1.03.2013

7 of 9's Calvinist Conversion

Being sick, I've had no energy to write until now, so I caught up on some Voyager.
I'm watching them in order for the first time, and got to Scorpion, where the Borg 7 of 9 makes her appearance. In the episode "The Gift," I found some remarkable parallels to the Calvinist concept of Irresistible Grace.

Captain Janeway saves 7's life by choosing for her, when 7 is unconscious, to remove the Borg implants that threaten her life. This makes her more human, which 7 has expressly said she doesn't want. She wants to be returned to the Borg. But Janeway knows she'll die, either before she's recovered by them, or by being assimilated. So Janeway drags her kicking and screaming into the human world. She fights it. It's uncomfortable without all the Borg voices. But after a while she adjusts.

This is a picture of what theologians call Irresistible Grace. Our regeneration happens without our consent, by the Spirit's call. The Father draws us to the Son, and we find ourselves willing to go where we weren't before. It's scary, and a large part of us doesn't want to go. But we do.

We are often called to fight what "comes naturally." For 7 that was the impulse to return to the collective. For people generally it is our nature to sin. Preachers and prophets who call us to this fight are often scorned as authoritarian and abusive, for which Janeway (and God in His electing some to be saved) might be criticized. But they know the call to the right IS right, over the individual's freedom to choose what he wants.

Yes, even an otherwise silly sci-fi TV show can be redeemed. Yes, in Star Trek what is right is often confused. But occasional gleams of truth keep me watching...

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