Friday, August 13, 2010

Jim Raynor: Christ Figure? Spoilers...

I had a thought the other day that Jim Raynor, especially in Starcraft 2, is actually a Christ figure, in a particularly Reformed sense.

The main Scripture I am using for this is Romans 5:8, whose text follows:

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Jim Raynor clearly loved Sarah Kerrigan in a self-sacrificing way (agape) and eventually intended to free her from the Zerg swarm.  Although Kerrigan, after her infestation by the Zerg, was less hostile toward Raynor than toward other characters, she still made war against him, especially when they were both after pieces of the Xel'Naga artifact or when Raynor and Valerian invaded Char to deploy it against the Zerg. 

This is similar to the Reformed position, based on their interpretation of Romans 8:7, whose text follows:

The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so.

The Reformed believe that this means man cannot accept Jesus on his or her own--God must act on them first.  Kerrigan did not ask for Raynor's help in Starcraft 2, but was actively opposed to him.  And of her own free will as well--she was no longer under the control of the Overmind, but was acting according to her nature (albeit warped by the Zerg--a moral, compassionate person beforehand, the infestation destroyed her conscience and moral sensibilities and rendered her a de facto psychopath).

Other characters play roles similar to the Pharisees and Sadducees who opposed Christ during His earthly ministry.  Arcturus Mengsk tells Raynor "that treacherous b***** cannot be saved," which reminds me somewhat of the religious leadership that for the most part looked down on "sinners."  Raynor's friend Tychus Findlay and even the well-meaning Matt Horner are also skeptical of Raynor's insistence that Kerrigan can be saved.

The saga even has its own Judas Iscariot--Findlay himself, who is a mole for Arcturus Mengsk, albeit under duress (he's locked into a suit of armor that will kill him on command).  When Raynor and his personal guard find the de-infested Kerrigan, naked and dazed in the ruins of a Zerg hive, Findlay attempts to kill her under orders from Mengsk.  Raynor has to kill his old friend, who was his brother-in-arms during the Guild Wars and fought alongside him during the events of "Wings of Liberty."  This parallels the description of Judas as one who shared in Christ's ministry (Acts 1:17).

However, Raynor's story and that of Jesus Christ do not match up 100%.  Although Raynor risks his life, he does not die, and his love for Kerrigan is romantic/sexual (eros) as well as agape.  Mengsk is also the cause of the situation--he abandoned Kerrigan to the Zerg in the first game--rather than merely a skeptical religious leader.  Raynor also initially intended to kill Kerrigan in revenge for her murder of his Protoss friend Fenix, something he abandoned after Zeratul revealed Kerrigan's prophesied role in the defeat of an evil power that would, without her, take control of the Zerg and use them to exterminate the Terrans and the Protoss.

That being said, there are a whole lot of parallels.


  1. Speaking of Calvinism have you heard of Marc Carpenter's Outside the Camp?

  2. Taking a look at the "Heterodoxy Hall of Shame" entry on John Calvin now. The man seems rather hysterical--claiming that people who disagree with him on certain matters actually HATE GOD.

    Carl Sagan said that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. To claim someone is wrong is one thing; to claim people who hold wrong beliefs actually HATE GOD is something else entirely.

    (And apparently holding an allegedly-erroneous belief about a theological matter is more proof someone is unregenerate than the fact he was a murderer and a torturer.)

  3. Well he's arguing that the limited the limited atonement and soverignty of God are essential doctrines as much as say Jesus Christ is the Son of God.