When I posted some brief thoughts about Avatar on December 19, 2009 I started the post with this comment:
While I am sure many Christian groups will (negatively) comment on the “pagan” religious elements of Avatar, I was surprised at the biblical correlations.
Indeed they have.
One in particular touched our family directly. My home schooled son takes a number of classes at a local Co Op. While at classes a few weeks ago the students were invited to hear a special guest speaker talk about media, specifically Avatar.
My son, who loved Avatar by the way, was disappointed when the first point the guest speaker made was that Avatar was of the Devil.
While I have no doubt that his intentions are sincere, I do believe that this guest speaker missed an incredible opportunity to teach God’s story with Avatar.
Instead of focusing on the film’s presentation of Paganism and Pantheism I wished he would have used it as parable (much like Jesus did) to teach God’s story.
The movie itself is a beautiful parable of the Incarnation. The way Jake Sully uses his avatar to be born as a Na’vi is telling.
His avatar is Na’vi and is also completely Jake Sully.
He is human.
He is Na’vi.
We are also told why they created the avatars; so that the Na’vi would accept the humans.
The humans became one of them so that they would be accepted by them.
I would assume that James Cameron is no friend of Christianity (he produced The Lost Tomb of Jesus in 2007 rejecting the divinity and resurrection of Jesus) but it does seem that he has made a masterful parable explaining to us – showing us – the first chapter of John.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
Also visualized in Avatar is the idea of being again (Jake even says that the day is his birthday) and of resurrection (life after death).
Does Avatar visualize pantheism? Yes.
Does it also tell part of God’s story? Yes.
I wish the guest speaker would have used the opportunity to encourage and teach his audience instead of frighten then.
I wish he would have shared God’s story with Avatar.
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Until next time, God bless.
Simon L Smith