Kevin Smith and the Trinity

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Yes, that Kevin Smith.

Yes, that Trinity.

One of my favorite films is Dogma. This will surely make some of you concerned for my soul, others of you happy that I thought this was a clever film, and cause yet others of you to say "what is Dogma?"

Dogma is only one of several movies where Smith wrote, directed, and played a role (others are Clerks, Mall Rats, Chasing Amy,Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and Clerks II).

As the writer, Kevin Smith creates a world. Yes, you may argue that his story exists in this world, but I disagree. There may well be a Bethany Sloan in this world, but she is not the Bethany Sloan of Dogma. Likewise for Cardinal Glick. The events in the Dogma world never happened in our world.

Kevin Smith is the creator of a universe.

Not only is Smith the creator, but his timeline is independent of the Dogma timeline. Smith sees the beginning, end, and middle of Dogma universe as one whole. Smith's pen arrives at any point in the USA at any time, because the time and space of the Dogma world have no claim on Smith.

But Smith is not content to merely create a universe. No, he becomes a part of it. Smith creates a character - Silent Bob - which inhabits the created Dogma universe. And then Smith is the soul that inhabits the Silent Bob character.

To the Dogma universe, Silent Bob is Smith incarnate.

Is Silent Bob the same as Smith? Yes, and no. Yes, the soul of the creator Smith lives out the character of Silent Bob, but no, Silent Bob is not independent of the Dogma time and space. And if the creator Smith were to decide that the Silent Bob character should die, the death would only be of the Silent Bob character and only in the Dogma universe - it would have no claim on the creator Smith.

Complicated? You bet. But Smith (as well as many other writers) has done this in many films.

Yet we're not done. Smith not only creates the universe and the characters within it, not only become the incarnation of Smith call Silent Bob, but Smith wants to speak to the souls that give life to the characters.

Smith takes on the role of director in Dogma. In doing so, he lives in the space between the timeless (to the Dogma universe) creator and the temporal created beings in the film. Director Smith speaks to the souls that inhabit the characters: Linda Fiorentino as she lives out Bethany Sloan's life, George Carlin as he lives out the life of Cardinal Glick, Jason Mewes as he becomes Jay, and yes, even Smith as he lives out Silent Bob.

Smith, as director, is the spirit that speaks to the souls that help to create the lives in the universe created by creator Smith. As director, Smith even speaks to the actor Smith as he lives out Silent Bob.

For those of you who haven't already closed this window and started praying for my immortal soul, let me assure you I am not saying Kevin Smith is our God. But Smith did create several universes, spoke to the souls that inhabited the lives in those universes, and even entered those universes to live among the creations.

Genesis 2 says humans are created in the likeness of God. If we can create whole worlds, and inhabit them with the beings we create, cannot God do so on a grander scale?

What if our creator is like an author, and Jesus like a life played out within that creation by our creator, and the Holy Spirit like that same entity with a foot inside our universe and a foot outside it?

Perhaps all the world is indeed a stage.

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