Movie Reiview of “Bridge to Terabithia”…Is it a Bridge to the Gospel?

Posted: November 1, 2007 by Rick Hogaboam in Movie Reviews, Theology
Tags: , , , , ,

This movie surprisingly engaged some theological themes. Leslie attends church with the Burke family and on the way home comments that the “Jesus” stuff was interesting. Jess’ little sister said that it was all true because the Bible taught it and if you didn’t believe it you were going to hell. Jess was a little bit tentative in asserting such, most uneasy over what Leslie’s thoughts might be. Leslie basically disagrees and says that they believe this stuff because they have too. This scene really does contrast Leslie’s imagination and fantasy, which seems all so real, with the dull out of touch “truth” that the Bible teaches. Basically Leslie’s imagination is more gripping and praiseworthy in contrast to Jess’ religious convictions.

I basically think that the screenwriter was trying to simply show that Leslie was a free spirit and that she was guided by her imaginations and thoughts in a way that is more attractive in comparison to the Bible-believing faith of Christians. I must admit that while watching this movie, I am drawn to Leslie’s character and find it hard to refute her hesitations about a rigid belief system. This is where I had hoped that Jess would be able to share his faith about the Biblical story in an even more awe-inspiring fashion that Leslie’s imagination, but such was not the case. Instead we see an unsure tentativeness of basically asserting stuff like a parrot because we were told that such things were true.

I instead am captivated by the Biblical story and think that therein lays great truth and mystery. Truth actually leads us into a tension of asserting God’s transcendence in a way that is truly inspiring and full of wonder.

The world of Narnia is guided by this truth, whereas the world of Terabithia is not. I love the world of Terabithia and even think that it parallels the truth of a Satan figure who seeks the destruction of creatures and intruders. The redeemer is a king and princess. These themes are great and awesome, but only because they reflect the one true story of Jesus as king ruling over the dark forces that seek our destruction. The gospel is portrayed in Terabithia, yet rejected in its conceptual theological fashion, at least from Leslie, in the conversation about faith. What Terabithia offers as an alternative to Christian faith is in fact the gospel illustrated. The movie would have been much more glorious in affirming the glorious truths in both, rather than conceptually treating the Bible as a rigid rule book and contrastly portray Terabithia as a free minded expression of fantasy.

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