Welcome back! For those who haven’t been following the blog, Eve has been blogging on the popular Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer. Daniel hints at some of the philosophical content in the series finale of Battlestar Galactica. No spoilers, though. You’ll have to watch it for yourself.
We read an email from Michael discussing the reused plot line in most Hollywood movies of man as the source of his own redemption. Thanks for the feedback, Michael!
We both loved this movie. It’s very realistic, “down-to-earth,” frontier fun! Jeff, from UniquelyUs Homeschool Podcast, sent an audio feedback for Serenity, which we played to introduce the characters of /Serenity. We both rated Serenity as a “closed eye.” Please check out the Serenity scorecard for our personal reviews and scores.
Serenity does have a few references to religion. The people in the frontier settlements attend Sunday worship. But what do they worship? Surprisingly, considering the atheistic influences of its creator, the Firefly future seems to have freedom of religion. Though the movie doesn’t come across as anti-Christian, in Firefly episode 7, “Jaynestown,” River is shown trying to fix the Bible because it’s broken and doesn’t make sense. This scene shows Whedon’s strong bias against Christianity. One quick allusion to a biblical betrayal is thrown in when Mr. Universe asks for his “thirty coin” after luring the Serenity crew into a trap.
We discuss the “realities” of Serenity as a future. Beyond the fact that space travel, like science fiction shows, is actually impossible, Serenity has no artificial intelligences, aliens, or unrealistic technologies. Is terraforming planets possible? And if they are, should we populate them?
God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis [1:28])
The universal control of the Alliance grows out of the combination of the two Earth superpowers, America and China. Universal government seems to be a common theme in science fiction. Is this the universal government that is against God’s command In Genesis? The Alliance in Serenity is not a perfect universal government because they do not have the man power to enforce their control and is a government based on hiding truth from the people.
A main theme of the movie appears to be belief and direction in life. Mal, as a representative of atheism, appears to be very directionless and have very little foundation—he goes where the wind blows him. He’s easily spun about by other people’s advice.
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,3until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (Ephesians [4:11]–15)
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; (James 1:5–7)
Shepherd Book doesn’t ever have good answers about faith and belief. He is quoted as saying he doesn’t care what Mal believes, “just believe it.” That’s a weird thing for a “preacher” to say—definitely pushing a relativistic worldview.
The operative believes in a better world and that the Alliance will provide that. He doesn’t believe he has a place in that utopia. This is full of contradictions because you can’t make a better world by doing evil things. His belief is shaken in the end, which shows that it is indeed possible to believe in the wrong things and that the world can be set straight. Government is not the thing to believe in.
Simon believes in taking care of River to the exclusion of everything else. Daniel believes that Simon’s unconditional love for his sister is a redeeming quality to the movie. Simon gives up so much for her.
When the crew is “flying blind,” they go to Mr. Universe, who seems to be setup as a god-like person who knows the “truth of the signal” and “goes everywhere.”
We’ve run too long again and cut the discussion up into two parts. We will post part two soon.
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What did you think of Serenity and Firefly? We would like to know, even if just your reactions to the trailer or the topics we shared in this episode. Or what general critical-thinking and entertainment thoughts or questions do you have? Would you like to suggest a movie or TV show for us to give a Christian movie review with critical thinking?
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