About Providence, Divine Action and the Church

In this blog, Terry J. Wright posts thoughts and shares research on the Christian doctrine of providence. This doctrine testifies to God’s provision for all things through creation’s high priest, the man Christ Jesus. However, the precise meaning and manner of this provision is a perpetually open question, and this blog is a forum for discussion of the many issues relating to providence and the place of the Church within God’s action.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

We Want to Believe

Another book notice, and this time not especially related to the doctrine of providence: Amy M. Donaldson's We Want to Believe: Faith and Gospel in The X-Files. Here's the blurb:

From the first episode to the latest feature film, two main symbols provide the driving force for the iconic television series The X-Files: Fox Mulder's "I Want to Believe" poster and Dana Scully's cross necklace. Mulder's poster may feature a flying saucer, but the phrase "I want to believe" refers to more than simply the quest for the truth about aliens. The search for extraterrestrial life, the truth that is out there, is a metaphor for the search for God. The desire to believe in something greater than ourselves is part of human nature: we want to believe. Scully's cross represents this desire to believe, as well as the internal struggle between faith and what we can see and prove. The X-Files depicts this struggle by posing questions and exploring possible answers, both natural and supernatural. Why would God let the innocent suffer? Can God forgive even the most heinous criminal? What if God is giving us signs to point the way to the truth, but we're not paying attention? These are some of the questions raised by The X-Files. In the spirit of the show, this book uses the symbols and images presented throughout the series to pose such questions and explore some of the answers, particularly in the Christian tradition. With a focus on key themes of the series—faith, hope, love, and truth—along the way, this book journeys from the desire to believe to the message of the cross.

The X-Files is my favourite programme ever; and even though Donaldson's book probably should have been written by someone ten years ago, I think the programme itself still evokes enough interest and atmosphere for this to be a very worthwhile read.

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