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Klavan On The Culture

Gravity: A Tale of Christ

December 5th, 2013 - 8:01 am

“If you’re the son of God, how come Clooney got top billing?”

A hilarious lead in Great Britain’s socialist newspaper The Guardian reads:  ”It has picked up almost universally positive reviews and is being tipped for Oscars glory next year. Now Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity has begun to pick up praise from a surprising source – Christian critics who say the 3D space spectacular celebrates the presence of God in the universe.”

What is hilarious about this is the word “surprising.” Who, after watching this picture, could fail to see that it celebrates the presence of God in the universe? Oh yeah! Socialists — who also can’t see that the universe celebrates the presence of God in the universe!

Life intervened and I didn’t get to see Gravity in a theater. And after being told that it could only be fully enjoyed in 3D, I was reluctant to watch the screener DVD. Ultimately, though, I felt I ought to know what was in such a popular flick, so I turned it on. And I thought it was terrific, 3D or 2: innovative, minimalist, sincere. A good old-fashioned adventure with heart. A two-handed play with special effects, its cast, characters and plot stripped to the bone. And it’s ironic that a film that depends so little on human presences onscreen should be one of the most humane movies of the year. But Gravity works because its filmmakers understand that in the vast emptiness of space the human heart is the only oasis, and in the vast emptiness of the human heart God is the only center of, you guessed it, gravity.

The plot’s so small, I won’t give anything away. But it’s also so outspoken in its point of view that it’s difficult to miss the point. Anyone who can’t see that this is a story about the Love that dies for us and returns to save us and give us abundant life is so blind…  well, he should be working for The Guardian.

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All Comments   (44)
All Comments   (44)
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I heard Him in the silence.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
The plot’s so small... it had to be filled with cliché. To Sandra's credit and I'm a big fan, she kept me from heading the exits early.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Clearly, the main import of the movie is the importance of shaved legs. When Bullock doffs her space suit -revealing perfectly smooth gams- the sci-fi goes admittedly a bit over the top (how DO lady astronauts shave their legs in micro-grav?). Still, a girl has to look her best.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Typical projection phenomenon: the religious see Christ in a movie about space exploration. Gravity is about man's ability to escape the bounds of earth and go boldly (boldly go?) into the unknown despite the obstacles and dangers. It is a celebration of man, not the supernatural.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
What dismays me about religious conservatives is not the fact that they're religious, it's that, with many of them, their religion is so backward and superstitious that no thinking person can hold that view. To believe that (as the author puts it) "the universe celebrates God's presence in the universe" one would have to be blind, not only to all the undeserved suffering in the world, but also to the hideous and noxious sides of nature, which are just as prominent a part of it as what is "beautiful" and "admirable." Every serious theologian must confront the basic datum that the universe as it appears to us is far from "good."
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Not so, inhumiliable. If you make the effort to think beyond the surface, you can see clearly that anything bad in the universe is so because of human pride and selfishness, not God or His creation itself.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think it boils down to ignorance. Not many people are scientists, and few people can truly appreciate how mystifying and hostile our universe is to life. Therefore they simply assign gods to what they don't understand, like our ancestors did.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is something different in the heart of men that hints that not all is as it seems. The cold, merciless universe vs. mankind with a sense of justice and rightness, and mercy (though in a flawed sense) should cause everyone to ask, where does that come from? If the material universe is all there is then there is no real explanation for what we find in the human soul.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Please read the Bible with an open heart. It explains the existence of a universe that seems to us evil. If there is no God, and the universe just is, there is no hideous, there is no evil, just that which inconveniences us. It is the innate knowledge within us of the existence of truth and beauty that drives the rage at encountered corruption. If there is a God, He is able to communicate with us, and has done so.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is no need for gods to explain evil. Human beings are sufficient for this. We create both good and evil through our actions and inactions. Morality was always within us, after all.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
And just how do you account for the inherent understanding of good and evil without God? What's your frame of reference? If there is no God, there is no such thing as good or evil (evil being no more than a negation of good), and all actions are morally neutral.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
And just how do you account for the inherent understanding of good and evil without God?

It is called a conscience. The sense of right and wrong was always there. You're assigning your god to something we've always had, even before religion was invented.

If there is no God, there is no such thing as good or evil (evil being no more than a negation of good), and all actions are morally neutral.

You're speaking from fear, not reason. You are afraid that if people aren't made afraid of eternal punishment, that they will act evil. You are afraid that if there were no authority to tell you how to behave, that you would personally lose control and act immoral. It doesn't work that way.

I can't help you with your fear. That is personal. I can only tell you that you are wrong, and it is as plain as day, because people act with an innate moral sense regardless of religion, culture, or era. Gods have nothing to do with it, never have, and never will.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
How do actions and inactions create good and evil?
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
How do actions and inactions create good and evil?

Our actions create a society that is just, or unjust. Compassionate or hostile. Peaceful or warlike. Our inaction prolongs the existence of injustice, of hate, and of war. All these things lead to moral outcomes, and that is what defines good and evil.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Which measure determines what is just/unjust? I'm not clear how, "these things lead to moral outcomes," nor how this defines what is good and evil.

In your reply to scragsma, you seem to be conflating good and evil with right and wrong. Yet you say, "The sense of right and wrong were always there," which suggests they are different from good and evil, since you say the latter are defined by moral outcomes.

Can you clarify?
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
inhumiliable; you are correct. None of God's creation is good, Now. When sin entered it ruined everything. Now as the Scripture says there is none good, no not one. All the not good you refer to is the result of that sin. That is why Christ came and why He died. In Christ a person is born again and becomes new and one day when He comes again He will make all creation new and good again.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
None of God's creation is good, Now. When sin entered it ruined everything.

There is no such thing as sin. That is the product of religious mythology, not reality. You should enter the modern age, and accept the universe as it is. Religious mythology does not matter to the universe.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I beg to differ. NO way am I nor any of mine, nor the human race nor all those other magnificent ideas of the infinite One, not good. Further it makes no sense that some thing man is basically a sinner. Where did that come from, anyway? I think history relates that this came about sometime in the 7th century it was the invention of some enterprising priest or other man of the cloth.
Human thinking on the other hand may be what you refer to, as going off the rails; conflicts spawned by fear and fear mongering; double talk in politics; a drive to control the lives of others; whereas Man is born free and is self governing
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am sure that serious theologians have confronted the question of good and evil. I would say that your problem with God is that you want to define him yourself rather than discover Him. Yes, bad things happen to good people, even in God's world. That is the point where it gets interesting - and challenging. Have you yourself confronted that fact or have you just shut your eyes and walked away from it?
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Can someone tell me who is the artist who painted the accompanying
Cover pix?
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Caravaggio
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
The real technology, the real science, behind creation is God’s Spirit; It is by the power of God’s spirit that all things came into being, exists and have their being. In Genesis, God’s spirit covered the void and empty deep. Then God said, “Let there be light (energy)” and there was light (energy). Once God’s spirit (a highly sophisticated super-computer) established the means of material replication through the manipulation of energy, He began to called forth life. By the power of the Word, God began calling forth life by manipulating energy in different forms from pre-existing templates stored in His Spirit. By His command, He called forth the expanse, separation between land and the water, vegetation, lights in the sky, birds in the sky, beasts of the field, and finally, mankind in His image and likeness. Jesus, being the Word, several times demonstrated the power of God's Spirit as a super-computer, replicator, and sustainer of life when he healed the sick, raised the dead, multiplied loaves of bread and fish, and turned water into wine. There is no mystery to these events. It was all based on the science of spirit technology. Jesus in fact said that we will not only do what he did but more, meaning this technology will some day be available to mankind.

45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
There was no creation, our universe is a massively emergent system, and we are only starting to understand it in any detail. You are reciting a folktale, not a science.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
If it is scientific then you must have proof of your assertion. Please provide.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Uh huh. And where did the system come from originally if there was no creation? What determined the nature of the system, the laws of physics, the natures of material and energy themselves? There can be no effect without a cause. Physical existence itself had to have a cause - and that's what we call God, the uncreated first cause.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
The real Mars, from Astronomy Picture of the Day Archives, a service of NASA.
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap131208.html

Our government is no good at educating us, with the exception of this program by NASA. Is fictional space any substitute for the real thing? Look and be amazed:
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/archivepix.html
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I read that they would actually experience near normal gravity but because they're moving, they don't.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I didn't get much out of "Gravity" because, once again the special effects "artists" stepped all over what could have been a good story. Will Hollywood ever get over its childish and terribly distracting preoccupation with explosions? I admit that film is a visual art, but the art should be in service to something more than carnival ride thrills.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I liked Gravity very much, and Sandra Bullock was very good. Techies had a problem with some of her attire and other more technical stuff, but what the heck. I did not have the thought that the film was "about God" in the strongest scene where that might be inferred.

In a Q/A, someone asked the filmmaker..."What was it like filming in space ?"

Had to be an Obama voter :)
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
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