Knowing the Movie and the Future

On Friday I finally got around to seeing the movie Knowing starring Nicholas Cage. I was curious about it when it first hit the screens, but it took a broken air conditioner and a $1.50 movie theater to finally get me out of the house. It is not Cage’s best movie, though I think he did a fine job.

What bugged me most about the movie was the ending. I don’t want to go into details so as not to spoil it for others. What I will say is that the Cage’s character, John Koestler, is an astrophysicist struggling throughout the two hours about whether it is possible to know the future. He grew up in a strong Christian family, but when his wife died in a fire he gave up whatever remained of any faith.

This faith appears to be tied to a Calvinistic interpretation. According to John Calvin, God predestines people to be saved and taken to heaven, though God may also predestine some not to be saved. This view suggests a world already planned out.

I, on the other hand, follow in the path of John Wesley and Jacob Arminius. In this understanding, humanity has free will to choose or reject God. Now I believe God may already know what our choice is, but it is still our choice.

The movie, Knowing, was entertaining. I liked the general storyline, whereas it revolved around a strange list of numbers that appears to have predicted every major disaster in the past 50 years. As a former mathematics major, I enjoyed seeing numbers play a central role.

However, I do not think it developed the spiritual side of Koestler’s struggle or fully explained the religious imagery behind the list and the surrounding occurrences. This culminates in the strange ending where you cannot be certain if it is really about something religious after all. While Koestler felt peace at the end, I did not.

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