Guest / Limited Access /

In recent years, movie and television audiences have been treated to stories both captivating and curious. We've watched extra-dimensional aliens instruct pre-Columbian Native Americans in the basics of civilization. We've looked on as an ancient super-race reluctantly assumes the role of modern superheroes. We've cheered genetically advanced humans with their assortment of superpowers. And we've marveled as residents of space or the future reveal secrets of human origin and destiny.

Despite these far-out scenarios, viewers don't leave movies such as Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Hancock, X-Men, and Contact—or television programs such as The X-Files or Heroes—scratching their heads in confusion. We are intrigued, but not surprised. Why? Because stories of advanced extraterrestrials, ancient human-alien contact, superior intelligences roaming the universe, and emerging super-races have grown familiar through repeated exposure. Thanks to the longstanding efforts of a wide range of artists, popular writers, and even scientists, we immediately recognize intelligent aliens and advanced humans. We now see space and the future as sources of hope.

The culture-shaping force of science fiction storytellers may be more significant and more widespread than we imagine. That's because they trade in myth. By myth, I mean a transcendent story that helps us make sense of our place in the cosmos. This common definition makes the Christian gospel, as C. S. Lewis suggested, "God's myth"—not because it is fiction, but because it is a story that gives ultimate meaning. We live in an age in which new myths, born mostly of science-fueled imaginations, are crafted and propagated at an unprecedented rate.

The ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this Issue
Subscriber Access Only Gas-Powered Gospels
Christians in South Korea use helium-filled balloons to spread gospel tracts.
Current IssueUnder Discussion: Spamming the Good News
Subscriber Access Only Under Discussion: Spamming the Good News
Does it matter that Twitter bots are circulating vastly more Bible verses than real pastors?
Current IssueCover Story: Standing with Charleston, One Year After the Emanuel AME Church Shooting
Subscriber Access Only Cover Story: Standing with Charleston, One Year After the Emanuel AME Church Shooting
CT sent a reporter and a photographer to be with the family members of several victims.
RecommendedBey and Bey's God
Bey and Bey's God
God and women's freedom are tied up together in Beyoncé's 'Lemonade.'
TrendingBlessed Are the Agnostics
Blessed Are the Agnostics
How I learned to see my unbelieving husband through God’s eyes.
Editor's PickIn the Battle Between LGBT Rights and Religious Freedom, Both Can Win
In the Battle Between LGBT Rights and Religious Freedom, Both Can Win
Why we needn’t fear the worst-case scenario.
Christianity Today
Sci-Fi's Brave New World
hide thisFebruary February

In the Magazine

February 2009

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.