I think that one of the dangers of being a theologian is that you notice the theology in daily life. So, when I’m watching television, I’m often observing the theology in the writing and the acting. One of my favorite shows to talk about theologically is Doctor Who, but only the new version (as I’m not British, I didn’t grow up with the classic show and have only watching the most recent four seasons with Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant as the Doctor). Each Doctor has his own operative theology and it also changes depending on which companion he is with at a given time. The latest season of the show just ended and, while I don’t want to give anything away or spoil anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, I will say that it ended on a sad note.
Which made me realize that I really like ambivalent endings…those endings where you walk away and you’re not happy about the way things ended, where you are stuck in that place of being uncomfortable or sad. I’d name some good examples, but if you haven’t seen them, I don’t want to ruin any movies for you. But my favorite movie of all time (starring Audrey Hepburn…that’s all I’ll say) fits in this ambivalent category. Doctor Who often fits into it. And I know a lot of other people who agree with me…they’d rather something end ambivalently than have it end happily. So what does that say about us theologically?
The way I see it, there are two options. One, it means that, though we are an Easter people, we have a hard time living that reality. The second one, shows that we really are living in an already-not yet type of tension. And the ambivalence we enjoy in endings reflects the fact that the kin-dom is not yet fully present among us. Or maybe it’s a bit of both. But either way, for now, I’m going to enjoy the ambivalence.