". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Monday, May 24, 2010

More on Lost

In his sermon yesterday, my pastor talked about how Christianity is the only religion that hinges upon God coming down to man rather than man reaching up to God. In light of that truth, I was struck by this observation in one of the columns that I read today about the Lost season finale:

"Despite the overwhelming presence of symbols from a variety of religious traditions and time periods, Lost was never about transcending the human realm in order to become divine. Lost's religious dimensions reflect a persistent, almost maniacal desire to be human . . . .

"Our heroes are not on a quest to get to paradise or return to the Garden of Eden. In fact, it is just the opposite. They are in paradise, but paradise has not turned out to be what we thought it was." (Bradley B. Onishi for The Huffington Post)

I don't think we should overplay the Christian symbolism in the show. It is not an apology for Christianity. But the Christian narrative is certainly there, strongly, from start to finish. And as Gene Veith observes, the Christian doctrines of sin, sacrifice, suffering, repentance and forgiveness are in the end what makes it all hang together:

"The story was resolved by a sacrifice (which these other religions don’t believe in), by forgiveness (Locke forgiving Ben for murdering him), by reconciliation, in a church (which these other religions don’t have), ending in Heaven (which these other religions don’t believe in)." (Dr. Veith in the comments thread on his post "They Once Were Lost and Now Are Found").

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