Christ Shows Up in Fantasy and Sci Fi


I read a particularly interesting post this morning, in light of the recent discussion about the existence of God. Some science fiction and fantasy fans, in analyzing the genre, have discovered an abundance of Christ figures in movies and literature. Sci Fi & Fantasy Lovin’ Blog has this to say:

So I guess I’m just wondering why. Why is it that science fiction, that is often supposed to be more about the rational mind, falls back on our religious superstitions? Is it simply that the creators of our favorite fiction find themselves going back to their childhood traditions? Even unconsciously? Or is science simply not enough to fill our need to know why we are here?

Well, I’m glad you asked! 😉 (Never mind that she didn’t ask ME. As I’ve noted before, I’m not shy about voicing my opinions!) Blaise Pascal, the 17th Century French mathematician, philosopher and physicist, suggested that there is a need in Man’s heart for God:

What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself. [Pascal, Pensees #425]

The Bible makes it clear that God shows Himself through what He has made.

that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made …
-Romans 1:19, 20

I’ve always understood the “through what has been made” part as mountains and stars and photosynthesis—the natural world, in other words. But He also made Man, and something in us also shows God. More than the other stuff, actually, because Genesis says were are made in His image.

What does any of this have to do with Christ figures in science fiction and fantasy? I don’t have the time to develop this point right now as I wish I could, but I’d suggest the presence of Messiah figures is indicative of this part of us made to reflect God. We long for a True Hero, someone so self-sacrificing, so good, so fair, so accepting that we feel completely safe—and so empowered—because we were made for relationship with the Ultimate Hero. Putting him in our fiction shows what we want in our lives. Some authors do so because they long for what they haven’t experienced and some do so to demonstrate what they do enjoy.

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