My name is Alexis. I own the label “Christian,” watch Lucifer, and I love it.
Here’s where you might say, “Hi Alexis!”
I love Tom Ellis as Lucy. He’s fantastic.
Here’s where you say, “Mmhmm. Yes.”
Sure, his role in Rush was basically an American mortal version of Lucifer, but I liked that too. And the car works. It really works (Here’s where you nod and chuckle as you think about the pretty black convertible that I’m 90% sure belongs to Mr. Ellis.).
I have only one problem with the show, and that isn’t really a problem. It’s more a question.
Without getting into details, Lucy drops a cosmological “bomb” in the last seconds of the season.
And, being the intensely spiritual/religious person I am, my heart sank.
Most people probably won’t have a problem with it. It won’t stop me from watching the show, but there’s a lot of unanswered questions: What were the writers thinking? Where do they get this stuff? Did they jump the shark in the first season?!
You may be thinking, “Calm down Alexis! It’s not a big deal!”
Actually it is. But first you need to know a little about cosmology.
First, cosmology is the study of the order and origin of the universe. It can be scientific, but it can also be metaphysical; either can be used to explain the universe. For the purposes of this discussion, we’ll talk metaphysics.
Every religion attempts to explain the order and origin of the universe. They do this in very different ways, and the underlying philosophies of different religions play themselves out in a BIG way in their respective Creation stories (Note: You can get an idea of how different and similar faiths are by bringing my SIX DEGREES class to your community. Get it here.).
Now here’s the real kicker: every faith has competing explanations for how the universe works. There are many interpretations of scripture, the nature of God, heaven etc. If we look at Hinduism for example, the statement, “There are 3,333 gods and there are none” is true. You’re just as likely to meet a Christian who is extremely concerned about Hell as you are a Christian who doesn’t believe in its existence (American Baptist congregations are notorious for having both kinds attending the same worship service.).
For fun, and for the show Lucy, let’s play a little game. Let’s play the “If the Devil Exists” game. I’ll go back to my faith’s Jewish roots for this exercise (In Judaism, questioning and examining an issue from many sides is encouraged – take a look at the Talmud or chat with any Rabbi and it’ll be really clear in about 2 seconds.).
Some people think of the Devil as a real problem. To me this makes exactly no sense. If God is all powerful, Satan cannot exist as some equal and opposite power to God. That is inconsistent.
If God is all powerful, the Devil is a tool of God to achieve some aspect of God’s intended plan (Lucifer being a tool of God is consistent in the show.).
If we have free will, our actions are a reflection of ourselves, not the decisions of God or Satan. They may influence our actions, but ultimately, our actions are our choice.
If God is loving, then any tool of Creation is made out of love and with loving intention. Satan then, is good.
Could it be “tough love?”
Maybe. I don’t think that’s how it works.
But I’m not sure how the angel thing works.
“Then there’s these guys with wings…”
Clearly in the Bible – and other religious texts across faith traditions – there are references to angels. Angels are described in a variety of ways. Sometimes they have a number of wings. Sometimes they’re glowing. Sometimes they’re in a vision, but they also appear in corporeal forms. As my husband notes, if you see an angel in corporeal form, things are serious (Likewise, if more than one person sees an angel at the same time, something big is going down.).
So bits and pieces, at least according to scripture, are in the show Lucifer. But the angels and demons of the television show are closer to human than divine. They have desires, and appear to have choice (Something I’m not sure real angels have.). More than these things, they are flawed. The demons are not really evil. The angels are not really good. They’re complicated. They’re…human.
It’s a method of understanding the world that has been used for ages. This is why pantheons are so worldly – Zeus, Epona, Guan Yin, Durga and all the rest are very human. They embody different pieces of what it means to be human. They are, to go Joseph Campbell, archetypal representations.
But how human is too human? What happens when a story – a writer – employs competing cosmologies?
I love this stuff. I work hard to keep cosmology consistent throughout my work. This is how I was able to keep Khloe Alwell unified throughout the epic (Note: The most fun I had with this was the third book where I got deep into the history of the Otherworld.). Tying ancient myth, quantum physics, and contemporary metaphysics together to create a whole picture of how the universe works is really fun. In the Khloe universe, it was possible because the human understanding was written to be limited so I could shift and move things as necessary.
In the show Lucifer, the cosmology is more or less consistent with the Christian tradition (especially what developed in the Middle Ages), until the last few seconds of the finale.
They started without wiggle room, and then they wiggled.
I’m not sure how the writers will resolve this. In fact, I’m concerned about it.
Then again, the writer is all powerful. This is just a tool in a greater plan…right?
What’s your favorite fictional cosmology? Do inconsistencies in these things bother you? Why or why not? Let’s chat about it in the comments!
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