The Bible as Science Fiction

The Bible as Science Fiction October 18, 2008

IO9 suggests that it is time for sci-fi versions of familiar Bible stories. That could be interesting. If one ventures outside the Bible slightly, one gets books like 1 Enoch which already fit the genre. Enoch’s “ascension” shows the same sort of pre-modern cosmology I talked about in my last post, although the parallels make it more natural to talk about his “abduction”.

Of course, the Left Behind movie also fits the genre – when I watched it (before teaching a course on Revelation, since I suspected I might get asked about the series by students), I kept expecting Mulder and Scully to show up and investigate what was going on.

All kidding aside, however, this provides a nice opportunity to ask a key question raised by the last few posts. How do you “translate” stories from the Bible into your own worldview today? How do you update the cosmology, if at all? It is one thing to notice the differences between the ancient cosmology assumed by the authors of the Bible and our own. It is another to figure out how (if at all) one can bridge the gap and appreciate the message expressed in the context of that ancient worldview, and perhaps even re-express its meaning for our time.

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