Questioning Christmas

By Mark RodgersCan questions be as important as answers in our pursuit of truth?I was with a wise friend recently, who asked whether the mystery of God should foster in us a humility that may, in the end, be the best path to knowing Him.  In other words, does acknowledging what we can't know rather than what we can allow us to know God more intimately?This year was a busy one for us at Clapham, in part due to a new joint venture that we call Cave Capital, named after Plato's Allegory of the Cave.  I have written about the allegory before, but to give you a visual reference, my dear friend, Dave Carlson, did a one-day installation of The Cave this year using 10,000 books which you can see here.

SONY DSCCave Capital is a humble effort to create stories, in part through our film effort Cave Pictures, that raise questions rather than feel obligated to give answers.  One of our projects called The Ticket, with Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens, is about a married blind man who gains his sight, sees things he didn't know he didn't have and, in pursuit of them, loses it all.  Do you have all you need?
In a recent graphic novel backstory of the film Interstellar, the question is asked: "If death is simply the absence of life, then is good the absence of evil, or is evil the absence of good?" Can raising questions be better than giving answers in the pursuit of truth?
We went to see Fury a few weeks ago, a film which asks big questions, and I was surprised to encounter an authentic portrayal of faith by Shia LaBeouf, whose comments in an interview about a "conversion" made headlines. But the comment that struck me was this: "Movies make your soul grow. And I'd love to be in one movie that does that. That's really what I've been chasing. And you can't get there unless you give a lot. Since the 14th century there's been this martyrdom in art, Jesus on a cross, the Apostles being boiled in oil. But that also exists in cinema—martyrdom. Theater is about dying, about doing it so that other people don't have to."
switchfootWe are implicated by stories that raise questions, and thereby grow our souls.  James Billington, the longest serving Librarian of Congress, gave an address recently at which he suggested that story is perhaps the most important medium of communication today. Why?  Because it implicates us.  The prophet Nathan said to King David, after telling him a story in 2 Samuel 12:7: "You are the man."   He was implicated, and he repented.
Switchfoot prods "This is your life, is it who you want to be?" U2 ponders "How long, must we sing this song?" And The Fray pleads "Where were you?"
We are implicated. How does a loving, holy God reconcile a fallen universe to Himself?  Can we know that God truly knows us, loves us, and has experienced the groaning of His creation? Was becoming flesh, entering His own creation, and being born in a manger the only way that God could put all things right?
We at Clapham invite you to join us as we ponder the questions, mysteries, and the story of Christmas.  It will grow your soul.  It certainly continues to grow ours.