Chris Seay, lead pastor of Ecclesia Houston and co-founder of the Advent Conspiracy, explores the overarching themes of mystery, faith and spirituality in the television series Lost in his recently released book, The Gospel According to Lost. [Scott Erickson, artist in residence at Ecclesia Houston, painted the image to the left, along with other “icons” of characters from the series, for the book.]
The Gospel According to Lost is a thoughtful engagement of the series written from the perspective of a fan (although, non-fans could probably read and enjoy this book as well).
The book avoids the all-too-common pitfall of forcing Gospel connections onto pop culture, instead choosing to connect Lost‘s storytelling with experiences to which many of us can relate. For example, when writing about the character Hurley, Seay jumps from the show to the Old Testament narrative and back into our lives:
In the end, Jacob heard his father bless him, and ultimately those words became Jacob’s reality. Did the blessing help him walk the right path? In life, as in lost, we may never be sure. But one thing is certain: as Brazilian write Paulo Coelho has said, “A blessing ignored will become a curse.” May we choose to bless others at every opportunity and see the blessings that encircle our paths, that either destine or assist us in finding our contented future.
The many allusions the show’s creators reference — everything from philosophy, science and history — are often too far-flung to hunt down so I appreciated Seay’s summary of John Locke the character and the philosopher in chapter eight. Seay explains tabula rasa, social contract theory, and empiricism through the characters on the show (no small feat!).
As a pastor who seeks to engage culture thoughtfully, I resonate with Seay’s approach to watching Lost. Yes, it is entertainment — no, it is not the Gospel, nor must we force biblical connections onto it. However, the spiritual themes throughout the show are undeniable, and critical engagement of shows like Lost can help us, as followers of Christ, not only to enjoy watching more but express our faith more fully.