Tuesday, February 22, 2011

CSFF Blog Tour: "The God Hater" Day Two

Okay, yesterday was not fun. Six hours in the car driving through the wreckage of Snowmageddon 2.0, then shoveling out a driveway filled with snow. My back was killing me. But never fear, my fellow tourists, I am back and I am ready to continue my discussion about Bill Myers's The God Hater. Thank you to everyone who liked my video review. Sorry, this isn't another one. My webcam is not nearly as good as my dad's, so you'll just have to put up with this old school post. Maybe if I have some money to burn and can splurge on a better one, we'll see.

Anyway, like I said yesterday in the video, I thought I'd touch on the theology of the book a little. I did appreciate what Myers said in his initial Author's Note, that if something stuck in my craw, I could always go and read the original source material. And while nothing made me go fleeing to Scriptures for refuge, there were a few things that left me scratching my head.

For example, there was the fact that the cyber-Nicholas became more and more disfigured with each healing. Now I realize that this was a fanciful reading of Isaiah 53. But what left me a little flummoxed was the fact that Travis had to steal power from the surrounding world to facilitate the miracles. I'm probably splitting hairs here and this was done for dramatic effect, but there you go.

More problematic for me was the fact that Alpha 11 remembered a sin from a previous simulation. Maybe things work differently in the virtual world, but that smacked just a bit of reincarnation and made me a little uneasy.

What it all boils down to for me is this: the incarnation is a tricky thing to wrap our minds around. Oh, sure, we can understand academically that the Second Person in the Trinity emptied Himself of His glory and majesty and took on frail human flesh, becoming a slave, and becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross (quick! What verse am I referencing?). But to truly comprehend what this is, how it worked, what it all means, well, that can fill several large volumes of theology that usually resorts to lots of Latin phrases (I know; I have a few of them on my office shelves). So while some of Myers's story doesn't quite correspond one-to-one with reality, that's okay. I appreciate the effort that Myers made in telling the story the way he did.

I will also say this: I really appreciated the fact that the "law" given to the virtual world was to love each other. This shows a great understanding of what the Christian ethic is all about. I did question whether or not the virtual inhabitants would come up with a whole codified system of morals that so closely hewed to the Judeo-Christian one, but maybe I'm just nitpicking now.

Go and check out what the rest of the tourists have to say this month:

Noah Arsenault
Red Bissell
Thomas Clayton Booher
Keanan Brand
Kathy Brasby
Rachel Briard
Beckie Burnham
Morgan L. Busse
Carol Bruce Collett
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
CSFF Blog Tour
April Erwin
Amber French
Andrea Graham
Tori Greene
Katie Hart
Ryan Heart
Joleen Howell
Bruce Hennigan
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Becca Johnson
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Emily LaVigne
Shannon McDermott
Matt Mikalatos
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Sarah Sawyer
Chawna Schroeder
Andrea Schultz
Tammy Shelnut
Kathleen Smith
James Somers
Donna Swanson
Jessica Thomas
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Dona Watson
Nicole White
Dave Wilson


Tori said...

The disfiguring/healing bit threw me a little as well. I tried not to think too closely on the logic behind the power transfers since I didn't really get it.

And good point about Alpha 11's sin - I had to go back to the book to see what you were referring to, but I had overlooked that.

Glad you made it home safely!

UKSteve said...

I liked the concept behind the disfiguring of virtual Nicholas, but I'm not sure it belonged in this story. I think some of the stuff about stealing power from the environment and the possible reincarnation needed a little more depth behind the virtual world, which I would have liked, but may have put off the more casual reader of Christian novels.

Fred Warren said...

Another theological point that bugged me a little was the "backing in" of prophecy during Nicholas' conversation with Alpha. From a programming point of view, I could see it (Dude! We forgot the prophecy module!), but it was ultimately implanting a false memory, which I think undermined the message. Suddenly, truth is flexible, ends justifies means, etc.

And, bro, I totally bogarted your Day 3 Sims picture. So sorry. Curse you, Google Images!



Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

Oooohh, I forgot about the prophecy thing. Yes, that bothered me, too. It felt forced--about the only part that did, for me.

But the more I thought about the story, the more I wanted to change. LOL. Finally I realized I wanted it to me MY story, not the one Bill Myers wrote.


UKSteve said...

Hands off Miller, I saw it first!