15 May 2007

Jesus Loves Sci-Fi - SYNCHROBLOG

Before I begin the series, “The Problem With Language”, it’s time for SYNCHROBLOG!

The theme this month is movies and there’s quite a variety so make sure to check out the other synchrobloggers.

When I was a lad, I grew up in the Mountains just west of Boulder Colorado. The sky was small because of the surrounding Rockies, but it was dark, and by looking straight up, I could peer into the vastness of space. As far as I knew, that’s where God and aliens dwelled; not necessarily in the same place mind you.

So I spoke to God and dreamt of meeting aliens.
I imagined exploring “to seek out new life and new civilizations…”

Like most five year olds, Star Wars in 1977 captured my imagination.
What about the Disney movie, The Black Hole?

Remember the campy Battlestar Galactica TV series?
Or even campier Buck Rogers?

They still capture my imagination. Shows like:
Firefly (best series ever)
Stargate and Stargate Atlantis
The new, albeit strange, yet less campy Battlestar
Even the last Star Wars (Episode III) was pretty good.
I’m even Netflixing Babylon 5. (campy yet immensely addictive - and a great story if you can get past some of the cheesy lines).

So, other than my own personal memory lane, where is this going?

Well, when I first began to follow Jesus seriously in 1991, there were a lot of things that He called me to give up. There were also things Christian Culture encouraged me to give up.

I trashed many many cassettes (and much of it has come back in I-tune or DVD format).
I got rid of certain clothes.
I began to conform to Evangelical Christian Culture.
I found Jesus, but began to loose myself.
Not completely (I still kept the earrings).

But much of ‘me’ was gone.

My love of sci-fi was pushed aside.

Then I attended a Missions Conference at the very large church I was going to and someone spoke to the youth there. I was 21.

She said crazy stuff like…

“Jesus has a tattoo. It says in Revelation that his name is written on his thigh.”


“If you want to know where the world is heading, watch Sci-Fi, because today’s sci-fi is tomorrows reality.”

She was never invited back because of the tattoo comment but I loved her! She spoke my language.
And I no longer felt guilty watching sci-fi.

The creative process can only go so far with other genres of entertainment. But with sci-fi (and horror – although I’m not a big fan), creativity holds no bounds.

CSI can’t use telepaths to read minds to solve crimes.
But Lydia on Babylon 5 can.

American Idol can’t create a new religion (although it’s a bit cultish)
But Jedi is a practiced religion.
Scientology is Hollywood’s favorite type of spirituality.

I’m not promoting false religions, but what other genre actually creates these beliefs?
People are searching for something amazing and greater than themselves. They want to wrestle with issues beyond the human level. They want to make sense of the Universe.

Like in the movie Contact, people want to find meaning.
That part sounds cliché, and it is.
But what in Science Fiction have they captured that so eludes rational modern Christian thinking?

They’ve captured mystery. The great unknown. The imagination.

Jesus loves sci-fi because His nature is to create. When we create, we are out there with our wild imaginations; He loves that, because we are thinking like He does.

So I even though I’ll never get there (I got an “A” in astronomy but a “D” in chemistry), I still dream of exploring the universe. I still wonder, that if Jesus returns to earth someday, what will happen to the people on the moon or Mars? Which is where we will be in my lifetime.

I still think (as CS Lewis even pondered), if there is intelligent life out there, and if all of creation groans as it does…what does that mean?

I know these issues are not as pressing as the environment, or AIDS, or reaching our community, but maybe by questioning these issues, we find better answers to our needs right here at home.

It’s tearing down our boxes of the ways in which we see our world, our universe, our human nature, and our God. And I know God doesn’t like boxes. I keep putting Him in one and He keep climbing out and saying, “Stop, just look at the stars. Ask questions. Throw away your boxes. Explore the Universe with me.”

Jesus loves sci-fi because creation is too big to put in a box.
Now I need to find a tattoo and test drive some old Firefly class cargo ships.

Other Synchrobloggers!

Steve Hayes ponders The Image of Christianity in Films
Adam Gonnerman pokes at The Spider's Pardon
John Morehead considers Christians and Horror Redux: From Knee-Jerk Revulsion to Critical Engagement
Marieke Schwartz lights it up with Counter-hegemony: Jesus loves Borat
Mike Bursell muses about Christianity at the Movies
Jenelle D'Alessandro tells us Why Bjork Will Never Act Again
Cobus van Wyngaard contemplates Theology and Film (as art)
Tim Abbott tells us to Bring your own meaning...?
Sonja Andrews visits The Good,The Bad,and The Ugly: Christ in Spaghetti Westerns
Steve Hollinghurst takes a stab at The Gospel According to Buffy
Les Chatwin insists We Don't Need Another Hero
Lance Cummings says The Wooden Wheel Keeps Turning
John Smulo weaves a tale about Spiderman 3 and the Shadow
Josh Rivera at The Rivera Blog
Phil Wyman throws out the Frisbee: Time to Toss it Back
Sally Coleman Making Connections - Films as part of a mythological tradition


Makeesha said...

really great blog babe :) keep dreaming!

Julie said...

as a sci-fi geek I have to say - great post

Pastor Phil said...


Someone who loves Babylon 5 - you rock!

John Smulo said...

Not a huge sci-fi guy--fortunately even sinners like me are saved by grace. But I live with one.

Great post, and loved the quote about Jesus with a tat :-)

paul said...

in space everyone can hear you dream :)

Sally said...

excellent post- as for Babylon 5- love it!
btw I cam in late and joined the posting...

Adam Gonnerman said...

I've always loved to watch Sci-Fi movies and programs, and read Fantasy. This really wasn't interrupted when I came to faith in Christ, and C.S. Lewis helped a bit with that. One of these days, Lord willing, I'll write and post a full-length fantasy novel over on my blog for poetry and prose.

And someday, even better, I'll look forward to exploring the fully redeemed creation.

Jenelle said...

I am a pitiful lassie because I really can't get into sci-fi. But this was a great post. Jesus sports a tatt! Rock.

I especially liked this part:
But what in Science Fiction have they captured that so eludes rational modern Christian thinking?
They’ve captured mystery. The great unknown. The imagination.

I guess you could say the mysterious Holy Spirit really loves Sci-Fi, eh?

MikeCamel said...

What a lovely, liberating post! I can feel a little less guilty now. And yes, God wants us to use our imaginations: of course.

Tim Abbott said...

Great post - I just loved,
"Jesus loves sci-fi because creation is too big to put in a box." Sci-fi definitely gets us thinking about the big 'what if' questions. As someone once said, life on other planets doesn't disprove God - he's probably visited them too.
And Firely is indeed awesome!

UKSteve said...

Can't remember how I ended up here, but hey, cool post (though I never doubted that Jesus loves sci-fi, whatever 'Christian Culture' tried to tell me. Grrrr).

UKSteve said...

Oh yes, I should have said - if you're interested in Christian sci-fi, there's a veritable blog tour of it going on this week. Stop by my place for directions if you like. :)

David said...