The Bourne Ultimatum


I’m not a movie critic, I’m not a film minor, and I’m not your average 21-year-old American, so what I say will mean little to most. But I will say it anyway – The Bourne Ultimatum was wonderful. How few times are 3-movie series able to escalate in excitement instead of spiral into smut?

When it comes to movies, I’m your ignorance is bliss dude. I don’t watch many and don’t regret it, and this is from someone whose passions include motion graphics and visual effects. If I watch movies, it’s almost purely for entertainment. I certainly don’t act like watching films is the chief enterprise to expand my mind, improve my worldview, or – watch out – deepen my faith. I try not to build my theology merely on what Hollywood sends me. In other words, I’m not about to act like just anything is the Holy Spirit in disguise. Nah-uh. But I’d also be careful to say the Spirit could sure as heck use plenty of what Tinseltown sends my way to check me, if only I’d know His Word well enough. Side note though, how many pastors are going to use the Bourne series as their three-point outline? Ouch.

Still, I’ve learned more truth from the first chapter of Romans than all the movies I’ve watched combined. This ticks a lot of people off. Unbelievers because they think I’m close-minded. I’ll get to that point, but we’ll just keep it at that for now. Second, unbelievers who think they’re believers because they think I’m not missional. And even believers who think I’m not engaging the culture. And I don’t blame them for their views; I at times have sympathized with these views and I still see a lot of salt to them. I ain’t tryna be rigid for the sake of bein rigid homeboi.

I’ve done a pretty decent study of pluralism and its epistemological relationship to mankind. That’s just a pseudo-intellectual way of saying increasingly infinite choices presented as equally legitimate make chosen ignorance more and more appealing. (I haven’t changed subjects, trust me.) You google any subject of substance and I guarantee you can find an eloquent espousal of whichever side or even sides of ‘truth’ you would like for it to be. I don’t like Christianity – I don’t have to. I can find plenty of people who hate it. I don’t like atheism? – I don’t have to. I can find plenty of people who hate it as well.

And in the midst of all this we’re using jargon to make it sound like it’s all the same: ‘Why, Christianity is just as valid as atheism, Young Jeezy is just as valid as Paul Newman, rechargeable batteries are just as valid as post-it-notes.’ It gets absurd. You start with similar horizons, like perspectives on meaning, and then erode until you end up with ridiculous comparisons, not to mention conclusions. If we no longer find it absurd, we ourselves are part of the self-defeating worldview, because we’re claiming it both isn’t and is. And for the rest of us who do find it absurd, it’s only because it’s been pointed out to us. We otherwise wouldn’t come close to realizing how daily misguided we are in even the most seemingly trivial activities. Folks, we will have to man up at one point – at least one point – and acknowledge truth. The more we don’t, our pet peeves and underlying hatred for its existence will betray us. And after that one point we might be too stubborn to turn. Hello atheists and fundamentalists.

So we have every conceivable genre spewing across theater after theater with so many conflicting views and ideas that if we admitted we believed in truth would confuse us so profusely we’d probably commit suicide. So I’m going to be bigoted and say exposing my mind to any and everything doesn’t make me more inclusive, tolerant, nor compassionate. If it were just ‘information’ it would be okay. But it’s not. It’s data. And unconnected data does not make information, and unconnected information is not knowledge. Furthermore, if it is not True, it is not Information. If you would like to get into semantics and say falsity is still information, then what I’m talking about is data: information deconstructed or perverted. Forget all that mess – what I’m really saying is there’s a such thing as lies, and they’re harmful. Settled.

You see, here’s the problem. Most dudes would say I’m being close minded and choosing to stay in ignorance if I’m not watching the same – what I would personally call trash – as them. Here’s the problem – what do you mean by ‘close minded’ and ‘ignorance’? Because if truth exists in the absolute sense, and I believe it’s both rationally and empirically demonstrable that it does, then it might be those of you who accept everything that are actually the close minded ones; it might be you who are actually ignorant.

Now that’s goin against the grain shawty. How can I say this? What if Truth does exist? What if Christianity is the only sensible explanation for where we find ourselves? What if atheism isn’t true? What if evolution isn’t true? If the Bible is correct and everything against it actually is false – this is really separating me – then that would mean 95% of Hollywood is not actually Knowledge.

That might be enough for today. And don’t start trying to turn all those questions into their opposites as if I haven’t thought about the reverse extensions of my own claims. Why? Because your culture does that to me every day. Your culture doesn’t tell me ‘Christianity is legit, the Bible is trustworthy, truth finds its necessity in God.’ Heck no. But what your culture doesn’t do either is question itself. Your culture isn’t saying, ‘What if atheism is incorrect, what if humanism is flawed, what if relativism is self-defeating?’ It’s only folk like me that brings that up, and my kind is no longer large enough to be ‘culture’ anymore, at least not in the States.

Asking me to question my beliefs: ‘What if Truth doesn’t exist? What if Christianity isn’t a sensible explanation? What if atheism is true? What if evolution is true? What if the Bible is incorrect and most if not everything against it is true?’ – all these are viable and fair questions – don’t think I haven’t wrestled with them. But what I’m saying is, if you want me to question my beliefs, why aren’t you as heavily questioning yours? This culture is already teaching me and you each and every day anti-Christianity. Study history. If you don’t think that you’re the deluded one. And that’s not trying to be ad hominem either.

What if I started telling unbelievers they are the bigots and close-minded ones because they don’t believe Christianity? If Christianity is true, I’d have every right to. Why won’t Christians admit that? (But we’re supposed to be nice inclusive doormats who blindly end up throwing pearls before swine…). But really, if Christianity is true, then if they choose to soak up everything opposing it they are the ones being close-minded.

You say, well, Christianity isn’t true! Wait a minute, since when did truth all of a sudden return to your lexicon?

I’m not here to prove Christianity by any means – I don’t think I can anyway. But I would like to offer some skepticism, some doubt, some criticism to this culture. Again, telling me ‘But hey Alan, what if you’re wrong?’ is nothing new. I get that every single day. But you aren’t getting my side every single day. Does that mean I’m right? Of course not. Does that even necessarily mean you’re wrong? Of course not. I just wish some folks would stop and ask themselves, ‘What if what the culture teaches me is wrong?’ For that matter, I wish some ‘Christians’ would stop and ask the same things about their beliefs. Better to face it now than when the silver cord snaps. Friend, if you, through honest inquiry, conclude that the culture is in fact right on target, then big ups to you for being honest.

So Ultimatum was great. But that’s from someone who doesn’t watch as much as you. I’d say most folks watch so many flicks that nothing impresses them anymore. That’s the problem with unchecked pluralism, it just leaves you desensitized to contrast, to being able to say, ‘Hey, this was actually good, and this was actually bad.’ But if it is checked pluralism, then you will be the one with the right to say Ultimatum was terrible, because I am not as learned in that arena as you. And it is there that I will gladly bend.

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