During the past decade, there has been an explosion of films and television programs containing religious and spiritual themes. Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ was only the tip of the iceberg. As new generations of Americans work out their spiritual and religious questions, they are increasingly turning to fantasy.
These are the opening words of an issue of Krista Tippett's radio program "Speaking of Faith." I recommend the program to anyone who enjoys reflecting on matters of spirituality and faith. Obviously some topics will be more appealing than others. I receive the broadcast from the Internet. The advantage with the streaming audio broadcast is the additional information found on the website. You can investigate it for yourself at this here.
The show I mentioned above reminds me why I started the Magic Lantern Show. The imagination is a neglected dimension of faith and spirituality in Western culture. We tend to regard it as untrue. Hence, our inability to understand Revelation. Every printing of the Bible should come with a heading before Revelation emblazened with the legend "WARNING: Keep Out of Reach of Engineers." (My apologies to those of you who are engineers. Many of my best friends are engineers.)
Forgive the pitiful humor, but we have favored reason to the point that our ability to discern truth through imagination has atrophied. Reason certainly is important, and I regret that its neglect may soon be upon us, but our spiritual senses require both if we are to be whole. These two capactities of discernment are no more exclusive of one another than sight is exclusive of hearing. So let us hone both our intellect and our imagination. In the peaceable kingdom that is to come artists, philosophers, scientists, and engineers shall dwell together in harmony.
So, let's all go to movies - but take your faith with you.