one tiny soapbox: God as an afterthought
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Saturday, June 2

God as an afterthought

I greatly enjoy watching films.

Yet, while watching a movie recently, it occurred to me how there's such an overwhelming tendency in film-making - and film-watching - to place the viewer in a God-like perspective (minus, of course, what the director prevents one from seeing & knowing).

There's also a tendency - in most cases - towards merely vague references to the Deity's existence, rendering Him, in the imagined world of the character (and temporarily the viewer), a virtual afterthought, with no real substance, worth or impact on the events of the character, as detailed within the story.

These two by-products of humanist film-making serve as poignant reminders of just how godless our society is.

I was blessed to engage in a profitable discussion regarding the "secularization of the painted arts" with two Believing friends of mine, a husband and wife who are both classically trained artists. I learned from them that the rise of surrealistic art, such as impressionism and other modern forms, actually has its Genesis in the departure from a foundational emphasis on the creature as product of a Creator's intelligent design.

Am I making a case for some strong dichotomization between the secular and the sacred, as do some? No. In fact, modern media are clearly no more inherently secular than the paint or clay or pen or computer.

Take classic orchestral composers. Many throughout the early days of history actually created their greatest works by commission of some church body. Consequently, their works were often used extensively in church worship throughout several European countries. More recently, radio actually served heavily during its infancy in the propagation of the Gospel message across both US and foreign soil.

In our times, the media struggles to be used for so High a Purpose. In fact, as I survey the moonscape of advertiser-funded television's prime-time lineup, I hold little faith that particular medium will ever serve nearly so usefully as it once had promise to do. Of course, subscription derivatives, like digital satellite may still have hope. One illustration of such hope is the fairly recent commencement of Grace to You sermon broadcasts, which can also be seen via the Internet (thank God for Al Gore's Internet....Laugh-Out-Loud!) My guess is there's at least a smattering of other worthy offerings amongst the hundreds of channels to be surfed via satellite and cable.

Like that branch of television which stands largely independent of substantial studio and advertiser control, perhaps the medium of film - independently funded - may well have a chance at stemming the tide of neglect and inaccurate portrayal of the Truth of Christ.

ibcarlos, Reformed thinker

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