A Wrinkle in Theology

June 1, 2010

I’m currently listening to the audio book of A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. ***SPOILER ALERT*** It’s a children’s tale that contains elements of science fiction, extra-dimensinal travel, magic, witch-like beings, and the like. I can’t shake the feeling that I’ve read this before, quite possibly when I knew very little English, perhaps in Middle School. (I was a voraciously reader before I discovered video games… doh) Every twist and turn of the plot, every new character introduced seem vaguely familiar. Perhaps this is only my imagination. One could argue that the book isn’t terribly original despite its creative and supremely crafted narrative. After all, the opening words of “It was a cold and stormy night” is as cliched as it can get. Despite these ‘flaws’, I am finding myself enjoying it – these so called cliches might not be flaws at all, since she works the new into the old, the unfamiliar into the familiar, the extraordinary into the ordinary, rather masterfully.

The one thing I AM most disturbed by is her treatment of Christ. She mentions Christ as just one of many individuals who is battling this evil entity. However Christ is just that; just one among many heroes of the light, and in the same company of Buddha or even Einstein and Beethoven. It seems that her view of Christ is rather too small and she exalts the human spirit too much. Her view of the human will is too generous.

Another problem is that for all the emphasis on this fight between Good and Evil, there is no appearance of God. The ‘Lord’ that the pegasus-like creatures sing to is strangely absent, while evil looms about. The Medium who looks into the crystal ball can look into happy creatures, and even look into the very presence of evil; yet she cannot gaze into God.

These two flaws in her theology, are actually one. When Christ is lowered from a person with both a diving and human nature, to a just a person with a human albeit an elevated nature, Christianity loses its ultimate answer to the problem of evil. Because God’s ultimate answer to this problem was not a simple answer, but himself. The questioner is silenced by the One who is willing to sacrifice His very life to share in our pain, pay for our sins, to unite us back to God.

I’m still going through the audio book. (nearing the end…) And through the struggles of the protagonists I cannot help but wonder what a pitiful and helpless fight it must be for them; for they are only aided by mortal creatures and dying stars who stand afar unable to help them. But we have the One who is within us; we have the Holy Spirit who empowers us to live our lives not by the flesh.

I remember thinking similar thoughts when I read this first (or did i read it before??? ) though I’m quite certain these thoughts were merely vague unprocessed feelings. No one read this with me nor taught me that certain things in the book were wrong. Here then is the value of teaching correct theology to the young minds; though they many not fully understand all that they are taught, they will be kept from false teachings by the illumination of the Holy Spirit.

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