Oh My God

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.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
This entry was posted in Bible, Koran, Religion, Television. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Oh My God

  1. anon says:

    Non-Muslims won’t go to heaven/heaven will be filled with Muslims—-this is an interesting concept because when ego/pride/arrogance interferes with wisdom—we “hear” the words Non-Muslims and Muslim as labels for an exclusive group of people. The Quran does NOT use the word “Muslim” in this way (and there is no such thing as “non-Muslim” in the Quran)—In the Quran, the word “Muslim” refers to a state of being—as in one who submits (to God) and Both the Prophet Abraham (pbuh) and the deciples of Jesus Christ(pbuh) are referred to as Muslims (those who submit to God). Thus, from the perspective of the Quran, heaven will be filled with people who freely submit to God’s will. (which means doing good). Apart from this, the Quran also uses other words that define a state of being—such as Muttaqeen (those who have God-awareness), Momeen (those who have faith)….etc. (in the Quran the “unbelievers” are not “Non-Muslim” they are Kaffir—those who reject goodness, regardless of what “label they call themselves )


  2. jamesbradfordpate says:

    Thanks for your comment, Anon.


Comments are closed.