Thursday, September 30, 2010

Electrical Metaphysics

I understand that nuanced, sympathetic readings of passé, modernist theologians is far more fashionable than just quoting them at their worst and moving on. Nevertheless, life is short, and while I admire those who can read with such patience, there's still something to be said for the older strategy of snickering, semi-respectful dismissal.

We all know Rudolf Bultmann's most famous quote: "It is impossible to use electric light... and at the same time to believe in the New Testament world of spirits and miracles" (New Testament and Mythology, 5). Yet I can't think of a more anti-Bultmannian statement than Owl City's Fireflies video, where a younger generation ponders the metaphysics of light, as manifested by an ornamented bedroom's electricity. Texas Instruments never looked so good. Next step: disillusionment, or an encounter with the Light of the world.

P.S. Yes, I'm about a year behind in my Generation Z music coverage. If you come to millinerd for that then diversify your feeds.