EPISODE 2 – “What if You Could Go Back … to the FUTURE”

Why are time travel stories so compelling?

What is it about the idea of traveling through time that captures our imagination?

What do time travel stories teach us about ourselves? About God?

Why are they just so much fun?

In our second episode, we explore one of our favorite sub-genres of science fiction and fantasy: the time travel story.

Do you have a favorite time travel book or movie? Have a thought we didn’t touch on? Let us know! You can contact us via e-mail, Twitter, or Facebook!

Thanks for listening and Godspeed!






12 responses to “EPISODE 2 – “What if You Could Go Back … to the FUTURE””

  1. Cindy Navarro Avatar

    Great discussion! Brought back memories of films and tv shows I loved, and I learned a few more I need to see.

  2. Ben Avatar

    Thanks, Cindy! Glad you liked it. As I was putting the episode together, I thought of a bunch of movies I wish I had remembered when Dr. Jayce put me on the spot!

  3. Hank Harwell Avatar
    Hank Harwell

    I loved the quote from Galileo about If science and the Bible contradict each other it means we’re reading one of them incorrectly. I’ve tried to locate the quote, but all I’ve found is a note that indicates that he said only our reading of the Bible is incorrect. Can you point me to the actual quotation?


    1. Ben Avatar

      Yes. It’s not an exact quote — the exact quote is very, very long. It comes from a letter to a monk Castelli, who got cornered one day because he loved to study the heavens. He was invited to a dinner and found himself defending the movement of the earth, which was being argued against by some people using the scripture (Psalms, saying “Thou fixed the Earth upon its foundations, not to be moved forever” and the like). Grand Duchess Cristina of Lorraine was in attendance at that dinner, and she questioned him persistently. So Castelli wrote to Galileo about the incident, and Galileo replied with a lengthy letter: “… Holy Scripture cannot err and the decrees therein contained are absolutely true and inviolable. I should only have added that, though scripture cannot err, its expounders and interpreters are liable to err in many ways …” and “… Holy Scripture and nature are but emanations from the divine word: the former dictated by the Holy Spirit, the latter the observant executrix of God’s commands.” One thing Madame Cristina brought up was also the miracle in which God stopped the sun in the sky for Joshua, and Galileo tried to show that that miracle actually made more sense if Copernicus was correct about the motion of the earth.

      That letter was copied and passed around and denounced and given to a grand inquisitor — altered to make him look truly heretical. He sent a correct version of the original letter to clear his name. And later, he wrote a letter directly to Madame Cristina. It was longer and had numerous footnotes to theological writings. The correspondence can be found in Dava Sobel’s Galileo’s Daughter. It’s a good read. It paints an interesting picture of Galileo, who could really be a jerk at times (and an immoral one at that), and that tendency got a lot of the wrong people angry at him. But it is interesting to see how things really went down with him and the church. as new discoveries about the movement of the “heavens” were being made, he grew in frustration that the church, in trying to squash those ideas, was just going to look bad when the truth came out elsewhere. Unfortunately, Galileo’s actual beliefs and motives have been lost in the telling.

  4. Ryan Avatar

    Just catching up on this one. Wouldn’t it be interesting to be able to take your loved ones forward in time to show them what their eternity without christ would look like?

    perhaps salvation for them would no longer be possible, because they would *know.* If they knew for a fact, would salvation by grace through *faith* even be possible?

    1. Ben Avatar

      Interesting concept . . . does KNOWING nullify FAITH? It’s an idea that would be interesting to explore.

  5. Mike Poteet Avatar
    Mike Poteet

    I know you limited yourself to movies, but it’s such a shame to have a time travel discussion with no mention (that I heard, at least) of “Doctor Who”! Maybe in a future episode…?

    Did the 1701-E crew really change history? Who’s to say, as in ST IV, that it all didn’t unfold just as it should have, and actually did? i.e., the Borg always went back, followed by Our Heroes, who were there in Bozeman – but, hey, the records are sketchy; and the Vulcans never knew; and Cochrane and Lilly kept their mouths shut in order to preserve the integrity of the timeline.

    Speaking of Jesus in time travel: There is a story by Richard Matheson (I think) of an academic who goes back in time to witness the Crucifixion. He watches Jesus suffer and die, and concludes from what he sees that nothing more than that happened – however, it awakens a certain kind of faith in him more than traditional religious teaching ever has. I don’t agree with the story’s conclusion, of course, but neither does it turn out to be an “attack piece,” per se, which pleasantly surprised me. Worth checking out. (I found it in the collection of stories released in tandem with “Real Steel,” but I am sure it is reprinted elsewhere, too.)

    By the way, Ben, for defending Star Trek: TMP – blessings on your head! A fan after my own heart. Not my favorite Trek film by any means, but far, far better than most people are willing to give it credit for.

  6. Rob Avatar

    So I just started listening to the podcast and have really enjoyed the dialogue though i think the lot of you are mostly Trekkies, which is totally cool, but i have never personally been able to actually get into and enjoy myself. I have to say being a little bit of a whovian, though realizing this episode was primarily geared at movies, I was supper upset because talking about time travel with out using a reference to a Time Lord what is that about. And with the predestination and free will, I loved that discussion and I think the one thing The Doctor says alot throughout the series that really got to me on that aspect is “There are certain events that have to happen and cannot be changed, other things are a bit squish” I think it is possible for small details of life to be changed without huge effect though not in our own time stream because then we just create a paradox. There is also one episode from that series that really gave me a nice look at how God’s time worked Th Girl in the Fireplace, Where the Doctor can stroll in and out of her life where she sees him and its only been but a couple minutes for him but for her its been many years. To me I saw that and I thought about how the scriptures say to God one day is but a thousand years and a thousand years a day. Our lives are so minuscule to his that they just go past in a snap or the amount of time it would take sit and watch a good extend edition of a great sci fi/ fantasy film

    1. Ben Avatar

      Rob, truth is, of all three of us, I’m the only one watching Doctor Who. In the near future we do plan to do a Who episode, but it will probably involve bringing in some outsiders . . .

      I love the episode you’re talking about — I heard people talking about it before I watched it, and it had a LOT to live up to the way people were talking it up . . . boy did it! — but I like your spin on it. Reminds me of the way C.S. Lewis described God and time — when I was a teenager, I read Lewis’ explanation and it really clicked with me. If we ever do that Who episode, I’ll be bringing up your comment there. There are a lot of episodes with very deep, thoughtful and/or spiritual themes, but your insight here was something I didn’t notice. Nice catch!

      Yes, the three of us do like Trek. Don’t worry, you’ll come around. 🙂

    1. bradhuebert Avatar

      Hey, thanks for the shout out, Hank. I think this is a critical thing to ponder as believers.

  7. Miles Monroe Avatar
    Miles Monroe

    Enjoyed this podcast, it helped give me some ideas for a paper I’m writing. I also found the quote from the poet Edwin Muir relevant in thinking about the reasons behind the fascination with time travel. “I must live over again the years which I had lived wrongly, and that everyone should live his life twice, for the first attempt is always blind.”

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