I laughed more while watching “The Secret Life of Pets” than any animated movie of recent history. I saw the film today with my twins. But it has a plot that is worth considering.
A friend and colleague encouraged me to write this. After watching the movie “Batman v Superman” with his son and his sons friends, he was able to have some meaty conversations related to colossal theological and philosophical themes in the movie. The most pointed was about a diatribe from the young Lex Luthor.
Superman is like a god, Luthor claims, but no god can exist since there is suffering in the world. Luthor then outlines the classic formation of the problem of evil. If God is all-loving he would want to end suffering. If he is all-powerful he could end suffering. Since there is suffering in the world God cannot be both all-loving and all-powerful.
This is a big topic, one that is worthy of more attention than I’ll give to it here. But the bottom line is this, Christianity provides a framework for understanding suffering and evil. While other religions might struggle to explain suffering, a robust biblical faith does not. The Bible reveals that God is all-loving and all-powerful, but that moral and natural evil are a result of human rebellion.
You barely turn the opening page of Genesis before you hit a brick wall. The idyllic Eden is lost in chapter three of the first book of the Bible. Utopia is a mere speed bump on the road to redemption. The curse of Adam and Eve is shown to deeply affect the human race when murder permanently separates their children. The curse pervades every domain of human existence from our relationship to God, our relationship to one another, and our relationship to the land.
But the all-loving, all-powerful, Creator has promised to one day make all things new. He will one day end evil. We live in the in the mire of the in-between of the promise and its fulfillment, waiting even as we suffer. But no amount of pop philosophy from a fictional character can undo the trajectory of history that is heading towards a new creation and enthroned lamb. And no power in heaven or on earth, real or theatrical, can prevail against the one who overcame death, Satan, and the grave.