Biblical “Perspective” from Ratatouille – Part I

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Saturday, October 11, 2014 0 comments

by Nathan Buck

Kids’ movies sometimes have the most profound moments, and often they are unintentional or accidental in their unmasking of principles and values we really do believe are true, even if we spend a tremendous amount of effort trying to deny them. In the Disney movie Ratatouille, an actual rat named Remy becomes a chef in a human restaurant. He is compelled to cook because of his unique sense of smell and taste, alongside a belief in the slogan spoken by his human idol, Chef Gusteau. Chef Gusteau always said, “Anyone can cook.” Through a bizarre set of circumstances Remy ends up controlling a human being by using his hair like a set of puppet strings, and no one knows the food they find so amazing is actually being designed and prepared by a rat.

When the nemesis of the movie – food critic Anton Ego – hears about the food, he makes a visit to critique the food with the intention of writing off the restaurant and deflating the reputation that has begun to build. When Ego arrives there is a brief moment in the movie that is actually quite epic. I am sure it was carefully written and designed for the movie because it is a pivotal moment in the story. But it also reveals a truth we often ignore when it comes to discussing the Bible and truth. When Ego is asked what he would like to order, he says to the waiter, “I am craving, perspective… that is what I think I will have, bring me a plate of well-seasoned… perspective…” (pause) “Fresh out I take it? Then how about this, you provide the food, and I will provide the PERSPECTIVE.” You can watch a clip of this scene here.

When we ask questions about morality or truth, we typically ask them and try to resolve them from our perspective. Occasionally, if we are teachable, we may try to see a moral issue from someone else’s perspective. We may even consider that there is truth in any perspective. However, when it comes to absolute truth – we may struggle. Absolute truth by definition is a transcendent truth, that holds true for all people, at all times, in all places. It is immutable, meaning it cannot be undone or disproven – it is absolute, and by its nature it supersedes any other assumptions or opinions.

The reason we struggle with absolute truth is because of perspective. Look at Genesis 2:16-17 and 3:1-5.

Was God being deceptive and trying to trick Adam and Eve? When God tells them to avoid the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, it is actually from a position of freedom to eat from ANY other tree in the garden. They also can freely choose to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. That tree simply had consequence attached to it. The Hebrew words God used there to describe “the knowledge of good and evil” can be translated as, “the experience of wholeness/wellness, and brokenness/dismantling.” Adam and Eve are given a choice of the fullness of life with God, or to experience the rollercoaster of life apart from God. The situation was clearly defined and explained, but how could Adam understand what “brokenness” was at that point? He had never experienced it. Perhaps that is why God added, “and you will surely die.” But did Adam know what death was? Maybe his experiential gap in understanding is what lead him to explain it so poorly to Eve. When she repeats what God told Adam to the serpent in chapter 3, it sounds very different than what God actually said.

Does it seem odd that God would put that choice in front of them? They are only days old and are faced with choices and consequences they have no experience with. How could God expect them to know the “right” thing to do? How could their choice be wrong if they didn’t know what evil and death were?

Check back during the week to explore these questions and whether there is absolute truth, and next Saturday for Part II of this post.