Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Revelation, a movie and culture (Nijay Gupta, Richard Bauckham)

Nijay Gupta has written a great blog post concerning worldview and counter-reality. Here I will cite part of his post (which includes a great quote from Bauckham's book cited by Gupta).
Richard Bauckham, discussing the way Revelation approaches this, writes thusly
…one of the functions of Revelation was to purge and to refurbish the Christian imagination. It tackles people’s imaginative response to the world, which is at least as deep and influential as their intellectual convictions. It recognizes the way a dominant culture, with its images and ideals, constructs the world for us, so that we perceive and respond to the world in its terms… In its place, Revelation offers a different way of perceiving the world which leads people to resist and to challenge the effects of the dominant ideology. (p. 159 of The Theology of the Book of Revelation)

Let me give two movies as examples of how to think about worldview. The first example, tired and overused as it may be, is still poignant – The Matrix. The Matrix is its own world, but, more importantly, it proposes its own worldview where people inhabit an environment with rules, reality, values, etc… Alternatively, there is the “real world” outside of the matrix. That alternative place has an alternative set of rules, values, reality, etc… When Neo is awakened to the real world, he must keep everything he learned in mind when he goes back into the other world (the Matrix). Hence, he has to repeat to himself, “there is no spoon,” because the matrix “reality” would naturally force him into the limits of its ostensible rules. Cypher, on the other hand, knows about the “real world” and lives in it, but much prefers the world of the Matrix (“ignorance is bliss”).
Click here for the entire blog post by Nijay Gupta.

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