Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Cosmic Battle of Tron

I love science fiction movies because they ask big questions about human existence by staging the problem in the future. The movie Tron: Legacy explores the idea of a cosmic battle within a cyber world. Flynn, a game designer, believes that the future of humanity is on the grid but he cannot be there all the time so he creates Clu (Codified Likeness Utility), a digital copy of himself designed to help manage his new world. Clu, however, develops a bit of a God complex and when a race of self creating Iso’s (think digital humans) show up, Clu goes genocidal and has all but one wiped out. The creator is forced to hide out in his own creation as he watches Clu set up a system of nightmarish control.

A battle develops as Flynn’s flesh and blood son unexpectedly enters the grid and finds his missing father. Clu uses the son to find the creator because he wants to steal the creator’s identity disc -a glowing halo like structure that contains all his memories and knowledge. Once in possession of this disc, Clu would become as powerful as the creator, giving him the ability to move into the human world where he would create a new dictatorship with his army of faceless programs. This battle for control of creation is one of the stories of the bible.

Revelation is the last book of the bible and it presents a poetic vision of a cosmic battle. The author puts it this way “And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down--that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him” (Revelation 12:7-9) In other words, there was a battle that moved from the heavenly realms to the earthly realm with human beings in the middle. Satan, one of God’s highest angelic creations, desired to be equal to God and more successfully than Clu he has brought the fight to the physical creation.

For that reason the bible calls Satan the “god of this age” because he gained control over humanity when he deceived Adam and Eve into disobeying God. And because God had originally put man in charge of ruling over the creation, Satan became a cosmic squatter by default.

Fortunately, as in Tron, God sent His son as a true flesh and blood user into the creation to destroy the work of Satan. Hebrews 2:14 states “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death--that is, the devil--and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” Jesus has once and for all destroyed the works of Satan, and by His resurrection demonstrated that death is no longer the final word over human life. By faith we also can participate in Christ’s defeat of the god of this world and one day our identity discs will be fully restored for all eternity.


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