Let the waters under the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear. - Genesis 1:9

Terra Nova, Not the New Earth I Am Looking For

November 22, 2011

Recently, Fox aired its newest TV show titled “Terra Nova”. As a guy who seeks to stay tuned in with the “comings and goings” of dinosaurs, this seemed like something I should check out since the previews were full of these grand creatures. Digging bones out of the ground is really cool, but I also pay attention to the mass produced cultural impact dinosaurs make too. And, if the truth be told (which it should be), I still enjoy watching programming about dinosaurs…so, I’ll call this research, but it sounds like fun also.

The show opens in the year 2149 and earth is on the verge of collapse from pollution. Mankind has obviously not heeded the pleas of Al Gore; so, the planet is decaying and on the brink of total ruin. (How convenient of Fox to throw Al this bone.) So, in a “we need a break” moment, mankind finds a crack in a “space-time continuum” which enables him to travel back some 85 million years into the dinosaur-rich prehistoric past. The hope of a reinvented future now lies with a fortunate group of self-invented moralists who seek to make better use of a second chance of a more pristine earth.


Terra Nova


The personal side of the story is told through a family of five whose journey back in time gives them a “second chance” together at family life. But this new world is not really a new world, but the same old world just being lived out at a different point in history. The Shannon family is quickly reminded of the true nature of humanity as rebellious tendencies and selfish motives rear their ugly heads once again. This brave new world called Terra Nova is full of “old world” sins, no surprise there. Fresh starts and second chances in life can breathe a breath of fresh air into anyone’s lungs, but is this what we really need? The Shannon family left the filth of a dying earth for a chance to start life again in a pristine world of 85 million years ago, what they found was “becoming new” requires more than a new address.


A Real New Earth


In the beginning, God created a new world in perfection, this world was one that had not existed before, its design, purpose and existence came fully from the mind of God and His spoken word. There is a Latin phrase best describing what took place in the beginning… “ex nihilo” meaning “out of nothing”. If you can, imagine a time when nothing but a triune God existed and from Him everything came to be; no pre-existing material, energy or elements, just God. This is the fabric of the original new earth and it was inhabited by the first man and woman, Adam and Eve. For a short period of time, they lived in perfection.

The object the Shannon family of Terra Nova was attempting to escape was the results of a sin cursed world. In a “save the planet” move, the show’s producers made pollution look like the bad guy, but pollution is not the result of bad choices by humans; it is a by-product of the sin cursed world and the fallen nature of humanity. The first new world was plunged into chaos by Adam and Eve’s sin, a sin that was judged by death of the body and soul; and cursed in its ability to perfectly function by God. The Shannon family was not trying to escape the smog of their current world; they were attempting to escape the weight of a sin cursed world. As the apostle Paul points out in Romans 8, as God’s bidding, the world feels the weight of our sin and God’s curse…

For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves…

The thing the Shannon family was looking for was a new earth in which they could be the god. The flesh does not easily or willfully give up its place as god of your life. The Shannon family are so indicative of people, if we can bring our own good works or merits with us, we are happy to go, but do not ask me to lay down everything I have. But this is exactly what following Jesus Christ means, not simple being saved from eternal damnation, but trusting and following Him as Lord too. There is coming a new earth, but Jesus Christ will be the king of that new earth.

For those who are in Christ, there is a new earth coming and it will be a place untarnished by sin and death will be vanquished. Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God…

Entrance into Terra Nova may only require the right paper work or ID badge, but entrance into this “kainos ghay” is only gained by the saving work of Jesus Christ in a person’s life. No forms to fill out, no fees to pay and treasure can be offered; entrance here is a free gift from God. Terra Nova would have us believe that simply escaping the putrid smog of our dying planet is all that is needed to be saved, but not only is this not possible, but it does not address the real problem. The real nature of fallen man’s heart; made of stone and dead. We need a savior who can pay the price we cannot pay, Jesus paid the price and His work is finished.

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