Monday, March 10, 2014

The Cosmos Reboot and Faith

I'll confess I didn't watch it.  Oh, I will, eventually.  No question.  But I don't watch things when they come out anymore, a part of my having adapted to this whole wacky interwebs thing.  I have grown accustomed to watching things...well...when I want to.  Most of us have.

Which is a pesky thing, because it means you miss out on the big launch moment, when the media buzz is out there humming and chattering.

So last night, I missed it.  After a long Sunday of pastoring, my brain was depleted.  But that didn't mean I wasn't aware of it happening.  The marketing for the relaunch of the beloved Cosmos series has been everywhere lately, and I will make time for it.

On the one hand, there's always a little reboot resentment involved.  You know, reboot resentment?  That feeling you get when Hollywood remakes a beloved, perfectly crafted story that needs no remaking?  Like, say, the recent and pointless Robocop.  It wasn't terrible, but really.  C'mon. Why even bother?

Or Willy Wonka.  Lord have mercy, did Tim Burton botch that one.

For those of us who love science, there's not even any question of the place that Carl Sagan's Cosmos has in the pantheon of awesomeness.  For an entire generation...two, in fact...that series was a  wondering, joyful journey through the amazing creation we inhabit.

On the other hand, there are two great reasons to have rebooted this series.  First, an entire generation hasn't seen it.  There's been nothing quite like it since, and the younglings and not-so-younglings of this era deserve it.  Given the scientific illiteracy of American society, we kinda need it.

Second, and even more important, science hasn't stood still.  The thirty-odd years that have passed since Cosmos aired...yes, "aired"...have seen significant advances in both our understanding of the mechanics of being and our grasp of the cosmos itself.  We have peered deeper into existence, and further back into space-time.

And science is discovering that we no longer inhabit quite the same universe we thought we did back thirty years ago.  It goes deeper.  It is infinitely, mindblowingly larger.

I'm sure Neil Degrasse Tyson's going to get into that, and what's even more important is that people of faith listen in.  Because if we don't have a faith that can meaningfully engage with these new understandings of existence, then we may as well start building museums featuring Jesus riding into Jerusalem on an animatronic velociraptor.

So as time permits, I'll look forward to watching it.  Later, without commercials.  I can't stand commercials.  Dangit.  Where's the skip button?

As, frankly should any Christian who cares about whether our faith can stand in conversation with the reality God has placed us in.

2 comments:

  1. Once you watch, you will see they made a more direct connection between science and faith with the story of the friar Giordano Bruno. He said an infinite God would surely have an infinite universe, and was burned at the stake for his heresy. I thought it was a good addition and well done.

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  2. Ken: It makes me a wee bit glad that I'm a pastor in Poolesville in the 21st century. I'm not so fond of stakes.

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