They once were Lost and now are found

SPOILER ALERT!

So Lost ends with the sacrifice of someone with bloody hands and feet and a wound in his side.  Whereupon everyone, including everyone who died in the series,  ends up in a church–complete with a statue of Jesus–where they forgive each other, are reconciled, and experience a joyous reunion.  The door opens and they walk out into the light.

I can’t remember any prime time series with so much explicit, overt Christianity.  It’s given in symbols, but symbols are far more evocative than prose in a work of art.   In addition to the Baptismal imagery that ran throughout the series, we also had in the last episodes Holy Communion imagery, with the mysterious God-figure saying “take this cup, and you’ll be like me.”

Pundits were saying that Lost has unique significance for our culture at this time in our history, to the point of proposing that the first decade of the 21st century–lacking a good name so far–be called “the Lost decade.”  So what does it mean that it takes Christianity to resolve all of those intractable problems and unravel all of that confusion?

I suspect that there will be a lot of howls from critics about the ending of Lost.  I’m not sure the literary critic in me is completely satisfied with the narrative resolution.  But still.   It shows that all of those Christian interpretations that people were reading into the show for the last six years were right after all, that all of that scattered symbolism was, in fact, the key to the show.

More importantly, the ending shows that traditional Christian concepts and imagery still have a powerful resonance in a Lost world.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Dan Kempin

    Aargh! Please add a spoiler alert for those who haven’t seen it yet!

  • Dan Kempin

    Aargh! Please add a spoiler alert for those who haven’t seen it yet!

  • Art Going

    Yes, yes. But then, there were also, in the sacristy of the church, the perfunctory postmodern touches: a stanined glass window with symbols of various world religions, as well as statuary representing the same religions. So, Christian references galore, but in a universalist framework.

  • Art Going

    Yes, yes. But then, there were also, in the sacristy of the church, the perfunctory postmodern touches: a stanined glass window with symbols of various world religions, as well as statuary representing the same religions. So, Christian references galore, but in a universalist framework.

  • Dan Kempin

    Thanks–and please feel free to remove my comments. (I first gave Lost a try because ofyour comment in World magazine. I am looking forward to the last season on dvd with great anticipation.)

  • Dan Kempin

    Thanks–and please feel free to remove my comments. (I first gave Lost a try because ofyour comment in World magazine. I am looking forward to the last season on dvd with great anticipation.)

  • Tom Hering

    Have you noticed that on the home page of the official ABC “Lost” site, there’s an image of da Vinci’s “Last Supper” that contains all the characters from the show – with John Locke in Christ’s seat. It gives me kind of a squirmy feeling.

  • Tom Hering

    Have you noticed that on the home page of the official ABC “Lost” site, there’s an image of da Vinci’s “Last Supper” that contains all the characters from the show – with John Locke in Christ’s seat. It gives me kind of a squirmy feeling.

  • http://philippians314.squarespace.com Kim in ON

    Did you notice on the stained glass window in the scene where Jack meets up with his father? There are six different symbols on the window, representing various religious beliefs?

  • http://philippians314.squarespace.com Kim in ON

    Did you notice on the stained glass window in the scene where Jack meets up with his father? There are six different symbols on the window, representing various religious beliefs?

  • Tom Hering

    I wonder if Stephen Prothero will comment on the “all religions lead to God” message?

  • Tom Hering

    I wonder if Stephen Prothero will comment on the “all religions lead to God” message?

  • http://renascentesmusae.blogspot.com/ Jon Bruss

    All good until you start to scratch the surface. The religious symbols Kim mentions included: the yin-yang (dualism), the David’s Star, the Turkish crescent (since it had a star inside), the cross. On the wall behind Jack when he walked into what looked like a big sacristy, there were a cross (don’t know whether it was a crucifix), a menorah, and a Buddha, who also reappeared in other statuary later on.

    In other words, the spiritual world of “Lost” is, well, lost. Syncretistic Christianity is no Christianity, just a repository of symbols that become a blank canvas on which to self-create one’s self as one’s own God, along with one’s own heaven, hell, and kosmos. I, in fact, took the episode as a sad reminder of the utter spiritual confusion–and the nihilism that underlies that spiritual confusion–of post-Christian post-modernity. This is Nietzsche come to roost, at long last: the will has been unmoored from everything, owing allegiance only to itself. At last, at long last, we are gods–and as gods, lost.

  • http://renascentesmusae.blogspot.com/ Jon Bruss

    All good until you start to scratch the surface. The religious symbols Kim mentions included: the yin-yang (dualism), the David’s Star, the Turkish crescent (since it had a star inside), the cross. On the wall behind Jack when he walked into what looked like a big sacristy, there were a cross (don’t know whether it was a crucifix), a menorah, and a Buddha, who also reappeared in other statuary later on.

    In other words, the spiritual world of “Lost” is, well, lost. Syncretistic Christianity is no Christianity, just a repository of symbols that become a blank canvas on which to self-create one’s self as one’s own God, along with one’s own heaven, hell, and kosmos. I, in fact, took the episode as a sad reminder of the utter spiritual confusion–and the nihilism that underlies that spiritual confusion–of post-Christian post-modernity. This is Nietzsche come to roost, at long last: the will has been unmoored from everything, owing allegiance only to itself. At last, at long last, we are gods–and as gods, lost.

  • http://www.IndyOPC.org Larry Wilson

    Count me as a very disappointed fan. You’re absolutely right that “traditional Christian concepts and imagery still have a powerful resonance.” But it seems to me that what we discovered in the end is that the show’s makers had no idea what they were doing; there was no big concept; there was no main point. They just made stuff up as they went along, stirred up a melange of symbolism and imagery–Christian and pagan and mythical–all the while pretending that they had a big point and a coherent theory that would answer all the questions when in fact they had no such thing. Then they tried to mask that fact with a mushy, feel-good, non-sectarian universalistic conclusion. I don’t wish to offend those who feel otherwise, but as for me–I feel pretty let down.

  • http://www.IndyOPC.org Larry Wilson

    Count me as a very disappointed fan. You’re absolutely right that “traditional Christian concepts and imagery still have a powerful resonance.” But it seems to me that what we discovered in the end is that the show’s makers had no idea what they were doing; there was no big concept; there was no main point. They just made stuff up as they went along, stirred up a melange of symbolism and imagery–Christian and pagan and mythical–all the while pretending that they had a big point and a coherent theory that would answer all the questions when in fact they had no such thing. Then they tried to mask that fact with a mushy, feel-good, non-sectarian universalistic conclusion. I don’t wish to offend those who feel otherwise, but as for me–I feel pretty let down.

  • Booklover

    It looks like I, as a non-TV watcher, Lost nothing. :-)

  • Booklover

    It looks like I, as a non-TV watcher, Lost nothing. :-)

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    I know, I know. I noticed the various religious symbols in the stained glass windows. But the main thing is the symbolism OF THE STORY. The show did nothing with a Buddhist rejection of desire or a Hindu pursuit of nothingness or a Muslim institution of Shar’ia law or the actual content of any of these religions.

    The story was resolved by a sacrifice (which these other religions don’t believe in), by forgiveness (Locke forgiving Ben for murdering him), by reconciliation, in a church (which these other religions don’t have), ending in Heaven (which these other religions don’t believe in).

    I know people say that all religions are one, and of course Hollywood is going to genuflect in this direction. But the fact is, they are not one, they are very different, and none of them except Christianity offers a narrative that resolves the kinds of tortured confusions that “Lost” and “the Lost decade.”

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    I know, I know. I noticed the various religious symbols in the stained glass windows. But the main thing is the symbolism OF THE STORY. The show did nothing with a Buddhist rejection of desire or a Hindu pursuit of nothingness or a Muslim institution of Shar’ia law or the actual content of any of these religions.

    The story was resolved by a sacrifice (which these other religions don’t believe in), by forgiveness (Locke forgiving Ben for murdering him), by reconciliation, in a church (which these other religions don’t have), ending in Heaven (which these other religions don’t believe in).

    I know people say that all religions are one, and of course Hollywood is going to genuflect in this direction. But the fact is, they are not one, they are very different, and none of them except Christianity offers a narrative that resolves the kinds of tortured confusions that “Lost” and “the Lost decade.”

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Furthermore, notice that it isn’t the contemporary pop Christianity that tries to play down Christian tradition as obstacles to people today coming to faith. Rather, it is the TRADITIONAL Christianity of bloody sacrifice, Baptism, the Lord’s Supper, church that has this resonance to today’s “Lost.”

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Furthermore, notice that it isn’t the contemporary pop Christianity that tries to play down Christian tradition as obstacles to people today coming to faith. Rather, it is the TRADITIONAL Christianity of bloody sacrifice, Baptism, the Lord’s Supper, church that has this resonance to today’s “Lost.”

  • Cincinnatus

    @Larry Wilson: I believe I mentioned something to this effect a few days ago. It was beyond obvious that Lost’s writers and producers had absolutely no idea where they were going, and by the time they decided Season 6 would be the last (it was originally going to be 8; word of caution: be wary of supposed narratives in which the margin of error is apparently two entire seasons), they had no way to conclude the story in a meaningful, artistic, intentional, and satisfying fashion. They just needed to come up with some way to patch everything up quickly. The finale was an obvious rush job. And when I glance back at the early seasons–their lingering questions, symbols, concepts, and plot mechanisms–I can’t help but feel tremendously disappointed, concluding that Lost as a whole is ultimately a wasted effort–a “lost series” if you will, and many hours lost of my life. Even aside from those festering questions (what’s with the polar bears? what happened to Claire? who made the four-toed foot?), there is so much that Lost could have, should have, but didn’t do.

    Most telling was Abrams’s recent canard that “Lost has always been a character-driven rather than a plot-driven show.” Whether he actually believed this or whether it is an ex post facto justification for the show’s terrible mistakes, it’s obviously false. Lost was, from its inception, a plot-driven show that happened to have a few interesting (but mostly annoying) characters in it. We tuned in for the mythology, the questions, the philosophy, the mystery–all of which disappeared into a morass of confusion and wasted potential as the series progressed–not for the love triangles and “drama.”

    Conclusion: don’t watch a plot-driven show unless the writers are actually intending to tell a story.

  • Cincinnatus

    @Larry Wilson: I believe I mentioned something to this effect a few days ago. It was beyond obvious that Lost’s writers and producers had absolutely no idea where they were going, and by the time they decided Season 6 would be the last (it was originally going to be 8; word of caution: be wary of supposed narratives in which the margin of error is apparently two entire seasons), they had no way to conclude the story in a meaningful, artistic, intentional, and satisfying fashion. They just needed to come up with some way to patch everything up quickly. The finale was an obvious rush job. And when I glance back at the early seasons–their lingering questions, symbols, concepts, and plot mechanisms–I can’t help but feel tremendously disappointed, concluding that Lost as a whole is ultimately a wasted effort–a “lost series” if you will, and many hours lost of my life. Even aside from those festering questions (what’s with the polar bears? what happened to Claire? who made the four-toed foot?), there is so much that Lost could have, should have, but didn’t do.

    Most telling was Abrams’s recent canard that “Lost has always been a character-driven rather than a plot-driven show.” Whether he actually believed this or whether it is an ex post facto justification for the show’s terrible mistakes, it’s obviously false. Lost was, from its inception, a plot-driven show that happened to have a few interesting (but mostly annoying) characters in it. We tuned in for the mythology, the questions, the philosophy, the mystery–all of which disappeared into a morass of confusion and wasted potential as the series progressed–not for the love triangles and “drama.”

    Conclusion: don’t watch a plot-driven show unless the writers are actually intending to tell a story.

  • Cincinnatus

    This might as well have been tacked on to the series as the finale:

    Same actor, same cheesy music, same sappy emotions, same resulting disappointment, and the network would have saved millions.

  • Cincinnatus

    This might as well have been tacked on to the series as the finale:

    Same actor, same cheesy music, same sappy emotions, same resulting disappointment, and the network would have saved millions.

  • Joe

    After reading the comments, I am glad that I did not watch the show.

  • Joe

    After reading the comments, I am glad that I did not watch the show.

  • http://www.roundunvarnishedtale.blogspot.com Cheryl

    I completely disagree with Cincinnatus’ assessment. I loved these characters, cared deeply about them. If it were just about the plot, I would have quit watching long ago. But I wanted to find out what happened to these people. And I found the finale supremely emotionally satisfying for that reason. Yes, there are unanswered plot questions. I have a feeling the Lost franchise will enjoy a few more years of profitability answering some of those (does anyone doubt we will soon be seeing a Dummy’s Guide to Lost?). But in the end, what mattered most for me was these people, and over the course of the show they found purpose and redemption for their messed up lives. I think Dr. Veith is right on the money in observing that while the last scene is unversalistic (what else would you expect? this was hardly a show intended strictly for a Christian audience), the only thing that really brings closure is a Christian interpretation, and that makes the underlying narrative essentially Judeo-Christian. The show was allegory, and allegory has a literal level and a symbolic one. Not everything that happens on the literal level will be in harmony with the ultimate allegorical meaning. There may be magic and witchcraft (or in this case, Smoke Monsters and time travel and universalism) that may not accord with our understanding of what is true about the universe. But for me the only narrative that can make this story work is a Christian-based one. And I can’t help wondering if that is what is making so many Lost fans unhappy today.

  • http://www.roundunvarnishedtale.blogspot.com Cheryl

    I completely disagree with Cincinnatus’ assessment. I loved these characters, cared deeply about them. If it were just about the plot, I would have quit watching long ago. But I wanted to find out what happened to these people. And I found the finale supremely emotionally satisfying for that reason. Yes, there are unanswered plot questions. I have a feeling the Lost franchise will enjoy a few more years of profitability answering some of those (does anyone doubt we will soon be seeing a Dummy’s Guide to Lost?). But in the end, what mattered most for me was these people, and over the course of the show they found purpose and redemption for their messed up lives. I think Dr. Veith is right on the money in observing that while the last scene is unversalistic (what else would you expect? this was hardly a show intended strictly for a Christian audience), the only thing that really brings closure is a Christian interpretation, and that makes the underlying narrative essentially Judeo-Christian. The show was allegory, and allegory has a literal level and a symbolic one. Not everything that happens on the literal level will be in harmony with the ultimate allegorical meaning. There may be magic and witchcraft (or in this case, Smoke Monsters and time travel and universalism) that may not accord with our understanding of what is true about the universe. But for me the only narrative that can make this story work is a Christian-based one. And I can’t help wondering if that is what is making so many Lost fans unhappy today.

  • Cincinnatus

    No, Lost fans are unhappy because, as it happens, the show ultimately makes no sense (go back, watch the first season, and then return to tell me if you are satisfied with the conclusion), and the cobbled-together conclusion evinces a refusal on the part of its writers to fulfill the promises made by the show at its inception.

  • Cincinnatus

    No, Lost fans are unhappy because, as it happens, the show ultimately makes no sense (go back, watch the first season, and then return to tell me if you are satisfied with the conclusion), and the cobbled-together conclusion evinces a refusal on the part of its writers to fulfill the promises made by the show at its inception.

  • Tom Hering

    The finale begs the question: with fewer and fewer people interested in traditional Christianity, or attending church, or having any knowledge of the Scriptures, does the audience for “Lost” (beyond folks like us) have any idea Who/what the show’s themes and symbols point to?

    For example, USA Today gave the finale (and series) a gushingly positive review – without once mentioning Christianity, never mind Christ. It just mentioned the show’s “spiritual” concepts.

    On the other hand, God can use the strangest things to lead people to His Son. That certainly was the case in my own life. :-)

  • Tom Hering

    The finale begs the question: with fewer and fewer people interested in traditional Christianity, or attending church, or having any knowledge of the Scriptures, does the audience for “Lost” (beyond folks like us) have any idea Who/what the show’s themes and symbols point to?

    For example, USA Today gave the finale (and series) a gushingly positive review – without once mentioning Christianity, never mind Christ. It just mentioned the show’s “spiritual” concepts.

    On the other hand, God can use the strangest things to lead people to His Son. That certainly was the case in my own life. :-)

  • http://philippians314.squarespace.com Kim in ON

    I find it interesting that given the pictures on the stained glass and the menorah and Buddah, it was the allusion to a sacrifice (i.e., Jack being pierced in the side and dying) that was featured. It is interesting that given the syncretism, the Christ sacrifice is the only conclusion that seems to make sense. It’s not as if the writers chose Jack to resemble Mohammed or Buddah.

  • http://philippians314.squarespace.com Kim in ON

    I find it interesting that given the pictures on the stained glass and the menorah and Buddah, it was the allusion to a sacrifice (i.e., Jack being pierced in the side and dying) that was featured. It is interesting that given the syncretism, the Christ sacrifice is the only conclusion that seems to make sense. It’s not as if the writers chose Jack to resemble Mohammed or Buddah.

  • http://www.IndyOPC.org Larry Wilson

    OK, I’ve listened, I’ve reflected further, and I’ve consciously “let go” of my irritation at the manifold dead-end story lines and unsolved mysteries (lest I be sentenced to some sideways purgatory world). It does seem that Dr. Veith and Cheryl make a compelling case that–in spite of the religious melange–to the degree that the story-line worked, what made it work were the Christian elements.

    On another topic, I won’t defend watching Lost as some sort of virtue, or condemn those who chose not to. But I will say that it did occasion a number of opportunities to discuss religious issues, including the gospel, with non-believers.

  • http://www.IndyOPC.org Larry Wilson

    OK, I’ve listened, I’ve reflected further, and I’ve consciously “let go” of my irritation at the manifold dead-end story lines and unsolved mysteries (lest I be sentenced to some sideways purgatory world). It does seem that Dr. Veith and Cheryl make a compelling case that–in spite of the religious melange–to the degree that the story-line worked, what made it work were the Christian elements.

    On another topic, I won’t defend watching Lost as some sort of virtue, or condemn those who chose not to. But I will say that it did occasion a number of opportunities to discuss religious issues, including the gospel, with non-believers.

  • http://enterthevein.blogspot.com J. Dean

    I’ve not seen it, but I’ve had suspicions about the end anyway (read THE THIRD POLICEMAN by Flann O’ Brien). While it’s admirable that Christianity is predominant, it’s not surprising that Chrstianity is not exclusive. I guess that, considering that this series was not written by a Christian (not to my knowledge, at least), we can’t be too disappointed. At the same time, never should we use Hollywood for theology. So I’d conclude that we have good entertainment that pays a sort of homage to Christianity, but is not something from which we should draw any sort of doctrinal base.

  • http://enterthevein.blogspot.com J. Dean

    I’ve not seen it, but I’ve had suspicions about the end anyway (read THE THIRD POLICEMAN by Flann O’ Brien). While it’s admirable that Christianity is predominant, it’s not surprising that Chrstianity is not exclusive. I guess that, considering that this series was not written by a Christian (not to my knowledge, at least), we can’t be too disappointed. At the same time, never should we use Hollywood for theology. So I’d conclude that we have good entertainment that pays a sort of homage to Christianity, but is not something from which we should draw any sort of doctrinal base.

  • Josie

    I’m just frustrated that the plot was pretty much dropped by the end. I too loved the characters, but really, why were they there? what would really happen if the island sunk? Why was the island so special? what made Desmond special? And what about those stinkin’ Polar Bears? Oh well, at least it was a fun show to watch!

  • Josie

    I’m just frustrated that the plot was pretty much dropped by the end. I too loved the characters, but really, why were they there? what would really happen if the island sunk? Why was the island so special? what made Desmond special? And what about those stinkin’ Polar Bears? Oh well, at least it was a fun show to watch!

  • EGK

    I wasn’t sure what I thought at first, but I am more and more of the opinion that it worked. People need community. You want people reconciled to each other. If you want true happiness (joy) in this life you will be disappointed. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. And don’t forget that the door to heaven was opened by CHRISTIAN SHEPHERD.

  • EGK

    I wasn’t sure what I thought at first, but I am more and more of the opinion that it worked. People need community. You want people reconciled to each other. If you want true happiness (joy) in this life you will be disappointed. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. And don’t forget that the door to heaven was opened by CHRISTIAN SHEPHERD.

  • J

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bradley-b-onishi/i-once-was-found-and-now_b_586861.html

    I don’t watch the show, but that didn’t stop me from stumbling across this interesting take, similar in parts to Veith’s and others’ above.

  • J

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bradley-b-onishi/i-once-was-found-and-now_b_586861.html

    I don’t watch the show, but that didn’t stop me from stumbling across this interesting take, similar in parts to Veith’s and others’ above.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Ross Douthat has an interesting column in the NYT arguing that, while as a Christian he takes some comfort in the finale, on balance the series ended up at the serious level with what literary types called a MacGuffin in that the island wasn’t a real mystery. He, also, remarks that the characters, while fetching, are two-dimensional.

    I enjoy following these contemporary debates on TV shows and movies, though frankly I don’t watch them and regard most of them rather as trash.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Ross Douthat has an interesting column in the NYT arguing that, while as a Christian he takes some comfort in the finale, on balance the series ended up at the serious level with what literary types called a MacGuffin in that the island wasn’t a real mystery. He, also, remarks that the characters, while fetching, are two-dimensional.

    I enjoy following these contemporary debates on TV shows and movies, though frankly I don’t watch them and regard most of them rather as trash.

  • http://www.messiahlacrescent.org Rev. Matthew Lorfeld

    While I agree there was quite a bit of Christian imagery, the Hindu imagery was very strong in the heart of the Island. The idea of Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu were clearly evident as well the Hindu idea of remembering one’s past life. The writers have been very open stating that certain religious imagery was intentional (while denying there is any “purgatory” imagery… or at least saying the Island is not purgatory).
    My take on the ending, is that it philosophically fits with a very postmodern approach to art… that the fan creates his or her own meaning… which when it comes to art, I think is fine… or at least fun (especially if we don’t take things too seriously).

  • http://www.messiahlacrescent.org Rev. Matthew Lorfeld

    While I agree there was quite a bit of Christian imagery, the Hindu imagery was very strong in the heart of the Island. The idea of Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu were clearly evident as well the Hindu idea of remembering one’s past life. The writers have been very open stating that certain religious imagery was intentional (while denying there is any “purgatory” imagery… or at least saying the Island is not purgatory).
    My take on the ending, is that it philosophically fits with a very postmodern approach to art… that the fan creates his or her own meaning… which when it comes to art, I think is fine… or at least fun (especially if we don’t take things too seriously).

  • Elizabeth Ahlman

    I am not a Lost watcher, so I will say that up front. However, I think that all literature, art, film, and television has the potential to carry the Gospel arc. Sometimes this is done intentionally by the authors, sometimes it is not. And since it is not a direct retelling of the Gospel, but rather using the Gospel pattern, it is of course imperfect. As Dr. Veith said, it is about the overall thrust of the narrative. I took a class at Concordia Seminary with Dr. Francis Rossow which explored the use, intentional or unintentional, of the Gospel pattern in literature. Sometimes it is blatantly obvious, such as the use of Christian symbols. Sometimes it is very subtle, turned on its head, used in a different way, broken, or incomplete. But it is still there. For example, take Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Sharer. Conrad was an atheist. Yet, Gospel themes abound in the use of a doppelganger who essentially helps the Captain to confront the darkness in himself, and other themes in the story. This is just one example. What this should tell us is that even when the secular world wants to reinvent, reuse, recycle, resituate the Gospel story, it is still so powerful as to invade every aspect of life, whether the writers/artists/actors really believe it or not. Lost wasn’t trying to proclaim the pure Gospel (and thank goodness, because that’s the job of ordained pastors), but the themes of sacrifice, redemption, and forgiveness, still resonate. If nothing else, perhaps such an ending can open up a dialogue with fellow Lost watchers who are, forgive the pun, lost.

  • Elizabeth Ahlman

    I am not a Lost watcher, so I will say that up front. However, I think that all literature, art, film, and television has the potential to carry the Gospel arc. Sometimes this is done intentionally by the authors, sometimes it is not. And since it is not a direct retelling of the Gospel, but rather using the Gospel pattern, it is of course imperfect. As Dr. Veith said, it is about the overall thrust of the narrative. I took a class at Concordia Seminary with Dr. Francis Rossow which explored the use, intentional or unintentional, of the Gospel pattern in literature. Sometimes it is blatantly obvious, such as the use of Christian symbols. Sometimes it is very subtle, turned on its head, used in a different way, broken, or incomplete. But it is still there. For example, take Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Sharer. Conrad was an atheist. Yet, Gospel themes abound in the use of a doppelganger who essentially helps the Captain to confront the darkness in himself, and other themes in the story. This is just one example. What this should tell us is that even when the secular world wants to reinvent, reuse, recycle, resituate the Gospel story, it is still so powerful as to invade every aspect of life, whether the writers/artists/actors really believe it or not. Lost wasn’t trying to proclaim the pure Gospel (and thank goodness, because that’s the job of ordained pastors), but the themes of sacrifice, redemption, and forgiveness, still resonate. If nothing else, perhaps such an ending can open up a dialogue with fellow Lost watchers who are, forgive the pun, lost.

  • Jen

    http://forum.lostpedia.com/someone-bad-robots-take-finale-t59261.html?s=f104bdd11ccc363242c68508d3cefe8a&s=1ace18fcf3b20f0b812fe4c4445a5ecd&

    This explanation was more satisfying that watching the show, although, I still would have liked a different ending, without sideways world and hinduism.

  • Jen

    http://forum.lostpedia.com/someone-bad-robots-take-finale-t59261.html?s=f104bdd11ccc363242c68508d3cefe8a&s=1ace18fcf3b20f0b812fe4c4445a5ecd&

    This explanation was more satisfying that watching the show, although, I still would have liked a different ending, without sideways world and hinduism.

  • Reg Schofield

    Having not really followed Lost religiously for years now , I was interested in seeing the end. I have kept track of the show so had some context going into show .
    The amazing thing about the final show was its clear Christian dominance. Yes the other religions were featured but the acts of forgiveness , reconciliation (grace if you will) shown are uniquely deeper in the Christian faith. Plus Jack dying as a sacrifice is clearly a Christ like figure. No its not perfect and has many gaps ,however the narrative around the water cooler can lead to the grand truths of the gospel being discussed . Interesting ending to a very unique show.

  • Reg Schofield

    Having not really followed Lost religiously for years now , I was interested in seeing the end. I have kept track of the show so had some context going into show .
    The amazing thing about the final show was its clear Christian dominance. Yes the other religions were featured but the acts of forgiveness , reconciliation (grace if you will) shown are uniquely deeper in the Christian faith. Plus Jack dying as a sacrifice is clearly a Christ like figure. No its not perfect and has many gaps ,however the narrative around the water cooler can lead to the grand truths of the gospel being discussed . Interesting ending to a very unique show.

  • Dan Kempin

    OK, so I don’t know if you ever check back on threads long dead, but after re-watching the previous seasons, I finally had a chance to savor the final season of Lost. (Streaming in HD on Netflix. Awesome.)

    And thanks, by the way, for putting me on to this show in the first place. I think it is the most compelling television I have ever seen, touching on so many substantial themes that are typically avoided in broadcast.

    Regarding your comment about Christian themes, I had a thought.

    Upon watching, the impression that first struck me (carried over from season 5) was the strong overtone of paganism, particularly greek and egyptian. I was strongly suspecting a mythological ending–you know, the gods in conflict, using mortals for their own end, etc.

    You are right, though, that there are many overtly Christian themes. Jacob, striving with his unnamed brother, baptism, resurrection, sacramental drink, not to mention the many homages to miraculous conception and madonna and child.

    I even got to wondering if the characters and their flaws (in their previous lives) were an embodiment of the seven deadly sins. You have:

    Gluttony-Hurley
    Lust-Sun (unfaithful to her husband)
    Greed-Sawyer (professional con man)
    Wrath-Kate (murderess)
    Pride-Jack (doctor with god complex)

    I’m a little hung up, though, on Envy and Sloth.

    Shannon could be sloth, of course, but the meaning of that vice is to not live up to your potential. I suppose that could also be John Locke, before the island. Or also Michael.

    Ben Linus would be a perfect character for envy, being jealous of the true “candidates” and scheming against them, but he is not one of the initial characters. That would probably be Boone, who was jealous of Shannon.

    Anyway, it was a very interesting show. The ending was a bit dissatisfying, but considering the genius of the show was in their discipline to NOT reveal the plot, I suppose that was unavoidable. A mystery revealed is just a fact.

    Merry Christmas, and may God bless you this year!

  • Dan Kempin

    OK, so I don’t know if you ever check back on threads long dead, but after re-watching the previous seasons, I finally had a chance to savor the final season of Lost. (Streaming in HD on Netflix. Awesome.)

    And thanks, by the way, for putting me on to this show in the first place. I think it is the most compelling television I have ever seen, touching on so many substantial themes that are typically avoided in broadcast.

    Regarding your comment about Christian themes, I had a thought.

    Upon watching, the impression that first struck me (carried over from season 5) was the strong overtone of paganism, particularly greek and egyptian. I was strongly suspecting a mythological ending–you know, the gods in conflict, using mortals for their own end, etc.

    You are right, though, that there are many overtly Christian themes. Jacob, striving with his unnamed brother, baptism, resurrection, sacramental drink, not to mention the many homages to miraculous conception and madonna and child.

    I even got to wondering if the characters and their flaws (in their previous lives) were an embodiment of the seven deadly sins. You have:

    Gluttony-Hurley
    Lust-Sun (unfaithful to her husband)
    Greed-Sawyer (professional con man)
    Wrath-Kate (murderess)
    Pride-Jack (doctor with god complex)

    I’m a little hung up, though, on Envy and Sloth.

    Shannon could be sloth, of course, but the meaning of that vice is to not live up to your potential. I suppose that could also be John Locke, before the island. Or also Michael.

    Ben Linus would be a perfect character for envy, being jealous of the true “candidates” and scheming against them, but he is not one of the initial characters. That would probably be Boone, who was jealous of Shannon.

    Anyway, it was a very interesting show. The ending was a bit dissatisfying, but considering the genius of the show was in their discipline to NOT reveal the plot, I suppose that was unavoidable. A mystery revealed is just a fact.

    Merry Christmas, and may God bless you this year!

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    I did read your comment, Dan, after all this time, and I appreciate your insights into the show!

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    I did read your comment, Dan, after all this time, and I appreciate your insights into the show!

  • Dan Kempin

    Not to pester you, but did you know that there is a short “mini” episode on the dvd features for season 6? It’s not much, but it ties up a few loose ends. A fan of the show would not want to miss it. Called “the new man in charge.”

  • Dan Kempin

    Not to pester you, but did you know that there is a short “mini” episode on the dvd features for season 6? It’s not much, but it ties up a few loose ends. A fan of the show would not want to miss it. Called “the new man in charge.”


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