Hm good question. I don’t know that one!
And really, how could any of us know what are the limits of the natural world?
“Ah, but man’s reach should exceed his grasp–or what’s a Heaven for?”
I’ve been mulling on that quote over the last couple of weeks, wondering what it means, exactly. Somewhere else on this discourse, someone linked to an article that said that humans are necessarily abstract creatures–that it helps us to grasp something if we can consider an abstract comparison to it. On the other hand, there’s quite a variation, even in Christianity, about the relationship of the Divine to earth. Some join with extreme Gnosticism (and, I think, Calvinism) to say that all the physical world is dirty and unclean–but I wonder whether that extreme (not all Calvinists really follow that at all) potentially makes God, the creator, unclean and sinful, too. Others may almost be pantheistic or panentheistic (a term I’m really just grasping the meaning of lately). I’ve read of similar variations in other religions, such as Hinduism and Islam.
Thanks for the thoughts.
Yeah, well, Spielberg only does that because he’s part of a secret conspiracy (as opposed to a “publicly known conspiracy”?) to initiate the takeover of the world by demons in the guise of friendly aliens.
Don’t you know this?
(Yes, there were people teaching that stuff in the past. Come to think of it, I’m sure some people still believe it.)
Led by the evil, to-be-revealed Sith Lord, Jar Jar Binks.
Many Christians would say yes, but the natural/supernatural division is foreign to the Bible. Those categories were created by later theologians and scholastics for philosophical discussion. The biblical view is that reality consists of two parts - the seen and the unseen, or the physical and the spiritual - and these are simply two sides of the same coin.
That is the important distinction as I see it too. There is the outer world and the inner world, the consensual and the private; the world in which we are an object for others and the world in which we are the surest (but least understood) subject; the physical and the mental, everything else and consciousness.
To my mind the world which God creates is the world as it is given to us in consciousness. I think of that which gives rise to God belief as a unit of consciousness, but probably one more ancient than that which we identify as “ourselves”. But I don’t think it functions as a unit of consciousness in the way we do. I think its manifestation is a counterbalance to who and how we are consciously. You could say it has guided our development by way of feedback through conscience and dreams and insight and preconscious selection of anything which even draws our conscious attention. Probably not at every moment but when the opportunity arises for I think the reigns of intention have been ceded to us for better or for worse. In that, whatever it is which gives rise to God belief seems to have made a leap of faith in us. Ultimately what we want -or should want- is what it wants but we have to find our way to that on our own with only these inward rumblings as guidance. Or we can make a leap of faith in a book and a collective attempt over time to extract and articulate all the wisdom it contains through theology. That process no doubt draws on the same inward guidance and therefore has relevance. But I’m just not sure that kind of knowledge can ever be made fully explicit.
If there is any teleology going on in our becoming as we are it has gotten this far with this dynamic relationship where what we know of our partner is only dimly known. I would be suspicious of any attempt to extract and distill what is deemed useful from our unseen partner and then proceed in an entirely rational manner from there. I think grace requires that the partnership continue and that we go on acknowledging our need for the Other. I don’t think this is something to be transcended.
Umm … too much information?
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The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
Klaatu dies for our sins, then comes back, with a warning and a path to salvation.
We now return to your scheduled programming … haha
Bonus points for choosing the original version!
Do NOT get me started on that fiasco of a remake.
Tender Mercies with Robert Duvall. I really enjoyed the movie.
This is not a joke!
The remake was really…not good.
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We just finished watching this - in the Danish and French with English subtitles. I’m glad I already knew the theme from prior reading of it all, so that my mind could relax and just be carried along on the tide …
Thanks for that!
I just saw The Green Mile and was struck by all the allusions to Christian themes. Set somewhere rural probably around 1900, Tom Hanks plays the head of a team that carries out executions on death row. A very large but simple minded african american man is brought in who proceeds to perform what can only be understood as miracles. He is also empathetic to the point of being clairvoyant. (Hey, even the skeptical can enjoy a well told what-if narrative once in a while.) We soon learn that this new condemned man is not guilty and Tom Hanks and his crew are convinced of this too, even though they know there is no legal way to prevent his execution. His wife suggests he talk to the condemned man and in doing so finds out he wants out of this life, that constantly feeling all the hate in the world is just too much to bear. From the point of view of Tom Hanks, the situation is tragic but at the condemned man’s urging he does do his job.
I’m not an expert on Christian themes (“Christology” was a new one on me) but that is clearly the intent of the film makers. I wonder if any of you better versed than I on Christian themes have seen this 20 year old movie and if so what your reaction was.