Emmalie and I have recently been enjoying the new ABC series Once Upon a Time, a show which takes a different look at the origins of the fairy tales that we all know and love and tells a new tale of the characters being trapped by an evil curse in a place with no happy endings (which happens to be a fictional town in Maine… go figure).
Aside from the fact that it’s intriguing and suspenseful at times, Once Upon a Time has inspired some theological thoughts to spring up in my mind. For quite some time I have been moved to think about how the media and culture of our world serves to reflect the themes of Scripture (probably thanks to this and more so this). Throughout history God’s people have made connections (for better or worse) between the things of this world and the things of Christ. And why not? As we have watched through the first five episodes of this show, I have come to the realization that in one way or another our media will usually reflect some aspect of God’s story. This is true for all stories because God made us to be creative creatures; a great reflection of His image.
We have done Movie and Theology at youth group a few times and on occasion some kids will say to me, “It’s just a movie Jakob! It’s not meant to be torn apart like this!” And as I go on reviewing some theological themes of Once Upon a Time some of my readers may feel the same way. I certainly want to maintain my focus on the themes of Scripture without crossing the line into over spiritualization. This means that I’m going to try to avoid making unnecessary connections; in other words, not everything in the story is going to reflect the story of God just as not everything in the parables Jesus taught had a connection to the spiritual truth He was teaching. One example of what I won’t be doing (in the case of episode three) is looking at the scene with the trolls that Snow White and Prince Charming have to fight off and saying, “Now the trolls represent our sin, and…” No. The trolls are just a part of the story that serve more as a detail in and not as the support of a major theme.
That sounded confusing. I hope that as these posts come out, you will begin to see what I see in Once Upon a Time. I would encourage you to watch the previous episodes and join with me as we explore some of these things over the course of the series. I’m a bit behind in getting started, but am looking forward to what the future holds.