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Looking for God in The Matrix

Neo's return reminds us that a fallen world full of people is a world worth saving

In her recent Christianity Today piece on The Matrix, Frederica Mathewes-Green pointed out a heresy at the heart of the movie. The choice being posed in the movie, she noted, is between a worthless physical world and a worth-filled spiritual realm, a world of the real. I think theologically Frederica and I are in agreement: The Matrix doesn't reflect the fact that the earth is full of God's glory, and that we are to glory in it.

But as one of the hyperventilating postmodern Christians looking for meaning in the Matrix films, I can imagine some reasons that author/directors Andy and Larry Wachowski pose the false dilemma they seem to give us.

We should note first that the worlds of the Matrix films—the computer-generated matrix that humans are a part of and the "desert of the real" that we see after the destruction of most of the human race—are actually both human creations, not God's creation. Except for a scene in Reloaded where Neo discovers himself to be sequestered five hundred miles away from the main action at a villain's chateau in the mountains—which strikes me mostly as a plot device to make it harder for Neo to save the day—the matrix we see is strictly urban, a megalopolis of gray concrete based on the so-called height of human civilization.

If there is a flower, a rainbow, or a smidgen of God's creation to be found within the program, I don't recall it. Likewise the "real" world is the ultimate devastated product of human civilization, and unless you find majesty in blasted rock and nuclear winter, I can't see much of an opportunity for the characters in the films to find beauty in much of anything except each other.

In the Matrix movies, we don't really have the chance to see God's world and it's majesty, which ...

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