Book Review: All The Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot SeeAll the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, the newest book I’ve read in a long time, weaves together the stories of a young French girl, Marie Laure, who is blind and a German orphan boy, Werner, who is gifted at mathematics and tech. Over the years of the Second World War, their lives intersect at surprising points. I enjoyed the style: the present tense, poetic descriptions of the scenes. The best part was how it captured snapshots of what “the war” was like, and how it followed up with the characters as adults, revealing how their childhood experience of World War II forever changed the direction of their lifelines, like changing the threads and changing the whole tapestry.

Some themes I picked out were:

-intransigence of life

-the war: living through it, how actions by leaders at the state or military level trickle down into daily life

-overcoming trials: carrying on or just going along is contrasted in Marie Laure and Werner. Werner accepts a deepening spiral of Nazi commands that drags him into moral quicksand

-happiness: what is it? All the Light We Cannot See, would say, rightly, that it is not a permanent state, but something we can catch glimpses of if we try to do our honest best in whatever circumstances we find ourselves. Sometimes circumstances can snatch it away entirely, such as when Marie loses her father.

-the randomness of birth and outcomes: circumstances beyond our control determine a lot of what happens in our lives

-freedom despite the randomness: But free will matters too, and our approach and our willingness to respond can change things for the better. Werner does finally learn this lesson, I believe.

Over all, it seems very accurate about the nastier aspects of war and difficult circumstances. I would say the balance the book strikes between free will and circumstance is one of its best features.

It’s not a particularly religious book, and it captures some very unpleasant wartime realities, but I think it’s pretty accurate about what it means to make good choices and try to live a good life on the ground. And it’s not the darkest book I’ve ever read; I’d say Graham Greene is darker, and he was Catholic.

Here are some quotations I picked out:

From Werner’s childhood, the contrast between his orphange and the opulence of the SS Officer’s home:

“The lance corporal looks around the room–the coal stove, the hanging laundry, the undersize children–with equal measures of condescension and hostility.” (80) [He is coming to collect Werner to repair the radio of the SS Officer Siedler. Werner goes there and successfully repairs the radio.]

“Werner gathers his tools. Herr Siedler stands in front of the radio and seems about to pat him on the head. ‘Outstanding,’ he says. He ushers Werner to the dining table and calls for the maid to bring cake. Immediately it appears: four wedges on a plain white plate. Each is dusted with confectioners’ sugar and topped by a dollop of whipped cream. Werner gapes. Herr Siedler laughs. ‘Cream is forbidden. I know. But”–he puts his forefinger to his lips–“there are ways around such things. Go on.'” (83)

Then, later,

Marie Laure misses her father:

“Oh, to the free. To lie once more in the Jardin des Plantes with Papa. To feel his hands on hers, to hear the petals of the tulips tremble in the wind. He made her the glowing hot center of his life; he made her feel as if every step she took was important.” (403)

Finally, this quote from the end shows the ripples of the war in the characters’ later lives. Jutta, Werner’s sister, receives a token from Werner that had belonged to Marie Laure, so Jutta goes to visit, but she is very nervous and self-conscious about her German-ness as she travels:

Jutta and her son ride the train to visit Marie Laure in France:

“Before dark, a well-dressed man with a prosthetic leg boards the train. He sits beside her and lights a cigarette. Jutta clutches her bag between her knees; she is certain that he was wounded in the war, that he will try to start a conversation, that her deficient French will betray her. Or that Max will say something. Or that the man can already tell. Maybe she smells German.

He’ll say, You did this to me.

Please. Not in front of my son.

But the train jolts into motion, and the man finishes his cigarette and gives her a preoccupied smile and promptly falls asleep.” (507)

I love how this final quote captures how we sometimes feel like others can see through us, can read our invisible thoughts, and we can become very paranoid about nothing.

Book Review: SPOILER ALERT Harry Potter and The Cursed Child – (Overdone and Boring at the same time)

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I’m sorry to review Harry Potter and The Cursed Child as one of the biggest reading disappointments I’ve had since I started reading for pleasure again after my kids were born–so in the last four years.

I loved the original Harry Potter books and the movies: the magic, the adventure, the fun, the characters. I grew up with it, and I wanted to love Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Yet, from page one, I was disappointed:

  1. little new plot material
  2. simplistic characters
  3. sloppy emotional outpourings

SPOILER ALERT – consider yourself warned, though I have avoided things that could ruin the one real surprise.

Plot:

There is only a little I could spoil because the new plot mostly revolves around the plots of the original seven books. What’s new is that that Harry’s son, Albus, and Draco’s son, Scorpius go, back in time with a time-turner in attempt to right certain wrongs from the past. They revisit Triwizard Tournament a few times, remind us of the Chamber of Secrets and go back to that fateful day when Voldemort gave Harry his scar.

The only present day conflict is that Albus and Harry don’t get along well. The Cursed Child is about the next generation wrestling with the scars of the past, which is of course a real struggle, but I was hoping for new present-day problems and adventures.

Yet the back-in-time plot, while a bit trite and logically-suspect, also tries to do too much.

At one point, Scorpius encounters an alternate universe where Voldemort is king, where all is dark, and Dumbledore’s Army is completely underground and he must find them, and convince them to help him and get time aright again. During this one-scene gargantuan plot piece, three (THREE!) characters throw themselves at Dementors to help save Scorpius. The full undermining of the alternate world is accomplished merely as a step in rest of the story–which is about the importance of letting things stand as they were. That one scene has to do a bit too much emotional and story-telling work for the amount of time it gets. And it seems a little too easy for Scorpius to sweep in and right this all-goes-wrong world in a few sentences.
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5 Reasons I Keep Too Much Junk, A Review of The More of Less by Joshua Becker

MoreofLessCoverThis easy-going introduction to minimalism by Joshua Becker came into my life right at a time when I needed to hear its message. The clutter of our growing family was growing into an overwhelming problem, so much so that I would rather spend the day at the park than look around my house.

Here are of the reasons I kept too much and what to do about it:

  1. “Nice” stuff and Being Frugal

I had a lot of “nice” stuff like antique china I had collected before I had children for the day when I would have a house to put it in. And lots of things had sentimental value, and I had baby gear. I was “frugal,” so I was saving everything that I might one day find a use for–like stacks of fabric for making a quilt…for the day I learn to use a sewing machine.

Becker deals with all of these tendencies we have to keep things that we don’t actually need. He makes the case that not only do we not need them, but they hold us back from doing the things that we actually do care about. That was the part I needed to hear.

“When we embrace minimalism, we are immediately freed to pursue our greatest passions. And for some of us, it’s been a long time since we’ve had access to the resources required to chase our hearts’ greatest delights–however we define those delights. Living with less offers more time to spend on meaningful activities, more freedom to travel, more clarity in our spiritual pursuits, increased mental capacity to solve our more heartfelt problems, healthier finances to support causes we believe in, and greater flexibility in the careers we most desire” (11).

And in addition to making space for the things we do care about, Becker emphasizes the moral benefits to battling back consumerism and dedicating our time and resources to others and causes we believe in.

I had long been against rabid consumerism, but I bought into it more than I realized. I was frugal, but that meant that I was saving tons of things, in hopes that I would frugally reproduce a beautiful pinterest picture rather than recognizing that the simplicity of light in a neat room was all I really needed to have a lovely living room.

2. I was too distracted; but I want More Time for Priorities
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Book Review: The Choice of the Family by Jean Laffitte

2015, “The Choice of the Family: A Call to Wholeness, Abundant Life, and Enduring Happiness.”

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I saw this book and picked it up because the title posed an unusual juxtaposition of the words “choice” and “family.” For someone immersed in the regular, secular media, like I am, “choice” is a word associated with abortion, not usually with traditional family structures. This interview with Jean Laffitte, Bishop and Head of the Pontifical Council for the Family, instead aims to show that he sees accurately the challenges facing the family as well as its importance as an authentic path for personal development and holiness, rather than a mere default position that people slip into out of lack of resistance.

The Choice of the Family takes up the call of Pope St. John Paul II’s 1981 encyclical Familiaris Consortio, which said:

“Since God’s plan for marriage and the family touches men and women in the concreteness of their daily existence in specific social and cultural situations, the Church ought to apply herself to understanding the situations within which marriage and the family are lived today, in order to fulfill her task of serving.”

From the opening which goes through Laffitte’s background and his studies at the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family Life, the book highlights that the family is an under-studied and under-recognized force in social life and also how clearly Laffitte sees the struggles facing men and women in family life today.

The Significance of the Family

So often we do not appreciate just how much we receive from our families. The modern age is typically conceived of as comprised of atomized individuals. Yet in actuality, each of us is born into specific constraints, gifts and relations that come from our families. Carl Anderson’s, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, summarizes it well in his statement in the Introduction:

Each family exists within a living ecology–a unique environment shaped by the dynamism of its members, who present a variety of age, health, maturity, responsibility….No institution in society can shape and, in so many ways, determine a person’s life to the same extent as the man and woman who give one life, and the family with which one shares one’s formative years.”

The family we are born into gives us the foundational relationships in our lives, brings us up in a history of culture and lived experience whether these concepts are consciously acknowledged or not.

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Book Review: The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene

3690This is a good, terrifying, tragic book. It is good because it takes sin very, very seriously and portrays with painful realism a society suffering from both material and spiritual poverty in revolutionary Mexico. It takes place in the early 20th century when the Communists had taken power and the Church had been reduced to less than a handful of wandering, rogue priests.

The main character, an unnamed such priest with an alcohol problem is one of the most captivating characters in literature, a broken man who clings still to holiness and is therefore able to bring little pieces of goodness to others.

But this is not a novel to read lightly. This is a book for people who need to feel pain, real human pain. If life has become numb, if you have forgotten your blessings and need to read about hardship, sacrifice and endurance against all powers of hell, this book is for you.

Like the Brothers Karamozov by Dostoevsky, the hope offered amid the tragedy is slight, but it is there. And sometimes it is the only thing in the world left to hold onto.

Greene writes with all the flair of the early 20th century Oxford-trained writers such as T.H. White, Evelyn Waugh, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.

“There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.” (Part I, Chapter 1).

“The world was in her heart already, like the small spot of decay in a fruit.” (This refers to the priests reflections on his own illegitimate child)

“Oh,’ the priest said, ‘that’s another thing altogether – God is love. I don’t say the heart doesn’t feel a taste of it, but what a taste. The smallest glass of love mixed with a pint pot of ditch-water. We wouldn’t recognize that love. It might even look like hate. It would be enough to scare us – God’s love. It set fire to a bush in the desert, didn’t it, and smashed open graves and set the dead walking in the dark. Oh, a man like me would run a mile to get away if he felt that love around.”

This is a good description of how frightening and painful the love of God can be. It’s not some sappy syrup, it’s more a purifying fire, and it is hard not to run from.

So, do I recommend this book? Maybe. It’s for adults; it has weighty themes and did not mean much to my sister who was assigned in high school. But if you are at the point where you’d rather hurt than feel nothing at all, then read this book. If you want a laugh, pick up something else.

[Confession: I did not read this entire book, but I did read most of it and I read all the sparknotes.]

Book Review: The Gospel of Happiness by Christopher Kaczor

At times, an unnecessary tension exists between psychological research and Christian faith, but Dr. Christopher Kaczor has now written a helpful book to clear a path through that forest of tension. In “The Gospel of Happiness,” he highlights the many ways that positive psychological research agrees with practices of the faith, yet he manages to keep his distance and not blur any important distinctions, such as to claim that any of this research “proves” Christian doctrine, or make any unkeepable promises such as that becoming or being a Christian will make your life easier or happier. Who among us is perfect at this whole life thing, after all?

Kaczor acknowledges that “Freud’s atheistic materialism, and reduction of theism to a childish desire for a father figure as a savior from helplessness, exemplifies this conflict” (181). Yet this is not the end of the story. He continues: “the full history of psychology and Christian belief is more complicated and interesting” (181).

Overall, the book is worth reading, and it doing some of the exercises in the book did help me appreciate the people and things in my life more. One key is that it can only work if you are willing to let it, as in to actually try it. If you approach it cynically and assume it’s all a load of baloney, it would be hard to appreciate new things.

Without further ado, here are some of the most interesting and useful parts of the book.

For one thing, he gives a fully fleshed out definition of what happiness actually is: and surprise, it goes beyond feelings and possessions. The acronym PERMA sums it up. Yes, P is for positive emotions (joy, gratitude, etc). E is for engagement, actually participating in communities and activities that are inherently rewarding, and having experiences of flow and total engagement. R is for relationships, loving, self-giving relationships. (Love one another as I have loved you -Christ Jesus). M is for meaning, having a purpose, a connection to something higher.

And finally, A is for accomplishments. This one is interesting. It isn’t about social comparison, Continue reading

How to Write a Book Review in 5 Easy Steps

A friend recently asked me about this, and I remembered that it was once like pulling teeth for me too, “What on earth do I say?” I would ponder.

So here it is, how I think about writing book reviews. (Step pre-1: unless you are being paid a boatload, only bother to review books you actually care about)

  1. Think – What stood out to you the most? What issues are most central in your mind? How did the book impact you?
  2. Find quotes – find the most representative and interesting quotations, especially ones that revolve around the themes you thought of in step one. Less is more here. Choose the best and don’t overwhelm the reader with tons of block quotations.
  3. Connect the dots – use words to tie your thoughts together. Don’t stress out here; it’s just a first draft and you don’t have to show it to anyone if you don’t want to. Just let it flow. No rules; just write.
  4. Edit and Rearrange – now put it in a more logical order and check for typos and sentence grammar. Don’t be afraid to add or remove large chunks.
  5. Flourishes:
    1. Summary: do not spend much time on summary unless you are writing a summary specifically. For a review, boil it down to one concise sentence and include this in the first paragraph.
    2. Can you place the work’s significance for the genre? If so, great. Include it. If not, don’t worry about it. Just explain what the work meant to you.
    3. Balance: I usually include one area I was less-than-pleased with, even if I loved it as a whole. This isn’t necessary, but it helps to remember that your reviews need not be all hot or cold. They can have nuance. Conversely, even if you hated the book, try to find something positive about it, even if it’s only in the idea.
    4. Real world meaning: for personal reviews or works, say what the work meant to you and how it has/will affect your life. For more formal reviews and works, mention the “real world” significance to be found in the work. Such as “So and So’s Treatise on the Philosophical Dynamics of Wind Movements may seem abstract, but it will forever change how you perceive your walk through the park on a breezy day.” Or “The love/hate relationship between the two central characters illuminated this area of my own life…” etc etc. These are the parts that really impact us as readers.

And there you have it! Now you can review books too and maybe even get free review copies from publishers. Or use this to write any paper on anything! Enjoy!

Questions: Was this actually helpful? Would you like to see any other how-tos or other questions answered on this blog?

Mad Max’s Refreshing Portrayals of Men and Women: The Potency of Fertility and Authentic Cooperation

[Here is an edited, more polished version]

Mad Max: Fury Road is jump starting heated conversations about its portrayal of men and women and whether or not it is “feminist,” a term whose definition varies as often as the person who uses it. Now, I love a good action movie, and it certainly delivered on that; it’s essentially one continuous car chase. But surprisingly, the portrayals of women in the movie are refreshingly accurate and rather meaningful. As an earnest Catholic, I would not call the movie “deep,” but rare is the film that portrays men and women as both truly different but equal in value and humanity and which does not include a pre-marital roll in the hay.

Mad Max is a movie about land-pirates traveling on cars, trucks and motorcycles as their ships in a post-apocalyptic landscape. There is a basic tyrant, “Immortan Joe” who is male and runs an oppressed society called “The Citadel.” He has power because he controls water, a scare resource in the post-nuclear desert. His power is cemented by bands of “war boys” who appear generally brainwashed to seek even death in order to protect the Citadel or glorify the “Immortal.” Nothing too shocking here in power dynamics: control a scarce resource and have the muscle to defend it against competitors.

Things ramp up when the Immortal’s many “wives,” come into focus. Though oppressed, they remain rather innocent and physically undamaged because he keeps them locked away. Their purpose is obvious: produce heirs and war boys and look beautiful; Joe hates them to be harmed because their beauty is a large part of the value he finds in them–they are played by a band of leggy women who resemble Victoria’s Secret models. Now, “The Immortal’s” treatment of them is certainly no model of mutual love or anything remotely close, but it does reveal something true: that even in a desperate, dangerous world, beauty still matters and men (even bad men) still want to protect it. It also plays on the immense importance of woman as mothers, as bearing the gift of fertility which alone has the power to preserve society. All the muscle of the war boys eventually atrophies in time, but children live on and continue society.

The raw physicality of motherhood also makes an appearance: there is a scene intended to be a bit jarring, grotesque even, where a room full of over-weight women are hooked up to pumps on their breasts and they just sit there, all day it seems, producing breast milk for Immortan Joe and the war boys. This oddly captures the potency of motherhood and breast milk but also illustrates a dual attitude of reverence and oppression held towards women in this world. They are beautiful and have life-giving power and for this they are revered, but also locked up and forced into it. In a post-apocalyptic world, this seems highly realistic. Women are needed so badly for precisely their womanly gifts that their humanity is brushed aside and they are forced into service. This is something we need to be on the watch for in real life as well. We as women do have great gifts, but all too often can be exploited for it, such as in prostitution and pornography. Breastfeeding and motherhood are great, great goods, and a woman can be a mother and breastfeed but yet her personhood is not entirely encompassed by these activities. Mothers, in short, are alsohuman.

Enter Charlize Theron’s character, Imperator Furiosa, the driving force of the plot. Furiosa is no pampered beauty. She is tough, strong and willing to face sacrifice and pain. The impetus of the film’s conflict is Furiosa’s effort to liberate the wives of the Immortal and herself. She hides them as stowaways on her war rig (tanker truck) and goes rogue in an effort to return to the place of her birth, the green place with “many mothers.” She is ultimately aided by the fortuitous arrival of the wanderer Mad Max (Tom Hardy) who seeks his own escape. What I love about Furiosa is that despite all her war-hardened exterior, she still acts as a woman, not just as a woman doing a man’s job. Her motivation for freeing the wives is given no explanation apart from the fact the she is doing it, which leads to the conclusion that she is motivated by sincere concern for their well-being and sorrow at their mistreatment–in short, true human love. She is a warrior with a loving heart. Men can be like this too, but having Furiosa as a woman captures the sense of solidarity between them as women; she is less a rescuer of stranded damsels and more a fellow struggler against an oppressive system.

Furiosa puts her own survival on the line for them despite their physical weakness compared to hers and their rather cumbersomeness. And in a memorable turn of events, one of the wives turns her very physical weakness, a pregnancy, into strength by acting as a human shield for Furiosa to stop the Immortal from firing at her. It was so selfless and only able to work because of her “weaker” role as someone beautiful and full-of-life, but not physically strong because of this. Watching the portrayal of the value and strength of her apparent weakness, I couldn’t help but think of St. Paul’s letter to the 2 Corinthians “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

And the greatest part, in case we thought women were always fluffy, is when the renegades arrive at their destination and it is a decimated remnant of what she remembered, but what remains is a band of tough-as-nails women–the “many mothers”–who had survived the collapse of their home and fought off all invaders and survived any way they could since then. They are a great band and show that women can become rough and tough if the situation demands it, and still be women. One of them keeps a large bag of various seeds in hopes of starting again. Women are preservers of life, uniquely gifted with welcoming new lives. As John Paul II wrote in his 1995 Letter to Women, in the area of “human relations and spiritual values,” “society certainly owes much to the ‘genius of women.’” (Letter to Women, 9). Mad Max’s Vuvalini are not saints by or meant to be shown as such, but they do possess a special nurturing quality towards life alongside their survival instincts that differs from Immortan Joe and the war boys of the Citadel.

Notably, the physical differences of women are not ignored. In one scene, a member of the Vuvalini falls easily in a strength-to-strength contest with one of the war boys. As unfortunate as it is, in a hand-to-hand battle, most men will outmatch most women. Not always, but almost always. The physical differences between men and women are not politically correct to mention, but they are real, and I give Mad Max credit for including that aspect of the sexes in addition to all the examples of intense, tough women.

So then what about the men? The Immortal is a pretty good example ofa man corrupted by power.

Mad Max himself is not so easy to place into a category. He is not quite an anti-hero but he isn’t a full-fledged hero either. He is a wandering survivor, captured by the Citadel’s war boys and exploited for his O positive blood type, the universal donor. He does not volunteer to help Furiosa but only reluctantly becomes enmeshed with them after seeking to evade the war boys during their clash with her. Later however when the ladies take a different route, he does offer counsel and puts his life on the line to help them out and take back the Citadel. Max does nothing dishonorable during the film; but is by no means chivalrous and he trusts no one.

One unusual thing about Max is that he isn’t motivated by a “save-the-damsel-in-distress” mentality nor is he driven by lust. On two occasions, he encounters half or fully naked women and is only annoyed! When he first discovers, by walking round the war rig, that Furiosa is carrying the scantily clad wives he expresses shock and annoyance that now the mission includes watching out for these weaker ones. He makes no overtures towards them whatsoever. He isn’t noble, but in today’s lust-driven age, it is refreshing to see. It is also accurate to how such a man would react; his life is marked by bare survival, not pleasure. Max sees Furiosa and the wives as some of the many and varied types of humans, nothing more for their womanhood and nothing less either.

Later, when the group arrives at Furiosa’s old home, the sentry is a woman screaming for help, to which Max only responds with an eye roll and a thumb point, “That’s bait.” It is rare to see such a manly character who does not take up a love interest or “bang a chick,” to put it coarsely, in a movie. He doesn’t make any advances towards Furiosa either, even though this seems like the likely pairing. Movies tend not to show a man being a man and a woman being a woman but not necessarily falling into each other’s arms. Romantic love is a good thing, but it is healthy to remember that men and woman can work together with respect for each other even when there is no romantic attachment.

The mutuality between men and women is completed in the end; Furiosa saves Max but he also saves her. After the final battle, she has bled out form a wound, and he revives her with a blood transfusion since he is the universal donor. It is hard ignore the christological overtones of her being literally “saved by his blood.” The act is totally selfless. Is Mad Max intentionally a type of Christ? Probably not, but christological typologies are both hard to avoid and highly riveting for a reason: Christ is the example par excellence of humanity; Christ is everything we look for and admire. Then finally, when the group arrives at the Citadel, having beaten the Immortal, Max makes sure that Furiosa is okay and that she is considered the rightful leader, then he leaves. He asks for nothing.

Am I saying this is a Christian movie or even a movie that Christians should see? No. Just for all the talk swirling around it, Mad Max: Fury Road contains a good deal of truth amidst all its turbulence. The apocalyptic landscape makes the rubber hit the road of reality: physical differences are real and relate to the differing gifts and abilities of men and women, and yet they share something more fundamental: their human goals and inherent value, made in the Image of God.

Prometheus: Why Aliens Will Never Be Satisfying

There are lots of interpretations of the new Ridley Scott film Prometheus floating around on the web right now. And when my husband couldn’t wait to see it, I saw it with him, now I can contribute to the theories.

The film’s strongest thoughtful element is the android David and his interactions with the other characters as creature to creator. But as interesting as that is, the film remains utterly unsatisfying, not because it doesn’t answer its own questions, but because asking whether aliens created human life is really just a circular question.

As the two lead scientists discuss in the film, if aliens created humanity, it doesn’t necessarily mean there is no God, it just leads to the further question of who created the aliens.

The question of creation just goes back and back and back unless there is a necessary being, one who’s existence is what defines it, one who doesn’t depend on any contingency in order to exist.

Traditionally, this necessary being is how philosophers (since Aristotle) and theologians (since Thomas Aquinas) have described God. Thus the “Well, who created God?” question is answered. God is the one being that exists by definition. The non-contingent being who has the logical power to explain how all these other (temporal, temporary) creatures and things exist.

Unfortunately, I don’t think this metaphysical conception of God is given much thought nowadays, which is really too bad because greater minds than ours have pondered this and found it satisfying. To dismiss the understanding of God as necessary being simply doesn’t give enough credit to the weight of ideas in play.

Now, some people might come to deny such a conclusion, but I hope that before the denial there is more serious thought and effort to understand the metaphysical points than just a quick “well, who created God?”

Turning to aliens, while interesting, does not give the human characters the answers they seek. Dr. Shaw wants to understand why humanity was made. Dr. Holloway doesn’t think it would be sufficient for humans to be a result of “just because they could.”

The beautiful thing is, from the Christian point of view, God, the necessary being who explains existence itself, created all the world and all humanity out of love, not because he had to. Because God is a Trinity of Persons in loving relationship, his goodness overflows and creates. Humans and everything else are loved into existence.

Now isn’t that more satisfying than arbitrary fiat? Or us being the side effect of alien experiments?

We so desperately still desire to know our origin and why things are how they are, to find an explanatory reason. The answers of faith that have been around for millenniums are still really, really good, strong, satisfying answers.

It’s not that people shouldn’t be allowed to consider other possibilities, but I just wish more credit and thought were given to the old answers. If aliens aren’t patently absurd, why would it be absurd to theorize that we have been loved and willed into existence by the necessary being?

All this being said, who doesn’t enjoy a bunch of aliens, robots and slime in space? Thank you, Prometheus!