Doctor Who : Bad Wolf / The Parting of Ways, 1.12, 13

The Doctor, Rose, and Jack find themselves each in a different extreme futuristic version of present-day game shows. As the severity of the games becomes known, the Doctor and Jack escape from their respective sets. They find their way to each other and then to the control room.

Here is the Guide for Parents!!

Meanwhile, Rose is still stuck on a quiz show. She gets zapped and has presumably died.

Of course, the zap ray has really just been transporting people to a cell on an alien ship. The Daleks are discovered to be behind the evil doings on Satellite 5. Not only that, they plan to invade earth. They have Rose and the Doctor warns them that he will retrieve her, stop their plan, and destroy every last Dalek.

The next episode picks up with the Doctor and Jack … well you know what happens. The part of the story I’m interested in is Rose being stranded on earth in her own time.

The Doctor and Jack are desperate to stop the Daleks. The last time the Doctor faced them, he killed all the Time Lords attempting to exterminate the Daleks as well. The only option he thinks he has now is to use a Delta Wave, which will kill everybody.

So he sends Rose to the TARDIS, and then turns his sonic screwdriver to send the old box away. Rose finds herself back in her own time, unable to even open the TARDIS after exiting.

I’ve written before about how the Doctor’s call to journey with him is quite similar to the call that Jesus makes to Christians. Both call their companions to higher ways of seeing things. Both call them to honor justice, joy, and peace above other selfish desires. And both call their people to go wherever justice, joy, and peace are not present, so they might deliver it.

Rose faces a new life here on earth. With the Doctor she saw the universe in Technicolor and now she has to go back to her old sepia tone life. Her adventures in Oz are apparently over.

This is actually another image of the Christian life. We are saved and invited on an amazing adventure. But there are many times when we just have to do the mundane things of this life. The dishes still need washed, even if we were just talking with the King of the universe. The trash still needs removed, even if we are members of a Royal Priesthood.

Life before Christ is in our lives and life after still requires us to eat, sleep, and go to work. All that dull stuff still needs to get done.

And so we see Rose struggling with, as she believes, her life after the Doctor. And the Doctor Who mythos adds another nuance to its reflection of the Christian life.

This is the scene I’ve always wanted to see. Over the years, the Doctor has had so many different companions and they all left him at some point. Whether they chose to leave, were asked to leave, died, or ended up marrying an alien after being brainwashed, they all leave.

What is life like after leaving the Doctor?

Well, for one thing, he’s not really there with them. “Of course he’s not. Why should he be? He’s left her behind.” Right, but on Geeks of Christ we’re always comparing these stories and characters to the stories and characters of the Bible. Jesus brings us into a marvelous new life and deposits us back into our mundane live – but He stays with us, as the Holy Spirit. We don’t see Him, but we are confident He’s there. It’s one of our more fairy-story beliefs. But I’m at least as sure of His presence and sure of my interactions with Him as much as I am sure that the Milky Way is shaped the way it’s shaped (and just how do we have photographs of the exterior of our galaxy when we’ve never been outside of it?)

Here’s Rose. She’s faced with the boredom he rescued her from. She just can’t escape it now. Stuck hanging out with Mickey and her mom. They’re not so bad…well, her mom isn’t always annoying.

Rose isn’t bummed because her life is so hard now. It’s about what she lost. The other companions probably felt the same way, abandoned and bored.

Just imagine having the universe – in four dimensions! – just there for you to explore. And imagine losing it all in an instant.

Your attitude would be like Rose’s, I’d bet. You would want it all back. Obviously.

There’s no Holy Spirit of the Doctor left for you to commune with as you await his physical return.

There are two Christian ideas I’m pulling out of this scene where Rose is left behind.

1. Life after first becoming a Christian goes back to being mundane, but we have a direct link to our Great Adventurer and Guide in the form of the Holy Spirit.

2. Life after leaving the Church might look something like what Rose is going through.

So let’s look at that second one.

Her friends reassure her that she’s better off without him, somehow still seeming to doubt it all happened despite the proof they themselves have witnessed. She’s convinced that relationship is pretty much over. She’s left with only memories of good times, but even those will get tarnished as she lives more of her life without him.

Of course, we know that Rose isn’t satisfied with living in this 2-D world. She’s seen the world in Technicolor and going back to sepia tone will not do. Her experiences were real, not imagined.

It is a belief as old as the Church itself – one cannot lose one’s salvation. Now whether you believe this or not, you have to admit there are tons of people who once claimed to be Christians who now claim to not be. It’s just a fact.

So instead of asking whether or not one can lose one’s salvation, maybe the better question is who are these people that left the Church?

The theological answer is they were never really Christians. They said they were. They went to church, sure. But they were in it for another reason. They were in it for the community or the comfort or the tradition or the intellectual puzzle or the music or the counseling. There was something that was not the gospel that brought and kept these people in the church for a period. Then that thing went away or the people saw it differently or someone offended them and they left.

In other words, if their faith was based on a temporal thing like music or tradition, their faith will be temporal too. If faith is based on something eternal, like the shed blood of Jesus Christ covering all our sins, then that faith will likely not be confined to temporal things like tradition or potluck dinners after Sunday School.

Can someone lose their salvation? Eh, they’d have to someone remove God’s atonement of their sins. Get it? Like, can Rose ever not be a companion? Sure, she can stop being the current companion, but she’ll always have been one. She’ll always have been offered that position and she’ll always have had those experiences and that relationship. Even when the Doctor isn’t physically present with her, she’s longing for him. And at the end of her day, she does everything she can to reunite with him.

Rose is a true companion, always part of that eternal group of other companions to the Doctor. Mickey is like the former Christian. He’s around other companions, but he never quite believes it himself. He’s seen some flash-bang-boom and he’s heard the vwoorp-vwoorp of the TARDIS here and there. He even helps out with Doctor-related missions, like helping Rose to open the door to the TARDIS. But he’s never quite in there. He’s never quite convinced to leave his dreary little predictable life behind.

Of course, he will eventually. Someday, the flashy action of the Doctor will hit home for Mickey. It’ll strike him personally and deeply and he’ll finally accept the truth (and accept his part in) this much larger story.

Lego Ninth Doctor


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