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Thursday, April 14, 2005

NBC's Revelations and the Word Incarnate

Steve Beard talks about "Revelations" over at NRO. Revelations is a new NBC miniseries about the end of the world and a race to avert it. The plot appears to wrap around a warped Christian eschatology, but the fact that anything religious figures in at all is mildly interesting. John Rhys-Davies is in the cast as a skeptical scientist, and he has these things to say:
 "By and large, all the bad things you hear about Hollywood are true," he continued. "...There are very few people who actually understand that a good story done well may just attract an audience and make money. The people who are in charge of Hollywood really are not quite literate in any real sense, and very few of them actually understand what a good story is...But the reason Hollywood has discovered good and evil is that people believe in it."
Which is really a source of some hope, since, even as Hollywood refuses to "get it", many in their audience typically still recognize good and evil in the world. The problem, of course, is when their doctrines get compromised that way. What I really like about Rhys-Davies is that, in this interview as in others, he doesn't mind being countercultural:
 "When you're faced with a great, scary, supernatural threat, the trick is to remember that God managed to turn spirit into flesh, which gives him one up on the devil, because the devil can't do that. The old Dominicans used to say when you're faced with this great evil, just remind the devil of his limitations and the incantation was Jesu ad verbum caro factum est -- Jesus and the Word was made flesh. It is the incarnation that gives the moral and spiritual value of good over evil that actually defeats the devil in the imagination."
Once again, he not only says something that folks in Hollywood would rarely say in an interview, but he says something that Hollywood folks probably don't like hearing at all. Repeat after me: verbum caro factum est.. verbum caro factum est.. There's enough evil in the world today that we need to remind ourselves of this prime source of hope -- and perhaps stop devoting so much energy in escapism and pessimism, something that some folks obsessed with dispensational premillennialism can get seriously into.

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