Monday, December 31, 2012

Rocky (1976)


An except of a review recently posted on Schaeffer's Ghost:
If there’s a more quintessentially American film than Rocky, I don’t know what it is. Americans love a good rags-to-riches tale, and there aren’t many things we like better than rooting for a scrappy guy who faces insurmountable odds. It’s part of our history. We are the scrappy no-accounts who, armed with little more than our own determination, stood toe-to-toe with one of the greatest empires in the world and emerged as an independent nation. Or so the story goes. [...] 
We Americans just love this stuff. Our national mascot should really be an underdog, because boy, do we love to watch a longshot make good. It’s part of who we are and how we see ourselves. 
But we don’t just love it in our history and our films. We also love it in our religion. And that can lead to problems. Rocky Balboa is a nobody who’s given a second chance (or really a first chance, as it’s not clear he ever really had a shot at anything big time), and by hard work and sheer determination he shows the world that, by golly, he’s good enough, he’s smart enough (well, kind of), and, doggone it, people like him. And we import this same mentality into our picture of God and the gospel. Sure, maybe we blew it the first time around. Maybe we didn’t do ‘as well as we should have’. Maybe we screwed up. But God is the God of second chances, right? We figure if He’ll just give us another shot, we’re sure we can buckle down and do right. We’re Americans, and we’ve got gumption and pluck and we will not be denied. Just give us one more chance, God, and we’ll prove to You that we deserve Your favor. 
But what is merely a harmless preference in entertainment is absolutely fatal when it comes to our faith. We are fundamentally mistaken about our past, our potential, and our position, and as a result, we are believing a false gospel.
Full review available here.

No comments: