Turbo Gospel

turbo-profileI just read Jackson Cuidon’s less than stellar review of the animated movie Turbo. His review follows others that expected more from Dreamworks Studios in their battle with Pixar for animated movie superiority. However Cuidon’s review remains isolated from the general entertainment pontifications in that he reviews TV and movies for Christianity Today. One would expect (or at least I did) an attempt to connect Christianity to culture (isn’t that what the title of the website/magazine implies?). Generally his review of the movie comforted parents about the content, while raising the perceived problem “that Turbo never earns anything he achieves.” He is referring the fact that the nitrous oxide ingested by Turbo, enabled him to “achieve” a victory he did not earn. This critique is fair from a western capitalist perspective, but weak from a gospel perspective. Cuidon completely missed a gospel inculturated opportunity. Instead of asserting that Turbo never earns anything he achieves, might we ask how can a snail do the impossible? Something outside of him and not part of him enabled him to do great things. Isn’t this a gospel moment? We are in many ways like Turbo. Apart from the enabling work of the gospel, we cannot attain anything. We can’t even get to the racetrack much less compete in the race. The gospel enlivens us and enables us to not only compete, but win. The work of the gospel through the power of the Holy Spirit, enables us accomplish things thought not possible. Paul says, “Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure” (Phil 2:12b-13, The Message). This perspective of Turbo refreshes me even if it does not present the best plot line or contain the latest digital wow. It reminds me, even in the simple pleasures we enjoy with our children, that God enables us to achieve what we did not earn.


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