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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Provoking Thought, Evoking Emotion, Assuring Authenticity

Stand By Me

The primary reason I hate some movies I might see is that they do not affirm what is and what ought to be. If a movie does not ring true, I have little patience with it. On the other hand, a movie like Stand By Me becomes a memorable event when it evokes boyhood experiences and treats the vulnerabilities, fears, strengths, loyalties, and loves of those experiences with integrity and authenticity. Jesus taught in parables—short movies. The parable of the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son are archetypal events because they reveal what is and what ought to be.  They serve to affirm what is already known subconsciously. Jesus could have lectured abstractly on compassion, responsibility, and love and his conceits inevitably would have become fodder for intellectual exercises—for parlor games that toss about and play with abstractions. But his parables disallow such escape from reality and provoke thought, evoke emotions, and confirm what we already know as truth but which has lain unrecognized and unstructured.

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