This post continues the book review started in A WORTHWHILE STORYBOOK: ROSETTA 6.2 BY JAMES ATTICUS BOWDEN — PART 1.

The Issues Raised By Rosetta 6.2

The Issues Raised By Rosetta 6.2

Rosetta 6.2 looked less than a decade into the future. Yet much of the increasing strife and chaos it predicted has arrived. Our politicians grasp for power. They forced Obamacare on us, spent trillions without even bothering to pass a budget, and they have virtually taken over the financial sector. The citizens of states bordering Mexico complain of drug related crime, that the border needs to be enforced. Yet the federal government sues if their governors try to control illegal immigration.

Increasingly, we fear the people on our streets. So every year gated communites — offering increased security — become an easier sell.

As Rosetta 6.2 predicted would be the case, we see only surface evidence of the technical, futuristic effort by governments to exercise control via the Internet and computer technology. Here are few random articles that consider the problem:

What about the United States? Here our leaders play games with “equal access” and net neutrality. Do our leaders want want to stifle opposition too?

Nonetheless, in spite of technical advances, the ethical issues of internal conflict — cultural warfare — remain much the same as they were during the American Civil War. As Rosetta 6.2 points out, during the Civil War era, Northern leaders deliberately violated the Constitution. For example, when Congress accepted West Virginia into the Union, it created West Virginia by taking a portion of Virginia and making a new state. The Constitution specifically prohibits any such thing. Nonetheless, West Virginia became and remains a state. So we are led to wonder? What justified such a constitutional violation?

In time of war or crisis, what is morally allowable? When we see our society crumbling around us, what does duty require of us?

  • During the war, Northern forces burned wide swaths of the South. The Union sought to end the war by forcing rebel fighters to return home to feed their families. Was such brutality morally acceptable?
  • Without the due process we traditionally require, the Civil War United States created new states and even new Constitutional amendments. Did the men who did this violate their oath of office?
  • After the war, Northern armies occupied the South and stripped Southern men of the voting rights. How does God look upon the men who do such a thing?

What was the moral justification? Was that justification sufficient? With respect to our own time, Rosetta 6.2 asks us to consider such questions. When does what looks like cold-blooded murder actually become an unavoidable moral necessity?

The Subplot

Except for Jack Tillman, a man who does not believe in Jesus, Rosetta 6.2 presents most of its cast of characters as faithful and knowledgeable Christians. Jack watches the Christians, people who look to Jesus Christ, and Jack’s eyes turn to see what they see. We wonder whether Jack will believe, and we wonder why he would believe.

To reinforce their own faith and to aid Jack’s conversion, Rosetta 6.2‘s Christians quote the Bible and discuss Christian theology. More important, Rosetta 6.2‘s Christians present the example of Christian behavior to Jack. These Christians demonstrates what it means to accept the gift of salvation. Thus, Jack begins to want what his Christian friends and coworkers already have, a faith in the everlasting salvation offered by Jesus.

Is Jack’s conversion believeable? When I accepted Jesus, I did not experience conversion in quite the way Jack experienced it. So I found the tale of Jack’s conversion a bit hard to believe. Then I remembered this passage.

John 21:20-23 (Today’s New International Version, ©2005)

Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”

Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”

God made us all remarkably different. So what reason is there to believe he will or should treat us all the same?  We must all learn of God’s love as we each can and as he would have it be.

To Be Continued: Look for Part 3, on Thursday.


  1. I fear my conversion experience was not very dramatic. I had no sudden awakening. I cannot pinpoint the day or the hour.

    I was raised a Catholic. So my parents taught me Christian values, and I long ago accepted those values as correct. Until I was about 17, I considered myself a Christian. Then I read the Age of Reason by Thomas Paine. My Christian education had not prepared me for that experience. With the arrogance of youth, I accepted Paine’s arguments without reservation.

    Oh, I knew a little about the Bible, but a little knowledge truly is dangerous. My favorite Bible story was this one.

    John 20:24-29 (Today’s New International Version, ©2005)

    Jesus Appears to Thomas

    Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

    But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

    A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

    Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

    Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

    When I had not seen Jesus, why should I believe?

    So it went for many years. I went to college and graduate school. I served in the Air Force. Fortunately, I married a delightful Christian lady, and we had two beautiful daughters. Therefore, my mother, my wife, and two beautiful daughters prayed for my soul.

    God operates in own his time, but he eventually answer each prayer. Thus, the time came when I finally read the Bible — carefully, and it was no contest. Thomas Paine was erudite, thoughtful, and logical, but his “Age of Reason” does not compare to the glory that is God’s Word. What Paine wrote is just not as difficult to read, understand, or accept.

    In our pride, we want to set our Creator aside. We want feel grown up. We want to believe we can perfect ourselves. It took over fifty years of living, but I finally realized man cannot perfect man. After I read the Bible, I realized only God can and will perfect each of us, but we must accept his offer. When he knocks (Revelation 3:20), we must open the door; we must have faith that he does that which is needful.


  2. Thanks again. Sorry that Jack’s conversion experience didn’t seem convincing. Everyone is different. C.S. Lewis went to the zoo an unbeliever and came back a Christian – and, no, nothing happened at the monkey house.

    Thanks so much for your review.


    James Atticus Bowden


    1. No need to be sorry. When you wrote, you did what each of us cannot help but do. Since you wrote from your own perspective, you fabricated characters that seem real to you. No matter how much care you take, the characters you create will not seem real to everyone. You cannot please everyone.

      Consider how we appraise our neighbors, real people. When someone does not talk and behave as we think they should behave, do we consider them real or phony? Is our judgment of what we perceive always the phony’s fault?

      Because Jack conversion experience did not match my own, I discovered I had peculiar, if not unusual, prejudice. I expected (or wanted) Jack’s late life conversion to be like my own. I wanted Jack’s experience to affirm my own. When you wrote of something different, I had to wonder why you wrote of something different than what I expected. Is that necessarily a bad thing? Of course not.


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