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St Paul play provokes pre-emptive complaints


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This sounds interesting - shame some Christians are complaining about it already.

Full story at THe Guardian

A new play by Howard Brenton, author of the notorious work The Romans in Britain, has prompted 200 letters of complaint even before it is unveiled at the National Theatre later this month.

The play, Paul, which charts the life of the Jewish man who received a divine revelation on the road to Damascus, is described as "irreverent" and "provocative" by the theatre.

National Gallery page for the play

Matt

Edited by MattPage
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Hm.

I'd like to probe the idea that it is shameful for Christians to oppose something they have not yet seen. Why is this automatically so?

When The Last Temptation of Christ came out, I was interviewing at colleges. In one interview, when my questioner knew that I was a Christian, she asked me what I thought about TLTOC. I said that I disagreed with its portrayal of Jesus. She asked me if I had seen it - I hadn't. "Then how can you know that you disagree with it?" She wondered. Well, I believe that the gospels give a truthful picture of who Jesus was (is) and what he did. TLTOC advertises itself as a different picture of who Jesus was and what he did. I assume they are not lying about their own movie. I read countless reviews of TLTOC, and they all said that it portrays a different Jesus than the gospels. Every news report said that it portrayed a different Jesus from the gospels. Therefore, I believe it is inaccurate to who Jesus was and what he did.

Is that so closed-minded? I eventually did see the film - and lo and behold, I was right! It portrays a Jesus who does not know who he is, is wracked by doubts and shame, and has to be goaded into action by his disciples, especially Judas.

If this play trumpets itself as "irreverent...a secular reading of the story of Christ

In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."
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I don't get anything from the National Theatre's Web page that makes me not want to see the play. It actually sounds tame compared to the hard-hitting political theatre Brenton is known for. Paul himself was frequently "irreverent" and "provocative," so I'd be disappointed if a play about him lacked those qualities.

Now if Howard Barker were to write such a play, I'd be concerned. (Actually, Barker has dealt with at least one Biblical subject. Anyone seen Judith?)

Let's Carl the whole thing Orff!

Do you know the deep dark secret of the avatars?

It's big. It's fat. It's Greek.

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Have to say I agree with you MrMando. unsurprisingly the paper has spun it and sensationalised it to suit their own ends

I don't get anything from the National Theatre's Web page that makes me not want to see the play. It actually sounds tame compared to the hard-hitting political theatre Brenton is known for. Paul himself was frequently "irreverent" and "provocative," so I'd be disappointed if a play about him lacked those qualities.

Great points on Paul FWIW

I agree with Alan here as well

I'm opposed to porn--do I have to see a particular film for that opposition to have merit? Or does its existence as a distinct "genre" enable more remote opposition?

Many Christians are opposed to the film adaptation of The DaVinci Code merely based on having read the book--is that sufficient?

Crimson, since you asked the question I'll give you my 2 penneth

Hm.

I'd like to probe the idea that it is shameful for Christians to oppose something they have not yet seen. Why is this automatically so?

For me it's not automatically so, but I'd probably say it generally is the case, although I'd say "shameful" is too strong. I'd just say "shouldn't as a genreal rule". Why? Well there are a number of reasons, but probably the main two are

1 - Because someone else's opinion is not necessarily correct and therefore a bad thing to base your opinion on.

2 - Because we have freedom of speech, and even though a piece doesn't share our opinion it is unlikely to do much harm in the grand scheme of things.

When The Last Temptation of Christ came out, I was interviewing at colleges. In one interview, when my questioner knew that I was a Christian, she asked me what I thought about TLTOC. I said that I disagreed with its portrayal of Jesus. She asked me if I had seen it - I hadn't. "Then how can you know that you disagree with it?" She wondered.

Well we've dropped down from "oppose" down to "disagree". I think you can know in advance that you will disagree with some aspects of a work, even as you agree with other aspects. Even with Last Temptation you can agree that Jesus died on the cross. But even discgreeing with a work is different from opposing it and writing to th theatre to demand it doesn't show a work.

: Well, I believe that the gospels give a truthful picture of who Jesus was (is) and what he did.

As a side issue "truthful picture" is a bit of an unhelpufl term. I don't believe they present untruths, but as they themselves admit it is only part of the picture written for a specific goal.

TLTOC advertises itself as a different picture of who Jesus was and what he did. I assume they are not lying about their own movie. I read countless reviews of TLTOC, and they all said that it portrays a different Jesus than the gospels. Every news report said that it portrayed a different Jesus from the gospels. Therefore, I believe it is inaccurate to who Jesus was and what he did.

Fair enough - I guess I agree

: Is that so closed-minded?

No, not in my book

I eventually did see the film - and lo and behold, I was right! It portrays a Jesus who does not know who he is, is wracked by doubts and shame, and has to be goaded into action by his disciples, especially Judas.

And yet for me, whilst I strongly dislike several aspects, I find some of it challenged me and grew my understanding of both Jesus and myself. If it had been banned, I would have been the poorer and many people wouldnot have come to Christ.

If this play trumpets itself as "irreverent...a secular reading of the story of Christ
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1 - Because someone else's opinion is not necessarily correct and therefore a bad thing to base your opinion on.

One reason we read and write reviews is so that other folks can have information on which to base their decision whether or not to see a dramatic work. If the writer of a piece, the director of a piece, and a large number of reviewers of a piece say that that piece presents Paul as irreverent (irreverent? PAUL? often blunt, occasionally scatalogical, but irreverent? Never.)

Well we've dropped down from "oppose" down to "disagree".

And the original piece said only "complain." But you accelerate from "oppose" to "ban" in 6.2 seconds (below).

But even discgreeing with a work is different from opposing it and writing to the theatre to demand it doesn't show a work.

How so?

And yet for me, whilst I strongly dislike several aspects, I find some of it challenged me and grew my understanding of both Jesus and myself. If it had been banned, I would have been the poorer and many people wouldnot have come to Christ.

Whoa! "Banned" is a strong word, and I don't recall anyone suggesting it should be "banned." TLTOC was picketted, boycotted, and economic pressure was put on theater owners not to show it - but none of that equates to "banning," which carries legal connotations.

If this play trumpets itself as "irreverent...a secular reading of the story of Christ
Edited by crimsonline
In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."
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1 - Because someone else's opinion is not necessarily correct and therefore a bad thing to base your opinion on.

One reason we read and write reviews is so that other folks can have information on which to base their decision whether or not to see a dramatic work.

Decison to watch something - yes. But I don't expect someone to base their opinion on my opinion.

If the writer of a piece, the director of a piece, and a large number of reviewers of a piece say that that piece presents Paul as irreverent (irreverent? PAUL? often blunt, occasionally scatalogical, but irreverent? Never.)
OTTOMH I thought that they were saying the play rather irreverent, rather than it protrayed Paul as ireverent, but I should really check I suppose.

But you don't think (indirectly) telling members of the jewish faith who consider circumcision to be vital part of their faith, that if their so into it they should go and castrate themselves (Gal 5:12) to be in the least bit slightly irreverent?

Well we've dropped down from "oppose" down to "disagree".

And the original piece said only "complain." But you accelerate from "oppose" to "ban" in 6.2 seconds (below).

But even discgreeing with a work is different from opposing it and writing to the theatre to demand it doesn't show a work.

How so?

Whoops blush.gif "Ban" is probably not the best wording - sorry. AS to the difference between disagreeing and complaining, that is certainloy difference. I disagree with your point of view thus far, but I'm not writing to Alan to complain and ask that he takes your posts off.

And yet for me, whilst I strongly dislike several aspects, I find some of it challenged me and grew my understanding of both Jesus and myself. If it had been banned, I would have been the poorer and many people wouldnot have come to Christ.

Whoa! "Banned" is a strong word, and I don't recall anyone suggesting it should be "banned." TLTOC was picketted, boycotted, and economic pressure was put on theater owners not to show it - but none of that equates to "banning," which carries legal connotations.

Like I said above "ban" is not the best word for the St Paul thing. THat said I'm not sure the same can be said about TLTOC. Some people wanted to buy every reel of it in existence so they could destroy them all. That is certainly a ban of sorts.

If this play trumpets itself as "irreverent...a secular reading of the story of Christ
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But you don't think (indirectly) telling members of the jewish faith who consider circumcision to be vital part of their faith, that if their so into it they should go and castrate themselves (Gal 5:12) to be in the least bit slightly irreverent?

Funny

Let's Carl the whole thing Orff!

Do you know the deep dark secret of the avatars?

It's big. It's fat. It's Greek.

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I guess I always use "irreverent" to refer to one's attitude towards God and the things of God. To my mind, if Paul mocks something, it must not be worthy of reverence.

In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."
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I guess I always use "irreverent" to refer to one's attitude towards God and the things of God. To my mind, if Paul mocks something, it must not be worthy of reverence.

OK, you've made Paul the arbiter of reverence, so naturally he couldn't be "irreverent." I think that in general use the term has broader applications than the ones you're arguing for. But I understand your point.

Let's Carl the whole thing Orff!

Do you know the deep dark secret of the avatars?

It's big. It's fat. It's Greek.

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