Avatar A few weeks ago, I went with my family to see Avatar, James Cameron's sci-fi epic – in 3D. What a cinema experience it was. The graphics and special effects are amazing. No doubt this is a huge step forward in movie-making, similar to what happened when The Matrix was releasedback in 1999, with its slow motion action scenes. Avatar is now the highest grossing film of all time.

Some Christians have jumped on the overt neo-paganism spirituality of the movie. I can see where they are coming from. Others have taken a more balanced approach. I can see where they are coming from too. in his book, Reel Spirituality: Theology and Film in Dialogue Robert K. Johnston shows us that we can see the fingerprints of God in all of culture – including art, film and literature.

On the positive side, I thought the film had a strong creation care theme, which is something we need to talk more about. It was also a story of redemption – laying down your life for the benefit of others. I like that too.

3 thoughts on “Avatar

  1. I loved Avatar and I think the themes of stewardship, respect for other cultures, and highlighting the unjust treatment of indigenous people groups were superb. I like John Eldredge’s idea that movies that grab us speak to the deeper, mythical, spiritual desires people carry – that it can speak to us of God and inspire us to seek Him rather than drawing us away from Him.

  2. I loved Avatar too. When I watch films like that I actually do see the fingerprint of God in it for all the reasons Mark and F. Lokot posted. It also points to the fact that every person is made with a spiritual part to them, and the world is hungry to satisfy that spirituality. Our job as Christians is to show them Jesus so they don’t go looking at the enemy’s counterfeits instead.
    I don’t think we have to get too bogged down as Christians when we see what the world’s rendition of spirituality looks like. Instead, we can take the opportunity to share the spirituality that we have found in Christ.
    Thanks for posting this Mark. I wasn’t aware of the controversy it was causing in some Christian circles. If we never went to a single movie, or never read a book that had any hint of anything non-christian in it…well…we’d never see a single movie or read a single book. I do avoid the overtly, really creepy and overtly satanic movies because I just don’t enjoy them and they give me the creeps deep down inside.

  3. My wife loved the way that the film presented an appealing glimpse of what a ‘resurrection body’ might be like… I loved that scene where Jake runs for pure joy after entering his Avatar for the first time and feels his legs again… it’s as if his new ‘resurrection body’ were MORE real; MORE alive than his earthly one. Fascinating!

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