What happens when you combine Contact (one of the best movies EVER, and I totally need to write a blog series about it) and Inception (ditto the previous parenthetical)? Interstellar. Oh yeah. It’s that good.

Interstellar is a sci-fi flick directed by Christopher Nolan (who also directed Inception). The story is incredible, the script well-written, the acting outstanding, and the score is stirring and powerful, incorporating ticking clocks and strategic use of pipe organ, one of my favorite instruments. (Close your eyes and listen to 50:42-56:03 “Detach.” To me, it’s a musical expression of moving from death to life. You might want to grab a box of tissues and put on a seatbelt first.)

This movie addresses the great selfless potential of humanity while also acknowledging the darkness and self-centered behavior that would inevitably accompany an impending extinction-level event.

One quote in particular really struck me:

Love isn’t something that we invented. It’s observable. Powerful. It has to mean something. Maybe it means something more, something we can’t yet understand. Maybe it’s some evidence, some artifact of a higher dimension that we can’t consciously perceive. Love is the one thing that we’re capable of perceiving that transcends dimensions of time and space.

— Amelia Brand, Interstellar

Notice the word “observable.” Science can’t measure it or prove it, but almost every rational human being can attest to its existence. Interstellar pushes some of those boundaries between science as we know it now and the mind-boggling, nearly-irrational potential of future science and how all of this relates to the human experience on an individual level.

We feel love. We know it, perhaps more intimately than we know anything else. But it doesn’t make any sense on paper or in equations.

Like faith.

To an atheist.

The moment you are awakened (“Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light”), God becomes to you as real as love. Unmistakably present. Perfectly transcending “observable.” This is no criticism of science, just a call to science-codependent people to acknowledge the possibility of a divine playground that requires the deepest, most undignified emotions, child-like imagination, and a supra-intellectual and sometimes controversial sense of adventure to explore.

Love has been known to hold greater influence over people than the survival instinct — those stories we sometimes hear of people dying to save someone they love or even to save a stranger. Christ took this a step further, dying to save everyone, even those we may deem unworthy of saving, even those who wanted Him to die. Ultimately, this love is what enables humanity to pass from death to life. This is the love that permeates the entire universe of space, time, matter, antimatter, black holes, and dimensions we cannot even begin to comprehend.

Another haunting quote from the movie, a poem, goes like this:

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

— Dylan Thomas – Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Bottom to top. Dimension one.

Right to left. Dimension two.

Backward to forward. Dimension three.

Beginning to end. Dimension four.

Dimension five… this is that “good night,” we rage against, because it digests dimensions one through four — the framework we use to define our existence. But there is another framework that will redefine us. It is held together by the same One who “holds all creation together.”

Perhaps this is best described by the apostle Paul:

…by revelation He made known to me the secret… of the Christ… that the nations be fellow-heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in the Christ… the untraceable riches of the Christ, and to cause all to see what [is] the fellowship of the secret that hath been hid from the ages in God, who the all things did create by Jesus Christ, that there might be made known now to the principalities and the authorities in the heavenly [places], through the assembly, the manifold wisdom of God, according to a purpose of the ages, which He made in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have the freedom and the access in confidence through the faith of him… For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in the heavens and on earth is named, that He may give to you, according to the riches of His glory, with might to be strengthened through His Spirit, in regard to the inner man, that the Christ may dwell through the faith in your hearts, in love having been rooted and founded, that ye may be in strength to comprehend, with all the saints, what [is] the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, to know also the love of the Christ that is exceeding the knowledge, that ye may be filled — to all the fulness of God; and to Him who is able above all things to do exceeding abundantly what we ask or think, according to the power that is working in us, to Him [is] the glory in the assembly in Christ Jesus, to all the generations of the age of the ages. Amen.

  • Mary Vanderplas November 23, 2014 at 7:41 am

    I like the quote about love being something given, not invented (or, I would add, developed strictly through the evolutionary process), about it pointing to a transcendent reality. Of course from the perspective of Christian faith, what it points to is the world of God’s eternal realities; it is a divine attribute given to humanity. I like what you say about love being perceptibly real, if not scientifically provable – and I like your challenge to those who would reduce reality to only what can be explained and demonstrated scientifically or rationally to at least consider belief in a transcendent being who imparts to his human creatures the ability to receive his love and to possess this attribute themselves.

    I like what you say about our existence and identity being redefined by God, by the world made new by Christ’s resurrection, though I would add that this is something that impacts our living even now, enabling us to face death with courage and hope, not with fear and rage.

    • Lanny A. Eichert November 30, 2014 at 1:01 am

      Mary, if you truly believed God is transcendent, you’d have no trouble believing the Holy Bible is a perfect literal Book. Your “transcendent reality” is a bunch of hot air of which you ignorantly think you believe. You can’t separate God’s transcendancy from His inerrently produced Bible without mocking His transcendency. You are a mocker of God. That’s blasphemy punishable by everlasting torment in the Lake of Fire forever. Is that what you want?

  • Alice Spicer November 23, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    “…this is something that impacts our living even now, enabling us to face death with courage and hope, not with fear and rage.” Yes. So true.

    • Lanny A. Eichert November 30, 2014 at 1:23 am

      Alice, why are you filled with rage against those who preach ET? It is because you don’t like the fear that goes with ET. Wake up to your problem: you refuse to receive all the people you loved who died without confessing Christ are burning in hell right now, that when they are later judged will only to be thrown as trash in the everlasting Lake of Fire to be tormented in flames forever. You will not receive the love of the truth to be saved. Orthodoxy has had more than just your half a human life time to acknowledge the truth.

      • Alice Spicer November 30, 2014 at 8:33 pm

        I’m not filled with rage against them. I feel sorry for them. They live in cognitive dissonance.

        • Lanny A. Eichert December 1, 2014 at 12:06 am

          Alice, there’s no discomfort in knowing God will forever destroy all His enemies. You’re the one who is distressed by all the people you loved (they were God’s enemies) who died without confessing Christ that are burning in hell right now, and when they are later judged will only to be thrown as trash in the everlasting Lake of Fire to be tormented in flames forever. You are so distressed that you will not even accept the rich man of Luke 16: 19 – 31 was a real historical figure now burning in the literal flames in hell. You had to invent some crazy alternative to avoid the true details reported by Jesus, the Son of God, Who knows the truth of that man’s situation because He is God, and since He is God, He even knew Judas Iscariot’s situation which He described to His Father in His John 17 (verse 12) prayer as perished giving no hope for him for us to know.

          You’re the one living in cognitive dissonance as you in your youthful foolishness rage against two millennia of orthodoxy. Years are against you, poor proud little girl. ET is true.

  • Lanny A. Eichert November 29, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Alice, Christ did NOT die to save everyone. You continue to resist the Truth.

    For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. {Acts 2: 39}
    And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. {Acts 2: 47}

    The Text says “as many as the Lord our God shall call” and “such as should be saved” are all that are saved. All others are excluded by the LORD God. Are you not able to read God’s perfect literal Holy Bible correctly? This is the first sermon on the purpose of the Cross of Christ.

    And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities. {Acts 3: 23 & 26}

    Destroyed utterly, dear Alice. Don’t you see that? And turned away from iniquities, dear Alice. Don’t you see that either? You don’t even celebrate the Lord’s Supper with a congregation to show He is coming again. You display yourself to be a horrible fake “believer” who needs to see herself in a mirror. It is horrible iniguity for a Christian to absent himself from the Lord’s Supper which is fundamental to the Christian Faith. By your absentism you deny Jesus died for you. As far as you know Jesus hasn’t called you and certainly hasn’t added you to His church. Right now it looks as if you will burn forever in the Lake of Fire. 3: 23 requires you HEAR Jesus words in Matthew 7: 13 & 14 and you’re not hearing them.

    And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. {Matthew 7: 23}
    These words you, Alice, are in danger of hearing when the time comes.

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