THE MARTIAN: The Light of Salvation | FCC 89

In Ridley Scott’s latest film The Martian, Mark Watney is stranded on Mars and cannot save himself. He can survive for a while, but he cannot get back to Earth and attain his own salvation. He instead has to rely on his crew to save him, just like we have to rely on God to save us by his grace.

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

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction
  • 00:05:28 – Movie Discussion
  • 00:34:12 – Christian Themes in THE MARTIAN
  • 01:07:59 – Listener Challenge and Feedback
  • 01:12:53 – Well-mannered Frivolity
  • 01:16:49 – Lightning Round 
  • 01:20:38 – Upcoming

For It Is By Grace That The Martian Is Saved

Mark Watney is stranded on Mars and is determined to not die. His first task is to create a sustainable food source to last him until the next supply ship can come by. Until then, the botanist is faced with making things grow on a planet on which things cannot grow, and the whole experiment ends up as an exercise in futility when his make-shift green house depressurizes and freezes over. It’s at this point when Watney realizes that he cannot save himself.

This image from THE MARTIAN shows Matt Damon as Mark Watney looking at the frozen potato plants.

Meanwhile, back on Earth is the question of whether or not to tell the rest of the Ares III team that the crew member they had left for dead is actually still alive. NASA director Teddy Sanders believes such revelation would destroy the crew’s morale and render them unable to complete the journey back home. Flight director Mitch Henderson, however, believes otherwise; he instead thinks that the crew should know right away. They are a family, after all, and that’s not something you keep from families. Thankfully, Mitch convinces Teddy to let him tell the crew, an action which later enables that crew to return to Mars and save Watney.

Biblically speaking there’s a lot to be said of this film. Primarily, that the uninhibited and unadulterated truth can and will help people make the right decisions. And acceptance of smaller truths will much more easily allow the acceptance of bigger truths. This is not to say that the different “truths” are necessarily “different;” truth is truth. The difference instead lies in the impact of whatever truth is being realized.

For the Ares III crew, the truth was that they left Watney on Mars because they thought he was dead. And once they were told the truth about his being alive, they did not hesitate to turn back and rescue him. This gives us an insight to what Jesus said about knowing the truth and then letting the truth “set you free.”

This image from THE MARTIAN shows Jeff Daniels and Donald Glover.

For Mark Watney, though, the hard truth that he realized is that he could not save himself. He could survive for a little while, but that “little while” was small potatoes (heh) if he couldn’t make it back to Earth. He would not have been saved had it not been for the grace and mercy of NASA and the remaining Ares III crew. Such is the same for us when we realize that we cannot save ourselves from the wages of our sins. At that point, we can’t do anything except empty ourselves of everything keeping us from getting back home to God – just as Matt Damon had to physically lighten the load of the Ares IV MAV – and then sit and wait for God’s grace to save us.


Key Texts

Ephesians 2:8-9 NET

For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so that no one can boast.

John 8:32 NLT

And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.


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 a graduate student pursuing his Master in Theatre Arts degree with Regent University. He is an educational assistant and tutor by day and a theatre practitioner by night. You can find him live-tweeting his favorite movies on Twitter @LeviTheBeliever or posting poetry and unsolicited opinions at thebookofbrenden.com
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