Before Tom Hanks starred in dramas like Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, and Cast Away, he presented a heartfelt prayer in Joe Verses the Volcano to an unnamed god. (Clip below.) This prayer and the entire film beautifully portray how our intuition points to the existence of a higher power.
Many would define “God” as a powerful person who created the universe. While Biblical and historical Christianity agree with this description, they also portray God, as C.S. Lewis puts it, as “beyond personality.” Scripture identifies God as more than a person, but as truth and love itself. This raises the question: what do truth and love have to do with one another? In an unlikely way, the Star Trek: Enterprise episode “Chosen Realm” answers this theological question.
Have you heard the Good News, or Gospel, of Jesus before? Did it seem distant and irrelevant? How could some guy from 2000 years ago or an old-fashioned term like “sin” matter today? Looking at the preeminence of good and evil in our favorite stories and in the latest news coverage, we’ll conclude, however, that nothing can be more central to our lives than the message of Jesus.
Ever wonder why so many heroes grow up without parents and why countless stories pivot on the encounter with a father? Focusing on Anakin Skywalker’s life and path to the Dark Side, we find that his quest for a father, central to the hero’s journey, reveals our deepest need.
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.
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
In Plato’s dialogue Euthyphro, two characters discuss the nature of the divine. While Euthyphro considers himself an expert in pious living, Socrates dismantles his arguments. In so doing, he not only shows that Greek polytheism is internally inconsistent, but the logical extension of this reasoning gives multiple insights into the identity of God or gods, endorsing and discrediting various religious tenets. We find that the Trinity, perhaps uniquely, remains viable in the face of Socrates’s scrutiny.
Continue reading From Plato to the Trinity
In the last Star Wars post, I explored why good triumphs in the original Star Wars trilogy. Now we must turn to the prequel trilogy to see how evil triumphs, or better put, why good fails.
A brief look at literature and history would show that people critique evil better than they foster the alternative. Unfortunately for Anakin Skywalker, Jedi wisdom could better identify the path to the Dark Side than help him follow the Light. Nevertheless, the truth in Star Wars shines forth.