My friend surprised me with a front row ticket to see The Book of Mormon last night! I’ve since poked around a few other theologically minded blogs to read their reviews and compare notes.
First of all, I am not really a theatre guy, but I am very much a South Park and pop-religion (or something like that?) guy. The musical was exactly what I expected (dick & fart jokes interspersed between some sort of cultural criticism) and more (seeing South Park humor portrayed by live people in the flesh was some next level entertainment).
The white, male, American saviours of poor black people
This dude takes issue with the African song with the chorus of “fuck you, god,” saying that the writers are out of touch with Ugandan culture and that they would never say such a thing. Fair enough, maybe they should have been saying “fuck you, rich, white people.” I dunno, Ugandans may not say “fuck” at all. Nonetheless, it’s just a device they use to poke fun at the gospel of prosperity, and it was funny. So why does it matter if Ugandans would never sing such a song? People don’t live their lives in song no matter where they live.
The role of mythology in religion
This was the real meat and potatoes of the story. Is the bible meant to be interpreted absolutely literally? Or do religions use stories/metaphors/parables to engage believers while pointing towards deeper truths? If you’ve read any of my other posts, you know that I’m obviously in the latter camp. This dude seems to be onboard until he confuses ends (doctrine) with means (allegory). It isn’t difficult to maintain firm beliefs about right and wrong while simultaneously viewing biblical stories as literary devices that help people understand truth. For example, one doesn’t have to believe that god literally chiseled 10 commandments on stone tablets and gave them to Moses on Mt. Sinai to believe that the 10 commandments are sacred truths. What people need are engaging stories they can relate to, not rich, white geeks telling them to conform or burn in hell.
Vocational discernment & prayer for outcomes
There ain’t a lot to say about this one, just that discernment is more about listening than asking.
I had more fun last night than I’ve had at a live performance in a very long time. During intermission I heard the woman next to me talk about how offended she was! I wanted to ask her if she had ever heard of the show before or how she ended up there.