Redemption Television: Chris Seay on The Gospel According to LOST
- Friday, January 15, 2010
That's a hard thing for us to grapple with; it's not as clear-cut or as easy, it's not as easily embraced by children, for example. I'm not recommending that you get your pre-teens together and watch LOST. It will be utterly confusing for them. But I think part of entering into a stage of spiritual maturity means we begin to have the ability to grapple with these areas of gray and mystery, and try to find beauty and try to seek out good and evil where it's not quite as clear or dualistic. So I'm not sure if that's an answer or not, but that's the grand struggle of it. It's part of what I enjoy and frustrates me about the show. It's part of what I enjoy and frustrates me about my life. Sometimes I can spot evil miles away, and other times it creeps up on me and wraps me up from behind.
CW: You spend much of your book concentrating each chapter on a different character and figuring out how he or she is the "patron saint" of a different group of people. Which one was your favorite to examine?
Seay: If you would have asked me while I was writing it, almost without exception, when I was writing the chapter on that character, they were my favorite character. You just fall in love with the complexity of each one of them. Pulling away from it, hands-down the characters that I identify with the most are Jack and Eko.
Of the beautiful, remarkable paintings [of characters] that we have in the book - my friend Scott Erickson painted all those, and we've got a gallery show going up this week in our gallery here in Houston of all the paintings - I got my pick of which painting I want. Which really, it tests this question. Which character do I want staring at me in my office for the rest of my life? And for me it's Eko.
The reason I also identify with Jack so much is I think he epitomizes what it means to be the Wounded Healer, which is my favorite book of Henri Nouwen's, in terms of understanding how we heal a lot of our own woundedness. In Jack you have this great surgeon, this great healer who's also an alcoholic and is deeply broken, so I'm very drawn to Jack as well.
CW: Of the characters without chapters in your book, who is your favorite, the one you wish you'd had space to fit in? Charlie? Claire? Juliet? Miles? Widmore? Someone else?
Seay: Without a doubt it's Charlie. We just had space concerns. But for our gallery show we're going to have a painting of Charlie available as well.
CW: We've got Season Six coming up here in less than a month. What are you most looking forward to in the final season as the show ends? Is it a particular theme playing out? Is it finding out the answer to one of the mysteries we've desired the answer to for a long time? What do you most want to see?
Seay: All of it. At the end I'm like everybody - I want answers! I talk about in the book how I refuse to read spoiler websites because I don't want to be spoiled. J.J. Abrams said, "Literally the word 'spoil' means to ruin," right? I don't want to ruin the story for myself, but in due time I can't wait to know some answers. I want to know who 'Adam & Eve' are. I want to see these Egyptian parallels to the Exodus play out. I want to know if 'Esau' [a.k.a. The Man in Black] is Jacob's brother. I want to know if Kate and Sawyer end up together, what does Jack do, what happens to Aaron? Ultimately, is Ben a part of a redemptive story, or an evil plot? I could go on and on and on. All those things I can't wait to find out. I'm sure we won't find out every answer, but I'm encouraged by what the writers have said, that we can expect to have a lot of the big pieces put together for us.
Chris Seay is the pastor of Ecclesia, a progressive Christian community in Houston, Texas, recognized for exploring spiritual questions of culture and breaking new ground in art, music, and film. Chris is also the author of The Gospel According to Tony Soprano and The Gospel Reloaded. He lives in Houston with his wife, Lisa, and their four children.
To catch up with LOST or refresh your memory before the show enters its final season, check out our LOST in Translation blog at TheFish.com.
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