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We Want to Believe: Faith and Gospel in the X-Files

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From the first episode to the latest feature film, two main symbols provide the driving force for the iconic television series The Fox Mulder's "I Want to Believe" poster and Dana Scully's cross necklace. Mulder's poster may feature a flying saucer, but the phrase "I want to believe" refers to more than simply the quest for the truth about aliens. The search for extraterrestrial life, the truth that is out there, is a metaphor for the search for God. The desire to believe in something greater than ourselves is part of human we want to believe. Scully's cross represents this desire to believe, as well as the internal struggle between faith and what we can see and prove. The X-Files depicts this struggle by posing questions and exploring possible answers, both natural and supernatural. Why would God let the innocent suffer? Can God forgive even the most heinous criminal? What if God is giving us signs to point the way to the truth, but we're not paying attention? These are some of the questions raised by The X-Files. In the spirit of the show, this book uses the symbols and images presented throughout the series to pose such questions and explore some of the answers, particularly in the Christian tradition. With a focus on key themes of the series--faith, hope, love, and truth--along the way, this book journeys from the desire to believe to the message of the cross.

256 pages, Paperback

First published April 14, 2011

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About the author

Amy M. Donaldson

2 books1 follower

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Displaying 1 - 3 of 3 reviews
616 reviews33 followers
August 27, 2011
Note: Second degree connection with the author. Book received from mutual friend.

Although "We Want to Believe" suffers a bit from thesis repetition, this is a strong work that X-Files fans, Christians, and/or those with an interest in philosophy and pop culture will enjoy. Donaldson focuses primarily on Christianity, but the general search for Truth offers something for almost everyone to relate to. The tone of this work is somewhat heavy, so those looking for a light read may be disappointed, but this is an excellent addition to scholarly works on religion in popular culture.
Profile Image for Jan.
978 reviews
March 19, 2012
I was given this book to review for church librarians in the Lamplighterm hence the slant.

This book is not for everyone, it will only be interesting to people who watched the X-files television series from 1998 and 2002. Right off the bat I knew I wasn't one of these addicted followers, I could remember a few shows, but I was interested enough to borrow two feature films “Fight the future” 1998 and “I want to believe” 2008 from my Netflix and local library. The complete series is more than 60 shows, mostly written by Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz. I watched the first 4 TV shows in series one of the 9 season epic and decided I had enough information to give a balanced review. Several books are written on the scientific information behind the epic, the possible true happenings about the
X-files but nothing like Amy Donaldson did in the finely written book complete with scripture index, subject index and episode index. Amy Donaldson is an Associate Editor of the Baker Group and received her PhD in New Testament and Early Christianity from the University of Notre Dame, so she can be counted as a serious scholar.

This book will appeal to atheists and agnostics as well as Christians because it presents questions rather than answers. The dynamic of a believer versus skeptic is the heart of the show. The two main characters are Dana Scully, young FBI agent, trained as a doctor and scientist is a Catholic believer and wears a cross pendant. She meets Fox Mulder, who has in his office the poster of a UFO with the words “ I want to believe”, he believes his sister was abducted by aliens. The government has paired the two people to try to find out if certain unexplained happenings really have existed. They are fast paces, and full of mystery and intrigue. The epic series is basically a religious one about the search for God, you know the truth is out there. Each episode is entirely different, some with sci-fic and alien abductions and government conspiracies but behind it the fundamental truth that all people are looking for something, or someone, to believe in. It is not a Star Wars or Star Trek, but a search for truth. This wonderful books ties many episodes to the Bible and the search for truth so if this type of exploration is for you your local DVD store does still carry the complete series.

This book is so well written, that if this is your cup of tea, you will be excited and delighted . I found enough meat in it to keep me reading although, I couldn't place the specific characters and plots but could understand the themes. Since the writers of this series are still young, probably 40-50 years of age, I don't think this is the last we will hear of the X-files. I hope you are intrigued but due to it's price borrow this book rather than buy it.
Profile Image for Timothy Maples.
48 reviews
November 9, 2011
This book contrasts and compares spiritual themes found in the X-Files series and films with Scripture and the Christian faith. The author doesn't try to make the case that the X-Files is a Christian show, but she shows that many of its questions and answers overlap with those of theology. Highly Recommended.
Displaying 1 - 3 of 3 reviews

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