The ratings for NBC’s new show Revolution are good, easily beating its rivals on ABC and CBS. Seemingly inspired by the hit movie The Hunger Games (bows and arrows and all), the setting takes place 15 dystopian years after a catastrophic event that changed the world. This event, not fully explained yet, has to do with a sudden change in the laws of physics. All electrical power went black, autos stopped in their tracks, and airplanes fell from the sky. The world was thrown back to the Stone Age. Now they’re searching for someone to turn the power back on.
In ancient times, many people believed God was directly responsible for the events in the world. If it rained, God was favorable; if there was famine, it was because God was angry. This was called supernaturalism. But theologians in the Middle Ages began to understand the universe as a place of order and predictability. Supernaturalism was replaced by naturalism. The study of science developed. Today, naturalism has become the prominent view. If the physics or chemistry cannot measure or explain something, then it doesn’t exist. Instead of God responsible for the world around us, there are explainable processes that can be described mathematically.
But most religions see levels of primary and secondary causation. Although we understand the world according to science, the primary cause of events is still God. Electricity works because of measurable natural laws, but on a deeper level, electricity still works only because of God. The laws of physics don’t change because God never changes.
I have no idea how the show will develop, but if NBC’s Revolution is searching for the one behind the laws that govern technology, then they’re really searching for God.
Bruce Meyer writes about the relationship between the physical universe and the pursuit of spirituality.