Monday, September 19, 2011

The Doctor vs. The Great Physician

Relatively recently, Anna became hooked on an extremely long-running British (but surprisingly good) tv show called Dr. Who. It follows an immortal alien who calls himself The Doctor, and he is the last surviving Time Lord. As a Time Lord, he possesses a unique power over a particular aspect of reality: I'll let you guess which one. Anyway, the show follows him as, again and again, he saves the universe, the world, or even just one or two people. There's even a band devoted to the show called Chameleon Circuit, and all of their songs are about the show--this is where it gets interesting, because a lot of the songs written about the Doctor could easily be about Christ (like Traveling Man or Regenerate Me).

This is really cool in a lot of ways. In one episode of the show, a woman, standing next to her husband-to-be, tells the Doctor, "I know we're not important..." The Doctor cuts her off, saying, "Now who says you're not important? I've traveled to all sorts of places, done things you couldn't even imagine, but... you two... I've never heard of a life like that. Yes. I'll try and save you." In another episode, the Doctor says he's been alive "900 years of time and space, and I've never met anyone who wasn't important before." This mirror's Christ's attitude towards us in many ways, and it's really cool to see.

Bear with me for just one more moment. The point is coming. In one episode, the Doctor addresses a group of aliens come to watch the earth's final moments, saying, "If you're waiting for a higher authority, there isn't one." The Doctor is known to some as "the traveling god." He is the highest authority, the last resort to any and all who cry for help. And yet... he loses, sometimes. The latest season has Anna extremely unsure because it begins with the future death of the Doctor, which will presumably be fulfilled at some point (probably the end) of the current season.

Remember the band I told you about? Chameleon Circuit wrote a song about the Doctor losing. You can listen to it here, and I strongly suggest you do: it's a very good song. It's called Nightmares, and it's about the Doctor wondering when, after doing everything that he has done to save the people he cares about (everybody), he will fall. He knows that "Somewhere all my darkest fears are gathering, It's not enough to save the day, I can't escape my nightmares." The first words to catch my attention were the prominent "save the day" in the chorus: it wasn't until the 2nd or third time listening to it that I realized that the point of the song was that it wasn't going to happen. Eventually, the Doctor will fall and the day will not be saved.

This is where things get really cool again. The Doctor is awesome. He may be the awesomest fictional character I have ever heard of. But, for all his parallels to Christ, he doesn't hold a candle to him. How sad it is for the Doctor when he realizes that he is the highest authority in the universe? He, immortal though he is, is not invincible, and he knows that someday he will fall and evil will win. How fortunate for us that there is a higher authority! How incredible for us that we know that Christ, though he died once, is alive forevermore! We are not the highest authority, and we can rest easy knowing that Christ is, and that he will never fall.

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