Monday, June 16, 2008

Movies and Theology

This weekend I was housesitting, so I spent the time watching movies and playing fetch with the dog, Palmer. Movies are a great way for me to do nothing - I love it. But, as I was watching them (as I usually do), I try to think critically about them (Bruce Ashford taught me this and then Jason Wilson taught a really good Life class on this very subject at FBCOC).
So, here are some of my thoughts:
Italian Job: I love this movie. Why? Who knows? As I talked with my friend Lindsay - we both love "stealing" movies. Why is this? of the lines that both Donald Sutherland and Charlize Theron use is: "I trust everyone, just not the devil inside them". What does this say about the doctrine of original sin? This would presume that men are basically good and that we "give in to the dark side" of Satan and his schemes - and that's what makes us bad. This goes against Romans in this way: (Romans 5.12 - Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.)
Also in this movie...we cheer on the bad guys. We want them to succeed in sinning. They steal the bricks of gold and we cheer for them. Then they have to steal it back from the guy who stole it from them. Handsome Rob sleeps with the cable lady to get her key. They hire hit men to finish their job at the train station. We laugh when Napster buys the speakers he really wants that "blows women's clothes right off". Why do we laugh and cheer on the sin that people do in these movies.
I mean think about some of your fave movies: the couple that sleeps together before they get married (we think its so sweet, ok the girls do at least), we more than likely want the affair to really last because her husband wasn't as nice to her as the new guy. Get my point...
Another serious thought and another of my fave movies: Minority Report. The question of predestination. DC creates "Pre-Crime" - those murders or other crimes seen by the pre-cogs and so they get stopped right before they happen. Did they happen? No. Were they going to? Yes? What about the ball that was going drop but got caught - then it didn't drop, so was it really ever going to drop? This provides good food for thought: Is God's preknowledge (predestination, foreknowledge) causal? I'll let you ponder that for a while. Also, in the simulation shop where the guy meets Agatha - he bows to her like she is a god because she can foresee the future. Yet, when some people think of God's Absolute and real foreknowledge - they don't like it because it restricts them in some way? Do you see where I'm going with this "thinking and engaging"?
So where should our line be in watching movies/tv shoes? To engage the culture what are we willing to watch. This thought was on as they were discussing Sex in the City. Why would Christian reviewers even need to worry about this movie: we know what it is about and we know what we are going to see. So, do I even need to watch it? I would say no.
My main point in this blog is to hopefully encourage you to engage your mind while watching movies, tv shoes, reading books. Engage the Culture!

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