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Thesis: The Native Theology of Storytellers

I love Sci-Fi movies! AND, I love the Christ story! I've been making notes in my head for eons about all the theology I've found in Sci-Fi movies. I've got to get this stuff out of my head, so I'm gonna try.

I'm not sure whether George Lucas intended for Shmi Skywalker to resemble the Virgin Mary and the virgin birth. I'm just not interested at this point in doing that kind of research on Asimov, James Cameron, Stan Lee, Orson Scott Card, etc., though in some cases--like Tolkien and C. S. Lewis--the intent is explicit.

The point is, though, whether or not the writer intended to model his story on The Story, the resemblance occurred. It may be that the Christ story has so permeated the consciousness of the world as to be nearly impossible NOT to model or allude to, but there may be something more to it, as well.

It could be something written into each one of us--a primordial theology that all of us, especially the best storytellers, are at some level aware of.

But why do the storytellers happen upon this native theology so often? Because God is a storyteller, and His Son is the greatest story, The Word made flesh. The story of the Christ is imprinted on us as a result of the life Jesus lived, but--more than that--it was written on human nature from the beginning.

The story of the Christ was always a part of man. The outline of the story was always there, latent, waiting for the revelations of the New Testament. And perhaps, also ... grace may have a way of rippling through time, forward and backward, in all directions.

If a storyteller truly wants to inspire, he's going to pull at those best parts of himself, those story threads which have most inspired him--his better angels. Do we realize that inspiration ONLY comes from one place?? That is, the kind of inspiration that gives us peace, comfort, and courage can only come from the Holy Spirit. Our favorite stories, the blockbusters and the best-sellers, have one common muse, the holy and eternal--and that muse needs only one story: THE WORD. 

The Gospel is always the same story, whether it's told in Genesis, the Protoevangelium (Gen 3:15, I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel), in the Gospels, themselves, or in Revelation. It is one story, The Word, which is made flesh in the Virgin Mary, crucified under Pontius Pilate, which suffered, died, and was buried, and on the third day rose again, in fulfillment of itself, the Scriptures. The Word is one natural groove that has been imprinted on every human, by virtue of his Creator, and infused into every baptized Christian--it is this natural imprinting that makes evangelization both possible and successful. God knew us from when He knit us in our mothers' womb, and we knew Him.

So! This is my thesis. I've been holding it inside for a long time. For me, it's been a meta-thesis, one of those super threads that weaves all my weavings together. All the connections that my brain (and yours) makes when watching movies, all those Ah-hah! moments, are brought together in this, THE WORD that God spoke at the moment of Creation.

I hope I can stick to writing all this down, all the movie connections ... and PLEASE! share yours, as well! That will be the proof of the thesis, won't it? 

Merry Christmas! (A fitting time to reflect on the Word Made Flesh, eh?)

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  1. Great post Scott. Here's my take on this idea of a cosmic consciousness, which by the way Carl Jung the great psychoanalyst had proposed something similar in what he called the "collective consciousness". All wisdom emanates from God, thought, though not matter, still has its origin in God the Creator, the word recognize, means that we think again about what is already known. The authors who in one way or another retelling the Nativity are drinking from that pool of consciousness that God has provided. These threads of truth can be found throughout cultures and through the ages. Enjoying your bloging.