"What's the Word?" is a forum that is enamored with the aethestic beauty, historical accuracy, and authoritative innerrancy of God's Word. It is less concerned about how the text makes someone feel and more concerned about what it says. It answers the question "How should this text be applied to my life?" instead of "How can I use this text to benefit me?" Join the journey and place yourself beneath the authority of God's Word today!
As an admirer of
Christopher Nolan, I knew there was no way that I could pass up seeing Interstellar in the magic of the theater
house along with the corresponding drama of opening week. I was not disappointed.
The Nolan brothers delivered a beautiful piece of work that managed to
juxtapose an intimate look into the human condition with the intergalactic
splendor of deep space exploration. In their endeavor, these gifted storytellers
direct the gaze of their audiences heavenward and challenge everyone to once
again dream of boldly going where no one has gone before. Perhaps, as the
characters demonstrate in the motion picture, the Nolans are dissatisfied,
unimpressed, or fearful of planet earth as it currently exists. In an effort to escape
it, they created a craft capable of allowing their audiences to escape, even
for just a few short hours, in the form of this motion picture.
However, the Nolans' desire to escape planet earth is not unique to these two dreamers/directors. One of the many
distinguishing features of mankind that separates the human race from the
animal kingdom is its openness to the world and its desire to reach beyond it. Ever
since Greek scholarship decided to answer the question of man in terms of the
cosmos, the world itself was always deemed inadequate to give a definitive
answer for man’s yearning concerning what he is supposed to be. Entire
systems of scholarship have even been established to account for this
phenomenon. For instance, historians and anthropologists deal with the issues of this openness
or “otherness” in their respective fields (one studies “otherness” in space,
the other in time).
From antiquity on, man’s insatiable desire to reach beyond every
horizon that opens to him has been well documented and studied.
Nolans join the scientific community in both recognizing and appreciating this
future-oriented, “other”-associated openness in the constitution of man
with this film. They reveal themselves to be sympathetic to thinkers like William
Sims Brainbridge. In his compelling essay on converging technologies,
Brainbridge provides an optimistic look toward a future when man, upon reaching
a higher level of understanding, will leave planet earth entirely and reach a
higher potential or evolutionary step.
Interestingly, he believes that the coalescence of technology and the human
enterprise promises to grant humanity unprecedented power to change themselves
and the world around them. While some in the scientific community hope that
caution is practiced as humans advance in this way, Brainbridge suggests that
caution would stifle the program of progress. Uninhibited, man should be
released to “boldly go where no man has gone before,” and advance so far that humanity as a label will be considered
obsolete.Instead of finding satisfaction in the
currently inhabited world, those sympathetic to Brainbridge believe that humanity’s
unquenchable openness to possibilities will inevitably lead mankind to other
literal worlds by means of technological advances. But is this where people are
what or whom does this openness or otherness really point? What is hidden
inside the black hole of mankind’s insatiable desire for satisfaction in something
outside of himself? Salvation for humanity is not a new planet to populate once
ours becomes useless, nor is it a clever solution to a seemingly impossible equation
of quantum physics. However, the answer does exist in another dimension of
space and time. It is God. Though time and space are relatively inconsequential
for Him, He, like the protagonist of Nolan’s film is able to communicate (and
has communicated) the secret to a meaningful life. Also like Interstellar’s Cooper, He is a loving
Father bent on directing the gaze of humanity toward the hope of a better future.
The code through which His message is relayed to mankind is the very openness
that humans have for something more than what already is. The message itself is Jesus
Christ. As the God-Man, Jesus stepped out of His dimension and entered into our
own to point the way to salvation. Not only did He relay the message of salvation,
He proved Himself to be salvation. In so doing, Jesus solved the
equation of our dissatisfaction with the world as it is and offers something
better in its place, a real heaven.
powerful forces are joining together to silence this message from coming
through by erasing man’s desire for something more altogether. Textbooks have
been re-written that suggest this world is all that there is and humanity's
only hope is to seek pleasure in this life. Thankfully, Interstellar has challenged this assumption in its own spectacular
way by giving its audience a reason to wonder again. I just wonder if those who
know the solution to man’s need will capitalize on the opportunity for
discussion this movie creates by making the answer to mankind’s very real desire
known to those who desperately need it on planet earth.
Christopher Nolan for creating something that was not only fun to watch but even more exciting to ponder after the fact.
 Wolfhart Pannenberg, What is man?: A Contemporary Anthropology in
Theological Perspective, trans. by Duane A. Prievbe(Philadelphia, PA: Fortress, 1977), 3. See also Hoekema, Created, 18.
Cohn, “History and Anthropology: The State of Play,” Comparative
Studies in Society and History 22 (1980), 198.
 William Sims Brainbridge,
“Converging Technologies and Human Destiny,” Journal of Medicine & Philosophy 32 No. 3 (May0June , 2007):
Ibid., 212. “We
can agree that the planet Earth should remain a refuge for traditional
humanity, living in a variety of low-tech societies in what technophiles would
call a perpetual Dark Age. Those who wish to transform themselves into a very
different kind of intelligent entity will need to leave the Earth, fulfilling
what Alfred Bester (1956) ironically called arrival of the fittest. The original Star Trek motto — to
boldly go where no man has gone before — has been criticized for
splitting an infinitive and employing sexist language, and I now criticize it
for implying that space travelers will be humans in the antique sense of the
term. Another motto from the science-fiction subculture is better, leaving open
the nature of spacefarers and playing nicely off an old religious motto: The meek will inherit the Earth, but the
bold will go elsewhere.“