Sermon for May 4th, 2014

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In the month or so leading up to Easter, there were several films out in theaters that had a distinctly Christian flavor: Son of God, Noah, God is Not Dead, and most recently, Heaven is for Real. I don't think they signal any great awakening of Hollywood to Christian values or message; more likely it's an awakening to the fact that Christian dollars are just as green and profitable as anyone else's dollars.

Some of these movies were good, some were bad, some were very bad. I don't think any of these movies will appeal to or reach out to people who aren't already Christians. Worse, I don't think any of these movies will even challenge Christians to grow in their faith or understanding of the scriptures.

No, if you want the gospel message on the silver screen I think the best way to do it is the way Jesus did--in parables; in hidden stories that non-believers will walk away from saying "Hmmmm...that was an interesting story." and which many believers will walk away from saying "There was something familiar about that story" and which a few believers will say "Yeah, I see what you just did there."

So in the weeks leading up to Easter, the Hollywood film about death, resurrection, and eternal life that no one is talking about, because no one really noticed it, the film with the most captivating and imaginative re-telling of the gospel a film called Transendence.

Today's sermon is not about this movie, but I am going to show you one short clip from the film, because I think it captures a foundational truth about the resurrected Jesus in today's scripture passage. To set up the clip for you, the film revolves around a scientist, Dr. Will Caster (think about that name for a moment) who is the world's foremost expert in artificial intelligence.

Tragically, Dr. Caster is struck down by an assassin's bullet, but in his dying moments, manages to have his mind, his memories, and his very consciousness uploaded into one of his super-computers, thus defeating death and attaining a powerful, god-like immortality. Here's the clip.