A Theological Review: The Green Lantern

There was so much CG I started to wonder if Ryan Reynolds was fake

I have to say, I was kind of disappointed with this one. I am a pretty big Ryan Reynolds fan (I am stoked for the release of Deadpool, which I don’t think they have even begun filming yet) and I can put up with the Green Lantern (I’m more of a Marvel guy – although The  Flash and Batman are pretty cool). This movie left me unfulfilled (maybe because it was like $25 dollars) and it wasn’t just because over half the movie was CG. The movie’s plot had some interesting aspects to it that made it difficult to fully enjoy it.

First of all do you really expect me to believe that will is the strongest power in the universe? I mean come on, a simple poll of how many people’s new years resolution was to get in shape verse how many people currently work out weekly or eat healthy proves humanity – or maybe just American’s – have little if any will power. I don’t even want to address the theological issues here just because I really want the ridiculousness of this to sink in…while you are sitting there…reading my blog…not doing anything that productive or important…I mean you are reading my blog and that is cool, but seriously my wife doesn’t even read my blog…and didn’t you decide you were going to learn the guitar or do p90x (I still don’t know what this is by the way) or get some reading done this summer…yeah you did, but you are still reading…will power my butt.

Back to my review though, my first theological issue comes from the idea of fear that is presented in the movie. I thought this was quiet interesting. I don’t want to ruin the movie for you if you haven’t seen it, so go see it, in fact bring whatever gizmo you are reading this on to the theater so that you can return to reading my blog immediately after watching it. Meanwhile I will go on to a different subject that doesn’t really bear any real weight on the plot.

A couple times in the movie Hal Jordan discusses the saying “I’m Only Human.” This caught my attention, theologically speaking, because I was struck by how many theologians will say that humanity is the crescendo of creation. God created the beautiful world that we live in and just before he rested he created man and woman – humanity – and he made them different than everything else, for example in Genesis one there are several markers of distinction including but not limited to:

  • Humanity is made in the image of God
  • Specially noted that God created
  • Humanity is given double announcement and double approval
  • ‘According to its kind’ vs ‘made in our image.
  • ‘Let there be’ vs. ‘Let us make’

But after the fall the image of God in man, along with all his distinctions are blurred. Many see man as no different from the animals that inhabit the planet, in fact there is a large number of people who believe they can scientifically prove that we evolved from some animal similar to a monkey. What about this saying? I am only human? No, I am human and blessed to be one. I am an image bearer of God. The God that not only created the world but sustains it and everything in it every moment of the day. I can talk, read, use a computer, articulate my feelings and ideas, I am human and that in and of itself is a blessing. Now yes I am limited, I am painfully aware of that, but I can even be thankful for them because my limits simply remind me to depend on my creator, whose image I – with the rest of humanity – bear.

Alright have you seen the movie now, can I talk about fear? Good. So as you will remember the main bad guy is this alien who has the power of fear and he shows up and sucks out people’s skeletons or something like that. Anyway, that was really my only point, not the skeletons thing, the fear thing. Fear is the bad guy because fear opposes will and will is the good guy, not to be confused with Will a person because I don’t think there is a character named Will, unless it is the geeky friend with the glasses I don’t remember his name. Anyway, will – like will power – is good, like the force in Star Wars, but you have to wear a mask that really does nothing to mask your identity – as the movie points out. So fear is this force that is evil and here is my theological issue with that, we are commanded to fear God by the Bible. In fact I think I was recently told it is the most common command in the Bible. More than the one about loving the dude who lives next door. Fear God. Furthermore, Proverbs – the book with all the really long fortune cookie sayings – starts by saying that the fear of God is the beginning of all wisdom. So the fear of God is both commanded and makes you wise. But fear is evil? What do we do with that?

In my time spent studying the Bible I have (don’t read that like I am the first or only one to believe this because I probably stole this from someone and forgot) come to believe that it is not fear, but wrongly placed fear. You see what we fear plays a surprisingly large role in who we are. If I fear not being cool than I will submit to the cruel master of hipsterdom. If I fear not being perceived as smart then I will become a disciple of the library shelves. If I fear not being attractive then I will bow to my idol of products, cloths, and media. Heres the thing though I will destroy or be destroyed by all these things because they are not ultimate and they are cruel task masters. Want proof try and keep up with the fads of hipsterdom for a month or two. Its exhausting. Not only that if you manage to be cool, you will find out it ain’t all its cracked up to be. You can trust me I was cool for a little while (although every time I say that I become a little less cool)

But fearing the right thing is liberating, freeing, even saving. That thing is God. The Bible tells us to fear God because when we fear something we submit to it and submitting to God is fulfilling and freeing because we were made to be in submission to him.

Amazing book from the brilliant Dr. Tim Keller

This accidentally turned into a small lecture on idolatry probably because I read Counterfeit Gods the other day. Which I can not recommend highly enough, but I am supposed to be reviewing Green Lantern so I think I will end now.

My recommendation is wait until The Green Lantern comes out on dvd so you can see it without feeling ridiculous for paying twenty-something-dollars to see it in a less comfortable chair surrounded by people you don’t know.

Thats all for now

t.d.h.

Oh and I am trying out a new look let me know what you think.

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6 thoughts on “A Theological Review: The Green Lantern

  1. Yeah, had to comment, even if I’m just being dumb and random. :P There are only three reasons for me to see this movie: Mark Strong, Michael Clarke Duncan, and Geoffrey Rush. And two good reasons for me not to see it: Ryan Reynolds…sorry, Ty, not a fan!…and Blake Lively. Any other superhero movies you can recommend?

    • Give me some time to recover from the idea that there is a girl out there who doesn’t like Ryan Reynolds…okay, I haven’t seen Captain America yet (and while I think Chris Evens is just the jock version of Ryan Reynolds) that movie looks good, X-Men: First Class is suppose to be amazing, I’d skip Thor (even though Natalie Portman is in it and she is always fantastic) because I always thought he was a dumb superhero and I bet Marvel won’t make another just Thor movie like they did with Iron Man. Although it isn’t a superhero flick I really liked Super 8. You should check that out, has a interesting goonies feel to it.

  2. Meh, I think he’s highly overrated. Saw X-Men with Gramps, we both loved it, I like Chris Evans, but I haven’t seen a Captain America trailer yet, was planning on skipping Thor anyway, even though my mom loved it and I agree that Natalie Portman is always great, and I might see Super 8 sometime, everyone’s been raving about it. What d’you think of the new Spider-Man and Superman movies they’re working on?(and yes, I’m mostly wondering about those because I like the actors, I’ll admit it!)

    • I actually haven’t heard much about the Spiderman or Superman movies, but the last I heard Andrew Garfield got the role of Spiderman and he was by far the best thing about The Social Network so would have to say that I like him.

      • Knew I was friends with you for a reason! ;P Yeah, Andrew was definitely the best part of Social Network…besides the Winklevoss twins, who were pretty funny…and it was nice getting to see him doing something less depressing than the first movie I saw him in, so I’m looking forward to that, though most people seem to be mad about the fact that a guy who’s half-British is playing an American superhero. And as for Superman, people are mad about a British guy playing him as well, for the same reason. Though to be fair, Superman isn’t actually an American superhero…

  3. Pingback: Green Lantern « Exploring Our Matrix

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