Thursday, 28 February 2008

Search for Hero Inside Yourself (Mark II)

Tonight I gave a talk at one of the Lancaster small groups on the film Evan Almighty, which until today I'd never seen.

I suppose it was a reasonable film, with some funny one-liners and was fairly entertaining.

What the film did well was expose sin: the main character, Evan, and one of the supporting characters, Congressman Long, both rule God out of their lives and in so doing make a mess of things - including their own lives, the lives of other people and the planet. It was interesting seeing a film that closely linked environmental degradation with sin.

However, if the film was good at exposing the fundamental human problem, the solution it put forward was not good. Essentially it was this: just do more random acts of kindness. If God's design is best for us all, just do it. This (bizarrely!) is how the film interprets the story of the Flood and Noah's Ark. In other words, we're still to search for the hero inside ourselves.

Of course, that sounds great - but it's completely unrealistic. I can't just pull up my socks and be nice. I need a complete change of heart. And that's where the film is devastatingly quiet: there's no mention of Jesus. And so there's no hope of the radical change that my heart requires.

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