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A Rational Look at Christianity; Basing Reason in Truth

History is filled with great works of art based on Christian themes. The Last Supper by Leonardo (despite what Dan Brown tried to do to ruin it) immediately comes to mind as well as do works by Michaelangelo, Rafael and others. Throughout most of history, art has been the friend of Christianity -- the latter inspiring the former, and the former responding with works of such beauty and love as to inspire the latter.

But that has now changed.

Two articles came to my attention this morning, both of which show the alarming state of disrespect that artists (and I use the term loosely) have for Christians and for Jesus Christ. The first comes from the Oklahoman in an article entitled Planned new film to fill gaps in Jesus' 'missing years'. As the title suggests, Hollywood (which has shown no almost no respect for Christianity since the Biblical-based movies of the 1950s) is preparing to put out a new film that will supposedly recount Jesus' activities during the missing years -- the years about which almost nothing is said of Jesus in the Bible (roughly the ages from 12-30).

Since the Bible is the best account of the life of Jesus Christ, and since it is silent on the issue of where Jesus went, what exactly do the filmmakers intend to have Jesus doing? To no one's surprise, they apparently plan to follow the old "Jesus went to the East and learned Hinduism" angle.

The $20 million film will portray Jesus as He follows the ancient Silk Road, with stops in India, Persia and Egypt among other places. Along the way, Jesus will come to know "the world's greatest seers and sages” and will reunite with the Magi who visited His crib in Bethlehem, producers say.

But, of course, Christians need not worry that this will lead non-Christians to believe unreal things about Jesus -- after all, according to Dale Martin, a religious studies professor at Yale University, there's "no problem with it as long as it's clear the film is a work of fiction, not a retelling of history." Yeah, that worked real well with the Da Vinci Code, didn't it?

Not to be outdone, a Canadian artist has sculpted Jesus with an erect penis. According to Canadian artist's sexual statues enrage U.K. religious groups:

Terence Koh, the provocative Canadian darling of the New York art scene, has aroused controversy in Britain after a top gallery displayed one of his sculptures showing Jesus with an erect penis.

Media reported that Mr. Koh's statue at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead "has offended Christians and visitors alike."

Yeah, I'm sure that this guy's art will someday be compared favorably to the great sculputes of Michaelangelo, aren't you?

This is typical of the art of today. It is the downturn in art that Francis Schaeffer complained about. He appropriately noted that once modern man (needlessly) lost hope in a unified field of knowledge and became nothing more than a cosmic accident (in his view), his art became more and more bizarre and ugly. This is simply further evidence that he was right.

Oh, and for those of you who think that there is no difference between Christians and Islamic radicals, I should note that no one in the Christian church is calling for the makers of this film or Mr. Koh to be killed for defaming Christ. There are calls that Mr. Koh's pornographic work be destroyed and there are certainly those among us who hope that what will apparently be an awful Jesus movie bomb at the box office, but no one is calling for anyone to be killed. Think about that next time you try to say that Christianity is worse than Islamo-fascism.

7 comments:

Christians may be a little calmer these days, but you've forgotten that it was Christians who set fire to movie theatres full of people in France when "The Last Temptation of Christ" was being shown there...

I didn't forget that, I didn't know about it. Do you have a source for that that? Why is it believed that it was Christians who did that beyond the fact that it was showing a movie that was an errant interpretation of scripture?

Regardless, it appears that you agree that Christians aren't calling for the death of these people -- certainly something that isn't the case in Islamic circles.

I should note that no one in the Christian church is calling for the makers of this film or Mr. Koh to be killed for defaming Christ
Just wait when the news get out and the death threats will start. Andres Serrano got death threats making his controversial work about Christ and his work got vandalized.

there are certainly those among us who hope that what will apparently be an awful Jesus movie bomb at the box office, but no one is calling for anyone to be killed.
Have your already forgotten the Golden Compass? Actors, Author and directors were threaten. Christians wanted to kill these people!
From the news:
"actress Nicole Kidman has reportedly been receiving death threats for her role in the controversial film The Golden Compass."

BK said:
"Oh, and for those of you who think that there is no difference between Christians and Islamic radicals"
That sounds a bit asymmetrical comparison. Why don't you compare radical Christians and average Moslems? Both religions have extremists and peaceful believers.

Ah, but you are talking about isolated incidents verses mobs of people rising up. As you point out, there are people off the deep end in all groups (atheists included), but among Muslims generally (as we have seen) naming your Teddy Bear "Muhammed", writing a cartoon about Muhammed or simply handling the Koran incorrectly is cause for riots.

And I use Christians and Islamic radicals because there are many more Islamic radicals than Christian extremists. I could make it a straight Christians versus average Muslims and the result would still favor Christians.

I also wonder how many of these people in the Golden Compass really received death threats. Hey, if you can question the veracity of the authors of the Gospels, I think it only fair to question these people, too.

BK,

Thanks for acknowleging that your initial statement "no one is calling for anyone to be killed" was incorrect and the Christians occasionally want to kill people involved in movies and art Christians don't like. I think it would be fair to make a correction to the blog entry.

BK said:
"but you are talking about isolated incidents verses mobs of people rising up."
Permanent abortion clinic picketings are well organized and usually by Christian groups. Christian apologist radio shows are used to round up troops and these sometimes lead to extreme violence. Clearly not isolated incidences...

BK said:
"I also wonder how many of these people in the Golden Compass really received death threats. Hey, if you can question the veracity of the authors of the Gospels, I think it only fair to question these people, too."
Of course you can question people, but "question the veracity" and sending death threat are hardly comparable. Surely your are not advocating that they deserved those Christian death threats or are you?

First, you need to read more closely. Where did I say anyone is calling for someone to be killed? There are isolated incidents of loonies who will try to kill someone, but that is a different animal from someone calling for someone else to be killed in the name of Christianity or somehow as part of Christian duty. So, just to be clear, I am discounting (and would do so for both Islam and Atheism) the fact that nuts want to kill someone because, in their confused mind, they think that's what their religion would want. I am talking about leaders of the religion or the people in mob action calling for someone's death because their religion demands it.

The abortion issue is a non sequitur. I am talking about art and people killing over offending another person's religion through art. For the record, abortion bombings are wrong and I am not aware of a major (or even minor) Christian who is on record calling for such actions -- even Randall Terry, head of Operation Rescue. They call for peaceful demonstrations against abortion. The fact that some use the organization of rallys and protests as an excuse to violence is not something that should not be heaped on the heads of the organizers (or else, you need to say that Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi are responsible for the violence that sometimes followed their marches that they themselves disclaimed and did not seek).

Your final question is silly. It's like you saying, "I don't believe the Gospel writers wrote the truth of what actually happening," and me responding, "Surely you're not advocating that they deserved to be persecuted by Nero, are you?"

LOVE YOU KOH BUNNY! YOU ARE MY JESUS, MY ERECT PENIS! OMG THEY RHYME!
LOVE,
ABDULLAH

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