning were already at work.” (Hiebert)

                3. (2Ti 3:6-7) The strategy of the corrupt in the last days.

                For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

                a. Those who creep into households : Paul knew that these dangers were in the world in his day and would be increasingly present in the last days before the return of Jesus. However, he seemed especially concerned that these would creep into households . It is one thing to have such evil present in the world it is another thing to allow it into your home.

                b. Make captives of gullible women : Those marked by the last days depravity Paul mentioned in the previous verses want to take others captive, and it can do this among the gullible , those who will believe or pay attention to most anything if it is packaged the right way.

                i. One should know if they are indeed one of these captives that Paul mentioned, bound by the influence of this end times rejection of God and celebration of self. There is one effective way to know: walk away from any kind of worldly influence and see if there are chains that make your escape difficult. Take a week off from letting anything marked by the spirit of the last days into your household – and see if chains bind you back to those things.

                ii. Paul singled out gullible women simply because in that day, women spent far more time at home than the men, and were far more exposed to any corruption that would infiltrate the household. “Also he speaks here of women rather than men, for they are more liable to be taken in by such impostors.” (Calvin)

                c. Led away by various lusts : Obviously, the spirit of the last days finds its appeal to us by exciting various lusts within us. It appeals to the desire to be excited sexually, or romantically, or to have our desires for comfort or wealth or status satisfied.

                d. Always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth : The spirit of the last days has a certain intelligence about it the high priests of the spirit of the last days know how to make things work and how to lead us away by various lusts . But for all their skill, for all of their marketing brilliance and knowledge, they never come to truth .

                i. Indeed, the spirit of the last days has a problem with the idea of “true truth” altogether, because it believes that we each are the center of our own universe and we each create our own truth. According to the spirit of the last days there is no truth outside of ourselves, so we can learn and learn and learn, but we will never come to God’s eternal truth.

                ii. “There are many professors of Christianity still who answer the above description. They hear, repeatedly hear, it may be, good sermons but, as they seldom meditate on what they hear, they derive little profit from the ordinances of God. They have no more grace now than they had several years ago, though hearing all the while, and perhaps not wickedly departing from the Lord. They do not meditate, they do not think, they do not reduce what they hear to practice therefore, even under the preaching of an apostle, they could not become wise to salvation.” (Clarke)

                4. (2Ti 3:8-9) An example of this sort of corrupt human condition: Jannes and Jambres , who resisted Moses .

                Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.

                a. Jannes and Jambres : Though they were not named for us in the Exodus account, these two men are the Egyptian magicians who opposed Moses before Pharaoh (Exodus 7:8-13, 7:19-23, 8:5-7, and 8:16-19).

                b. Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses : These were able to work real miracles – not mere parlor tricks – but by the power of darkness and not the power of God. When Moses cast down his rod and it turned into a serpent, Jannes and Jambres could do the same. When he turned water into blood, they could do the same. When Moses brought forth a plague of frogs, Jannes and Jambres could do the same. Yet eventually they could not match God miracle-for-miracle, and their occult powers were shown to be inferior to God’s power.

                i. The ability to do miracles by the power of darkness and the willingness to receive them as authentic will characterize the end times (Revelation 13:13-15 and 2 Thessalonians 2:9).

                ii. Some of us are amazed by any spiritual power that is real, without carefully thinking that real power may have a demonic source instead of a Godly source. And even if a psychic or new age power seems to feel right, we must not be seduced by it because demonic powers can come masquerading as angels of light (2 Corinthians 11:15).

                c. Resisted Moses : The resistance of truth by Jannes and Jambres was shown by their ability to cooperate with demonic powers to do miracles. In the last days, men will also resist the truth.

                i. Even as Jannes and Jambres were eventually put to shame (though for a while they matched Moses “miracle for miracle”) and were eventually compelled to give reluctant glory to God, so also will the evil men of the last days. Even as Jannes and Jambres’ power had limits, so does Satan’s power, even in the last days – God is still in control.

                ii. This is the message of great hope in the midst of this great darkness – the spirit of the last days has an answer to it in Jesus Christ. The spirit of the last days is not stronger than the power of Jesus. The glorious truth is that we don’t have to be bound by the spirit of our times we don’t have to be slaves to self and have our universe revolve around something as puny as our selves. There is hope, triumphant hope, in Jesus.

                iii. “What is remarkable about this analogy, however, is not just that the Asian false teachers are likened to the Egyptian magicians but that Paul is thereby likening himself to Moses!” (Stott)

                B. Faithfulness to God in difficulty and opposition.

                1. (2Ti 3:10-12) Persecution and following Jesus.

                But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

                a. But you : Paul has just described the kind of people that will threaten the earth in the last days and which Timothy must contend with in his own day. But you showed that Paul drew a clear dividing line between Timothy and those ruled by the spirit of the last days.

                b. You have carefully followed : This is what made Timothy from the spirit of his age. He had carefully followed Paul’s doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions .

                i. Carefully followed means that Paul did not merely teach Timothy these things in an academic sense Timothy learned these things by carefully following Paul’s example. The best kind of Christianity is not only taught, it is also caught by seeing it lived out in other people.

                ii. It all began with Timothy catching Paul’s doctrine . The reason Paul lived the way he lived was because he believed certain things. What we believe will determine how we live.

                iii. Timothy caught Paul’s manner of life : There was just a certain way that Paul lived, and Timothy was around him enough to learn it and follow it.

                iv. Timothy caught Paul’s purpose : Paul’s life had a purpose. It was not without direction. He was going somewhere, and that purpose had been established by God. Timothy saw that in Paul, he caught it, and he wanted to live his life that way.

                v. Timothy caught Paul’s faith , longsuffering , and love : you could see in Paul that he had a faith not everyone had, and Timothy wanted to catch it. Paul was longsuffering – that is, patient with the little irritations of people and life in a special way, and he had a love that made him stand out. Remember all of these flowed forth from the doctrine – the truth – Paul held on to and Timothy carefully followed.

                c. Perseverance, persecutions, afflictions : Timothy also caught these from Paul. We might think that the person who lives their life with the right doctrine , with the right manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering , and love would be loved and accepted by everyone – but they are not.

                i. In fact, some level of persecution is certain for people who carefully follow this kind of life: Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution .

                ii. In our own day, Christians are being persecuted all over the world – in China, in the Muslim world, even in Russia, where a strong anti-missionary law was just passed. And we can face persecution in a social way today.

                iii. Christians are persecuted for the same reason Jesus was persecuted: And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (John 3:19)

                d. Which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra : Paul reminded Timothy of the specific occasions of persecution which he endured.

                · At Antioch , where Paul was kicked out of the city for preaching the gospel (Acts 13:50). · At Iconium , where Paul was almost executed by stoning (Acts 14:5). · At Lystra , where they actually did stone Paul and leave him for dead (Acts 14:19).

                e. And out of them all the Lord delivered me : Paul remembered this as he sat in prison and waited for execution. He knew that God was completely able to deliver him again, or that He might not. Paul seemed at complete peace, leaving it in the Lord’s hands. Persecution was not going to stop Paul from following hard after Jesus Christ.

                i. Persecution must not stop Christians today. We may not face much violent or even economic persecution in our culture but there is a great deal of social persecution Christians must deal with. 1 Peter 4:4 describes the mind-set of many of those who socially persecute Christians: They think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. Does anyone think you are strange?

                ii. If we are not willing to have others think us strange if we are not willing to be rejected by some for the sake of Jesus Christ if we are not willing to be an outcast before some people, then we can never be true followers of Jesus Christ.

                2. (2Ti 3:13-15) The course of evil men and the course of the godly.

                But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

                a. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse : Evil men refers to the obvious, open enemies of Jesus impostors refers to those who appear good and many think of as fine, but they are actually destructive forces among Jesus’ followers.

                i. These two kinds of people ( evil men and impostors ) will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived . Paul gave us insight into how many people are effective deceivers among God’s people – they themselves are being deceived .

                ii. Motives are important, but we can sometimes place too much importance on them. Much harm has been done by people who were sincerely deceived and who tried to do wrong things out of wonderful motives – and because others look at their wonderful hearts, they accept their dangerous deceptions. We can’t always go only by motives in others we must measure them also by the truth.

                b. But you must continue in the things which you have learned : This is the key point to this section, around which the rest of the section develops. The command itself is simple enough to understand. He told Timothy to abide – it’s the same ancient Greek verb as when John wrote, therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning (1 John 2:20).

                i. It was as if Paul wrote this: “Timothy, you learned these things. Right now you firmly believe them. Now, you have to continue in the things which you have learned . The important thing is to abide in them, to continue in them, to never let them go.”

                ii. But you : A.T. Robertson called this an “Emphatic contrast.” Timothy was to strongly set himself against the course that some other men took.

                iii. Yet the words “ But you ” go back even further, marking a contrast to what came earlier in the letter.

                · There are approved and disapproved workers – you must continue in the things which you have learned. · There will be dangerous times and dangerous men in the last days – you must continue in the things which you have learned. · There will be hardship and sometimes persecution as you follow the Lord – but you must continue in the things which you have learned.

                c. You must continue in the things which you have learned : The plural suggests that the command is somewhat broader. The core is faithfulness to God’s word, but through the letter we see that this refers to a pattern of ministry.

                i. This was all centered on God’s word, but “ the things which you have learned ” seems to be more than just Paul’s Bible studies it was those, but also his pattern of ministry.

                ii. This pattern of ministry doesn’t deal much with specifics, such as when to have Christian services, how long to have them, a schedule for what to do during service, and so on. The emphasis is on a pattern, a philosophy, and then Timothy was to implement that into his own situation.

                d. You must continue in the things which you have learned : The rest of the passage – up until the fourth chapter – simply describes for us what this means, and why it was so important for Timothy to do this.

                i. It is wonderful to see that God gives us reasons to continue – it isn’t just, “Well, that is what we do” or “We have always done it that way.” God is good enough to give us reasons.

                e. And been assured of : This puts the idea in the past tense, as if this was something that Timothy was once assured of, but perhaps now he wasn’t so sure. Perhaps he wavered from time to time, so Paul called him back to this.

                f. Knowing from whom you have learned them : Continue in the things you have learned, remembering who taught you those things. It was as if Paul wrote, “Remember, Timothy: you learned these things from me.” Paul was too humble to say his own name here, but it certainly seems that is what he meant.

                i. There is some debate among manuscripts whether whom is singular or plural. I think the context pushes us towards the idea that it is singular Paul here refers to his own influence on Timothy.

                · Paul led him to Christ · Paul gave him ministry opportunity · Paul taught him by both word and example · Paul laid hands on him in ordination · Paul guided and mentored him in the midst of ministry

                ii. So, Timothy was to remember who taught him these things, knowing from whom you have learned them . Paul’s idea included:

                · Remember how I strongly and confidently I believe these things. · Remember the love with which I believe these things. · Remember the urgency with which I believe these things.

                g. That from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures : Continue in the things you have learned, that you have received as a heritage. This truth didn’t begin with Timothy or even with Paul, but it is part of a long heritage that was passed on to Timothy.

                i. From childhood means that it came to him through the influence of his grandmother and mother – Lois and Eunice, respectively. From his young childhood, they taught him.

                ii. Timothy learned this starting in childhood . “The story of Mistress Elizabeth Wheatenhall, daughter of Mr. Anthony Wheatenhall, of Tenterden in Kent, late deceased, is very memorable. She being brought up by her aunt, the Lady Wheatenhall, before she was nine years old (not much above eight), could say all the New Testament by heart yea, being asked where any words thereof were, she could presently name book, chapter, and verse.” (Trapp)

                iii. Holy Scriptures : This use here referred to the Old Testament, because that is what Timothy would have learned from his grandmother Eunice and his mother Lois.

                iv. From childhood you have known : Timothy had known the word of God from his earliest years yet see how strong the exhortation is from Paul that he continue in them! Nothing is assumed the furthest thing from Paul’s mind is an attitude that says, “Well of course we are all founded on the Bible and we can assume that and move on to other things.” For Paul this was never assumed – not even with his trusted protégé Timothy.

                h. From childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures : It’s as if Paul said this: “Timothy, continue in what you received from me. But never forget that it didn’t start with me it’s a heritage that was passed on to you. You came into contact with all this long before you ever knew me. You came into contact with this heritage through the Holy Scriptures .”

                i. We’re happy to belong to the same church as Moody and Spurgeon, and Luther and Zwingli the same church as Wesley and Whitefield, and Polycarp and Ignatius. We are part of them and they are part of us, because we are connected by our trust in the same Jesus, revealed to us by the same Holy Scriptures .

                i. Which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus : Continue in the things you have learned, because of their great value. There is no wisdom greater than this in the world. Your wisdom about 20 other subjects means nothing if you are not wise for salvation .

                i. This is something each generation must acquire for itself and then hold on to – the appreciation for the wisdom of the Bible, and a deliberate forsaking of any human wisdom that opposes or replaces what the Bible teaches.

                ii. We don’t think for a moment that mere Bible knowledge saves there are those who know the words of the Bible well yet are not wise for salvation . Yet those words mixed with faith do make one wise for salvation.

                3. (2Ti 3:16-17) Timothy must continue with confidence in the Holy Scriptures.

                All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

                a. All Scripture : This indicates more than the Hebrew Scriptures. If Paul meant the exact same thing here as what Timothy learned as a child, he might have said “Those Scriptures” referring back to verse 15, or he might have just repeated the exact phrase, “ Holy Scriptures .”

                i. Paul changed his wording here because he recognized that what God uniquely brought forth from the apostles and prophets in his time was also Scripture it was also the God-breathed word of God. This included what he and others knew was emerging as the written form of the foundation of the apostles and prophets mentioned in Ephesians 2:20.

                ii. This would fulfill the promise Jesus made that the Holy Spirit would speak to the apostles and lead them into all truth.

                iii. There is no doubt that Paul thought this way – knowing that God was bringing forth a New Testament through the apostles and prophets of the first century.

                · Paul commanded the public congregational reading of his letters, as would be done with the Hebrew Scriptures (Colossians 4:16, 1 Thessalonians 5:27). · Paul called his own message the word of God (1 Thessalonians 2:13). · In 1 Timothy 5:18, Paul combined a quotation from the Old Testament, and some words of Jesus recorded in Luke 10:7 and he called both of them “Scripture.”

                iv. Paul wasn’t the only one who thought this way. 2 Peter 3:15b-16 indicates the same idea, especially when Peter included Paul’s writings under the heading, Scriptures.

                v. All this reminds us that even in Apostolic times, they were well aware that God was bringing forth more Holy Scripture , just as Jesus promised, just as Paul described, just as Peter understood.

                b. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God : Paul exhorted Timothy, “Continue in these things because the Bible comes from God and not man. It is a God-inspired book, breathed out from God Himself.”

                i. This means something more than saying that God inspired the men who wrote it, though we believe that He did God also inspired the very words they wrote. We notice it doesn’t say, “All Scripture writers are inspired by God,” even though that was true. Yet it doesn’t go far enough. The words they wrote were breathed by God.

                ii. It isn’t that God breathed into the human authors. That is true, but not what Paul says here. He says that God breathed out of them His Holy Word.

                iii. Some protest: “This statement doesn’t mean anything because it is self-referential. Anyone could write a book and say that it is inspired by God.” Of course it is self-referential. Of course the Bible says it is Holy Scripture. If it did not make that claim, critics would attack the lack of such a claim saying, “The Bible itself claims no inspiration.”

                iv. Yet the difference is that the Bible’s claim to be Holy Scripture has been tested and proven through the centuries. Every generation gives rise to those who really believe they will put the last nails in the coffin that will bury the Bible – yet it never, never works. The Bible outlives and outworks and out-influences all of its critics. It is an anvil that has worn out many, many hammers.

                v. And to the critic who claims, “Anyone could write a book and say that it is inspired by God” we simply say, please do. Write your book, give it every claim of inspiration, and let’s see how it compares to the Bible in any way you want to compare. We invite the smarter critics of the Bible to give us another Bible, something more inspired, something with more life-changing power. The great critic or professor or skeptic is surely smarter than a Galilean fisherman 2,000 years ago, having all the qualifications, all the culture, all the brainpower necessary. It should be easy for them to write something greater than the Bible.

                vi. But of course this is impossible there is no equal to the Bible and there never will be. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our Lord stands forever. What can compare to the Bible? What is the chaff to the wheat?

                · There is no book like it in its continuity and consistency · There is no book like it in its honesty · There is no book like it in its circulation · There is no book like it in its survival · There is no book like it in its influence and life-changing power

                c. By inspiration of God : One may easily argue that the Bible is a unique book, but it does not prove that God inspired it. For greater evidence, one can look to the phenomenon of fulfilled prophecy.

                i. Peter wrote about how we can know the Scriptures are really from God and he spoke about his own certainty because he saw Jesus miraculously transfigured before his own eyes and he heard a voice from heaven say, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Yet, Peter said that we even have something more certain than a voice from heaven in knowing the Bible is from God: We also have the prophetic word made more sure, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place (2 Peter 1:19).

                ii. God’s ability to precisely predict future events in the Bible is His own way of building proof for the Bible right into the text. It proves that it was authored by Someone who not only can see the future, but Who can also shape the future.

                iii. For example, there are at least 332 distinct Old Testament predictions regarding the Messiah which Jesus fulfilled perfectly (such as His birth in Bethlehem, His emergence from Egypt, His healing of the sick, His death on the cross, and so forth). Collectively, the combination of this evidence together is absolutely overwhelming.

                iv. Professor Peter Stoner has calculated that the probability of any one man fulfilling eight of these prophesies is one in 100,000,000,000,000,000 (10 to the 17th power) that many silver dollars would cover the state of Texas two feet deep. Stoner says that if you consider 48 of the prophecies, the odds become one in 10 to the 157th power.

                d. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God : Remember that one may believe in the inspiration of the Bible in principle, but deny it in practice.

                · We do this by imposing our own meaning on the text instead of letting it speak for itself. · We do this by putting more of ourself in the message than what God says. · We do this by being more interested in our opinions when we preach than in explaining and proclaiming what God has said. · We do this by lazy study and sloppy exposition. · Instead, we honor God and His word by, as much as possible, simply letting the text explain and teach itself to speak for itself.

                i. “False doctrine cannot prevail long where the sacred Scriptures are read and studied. Error prevails only where the book of God is withheld from the people. The religion that fears the Bible is not the religion of God.” (Clarke)

                ii. In 2005 the London Times reported that a new “teaching document” issued by the Roman Catholic bishops of England, Wales and Scotland warns that Catholics should not take the Bible literally — that it’s not infallible. “We should not expect to find in Scripture full scientific accuracy or complete historical precision,” they say in the booklet, The Gift of Scripture. So what sorts of things aren’t accurate? Creation, for one. Genesis, they note, has two different, and sometimes conflicting, creation stories and cannot be considered “historical.” Rather, the bishops say, it simply contains “historical traces.”

                e. All Scripture : This tells us how much of the Bible is inspired by God. The great Greek scholar Dean Alford understood this as meaning, “Every part of Scripture.”

                i. Some try to twist this – they try to make it say, “All Scripture that is inspired by God is profitable” and so on. In doing this, they put themselves in the place of highest authority, because they then will tell us what is inspired and what isn’t.

                ii. They claim that the grammar is elastic enough in this statement to give the translation, “All Scripture that is inspired by God is profitable.” But this is dishonest to the text, and ignores a critical word present both in the English translation and the ancient Greek: the word and .

                iii. The position of and in the text makes it clear that Paul is asserting two truths about Scripture: that it is both God-breathed and profitable not that only the God-breathed parts are profitable.

                iv. So we believe it forever: it is all inspired, and all profitable. Since it comes from a perfect God, it is perfect and without error in the original autographs and what we have before us are extraordinarily good copies of what was originally written.

                v. The reliability of our copies of what was originally written is a matter which can be decided by science and research, and though some errors have been made in copying the Scriptures through the centuries, today we have a New Testament where not more than one-one thousandth of the text is in question – and not one significant doctrine is in question. The numbers for the Old Testament are even more impressive.

                vi. There is something else we can say about the Bible: It is true. And though the Bible is not a science text-book, when it does speak on matters of science as science (not in figures of speech or poetic hyperbole), it is true.

                f. And is profitable : Paul exhorted, “Timothy, continue in these things because the Bible is profitable, and profitable in many ways.”

                i. Profitable for doctrine : telling us what is true about God, man, the world we live in, and the world to come.

                ii. Profitable for reproof and correction : with the authority to rebuke us and correct us. We are all under the authority of God’s word, and when the Bible exposes our doctrine or our conduct as wrong, we are wrong.

                iii. Profitable for instruction in righteousness : it tells us how to live in true righteousness. There is perhaps here a hint of grace, because Paul knew what true righteousness was instead of the legalistic false righteousness that he depended on before his conversion.

                iv. This all means something else very simple: We can understand the Bible. If the Bible could not be understood, there would be nothing profitable about it.

                v. It is profitable when we understand it literally. But when we take the Bible literally, we also understand that it means that we take it as true according to its literary context. When the Bible speaks as poetry, it will use figures of speech that may not be literally true. One example is when David said, All night I make my bed swim I drench my couch with my tears in Psalm 6:6. Obviously, he spoke in poetic metaphor and he did not actually float his bed with tears. But when the Bible speaks as history, it is historically true, when it speaks in prophecy, it is prophetically true.

                g. That the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work : Paul exhorted, “Timothy, continue in these things because the Bible makes you complete and thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

                i. Complete doesn’t mean that the whole Christian life is about reading the Bible, or that the only important thing in good ministry is good Bible teaching.

                ii. Complete means the Bible leads me into everything I need. If I will be both a hearer and a doer of the word, I will be complete as a Christian, thoroughly equipped for every good work . This reminds us that we are not in the business of building sermon appreciation societies, but in equipping the saints for the work of ministry.

                iii. So, I don’t ignore prayer, or worship, or evangelism, or good works to a needy world – because the Bible itself tells me to do such things. If I will be both a hearer and a doer of the word, I will be complete .

                h. That the man of God may be complete : When we come to the Bible and let God speak to us, it changes us – it makes us complete and transforms us.

                i. One way the Bible transforms us is through our understanding. Romans 12:2 says, do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. When we let the Bible guide our thinking, our minds are renewed and transformed, so we begin to actually think like God thinks.

                ii. But there is another level by which the Bible transforms us: by a spiritual work, a spiritual blessing which God works in us as we come to the Bible and let Him speak to us. This is a spiritual work that goes beyond our intellectual understanding. With great spiritual power beyond our intellect:

                · The Bible gives us eternal life (1 Peter 1:23). · The Bible spiritually cleanses us (Ephesians 5:26). · The Bible gives us power against demonic spirits (Ephesians 6:17). · The Bible brings spiritual power to heal our bodies (Matthew 8:16). · The Bible brings us spiritual strength (Psalm 119:28). · The Bible has the power to spiritually build faith in us (Romans 10:17).

                iii. Because of this spiritual level on which the Word of God operates, we don’t have to understand it all to have it be effectively working in our lives. Many people get discouraged because they feel they don’t get much when they read the Bible on their own and so they give up. We must work to understand the Bible the best we can, and read it thoughtfully and carefully, but it benefits us spiritually even when we don’t understand it all intellectually.

                iv. A critic once wrote a letter to a magazine saying, “Over the years, I suppose I’ve gone to church more than 1,000 times, and I can’t remember the specific content of even one sermon over those many years. What good was it to go to church 1,000 times?” The next week, someone wrote back: “Over the past many years, I have eaten more than 1,000 meals prepared by my wife. I cannot remember the specific menu of any of those meals. But they nourished me along the way, and without them, I would be a much different man!” The Bible will do its spiritual work in us, if we will let it.

                v. Paul began the chapter warning Timothy about dangerous times. Some Christians are swept away by these perilous times and some others go into hiding. Neither option is right for us. We are to stand strong and stay on the Word of God.

                ©2013 David Guzik – No distribution beyond personal use without permission
                [A previous revision of this page can be found here]

                Why ‘Fahrenheit 451’ Is the Book for Our Social Media Age

                No books were harmed in the making of this motion picture. There will be no such disclaimer at the end of my new film, because we burned a lot of books. We designed powerful, kerosene-spitting flamethrowers and torched books — en masse. This was not easy for me to do. I was taught at a very young age to read and respect books. Even setting a teacup on a book was considered a sin. In my parents’ household, Hafez’s book of Persian poetry, “The Divan,” was revered like a religious text.

                But now I was making a film adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s seminal novel, “Fahrenheit 451,” which presents a future America where books are outlawed and firemen burn them. The protagonist, a fireman named Guy Montag, begins to doubt his actions and turns against his mentor, Captain Beatty. When I set out to adapt the novel early in 2016, I was faced with a big question: Do people still care about physical books?

                I asked an 82-year-old friend for advice. “Go ahead and burn books,” he said. “They mean nothing to me. I can read anything on my tablet, from the ‘Epic of Gilgamesh’ to Jo Nesbo, and I can read them in bed, on a plane or next to the ocean, because it’s all in the cloud, safe from your firemen’s torches.”

                If he felt this way, what would teenagers think? Bradbury’s novel is a classic taught in high schools across America. But the more I thought about it, the more relevant the novel seemed. For Bradbury, books were repositories of knowledge and ideas. He feared a future in which those things would be endangered, and now that future was here: The internet and new social-media platforms — and their potential threat to serious thought — would be at the heart of my adaptation.

                I had never adapted a book, let alone one so important. Altering a work so brilliant and beloved always upsets some fans. I knew Bradbury had supported François Truffaut’s 1966 film adaptation. More important, Bradbury himself had reimagined “Fahrenheit 451,” first as a stage play and then as a musical, changing many elements, including letting Montag’s neighbor Clarisse McClellan live. (In the novel, she dies early on.) With Bradbury as my guide, and a vow to stay true to his ideas, I began working on the script.

                “Fahrenheit 451” was written in the early 1950s, not long after Nazis burned books and, eventually, human beings. America was living under a cloud of fear created by the House Un-American Activities Committee and McCarthyism, which brought political repression, blacklists and censorship of literature and art. These anxieties permeate the novel.

                But Bradbury’s key inspiration was the invasion of seven-inch black-and-white televisions into people’s homes. Bradbury was no Luddite. He wrote screenplays, including one for an adaptation of “Moby-Dick.” He also wrote 65 episodes of a television series, “The Ray Bradbury Theater.” But in “Fahrenheit 451” Bradbury was warning us about the threat of mass media to reading, about the bombardment of digital sensations that could substitute for critical thinking.

                In the novel, he imagined a world where people are entertained day and night by staring at giant wall screens in their homes. They interact with their “friends” through these screens, listening to them via “Seashells” — Bradbury’s version of Apple’s wireless AirPods — inserted in their ears. In this world, people would be crammed “full of noncombustible data” — words to popular songs, the names of state capitals, the amount of “corn Iowa grew last year.” They will “feel they’re thinking,” Bradbury wrote, “and they’ll be happy, because facts of that sort don’t change.”

                Bradbury was worried about the advent of Reader’s Digest. Today we have Wikipedia and tweets. He worried that people would read only headlines. Today it seems that half the words online have been replaced with emojis. The more we erode language, the more we erode complex thought and the easier we are to control.

                Bradbury feared memory loss. Today we have designated Google and our social-media accounts as the guardians of our memories, emotions, dreams and facts. As tech companies consolidate power, imagine how easy it could be to rewrite Benjamin Franklin’s Wiki entry to match what the firemen in Bradbury’s novel learn about the history of the fire department: “Established, 1790, to burn English-influenced books in the Colonies. First Fireman: Benjamin Franklin.” In his way, Bradbury predicted the rise of “alternative facts” and an era of “post-truth.”

                As the virtual world becomes more dominant, owning books becomes an act of rebellion. When a printed book is in your possession, no one can track, alter or hack it. The characters in my film have never seen a book. When they first encounter a library, the books are like water in a vast digital desert. Seeing, touching and smelling a book is as alien to the firemen as milking a cow by hand would be for most of us. The firemen are transfixed by the books — but they still have to burn them.

                Burning books in the film posed a legal challenge. The cover art of most books is protected by copyright, and in most cases we were unable to obtain permission to display it — let alone burn it on camera. So the art directors for my film designed countless original book covers that we could burn.

                The question was: Which books? There were always more I wanted to burn than we had time to film. I knew I wanted to include some of my favorites, like “Crime and Punishment,” “Song of Solomon” and the works of Franz Kafka. But we had to burn more than just fiction. Herodotus’ “Histories” — history itself — was incinerated. Pages of Emily Dickinson, Tagore and Ferdowsi’s poetry crumbled into black ash. Hegel, Plato and Grace Lee Boggs’s philosophy were set on fire. The firemen discriminate against no one: Texts in Chinese, Hindi, Persian and Spanish all burned. A Mozart score, an Edvard Munch painting, magazines, newspapers, photographs of Sitting Bull, Frederick Douglass and the 1969 moon landing went up in smoke.

                Even the most fanatic firemen would have a hard time burning all the copies of a best seller like “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” After J. K. Rowling spoke out against Donald Trump on Twitter, people tweeted that they were planning to burn their Harry Potter books. So we followed suit. Famously banned books had to go: “The Autobiography of Malcolm X,” “Lolita,” “Leaves of Grass” and “The Communist Manifesto.” While we were shooting the film, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” a frequent target of censorship, was once again banned in some schools, so into the flames it went. For some authors, having a book burned in the film was a badge of honor. Werner Herzog and Hamid Dabashi generously donated their work to be burned alongside the best and the worst of literature. If we save “Wise Blood” then we must preserve “Mein Kampf” as well.

                Watching the books burn was an otherworldly experience. The hiss of incinerating pages sounded like the final gasps of hundreds of dying souls. The more we burned, the more hypnotic it became — a mesmerizing spectacle of pages curling and embers dancing into the void.

                Bradbury believed that we wanted the world to become this way. That we asked for the firemen to burn books. That we wanted entertainment to replace reading and thinking. That we voted for political and economic systems to keep us happy rather than thoughtfully informed. He would say that we chose to give up our privacy and freedom to tech companies. That we decided to entrust our cultural heritage and knowledge to digital archives. The greatest army of firemen will be irrelevant in the digital world. They will be as powerless as spitting babies next to whoever controls a consolidated internet. How could they stop one person, hiding in his parents’ basement with a laptop, from hacking into thousands of years of humanity’s collective history, literature and culture, and then rewriting all of it … or just hitting delete?

                The Mystery of Nikola Tesla’s Missing Files

                After Nikola Tesla was found dead in January 1943 in his hotel room in New York City, representatives of the U.S. government’s Office of Alien Property seized many documents relating to the brilliant and prolific 86-year-old inventor’s work.

                It was the height of World War II, and Tesla had claimed to have invented a powerful particle-beam weapon, known as the �th Ray,” that could have proved invaluable in the ongoing conflict. So rather than risk Tesla’s technology falling into the hands of America’s enemies, the government swooped in and took possession of all the property and documents from his room at the New Yorker Hotel.

                What happened to Tesla’s files from there, as well as what exactly was in those files, remains shrouded in mystery𠅊nd ripe for conspiracy theories. After years of fielding questions about possible cover-ups, the FBI finally declassified some 250 pages of Tesla-related documents under the Freedom of Information Act in 2016. The bureau followed up with two additional releases, the latest in March 2018. But even with the publication of these documents, many questions still remain unanswered𠅊nd some of Tesla’s files are still missing.

                Three weeks after the Serbian-American inventor’s death, an electrical engineer from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was tasked with evaluating his papers to determine whether they contained 𠇊ny ideas of significant value.” According to the declassified files, Dr. John G. Trump reported that his analysis showed Tesla’s efforts to be “primarily of a speculative, philosophical and promotional character” and said the papers did “not include new sound, workable principles or methods for realizing such results.”

                John Trump, head of research at MIT, in high voltage research lab of MIT, 1949. (Credit: Alfred Eisenstaedt/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

                The scientist’s name undoubtedly rings a bell, as John G. Trump was the uncle of the 45th U.S. president, Donald J. Trump. The younger brother of Trump’s father, Fred, he helped design X-ray machines that greatly helped cancer patients and worked on radar research for the Allies during World War II. Donald Trump himself cited his uncle’s credentials often during his presidential campaign. “My uncle used to tell me about nuclear before nuclear was nuclear,” he once toldਊn interviewer.

                At the time, the FBI pointed to Dr. Trump’s report as evidence that Tesla’s vaunted �th Ray” particle beam weapon didn’t exist, outside of rumors and speculation. But in fact, the U.S. government itself was split in its response to Tesla’s technology. Marc Seifer, author of the biography Wizard: The Life & Times of Nikola Tesla, says a group of military personnel at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, including Brigadier General L.C. Craigee, had a very different opinion of Tesla’s ideas.

                𠇌raigee was the first person to ever fly a jet plane for the military, so he was like the John Glenn of the day,” Seifer says. “He said, ‘there’s something to this—the particle beam weapon is real.’ So you have two different groups, one group dismissing Tesla’s invention, and another group saying there’s really something to it.”  

                Then there’s the nagging question of the missing files. When Tesla died, his estate was to go to his nephew, Sava Kosanovic, who at the time was the Yugoslav ambassador to the U.S. (thanks to his familial connection with Serbia’s most celebrated inventor). According to the recently declassified documents, some in the FBI feared Kosanovic was trying to wrest control of Tesla’s technology in order to “make such information available to the enemy,” and even considered arresting him to prevent this.

                Yugoslavan Ambassador Sava N. Kosanovic in his study. (Credit: George Skadding/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

                In 1952, after a U.S. court declared Kosanovic the rightful heir to his uncle’s estate, Tesla’s files and other materials were sent to Belgrade, Serbia, where they now reside in the Nikola Tesla Museum there. But while the FBI originally recorded some 80 trunks among Tesla’s effects, only 60 arrived in Belgrade, Seifer says. “Maybe they packed the 80 into 60, but there is the possibility that…the government did keep the missing trunks.”  

                For the five-part HISTORY series The Tesla Files, Seifer joined forces with Dr. Travis Taylor, an astrophysicist, and Jason Stapleton, an investigative reporter, to search for these missing files and seek out the truth of the government’s views on the �th Ray” particle-beam weapon and Tesla’s other ideas.

                Despite John G. Trump’s dismissive assessment of Tesla’s ideas immediately after his death, the military did try and incorporate particle-beam weaponry in the decades following World War II, Seifer says. Notably, the inspiration of the �th Ray” fueled Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative, or “Star Wars” program, in the 1980s. If the government is still using Tesla’s ideas to power its technology, Seifer explains, that could explain why some files related to the inventor still remain classified.

                Nilkola Tesla sitting in his Colorado Spring laboratory. (Credit: Stefano Bianchetti/Corbis via Getty Images)

                There is evidence that Franklin D. Roosevelt’s vice president, Henry Wallace, discussed “the effects of TESLA, particularly those dealing with the wireless transmission of electrical energy and the �th ray’” with his advisors, according to FBI documents released in 2016. Along the same lines, Seifer and his colleagues in The Tesla Files uncovered the role played by Vannevar Bush, whom FDR appointed as head of the Manhattan Project, in the evaluation of Tesla’s papers. They also lookedਊt the possibility thatꃽR himself may have sought a meeting with the inventor just before he died.

                By visiting some of the key places in Tesla’s life𠅏rom his laboratory in Colorado Springs to his last living quarters at the Hotel New Yorker to the mysterious wireless tower he built at Wardenclyffe, Long Island—Seifer, Taylor and Stapleton sought to unravel some of the mysteries surrounding the celebrated, enigmatic inventor. They also traveled to California, where some of Tesla’s other groundbreaking ideas —many of which were seen as unrealistic or even crackpot during his own lifetime—now fuel some of the most dominant industries in Silicon Valley.

                Watch the video: Expedition: Back to the Future. discovery+