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Idol Chatter

The current James Bond movie is clearly different from most of the other 23 Bond (21 official) movies. The actor is different. The tone is different. The villain(s) is (are) different. There’s no “Q,” and though “M” is the same actor (Judi Dench), even she has a new edge to her.

That said, it’s an important film for true Bond fans because it probably lands closer to the original Bond of the Ian Fleming novels than any of the prior movies, except perhaps for “Dr. No” and “From Russia With Love.” I won’t give away the details in this blog, but you need to see it. This guy is certainly nothing like Lazenby, Moore, Dalton, and Brosnan–and is probably more like Connery than any of the others, except for the hair. He’s young. He’s raw. He’s human. He confounds those close to him. And he’s a hero.

For the spiritually driven Bond fan, I think “Casino Royale” offers a potential bonus impact. This franchise couldn’t have endured this long (45 years, going on a third generation of fans and its sixth lead actor) if all of us didn’t have some kind of attraction to the idea of a Savior or Hero who transcends the normal bounds of human limitation to achieve the nigh-impossible for the benefit of others and his country. We’re coming up on the Christmas season, and many of us will celebrate–or at least tolerate–an Americanized, Christmas-ized version of Jesus and the Christmas story that may or may not be true to The Original. Jesus Christ was not the watered-down, numbed, and muted version of himself that our culture–and even some of our churches–embrace.

Any time we get to re-discover anew the truth of who Jesus was–and is–then it’s a good day. I know it wasn’t the producers’ intent, but if “Casino Royale” rocks some Bond-fans’ notions of the true identity and character of this film’s Savior, and if that can bleed over into a re-examination of Jesus as He impacts our own faith journey, then this may truly be a meaningful and Merry Christmas, and more than just a Happy Holiday.

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