Tresa and I went out to dinner and a movie recently.  We have been pretty busy over the past month or so and have not made an effort to have some special time for each other.  And so I thought, let's get out of the house and do something different for once. Dinner at Arby's . . woo hoo! . . we mostly don't need a fancy restaurant to enjoy each other's company.
The movie was that new Nicholas Cage thing, "Knowing."   It's rated PG-13 and so the bad words ought not to be too bad, right?  Yahoo! Movies described it as a professor who is presented with time capsule information that predicts the future.  Sounds like the same kind of fun as "National Treasure."
Not only was it hyper-violent (whoever rated it PG-13 has been watching too many Terminator style movies), but the plot development dogged along on crutches.  I thought that maybe with the kids in there, listening into the future, it would be reminiscent of Bruce Willis' movie from the late 90's; "Mercury Rising."   At least that movie had some redeeming value.  No such luck with this one.  And then there were all those strangers who kept looking in the house.  Who were they?
Before I get into that let me tell you about a sermon I gave some years ago.  It has had some staying power not only in my life but also with the rest of the family.  The sermon was entitled "Weird Theology."   It compared Hollywood and popular media theology against the theology that we find in the Bible.  What I had noticed was that there was a lot of very odd beliefs being presented in almost every movie I watched.
So anyway, weird theology has come up as a topic of discussion around our dinner table each time we run into a new variant or a new plot twist that takes the same old path.  With practice we have become more adept at spotting these, even when it is a short utterance by one of the characters.  As you look for it, you find it.
Back to this latest entry into a long but predictable list of weird theologies.  The plot is typically twisted, a small girl creates a list of numbers and places the list in a grade school time capsule back in 1959.  She heard whisperings in her ear that informed her what to write.  She was strange for other reasons, too.
Fifty years later the professor comes into possession of this list that, when decoded, predicts major disasters for the fifty year period.  There are three disasters left on the list.  The professor goes on a mission to prevent these disasters if possible.  He even has to talk with his father, who is a pastor, which he has not done for years.
Hey, this is Hollywood.  If we are presented with a man on a mercy mission to save lives, I'm all for it however improbable the circumstances.  But then we find that the professor's son hears voices in his head, too.  And not only that but there are these Arian looking dudes (bleached blond, thin, black trench coats) that begin stalking the son.  They are somehow connected with the voices and some small black stones.
As we wend our way toward a conclusion the audience is presented with two big questions; who are the Arian dudes and what is the final disaster?  (Oh, and what does EE mean? It is part of the disaster prediction.)  It's not until the Arians turn into aliens that the weird theology rears its ugly head.
Aliens?  Sure, they hover in the vicinity to snatch up small children (and rabbits) to save from the destruction of the planet.  Yes, the whole planet gets destroyed, after all, nothing is too large for Hollywood.  But the movie saves the professor's son, another small girl, some rabbits.  An image of the new Adam and Eve, how cliché.
The movie should have ended right there but when your weird theology gets rolling it is hard to get it stopped again.  We find that the children, the rabbits, and other shiploads of something are delivered to a new and unsullied planet.  I started laughing, almost uncontrollably, when the Arians became aliens.  The new planet got me laughing again, I fear that I was a considerable disruption to other movie viewers.  My apologies.
If a movie is a metaphor, here's what I saw happening.
The children wear white as they pelt across the new planet.  But will a fresh start and new clothing save them?  What about sin?  What about our fallen condition?  Do we sanction a new Adam and a new Eve and trust that next time things will be better?  Have we learned nothing at all over the past six thousand years?