I just saw the documentary Oh My God, which my friend Felix mentioned here a while back. It’s about a film-maker who travels the world to ask people who God is. You can watch the trailer on Felix’s page to get the gist of the movie. I’ll just make three points about it:
1. The illusionist David Copperfield said that he could probably replicate the “miracles” of the Bible, and yet he still believes in a higher power. (Those weren’t his exact words, but that’s what I got out of what he said.) That reminds me of Erich von Danicken’s statement that he believes in God, even though he argues that Ezekiel saw alien spaceships. I’ve been watching Stargate SG-1, and its premise is that religions are based on aliens who visited earth.
Does anything have to threaten my faith in God? People may rip apart the Bible and inserts seeds of doubt about its inerrancy or reliability. But why’s that mean that I have to abandon my belief in a higher power who made everything and everyone around me, and who loves me?
2. There was a good scene about Islam. A fundamentalist Muslim quoted a Quranic passages that said (according to him) that non-Muslims won’t go to heaven. Then a moderate Muslim offered an alternative interpretation of that very same passage, saying that it said those who are closed to the truth—whether they be Jews, Christians, pagans, or Muslims—will not enter heaven. His definition of “truth” may be a belief in God and morality, for he referred to the Quran passage that said that those who believe in God, including Jews and Christians, will go to heaven.
I liked this scene because it dealt with two interpretations of a specific passage of the Quran. Usually, I hear the debate between fundamentalist and moderate Muslims expressed in terms of generalities rather than exegesis, so it was refreshing to get a taste of the latter.
3. The documentary leaned strongly towards the view that we are all God, and we should help one another. I have problems with reducing religion to that, as someone who has problems fitting in with people. One reason I like the Bible is that it presents people who rely on God and his goodness, even as they are marginalized by humanity. I think here of the Psalmist, the prophets (particularly Jeremiah, but also Moses), and Jesus.