Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Tree of Life - Nature Vs. Grace

 The trailer is a work of art; the movie has a tough act to follow:

"There are two ways through life. The way of nature and the way of grace. You have to choose which one you will follow."
The opening lines reminded me of an excerpt from How Should We Then Live? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture by Francis Schaeffer.

In the second chapter he is unpacking the beginning of the Renaissance. An emphasis began to be placed on nature, the particulars of life, beginning with man alone. The problem created by beginning with man alone to define himself and the individual things around him, instead of an absolute defining them, is how to find ultimate and adequate meaning for anything.

Schaeffer breaks it down into the Nature versus Grace problem.
Nature, the lower: the created; earth and earthly things; the visible and what happens normally in the cause-and-effect universe; what man as man does on the earth; diversity, or individual things, the particulars, or the individual acts of man. 
Grace, the higher: God the Creator; heaven and heavenly things; the unseen and its influence on the earth; unity, or universals or absolutes which give existence and morals meaning.

UPDATE January 6th 2012: I stumbled across and excellent quote from Irenaeus that captures the meaning of the film. 
UPDATE June 24th: After much anticipation I have seen the movie and written a reflection.
UPDATE January 28th: The green truck seen in the trailer was restored by my uncle!

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