Nicole Kidman & Conservative Readings of the Bible

Posted on June 10, 2013 by jbyas

I’m currently reading a biography on Nicole Kidman by a journalist who has never actually met Nicole Kidman. The best part of the book is the beginning where he explains some of the reasons we love celebrities: “…the most important thing in that vexed transaction is the way the actress and the spectator must remain strangers. That’s how the magic works…For their cannot be this pitch of irrational desire without that rigorous apartness.”

His point is that we desire what we do not have because we can recreate it in our own image. We love the idea of God because we can make God into our own image, making God into whatever we want or need God to be. So long as God remains “out there” as “that which fulfills all my desires,” we love God. This is I think what is so compelling about the conservative Evangelical view of God, the perfect, transcendent, one. We like our Bible to be perfect, mystical, magical, and incomprehensible because then it always remains desirous, just out of reach, full of surprises that tickle our fancy.

But once the Bible becomes human, all too human, and once God is revealed as “irascible” as Brueggemann recounts it, we lose that aloofness, that mystical apartness that we were so attracted to. And this is what the conservative Evangelical’s paradigm will not allow. So while incarnation is given lip service, it is the “transcendent One” who will always trump. While the Bible says that Jesus “grew in wisdom and knowledge,” which means he didn’t know everything and when Jesus cries out “Eloi, Eloi Lama Sabacthani, My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me,” we must figure out a way to read those so Jesus doesn’t seem so . . . common, so human. We say we want a Jesus we can relate to but in those few instances where I feel I relate most to Jesus, in my ignorance and in my doubt, the conservative Evangelical paradigm becomes extremely uncomfortable.

When the Bible comes down off the silver screen and walks among us. When it says things we are embarrassed by, when it shows its age and sometimes inappropriate behavior, we get very uncomfortable with it. Thanks but no thanks. I prefer you on the screen where I can imagine you are something else, where you remain aloof and untouchable behind a veil of preconceived doctrines and guidlines, yes, but perfect and protected.

Thomson says it this way about Nicole Kidman in particular: “Anyway, the subject of this book is Nicole Kidman. And I should own up straightaway that, yes, I like Nicole Kidman very much. When I tell people that, sometimes they leer and ask, “Do you love her?” And my answer is clear: Yes, of course, I love her – so long as I do not have to meet her.”


16 thoughts on “Nicole Kidman & Conservative Readings of the Bible

  1. Couldn’t relate to that at all Gregory.

    What I can relate to is my hypocracy when I saw I feel that I love God, and I love all the people of the world but can’t stand the person I work with and my wife bugs me. And then there’s those rascals on signposts.

    That Jesus grew in wisdom and cried out to God on the cross isn’t a problem for me.

    I am fascinated by famous people though.

  2. I think you have it the wrong way around, Greg.

    Evangelicals, on the whole, are at peace with the humanity of Christ. Pentecostals certainly see him as having left glory behind and come as a man, having to be baptised in water to fulfil all righteousness, filled with the Holy Spirit before entering ministry, and demonstrating the works God could potentially do through believers, and how to live a sin less life in the Spirit.

    His humanity opens up the power and glory of the gospel. Paul then made the mystery of the Church apparent to those who have received the Spirit through the new birth and have the Bible opened up to them by the Spirit. The mystery is revealed as Christ and His Church.

    It is the Catholic Church which has maintained the mysteries, and not all of their subsequent mysteries are biblical. Some of the mysteries of catholicism have been added or drawn from other religions even. And the people were, for centuries, kept deliberately 9n the dark in regards t scripture, being told it was too mysterious form them to interpret without a priest, and they still do teach this.

    In fact, they burned people like Tynedale for bringing the words of the Bible to the people in their common language, because the mysteries, then, would be revealed to the masses.

    Jesus growing in wisdom and needing the Spirit is an encouragement to us that we can lead a life of righteousness if we follow him.

  3. I’m not a believer in Nicole Kidman. I think she is vastly overrated and is only famous because of little Tom.

    Not one movie of hers I like.

  4. God didn’t send His Son into the earth so that we could have some kind of ‘mystical apartness’, but so that we could know the Father through the Son, and to receive the Spirit of Christ to lead and guide us. He is as close as our lips and our heart. He is very up close and personal. I don’t know any evangelicals who do not thank God for being our Personal Saviour.

    Strange article. Why did you post it?

  5. I’m with Bones. Nicole doesn’t do anything for me either.

    I must admit I never saw “Australia” though.

    You should write your own articles Greg. Work Arnold or Sly into a theology article and I’ll be more impressed.

  6. The Aramaic words, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani, means literally, “My God, My God, this is for why you have left me here to deal with this”. In other words, it was a statement of faith, Jesus accepting His responsibility for Creation. If you do not believe me, ask Jesus, checks Strong’s or ask an Aramaic scholar. Jesus perfectly pleased the Father – in other words He kept His faith and His confession TRUE.

    We project human qualities on to God as we see things from an earthly, sensual perspective. Like that other canard from Gethsemane, “Take this cup from Me” when He really said, “As there is no other way, I take this communion cup”. The cup full of abominations and sorcery and such, the wine mingled with gall…which Jesus drank from such that we would not and would know better…maybe.

    Do not be a partaker of her cup, flee her fornication and her frills, and come out from among her, she will soon fall…

  7. I man Babylon of course, not Nicole, bless her little cotton socks. I made the mistake of watching her in movie years ago where she got rather graphically raped – it was quite disturbing – the movie had a bad spirit about it as some do, and getting such images out of our minds is very difficult – best not let them in to begin with, yes? Look what happened to King David – good thing he was a man after God’s own heart, as well as Bathsheba’s butt…

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