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Friday, October 21, 2005

What Movie Trailers Can Teach Us About the Analogy of Faith

Have you ever noticed that many cultists like to use the Christian bible to try to prove their errant positions? The Mormons, for instance, quote the King James Bible to you in your living room while you politely offer them coffee, tea or Pepsi.

In the second century, St. Irenaeus wrote against the gnostic heretics. And he too noticed that false teachers love to throw out bible proof texts. A couple of centuries later, the Arians were tying to make the bible say things it doesn't say. This is a common thing.

St. Irenaeus used this illustration. He said to imagine a large and beautiful mosaic of a king made from many gems and stones and precious metals. Now imagine that some rascal sneaks along and craftily re-arranges the tiles into something new, a picture of a mangey dog. All the pieces were the same. They'd just been misused and put out of order.

That is what the heretics do with God's Word. They use faulty or idiosyncratic translations. They quote half a verse. They pull things from context. They misapply and mislead. Anyone could quote the bible to justify nearly anything. In order to understand the Bible, there are rules of interpretation that must be followed. And chief among them is that no reading shall counter the analogy of faith, the kerygma. In other words, the Bible must be understood in light of the Gospel. I firmly support sola scriptura. But that does not change the fact that we have a fundamental understanding of the faith handed down from the preaching of the apostles, encapsulated in the historic creeds, and confessed through the ages. By this approach, no reading of scripture may contradict the analogy of faith.

And that was the point of St. Irenaeus. You can twist the bits and pieces all you like, but without the grand design, you won't see the picture correctly.

All of this came to mind when I discovered a trend in the blogosphere. Somehow people are creating new movie trailers for old movies and doing so in a way that completely changes your impression of the film. They use only footage from the film but arrange it in a new manner so that it appears to be something it is not.

Here is Alfred Hitchcock's famous thriller Psycho presented as a tender love story.

Here is the syrupy love story Titanic presented as a horror movie.

And here is the nightmarish Stanley Kubrick flick, Shining, presented as a warm-hearted family dramady.

Further info here.

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Carl said...

Great post, Scott. One error, though: The Mormons won't drink
caffeinated bev's!

John said...

Those are some very good trailers, if I had not seen the movies, I would be convinced. This is a very strong case for reading the bible (the whole enchilada), knowing the history behind it and letting scripture interpret scripture.

Pastor Scott Stiegemeyer said...

Hi Carl,
Thanks. I know that Mormons won't drink caffeinated bevs. That's exactly why I wrote it. An attempt at humor.

The Terrible Swede said...

I didn't even bother with the Titanic one...

The other trailers are creative but not true to the authors intent and give a false impression of the movie entirely.

BTW, The Shining and Psycho are my favorite genre of movies.

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