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March 30, 2010

Comments

Amy,

Thank you for your excellent post! It reminds me of how Luther described "Law and Gospel" in many of His writings.

It is odd how we humans try to relativize justice is it not? As I read your post, I kept thinking that this is such an obvious thing, and yet we all do it at one time or another. We always want justice for others but never for oursleves...thanks be to God for sending His Son!

Thanks be to God for His true nature...finding a way to save us while we were yet His enemies.

Great post!!!

Amy,

Thanks for the good post. I'm surprised that STR doesn't blog more on LOST given the intentional philosophical themes of the show.

I'm a little confused by this sentence...”For if 'God' wants us to make our own way morally, and does not stop evil, then there is no guilt to be released from, no grace needed.” How does that follow?

Isn't a main metaphorical point of the island that it is a place of grace, where people are released from their guilt because their past sins are forgotten (so long as they stay on the island)? In the context of that forgiveness, it is only then that Jacob looks for a character's redemption. Therefore grace is needed because there is guilt to be released from. Likewise, could God want his people to “make their way morally,” but know that this can only happen within a foreign context, a context not of their own making...a context of desperately needed divine grace? (I am taking the “make their way morally” to mean living righteously, rather than earning or attaining righteousness through moral acts.)

It is here that I have to disagree with your portrayal of Jacob. By bringing people to the island, he is not simply letting bygones be bygones and giving them a fresh start, like cheap grace. Far from being cheap, this project ended up costing Jacob his life.

I'm not arguing for a model of atonement that is secretly embedded in LOST, but I think that there is more going on here than a simple grace/judgment dichotomy between Jacob and Locke (fake Locke, of course).

>>For if 'God' wants us to make our own way morally, and does not stop evil, then there is no guilt to be released from, no grace needed.” How does that follow?

I can see how that’s a little unclear. By “making our own way morally” I was referring to the way Jacob talked about it. That is, they should come up with their own moral rules—there’s nothing to conform to (they’ve got to “make their own kind of music”). And by “stop,” I meant set right, or judge, not really “prevent.” (In fact, I think I’ll change that word in the post.)

If there are no moral rules to be broken, then there is no sin. If there’s no sin to be judged, there’s no judgment. If we’re not under judgment, then we don’t need grace. Thanks for asking me to clarify. I think the change will help.

>>Therefore grace is needed because there is guilt to be released from.

This is where I thought the series was going, and why I think what they’re saying now is inconsistent with what they were saying in the past (which is why I was surprised by the recent developments). The show really has shown sin, guilt, and redemption in a real way. This doesn’t go with the kinds of things Jacob was saying last week, however.

I think they’re just being inconsistent. They’re good storytellers, and because they’re good storytellers, they say true things about the human condition. But they’re also compelled by our current cultural story (that we’re not sinners) to go in that direction, so it’s starting to become confused.

>>Far from being cheap, this project ended up costing Jacob his life.

I really did think they were going for an atonement theme at the end of last season, and I loved it. I just think they’re starting to go in directions now that are inconsistent with what they’ve done in the past, or at least, what I interpreted they were doing in the past.

I will add, too, that it's not over yet! Jacob may yet realize that people really are sinners who need saving. He did have a moment of that last week when he moved from not interacting with the people at all--keeping his distance--to using Richard as a mediator to communicate with them. Things could still come together.

Hi Amy,

Thanks for the clarification, I see your point now. I'm not sure if the show has changed directions or if it is simply drawing on more than one view of sin and evil (mixing both individualistic and systemic views), I guess we'll see how it pans out. There's definitely a lot going on, and that's what makes it a good show.

Keep up the good work,
Mike V.

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