Reflections On Titanic: A Metaphor Of The Gospel -- By: David Miller
RAR 7:3 (Summer 1998) p. 185
Reflections On Titanic: A Metaphor Of The Gospel
When I first read C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to my daughter, I was deeply moved at the gospel allusions in the story. As a Christian who knew something about Lewis, I expected to find the gospel represented in the book. I knew it wasn’t a strict allegory like John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, but still I was surprised at the freshness and power with which I was impacted by the scene where Aslan is sacrificed by the White Witch and again by the utter joy of his subsequent resurrection frolic with the children. I was impressed once again by the glory of the gospel and of what our Lord has done for us.
Recently, as I reflected on the movie Titanic, I have felt the same reactions as I have begun to see (at a friend’s suggestion) something of the same kind of metaphorical portrayal of the gospel story in the unfolding of the movie. The world is enthralled with this $250 million blockbuster, and the world usually recognized a good story, just as the world has recognized Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress as a literary classic and Lewis’ Narnia Chronicles, even if the Christian elements escaped them. I think that is the case with Titanic. C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien talked of creating “myth,” in the highest sense of the word—a story that carries a higher meaning that helps us interpret our lives and gives them continuity and dimension. This is what they intended in their
RAR 7:3 (Summer 1998) p. 186
literature, and this is what James Cameron has done in this love story, Titanic.
Cultural statements like the movie Titanic can be a road sign to our generation. The story has been compared to Romeo and Juliet, but it really is much better by far. Instead of merely self-absorbed lovers, whose self-destructive end merely hints at causing a reconciliation of warring families, here the love is self-giving, ending in mutual commitment and redemption, though at the cost of the life of the redeemer. Does this not point to the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Can we not use this message to proclaim the explicit gospel in Scripture and help to show a lost generation the way into the light? And in the process of such reflection, perhaps it may enable us Christians to grasp a little more fully the nature of our salvation and to follow the old Puritan admonition, to “improve our baptism.” This movie has captured in an extraordinary way the imagination of many people, indeed, of a generation, Christians and non-Christians alike. It behooves us to discern why and take the role of the Interpreter (cf. Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress). If people are...
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