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Not the God story, the Hero story…

Chris Addison chats to Derren Brown on Radio 4's Chain Reaction (UK listeners can get it for another few days).

From 19:30 Derren talks about his journey towards atheism.  But then at 25:36 he's back on magic and showmanship.  What he says here is very revealing - not only about the stories we respond to, but the god he rejected:

Magic tends to be about people clicking their fingers and saying "Oh, this will happen" and then it happens.  Which is a God-like whim and is therefore not dramatically very interesting.  What's more interesting dramatically is a Hero-story.  All drama that interests us is about somebody who's struggling with something and then goes through some journey but at some cost to himself, and so on.  And that's what we need more of in magic, people treating it as a Hero's journey rather than as a whimsical God-like figure who could make anything happen.

Whimsical, struggle-less, finger-clicking Gods do not win our love.  Struggling, suffering, journeying Heroes do.  Very true.

But what if the true God is the Suffering Hero?

And on that subject, isn't The Dark Knight Rises the most Christian film you've ever seen??  Astonishing!

3 thoughts on “Not the God story, the Hero story…

  1. Cal

    I have to comment on this because I've been so affixed by the new Batman!:

    I think the movie is very Christian in its void of Christ. Batman is no Christ figure, he is merely the Scapegoat and we all know that the blood of goats never atoned for sin. Robin is just the next step in an endless cycle.

    In the horror that is the city of man, there is no respite or end and it ought us have us on our knees, as Paul, "Wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me out of the body of this death?" only to see Christ. Batman is the futility of the Moses awaiting fulfillment.

  2. Howard

    I listened to the Darren Brown interview, and was also fascinated by where he identified our need. His thoughts on human endeavors was also interesting (architecture and music), but I would say that such actions, to paraphrase Lewis, is a response to a very genuine need in us all - to know the one in whom we live, move and have our being.

    Cal, the is a great deal in the Dark Knight Rises that does reflect the nature of our faith. I'd suggest having a look at these recent blog(s*) on the movie, which really convey something of it's value:

    (*this is part 1 of a 3 part theological analysis - hope it helps).

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