Some would probably assume that this post is about Hollywood’s animosity and disdain for Christianity and its need for a target to shoot at. I would not disagree that the Christian worldview finds few adherents in Hollywood and has been and continues to be attacked by many in the film industry. However, this blog is not about that.
What it is about is the seemingly transcendent theme of the battle between good and evil and the longing for what is right and good to triumph over that which is not. I think any of us would admit that we ultimately want to see justice prevail over injustice, wrongs to be righted, and adversity overcome. How do you think it would have gone over if Darth Vader had just watched the emperor kill Luke and then destroyed the Alliance’s military forces, including Han and Leia? Or Superman being killed by Lex Luther? Or the aliens wiping out humanity in Independence Day? A little anti-climactic huh? Our story-telling, or myth-making, is predominantly centered around the concept of good’s triumph over evil. And I would contend that this is a distinctively Christian idea.
Other worldviews really cannot accommodate this concept. Naturalism, the worldview of atheism (essentially), is about the strong and the weak, not good and evil. If God does not exist, no transcendent standard exists, truth is socially constructed, and survival is the supreme virtue. Eastern religions like Hinduism and the more western expression of it in New Age, religions that are essentially pantheistic (God is in everything), value balance. Good and evil must ultimately balance each other out. You think people would have been satisfied with seeing the Navi in Avatar wiped out for the sake of balance? I doubt it. Postmodernism and the supposed relativity that comes with it can’t really assert anything. What’s good, what’s bad… who knows. The community gets to figure it out, and it can change. It is the Christian story that asserts the existence of a God who is good, who wars against evil, against an enemy, and will eventually prevail over that enemy and bring justice to bear.
As those made in God’s image, living in a world alive with shadows of the gospel and the truth, our hearts still long, in some measure, for the triumph of goodness. Not everyone may like the Christian meta-narrative, but there are elements to it that we just can’t get away from. Even in Hollywood.