catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 8, Num 24 :: 2009.12.11 — 2009.12.24


Explosive application

View the trailer for The Road.

The Road, while unclear about the source of devastation, takes place on an earth that appears to be suffering from nuclear destruction.  In this setting, the film follows two survivors, a father and a son on a constant search for food while evading evil bands of marauders. Viggo Mortenson does an excellent job as the father and Robert Duvall also plays a great role as an unnamed old man.  Pre-destruction flashbacks fit perfectly into the chaotic fabric of the movie.

Many reviews will evaluate the film as a work in itself, but I came away with a much broader application.  Christians should see about ten movies like this in order to begin escaping the death grip that the over-consumptive, economistic worldview of this age has on our priorities.  All of our wars focus on the Mediterranean Sea region as the oil companies post record profits, including during the most significant financial collapse since the great depression.  In the meantime, our Christian theologians continue to feel that interpersonal relationships and sex are the most important issues deserving our public attention.

Christians use three times as much electricity per capita as they did in the 70s when I first started in the construction business. Our heads are in the sand as we use creation-destroying fossil fuels at triple the rate without even realizing anything is wrong.  Unfortunately, conversations that result in agreeing that we should use less of something are rare.

The Lord’s patience is being tried. I expect to see harsh judgment on our destructive and luxurious lifestyle. Our continuing opposition to sustainable ways of life has reached a crescendo with fossil fuel use as we fabricate more and more pie in the sky eschatology.  The U.S. still has 10,000 nuclear weapons. To the best of my knowledge, only one has been dismantled so far by Christians who paid the price for doing so. 

The Road offers us a glimpse of life as it could be in the future and, if we care about the potential suffering of people and God’s creation, incentive to take action now to help prevent that suffering.  I know it’s asking a lot, but if you try to leave personalism and pietism at the theater door, you might walk away thinking this movie has something to say about the public relevance of mature Christianity — not just about the intimacies of a father and son in desperate circumstances.

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