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Posts Tagged ‘Christianity’

 

No doubt many moviegoers looked forward to last Friday when the film A Wrinkle in Time premiered.

Perhaps like me they had read the book of the same title and relished every page of the Newbery Award winner (1963), written by Madeleine L’Engle. Fans of the novel surely hoped the film would offer the same intriguing juxtaposition of science and fantasy, as well as the thought-provoking allegory of the divine versus demonic.

Some Wrinkle-in-Time fans may not know that L’Engle was a Christian, and wrote the book as a way to express her reflections about God.

“If I’ve ever written a book that says what I feel about God and the universe, this is it,” L’Engle journaled. “This is my psalm of praise to life, my stand for life against death” (1).

 

 

L’Engle grew up with a church background, but in her 30s wrestled with such essential questions as: Does God exist? Why are we here? Do we exist after death? Her strong faith in God developed over time, her granddaughter has explained, a slow “acceptance of what she had always known to be true” (2).

As L’Engle’s faith grew, she established the daily habits of Bible reading and prayer. Her writings began to reflect her devotion to God and deep love of scripture.  A Wrinkle in Time is no exception. Several characters frequently quote from the Bible.

L’Engle discovered: “Faith is what makes life bearable, with all its tragedies and ambiguities and sudden, startling joys” (3).

L’Engle’s faith did indeed carry her through several tragedies. Her father died when she was eighteen, the result of lung damage during World War I.   Close friends died, survived by their young daughter, Maria. L’Engle and her husband Hugh adopted the child, only to struggle through Maria’s emotional turmoil as time passed. Then, after forty years of marriage, her beloved Hugh died of cancer.

L’Engle eventually wrote: “We trust as [Medieval mystic] Lady Julian of Norwich trusted, knowing that despite all the pain and horror of the world, ultimately God’s loving purpose will be fulfilled and ‘all things shall be well…and all manner of things shall be well.’ And this all-wellness…does not come to us because we are clever or virtuous but comes as a gift of grace” (4).

 

(www.quotefancy.com)

 

She saw Christianity as a paradox. On the one hand is the infinite, unfathomable God beyond comprehension, but who was at the same time a finite human being–Jesus–who died for us on a cross.

“To believe the universe was created by a purposeful being is one thing,” she wrote. “To believe this Creator took on human vesture, accepted death and mortality, was tempted, betrayed, broken, and all for love of us, defies reason” (5).

 

 

L’Engle often wove Christian themes into her stories. Sadly, filmmakers chose to downplay the faith elements of A Wrinkle in Time, and focus on the fantasy and special effects. What’s left is a confusing storyline and muddled message. Many critics admit to disappointment and confusion (6).

In an interview the film’s screenwriter explained the decision for removing all traces of Christian reference:

“I think there are a lot of elements of what [L’Engle] wrote that we have progressed on as a society, and we can move on to the other elements” (7).

Oh? We can move on from the element of truth?

Like Madeleine L’Engle, we must wrestle with the essential matters of truth and faith; we must be certain of the reasons and evidence for our beliefs, because…

 

 

Notes:

(1) https://www.washingtonpost.com/new/acts.of.faith/wp/2018/03/08/the-deep-faith-of-a-wrinkle-in-time

(2) Same source as above.

(3) From Walking on Water (Crosswicks, 2001), by Madeleine L’Engle

(4) Same source as above.

(5) From Penguins and Calves (Shaw Books, 2003), by Madeleine L’Engle

(6) http://www.businessinsider.com/wrinkle-in-time-movie-changes-book-religion-christianity-ending-2018-3

(7) https://uproxx.com/movies/jennifer-lee-wrinkle-in-time-frozen-2/2/

 

Additional sources:

  1. www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2018/march-web-only/hollywood-spiritual-themes-wrinkle-time-madeleine-lengle.html
  2. http://exhumator.com/00-139-00_esoteric-religious-spiritual-engle-madeleine.html
  3. https://www.franciscanmedia.org/madeleine-lengle-an-epic-in-time/

 

Photo credits:  http://www.flickr.com (2); http://www.quotefancy.com; http://www.wikipedia.org; http://www.canva.com.

 

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A spoon containing breakfast cereal flakes, pa...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  

Have you seen this cereal commercial?

Several women decry the frustration of nutrition and diet research which contradicts itself. Examples:

  • Carbohydrates are good; carbohydrates are bad.
  • Eliminate as much fat from your diet as possible; a little bit of fat is good for you.
  • To lose weight, eat no more than 1500 calories a day. To lose weight, eat no more than 1200 calories a day.

And then the ladies say something like, “You know what? I’m not listening to expert advice anymore. I’m going to listen to me. I know better nutrition when I see it.”

I want to ask them: “And how do you know what’s good? How did you find out? What makes you wiser than the experts? Sure, they make mistakes. But haven’t you made a few yourselves?”

I’ve seen the same attitude in discussions of spiritual matters.

“Well, I believe…”

“In my opinion…”

“I just know that…”

 Oh? Sometimes we forget that there is a standard for truth—the Bible. In the long run, it doesn’t really matter what we believe or think. What matters is what God’s Word says. If our thoughts and beliefs do not coincide with the Bible, we’re on the wrong track.

Bible Study 1

Bible Study 1 (Photo credit: DrGBB)

 

 “The Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:6). In other words, God is the only source of true wisdom. We humans cannot manufacture it on our own.

 God pointedly warns us about thinking of ourselves as experts of wisdom. “Do not be wise in your own eyes,” he says (3:7a). “The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice” (12:15).

EXPERT

EXPERT (Photo credit: Pete Prodoehl)

I, for one, would not set myself up as an expert, like the women in the commercial. I don’t always know what’s good for me. I’m not that smart!

Instead, my measuring tool is God’s Word.  That’s where I turn to verify if my line of thinking is straight. There is only one Mastermind, the One who created me. And unlike human experts, he is completely trustworthy.*

It would behoove me to know what he thinks before I spout off my own opinions.

 

English: Eric H. Cline excavating at Megiddo

English: Eric H. Cline excavating at Megiddo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

* The Bible is also trustworthy, proven time and again to be accurate, by the ancient manuscripts, archaeology, prophecy, and other proofs. You may wish to read Biblical Archaeology: A Very Short Introduction by Eric H. Cline and The Evidence of Prophecy edited by Robert C. Newman for a deeper study of these fascinating topics.

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