Monday, August 09, 2010

Why Every Calvinist Should Love Inception

And why Arminians should get their own movie.

Inception makes a compelling argument, albeit unsettling for our self determined boot strap pulling culture, for the totally Sovereignty of God. This may seem totally out in left field. But if you can entertain my pet theory for a few moments you may find something of value.

All of this hinges on my home brewed interpretation of the movie. The claim is totally outside of the face value of the movie. You don't have to agree, I don't even know that I do. So here goes nothing.

We all all know Cobb and his team are seeking to perform Inception on Fischer Jr.

But Jr. is a tool. Anyone could perform Inception on him. In fact, I believe Jr is literally a tool. He is the tool being used to accomplish the more important Inception.

My interpretation is Cobb himself is on the receiving end of a intricately orchestrated Inception. Their is an orchestrated master plan (probably Grandpa Cain) seeking to redeem his Cobb who has a fractured view of reality. The fact that this Inception is never blatantly stated to the audience makes it even more compelling in my book. This is Inception at it's best.

It seems fairly clear that Grandpa Cain is the orchestrator of the Inception which all begins with the opening job. The architect and the Japanese business man have staged this premeditated failure and the following proposal for the big job that requires Cobb to perform inception. Grandpa Cain knows this will draw his son to him so that he can plant his hand picked architect to subtly and sometimes blatantly plant the seeds of Inception.

As I said in my review, all of this is for the purpose of Cobb being able to internalize the idea that Mal's death was not his fault and that he needed to let go of the haunting regret filled memories that had him in bondage, preventing him from (literally) facing his children. It's a story of the redemption, and restoration of life to be whole again.

In summary, the movies definition of Inception is simply the act of planting the seeds of an idea that the recipient wholly internalizes and embraces as their own. Another way to understand this is unwittingly walking in a path that is being chosen for you. This is not a stifling process of being robotically programmed. The difference is that through Inception, the recipient is being internally motivated to discovering the path laid out before him.

If the grand orchestrator is unwise, ill-informed, or has malicious intent, then there is reason to seek out this Inception and do everything in your power to defy it. However - and this is where I get all theological - if we trust that God is a present and wise creator that wants what is best for His creation, then Inception is beautifully humbling.

This is why I think Inception is a very appealing portrayal of a completely Sovereign God; a parallel to pre-destination.
In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:5-12)

Back to Inception - this perspective makes Cobb's story all the more beautiful. If my home brewed interpretation holds any water Cobb is walking in an orchestrated plan for his own good, for liberation from guilt and brokenness and restoration to a whole sense of reality. Yet as we witness this journey it in no way undermines the fullness of his person-hood or even his sense of autonomy. Even more so, I like the idea because it shows Cobb as a strong character, and it is humbling that he is incapable of redeeming his own fractured reality. Far from his own working, his restoration is being worked out by something greater and exterior to himself.

Oh, and the different dream levels and its effect on time - "But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:8-9)

Okay, I'll save that for another time...

Again, written while listening to Inception (The Original Soundtrack).

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