January 07, 2003

Speaking of movies...
Here are some aging emails I exchanged with a Christian movie reviewer concerning Speilberg's "A.I." - written when it first came out:

my email
....I thought the movie not very friendly to Christianity. Surely it wasn't a coincidence that little Haley prayed 2,000 yrs (Christ's death to now) before getting a mechanistic, unsatisfying answer to his prayer in the form of his Mom-for-a-day. How reflective of our times to have his prayers answered by science and not by God! It seemed a mocking of religion to me, not something unusual for Hollywood but unusual from Spielberg.

excerpt of his reply:
"not something unusual for Hollywood but unusual from Spielberg."
Indeed. Still, all of those final events were in Kubrick's story treatment. Spielberg just changed them from being "chilling" to a rather forced sentimental warmth, which just didn't make any sense. So I wouldn't say Spielberg is suggesting science will be our savior...I think the only thing he cared about was giving the boy a merciful sendoff. And Kubrick, well, he would never say science will be our savior, unless he's suggesting it as a nightmare that we had better try and avoid... That's my current notion, anyway (it keeps changing with this movie.)

my reply:
"And Kubrick, well, he would never say science will be our savior..."
Very true, but Haley's quest was that someone make him "real" - something other than mechanical parts. Today it is fashionable to believe that we are nothing more than moving parts, that there is no soul or free will (my stepson believes this). So I understood the movie as setting up the proposition that only God can make us real and that the ending was the moviemaker's statement that just as there was no Blue Ferry to make Haley real, there is no God that gives us a soul.

His reply:
It's amazing to me to think that so many people can live day to day believing they have no freewill. Why would God bother to create us if we could not have relationship? If we could not surprise him? I've been reading First Samuel... and was fascinated to see that God "regretted" making Saul king. That implies disappointment, which implies surprise. (And there are so many other evidences in the Scripture.) But I guess you need to believe the Bible in the first place to find any convincing arguments about life there.

***
I was a little disappointed in his last reply, given that whether God is capable of being surprised is something debateable, given that his foreknowledge is perfect....

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