In his painting entitled, “The Treachery of Images”, surrealist painter René Magritte displays a pipe with the words “Ceci n’est pas un pipe” or “This is not a pipe.” While one might find this witty, obvious, or good fodder for a meme, it also contains a profound insight into the nature of God as Trinity.
In 2049, a blade runner named K hunts down and kills replicants. Unlike Rick Deckerd decades earlier, he’s engineered by the Wallace Corporation as the latest Nexus-9 model replicant that cannot rebel or even disobey orders. When he discovers a miracle, his worldview changes, and Blade Runner 2049 (spoilers below) provides three insights in how to break free from our programming.
When Isaac Asimov wrote the three laws of robotics, he did not simply describe fictional robots. He proposed a moral code for humanity. From his novel, I, Robot, and the Will Smith movie with the same name (spoilers for both), we see the benefits of these laws. At the same time, their insufficiency points us to a personal God. Continue reading How Three Laws of Robotics Point to God
Joseph Campbell boldly claims in The Hero with a Thousand Faces that ancient stories across cultures portray the “monomyth”, detailing the hero’s journey. Testing the assertion, does Jesus Christ of the Gospels follow this template? To a degree, yes, but his life and teaching also stand in contrast to the underlying worldview that Campbell professes. Let us delve into his story and come face to face with Jesus the Hero.
Two timeless classics, Star Wars: A New Hope and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe climax in a throne room, where the main characters receive honor and recognition. The scenes share many similarities, but the stark contrast between them, when applied to our lives, can lead to joy or sorrow.
In the original trilogy, Han Solo embodies the archetypal reluctant hero, as he transforms from a selfish, cynical individual to one who sacrifices for others. Unlike Vader’s journey from his murderous commitment to the Dark Side, we can more easily identify with Han’s redemptive arc as we seek to look beyond ourselves and live selflessly. But Solo changes the story. How? And what can we learn from Han’s new arc?
Avengers: Infinity War asks the question, “can we sacrifice a life for the greater good?” As nearly every character must give their answer, the movie presents compelling, emotional arguments for and against, leaving the audience with the tension of the question. While we may have to wait for a thematic resolution in the next Avenger’s film, let’s see 5 insights from the movie with political implications. (Lots of spoilers.)
In Dan Simmon’s novels, Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion, Sol Weintraub dreams that a voice tells him to sacrifice “your daughter, your only daughter Rachel whom you love”. As a Jewish ethics professor, he questions the morality of sacrifice and any god who would ask for it, whether in his case or in the story of Abraham and Isaac. While he raises typical objections, the events of the story change his perspective, giving us insight into sacrifice and the purposes of God.
I love Star Wars, and I love discussing it on social media. Sometimes however, fans make disturbing comments. I find people who root for the Jedi, but based on their opinions, they would be Sith. This serves as a warning against hypocrisy and a call to examine ourselves in all areas of life.
Cloud Atlas, a movie based on David Mitchell’s novel, tells the story about the universal struggle for justice. Consequently, this cannot be limited to one point in time, but occurs around the world and over the span of centuries. While people make the same mistakes and find similar solutions, the characters and audience learn we need the stories of those who have gone before us, and we need to see the world through the eyes of the oppressed.