Okay, so am I one of those addicts to the TV show Lost.  It’s a show that had great characters and writing.  But even more than that, it is a great show depicting what most people believe today.  The first 4 seasons didn’t necessarily make these beliefs explicit, but in the last 2 seasons the assumptions about humanity, death, and the like were becoming apparent.

For the sake of brevity, I want to highlight a couple of thoughts on how the season finale (as well as other episodes this season) depicts common beliefs people hold today concerning morality, humanity, religion, and the afterlife.  I’ll try to be as brief as I can (and if you haven’t seen the finale, some of this might not make sense)…

1. On morality… The writers constantly tried to be ambiguous on who was good and who was bad.  Very typical.  It’s almost as if they’re saying, “It’s a matter of perspective.”  However, in the show, certain characters do have to take a moral stand.  But on what principle?  Who says?

2. On humanity… This is the biggest problem the writers had to face.  Is man good and able to save himself and others, or is he corrupt and in need of redemption?  You can see this played out with the man in black and Jacob contrast, as well as their discussions.  But, Joe Carter, brings out an excellent point when he writes on Lost‘s “borrowing” of some Christian concepts,

Lost replicates many of these tropes (God the Father—Christian Shephard; the created but fallen world—the Island; death of Christ—the sacrifice of Jack; Kingdom of God—the afterlife in the church) but is unable to connect them because of an inadequate concept of sin. . . . The result is that the two primary deus ex machinas of Lost are rendered irrelevant: Where there is no sin there is no need for either Christ or purgatory.

You can read his whole review on Lost here. It’s very good.  Another point about humanity… they really wanted to stress the free-will of the characters.  Funny though, when you think about this: their “free-will” is at the mercy of the writers.  Oh my, did that open up a can of worms!

3. On religion… Basically, it’s classic religious pluralism, or inclusivism, that dominated the show.  Just look at the stained glass window in the church at the end of the finale.  It has a symbol of every major religion.  Their saying the common belief, “All religions lead to the same destination.”  Thus, “smorgasbord” preferential spirituality is what ends up being adopted.  It’s not whether something is true anymore, but whether it makes me feel better about myself and gets me through.  It’s therapeutic.  Because in the end, they all lead to the same destination, as the saying goes.  Of course, if one was to examine every major religion, they would see that they all make exclusive truth claims.  They can’t all be correct.

4. On the afterlife… Basically, the character’s “heaven” was, in essence, being with each other.  Community with each other is heaven, otherwise, they would have all been… lost.  Remember Jack saying in the first season, “We all have to live together or we die alone.”

I think this last point is quite striking.  Our world is starving for community.  And community is found in the church.  Why the church and not some other club?  Because no other club deals with the fundamental problem why we can’t live together: our sin.  Until we are reconciled to God and have experienced his forgiveness and power of becoming a new creation in Christ can those who are changed in this way begin to live together.  In the communion found with God, our Maker, do we then find communion with each other.

There is more I could write about, but it would take a book!  In the meantime, check out Joe Carter’s post The Unnecessary Christ of Lost (HT: Justin Taylor)

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