Good Omens, Everyday Life, and Romans 7


I just finished watching the Amazon Prime original Good Omens. Based on the novel by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pritchard, the miniseries (can we still call them that?) tells the tale of Mankind. Angels. Demons. The antichrist. Choice. Nature. Nurture. Identity.

Like the best of all tales, no one seems quite sure who they’re supposed to be.

In Gaiman and Pratchad’s tale of humanity, no one is quite sure they want to play the prescribed role. No one seems quite sure who they’re supposed to be. No one seems quite sure who they want to be. And that’s the beauty. The good and the bad wrestle. Sometimes it seems like the good is winning. But not always. It’s reminiscent of Paul’s lament in Romans 7 when he groans:

“I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.”

In Good Omens, Angels are willing to bend the rules. Demons are willing to help. And the AntiChrist decides he doesn’t want to usher in total annihilation.

It’s a tale for the ages. And it’s a tale about all of us. It’s like Lemony Snicket says in The Grim Grotto:

“People aren't either wicked or noble. They're like chef's salads, with good things and bad things chopped and mixed together in a vinaigrette of confusion and conflict.”

We may not have the ability to perform miracles. Or usher in Armageddon. But we can help determine what kind of world we want to live in. We can decide what kind of person we want to be. How will we treat those around us? What story will those left behind tell of us? What happens when we question the side we’ve chosen? To what are we predestined and of what is free will and does it really matter where the difference might be?

Good Omens forces us to consider that human nature is more complicated that many well-intentioned theologians would have us believe. People aren’t all bad or good and sometimes it takes quite a sorting-through. That’s the process of sanctification. That’s the process of discovering what it means to be truly human; made in the image of God.

Watch the trailer here: