Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Reaping

When Audrea goes away for a couple days with her mom, I tend to take the time to do stuff that all my girls would not enjoy: eating sushi and any other seafood I can find, working late, not shaving, and watching scary movies. Last time it was The Exorcism of Emily Rose. This week I watched The Reaping. The previews had piqued my interest for quite a while and this website convinced me it wouldn't be a movie that I would regret or have to turn off half-way through.

I don't want to take the time to write a review, but if you're in the mood for something fairly scary and thought-provoking, this one is a sure bet. Near the end, the plot takes a twist I didn't see coming at all which at first I found a little corny, but still 3 days later, I'm not sure I've figured it all out!

The plot of the movie is about a town that seems to be experiencing the plagues of Egypt but being carried out by the hand of Satan instead. The main actor is a former ordained minister-turned-atheistic science professor who makes it her life ambition to prove so-called miracles as natural occurences. This particular town in Louisiana (interesting trivia: the film was made in Louisiana right during the middle of Katrina) has a science teacher who has asked her to come down and doing her typical job of proving them wrong. That's all I'll give you...

I do recommend watching the brief liberal documentary on the extras menu. The point of the documentary is to present natural explanations for the plagues instead of the supernatural intervention of God Himself. The first half spends its time giving a "scientific" explanation for each plague. Then at the half-way point, the narrator underscores that this would all be speculation unless one could show that there is a basis for the explanations actually found in the text of the book of Exodus itself. Which is very true. However, it takes the standard attack mode against the Inspiration of the Bible and brings in Terrence Fretheim (an early open theist from here in town) to explain the "evolution" of the books of Moses. While he does not go into detail explaining the JEDP theory (which undergirds the comments), there is a broad statement that "no scholars today think counter to this" which is essentially an insult to many members of the Evangelical Theological Society who would not hold to that theory.

Near the end of the documentary, they point out that through the book of Exodus, the author is leading to the Passover. They say that because the Passover is the main point the author is trying to get across, there is latitude for embellishing the truth. Fretheim says, "The concern is not as sort of historiographer, or some modern university professor seeking to find exactly what happened in some ancient time. The concern is to convey to every new Israelite audiences the religious importance of these events--that God has been involved on behalf of the Israelites in leading them out of Egypt."

I however have a real problem with this and you should too. If faith is a hope based on an objective reality, then the evidence which reveals the source of your faith should be completely reliable otherwise it's not worth putting faith into it. So if I read a text that says God is sovereign, omnipotent, holy, omniscient, righteous, wrathful, just, and loving, wouldn't I want that text to be wholly true. If, as this seminary professor says, the details of the text are basically made up, then the whole shooting match should be scrapped. It's not worth it.

But I, however, believe:

in God, the Father Almighty,
the Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
The third day He arose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.
Keep this in mind always, but especially if you watch this movie!

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