Jack Bauer vs. Christian bloggers

Andy Rau

We've had a lot of "serious" posts this week, so here's something a bit more lighthearted.

My wife and I have recently gotten hooked on the television show 24, in which federal agent/action-hero Jack Bauer administers rather indiscriminate justice to terrorists, drug dealers, crazy militia members, and a vast host of other ne'er-do-wells. I've noticed that quite a few Christian friends and bloggers are fans of the show; while I don't think anybody would suggest that Jack Bauer is the best role model in the world, there is something curiously compelling in the show's rather stark and over-the-top moral drama.

I've spotted two Christian bloggers doing some lighthearted exploration of what you might call 24's spiritual side. The first is the Strangely Dim blog, which has posted an entertaining parody that pokes fun at the Gospel According to [Popular Movie] Christian publishing phenomenon. (Among the pop culture films and icons that have been the subject of such books are the Simpsons, Oprah, The Matrix, The Sopranos, Harry Potter, and many, many more.) Theorizing that Christians will try to wrangle a Gospel message out of almost anything, Strangely Dim writes:

I'd like to test the theory (and, in the interest of full disclosure, feed my inner geek) by writing a devotional based on the anti-terrorist exploits of federal agent Jack Bauer. Consider what follows chapter one of my never-to-be-published, completely-tongue-in-cheek, utterly-at-odds-with-my-values I Need Thee Every Hour: The Devotional Journey of Jack Bauer.

Good stuff. Blogger Wade Hodges is on the same track, wondering why the show seems so popular with pastors and ministers he knows. He lists four reasons that people love Jack Bauer: 1) Bauer has a mission, 2) he makes the most of every minute of the day, 3) he's willing to make sacrifices for the sake of his mission, and (my personal favorite of the list):

4. Jack gets to say and do things that in the deepest part of hearts we wish we could say and do. Jack’s best line from the premiere: The only reason you’re still conscious is because I don’t want to carry you. What preacher/pastor hasn’t wanted to say that at an elders/board meeting at one time or another?

One thing's for sure: putting Bauer on your church's outreach team would probably lead to much more, er, "dramatic" results.

Topics: Movies