TEMPLE OF DOOM: God’s Will and Living Sacrifice | FCC 97

Even if he doesn’t believe it’s God’s will, Indiana Jones shows us what it means to be a living sacrifice for God when he decides to rescue the missing children instead of going back to his university. We’ll cover that and much more as we discuss Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom on this episode of the Finding Christ in Cinema podcast.

For your convenience you will find each podcast segment at the time referenced below:

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction
  • 00:02:24 – Movie Discussion
  • 00:16:00 – Christian Themes in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
  • 00:55:22 – Listener Challenge and Feedback
  • 01:02:38 – Well-mannered Frivolity
  • 01:20:00 – Lightning Round 
  • 01:23:01 – Upcoming

God’s Will and the Temple of Doom

One year before the events of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones finds himself before the shaman, the chieftain, and the people of an Indian tribe in the wilderness. Indy’s plane from Shanghai crashed near these peoples’ home, and yet the shaman does not believe that the plane crash was simply happenstance. He instead believes that the plane crash is an act of God in the form of an answered prayer.

This image from TEMPLE OF DOOM shows Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones thinking about God's will.

Indy, however, doesn’t ascribe to such hocus-pocus – he even refers to it as “ghost stories” in passing – because Indy hails from a world in which “anything goes.” You can do what you want to do however you want to do it. Perhaps the most horrifying theme in this world is that human life can be used as leverage and/or collateral in obtaining “precious” artifacts (i.e. a diamond, a jar of mystic remains, a sacred stone).

Indiana Jones as the Living Sacrifice

Even in the pits of the Temple of Doom itself, humans are sacrificed to the Hindu goddess Kali so that she may give power to whoever it is doing the sacrificing. It’s a world in which evil has been called “good” and wickedness has been counted as “righteousness” – a world in which there is almost no hope.

This image from TEMPLE OF DOOM shows Amrish Puri as Mola Ram.

Almost, that is, until Indiana Jones arrives. Almost, that is, until Indiana Jones steps forward and volunteers to seek justice for these missing children. Almost, that is, until Indiana Jones becomes the living sacrifice for the Indian tribe so that they may continue with their lives. It’s an awesome image that exemplifies what it should mean for a Christian to be a living sacrifice for our own world. And here’s just one of the blessings of being that living sacrifice: that we will be able to discern God’s will for ourselves and the world around us.

Finding Christ In Cinema is the show where we discover Christian themes in movies past and present. Join us and together we’ll dig deeper into the silver-screen classics of yesteryear as well as the box-office hits of today. Brought to you by the Great Commission Transmission Network. View the complete show notes, including links to articles discussed, by clicking here.

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About Brenden Taylor

Brenden is an educational assistant and tutor by day and a theatre practitioner by night. He has his M.A. in Theatre Arts and is always looking for a way to use good stories to soften people's hearts.
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  • Philip Heard

    Hey Guys! Funny that Temple of Doom has a Star Wars Easter egg or two and you covered it the week that The Force Awakens released on home video. This is an interesting film to me, since it is my least favorite of the four. You hear that? Four, I say! 😉 Last time I re-watched it, I was surprised at how much fun it is, and my memories of it were harsher than need be.
    One thing I get is a reminder for us to be like the Bereans mentioned in Acts 17:9-11(NET) “The brothers sent Paul and Silas off to Berea at once, during the night. When they arrived, they went to the Jewish synagogue. These Jews were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they eagerly received the message, examining the scriptures carefully every day to see if these things were so.” Famously, Temple of Doom’s PG rating caught a lot of people off guard when they saw the more extreme content in the film, which led to the introduction of the PG-13 rating to fix this problem. We need to keep in mind that a rating alone does not always tell us all we need to know as to whether a film’s content is tolerable enough to watch for our kids and family, or even us as individuals. Resources we have mentioned before like Common Sense Media, IMDb’s Parent’s Guide, and people we know and trust need to be regularly checked so we can be like the Bereans and not just go by the MPAA rating, but dig deeper to be more informed about what we watch. It’s interesting that the Bereans are referred to as open minded, and that their research into the Scriptures was to check the authenticity of the teaching they were receiving, and apparently not some legalistic exercise. They are an example to us in many ways.

    Keep up the good work, love the show guys! #muhweeladgimli

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