This Is Not The Theologian You Are Looking For image

This Is Not The Theologian You Are Looking For

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An ill-advised post by a prominent theologian has sparked an online debate over the label of ‘heresy’ and how we ought to judge the boundaries of orthodoxy.

I am referring, of course, to Wilson’s shocking admission that he hates Star Wars.

In a startling contribution to the #ConfessYourUnpopularOpinion hashtag, Wilson tweeted,

“Star Wars is terrible. You only like it if you first saw it when you were a child, and didn’t know any better.”

I find Wilson’s lack of faith disturbing. And the tone with which he dismisses the opinions of many millions of film-fans makes him seem like a stuck-up, half-witted scruffy-looking nerf herder!

His careless tweet has threatened to cause a schism in the evangelical world. On the one hand, some have lauded him as a daring revolutionary - speaking up for those who similarly detest the Skywalker saga, but are too scared to admit it. Whilst on the other hand, many called for him to resign his post with immediate effect. A prominent member of The Gospel Coalition is even rumoured to have tweeted, “Farewell Andrew Wilson.”

Some have claimed that this is not a matter of orthodoxy; it is adiaphora – an area in which we can agree to disagree. But light and dark cannot co-exist, and those who seek to hold such a conciliatory position may be vastly underestimating the power of the dark side.

The knock-on effects of this admission could be catastrophic for Wilson. Concerned parents have disallowed their teenage children to attend conferences at which he is speaking, Christian bookshops are planning Acts 19-style ceremonial book-burnings, and Kings College London is even considering revoking his recently-awarded PhD.

Dr. Wilson did not elaborate on his reasoning, and we can only speculate as to what his concerns might be: 

Perhaps he considers Vader’s severing of Luke’s hand an act of “cosmic child abuse”?

Maybe he sees the battle between Father and Son as an allegory for Eternal Functional Subordination?

Perhaps Wilson thinks Star Wars could be redeemed through a Butlemann-esque dymythologising, in which everything that smacks of midichlorians should be stripped away to make it credible in a modern world?

Furthermore, Wilson has not clarified his view of the canon. It is hard to tell whether his tweet referred to all things Star Wars-related, or whether he holds the more orthodox view that Episodes IV-VII are indeed beneficial, whilst I-III are non-canonical “prequels of straw.”

At the very least, we can infer from his claim, “You only like [Star Wars] if you first saw it when you were a child, and didn’t know any better” that he considers this a matter of nurture, rather than nature.

I am personally troubled by this surprising turn, although I also feel we should have seen it coming. After all, this is the man who espoused peculiar theories about the reproductive habits of sheep and predicted a Hillary win. He has already shown himself to be a false prophet on numerous occasions. 

But may I offer a word of caution, before we finally hand Wilson over to the ‘dark side’ (1 Cor 5:5). We should allow him the opportunity to clarify his views, in the hope that he might pull a ‘Peterson’ and offer a retraction. Should it turn out that Wilson misunderstood the question, and thus gave his answer in error, we should be good enough to extend the hand of friendship to him and welcome him back to the light side.

+S.S.S.+

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