You’re probably aware of Star Trek Beyond (Wikipedia article), the newest film in the Star Trek series. Your Curmudgeon is a long-time science fiction fan, and although most movies are a disappointment, we’ve always liked the Star Trek TV series, both the original and the Next Generation.
We’ll eventually get around to watching the latest film, but probably not until it can be seen free on television, and we haven’t read any of its reviews, although they’re all over the place. However, we spotted one review that belongs on this humble blog.
London-based Christian Today, which says it’s “an independent Christian media company, established in 2004,” and which believes in the “divine inspiration and supreme authority of the Old and New Testament Scriptures, which are the written Word of God – fully trustworthy for faith and conduct,” has this headline in their Entertainment section: Star Trek Beyond: searching for hope in a godless universe. They don’t have a comments section.
It was written by contributing editor Martin Saunders, about whom we know nothing. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
Science fiction almost always seems to take place in a godless universe.
Wow — what a beginning! But hold on, it gets even better:
I suppose the ‘science’ part of that title is the clue as to why: these are the stories which celebrate the breaking frontiers of human achievement, the imagined possibilities of where our collective ingenuity might one day take us. What’s more, sci-fi so often takes us up into the stars – where previous generations imagined heaven must be located – and finds only astronomical phenomena and a playground for adventure. God’s not there.
Your Curmudgeon must have led a very sheltered life. We’ve never encountered such a view of science fiction before. By the way, professionals refer to their field as “science fiction” or “SF.” The reviewer’s use of “sci-fi” is a clear indicator that he’s a novice. Let’s read on:
That’s certainly the premise behind Star Trek, the sprawling sci-fi saga which gets yet another cinematic outing this month with Star Trek Beyond. It’s about the crew of the most advanced spaceship ever built, on a five-year mission to explore deep space, discovering extraordinary new worlds and intense dangers at every turn. But God is nowhere to be found; as if the universe has advanced past their primitive need for him.
Gasp — what a horrible universe that must be! The review continues:
Sci-fi stories might be godless, but they inevitably create these situations of intense darkness in order to explore some actually very spiritual ideas: depth and development of character; the responsibilities of leadership; the need for a saviour; hope.
Aha — the film can’t avoid exploring “spiritual ideas” like hope. Maybe it’s not totally worthless. Here’s more:
Holding on to hope in the face of the seemingly impossible is often the driving force for protagonists in science fiction – we see overwhelming odds being overcome in almost every major sci-fi and fantasy story. Hope and redemption are so often key to the genre, despite being such unscientific ideas.
Even a godless science fiction movie is based on hope and redemption. Moving along:
All of this makes the film feel incredibly relevant and timely for us in the real world, where we’re currently a little short on hope, and left wondering whether the sort of unity and solidarity we’ve seen after recent atrocities is enough to overcome the evil displayed by individuals.
So there’s some merit to the film after all — if you know what to look for. The reviewer describes a bit of the plot, and he actually says the film is enjoyable. We’ve skipped all of that because there are undoubtedly better sources of information. But now, dear reader, you know what a creationist thinks about science fiction.
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