Welcome to Apologists for Christ
Bulletproof Monk

Home | Debates | Classic Quotes | Rodney's Reflections | Controversial Issues | Cults | insights | Movie and Game Reviews | Music Reviews | Articles | Why Greasy Theologian? | Links | Yo Nick!

By Nick P.


I will go on and admit I'm a fan of martial-arts movies. For sometime, I was a student of karate myself as I thought self-defense was important to learn. I've always valued that kind of self-defense as one must know a skill well and have the guts to use it. Thus, with eager anticipation, I went to see Bulletproof Monk

In the movie, an ancient scroll is kept by Buddhist monks and is referred to as the Scroll of the Ultimate. It is passed down from age to age by warriors who fulfill certain prophecies. The scroll is said to have sacred words on it. If read aloud, they will either make the world a utopia or a living Hell based on whoever reads it. The movie starts in 1943 with Nazis raiding the temple trying to get the scroll and the new holder fleeing to America.

The new holder arrives and the movie starts up again in the current year of 2003. 60 years have passed and the Chinese year of the Ram is upon us again as well as a time for the passing of the scroll. The Buddhist monk finds a young boy who is a thief. The monk forms a likening to him and starts passing on his secrets.

I personally think the best value we can use in using this movie is to point out the system of reality taught therein and see if it matches reality. The monk teaches the thief that he can walk on air if he wants to. The laws of gravity don't exist if he doesn't believe they exist. Strangely enough, the aging nazi who is still pursuing the scroll sends choppers and soldiers firing bullets into their training spot. One wonders that if you can believe gravity doesn't exist and it doesn't exist,  why can't you just believe the enemies don't exist and they won't exist?

You see, the monk believes in the unity of opposites but there are some flaws here. A brief introduction is needed first though for this thought. In the West, (And I would argue everywhere) we think in antithesis, as Francis Schaeffer puts it.) If A is true all non-A is false. For instance, if I say 2 + 2 = 4 and that is true, any answer non-4 is false.

Man always thought like this in the West and then the Hegelian system of thought came along. Take the thesis. Take the antithesis. Put them together. Get a synthesis. This is the way Marxism tried to get a classless society. Funny thing is they never showed you one.

The problem is though that there is still antithesis thought. The thesis is equal to the thesis and the antithesis is equal to the antithesis. If there is no Law of Noncontradiction in play,  there can be no such thing as an opposite. If all is one, as the Eastern Hindus believe when saying Atman is Brahman, then there can be no distinctions at all. There can be no opposites.

The truth is though that while can think this way about the Law of Gravity, one knows it really isn't so. If all reality is subjective, then one should never have to learn self-defense. One can just believe that the enemies are not there and they will not be there.

To the Eastern, morality is subjective as well but is this really so? The monks at the beginning knew there was a difference between a paradise and a living Hell. Somehow, one knows that the good monk is far different from the bad guy Nazi. Many people claim moral relativism but no one lives like it.

Now I know someone when seeing the kung fu action might say "This is like the Matrix though and that's your favorite movie. Why not say the Matrix is Eastern?" Ah but there's a difference! In the Matrix world we are told that the Matrix is NOT the real world. If there was no real world, Morpheus could never say "Welcome to the real world."

But yet when movies have tried to copy the Matrix like Bulletproof Monk has they always make a mistake. The real world doesn't have people flying in the air naturally and dodging bullets and throwing multiple kicks at once. Even in the Matrix, when in the real world, things are just like our world. You may be able to bend laws of gravity in the computer-simulated Matrix, but don't try it in the real world.

The movie was a good one though. The violence has very very little blood and there is really no sex in it. The language is sparse and rare but it is there. If you go see this with a non-Christian, point out the way the people thought in it and ask them if they really think reality is like that.

If they say yes, then see how long they live like that. See if they look both ways before crossing the street or not. If they say no,  then point out the truth that we think in antithesis and laws of logic. Then suggest that maybe objective reality and logic comes about from an objective God who created a rational and orderly world. Point out that even in Bulletproof Monk there is a good guy and a bad guy and you need an objective moral standard to know the difference.

Even if you don't go with a non-Christian, I do recommend this one. It can give one some insights into Eastern thinking and I believe it is a lot cleaner than many other movies out there today.

In Christ,

Email the author at apologianick@wmconnect.com