The Scooby Doo Ending
This summer I have developed a taste for a few TV shows. I haven’t really had any favorite shows in at least 6 years due to workload of seminary and Dr. Groothuis’ warnings. The two main shows I have come to enjoy are NCIS and Psych. Both of them are cop shows. The former is drama with a splash of humor and a lot of characters. The second is far from serious and has so many pop-culture references you won’t get it without having been enculturated in the 80’s or 90’s. One of the funny things I have realized about these shows, and I can’t believe Psych hasn’t made fun of itself for doing it, is they often have a Scooby Doo ending. You know its coming when the show is going to be over in five minutes and you still don’t know who the killer is. The next thing you know the show’s main characters wrap-up the entire murder mystery in 30 seconds flat. The only real difference is that instead of a mask being ripped off and some old cantankerous guy saying, “If it wasn’t for you rascally kids…” its simply the killer coming clean. I laugh every time because it is so ridiculously close to the Scooby Doo ending.
I thought about it and this might sound crazy, but it is analogous to when Jesus returns. One of the 20th century’s most influential theologians, Wolfhart Pannenberg, argues that God reveals himself in history chiefly through Jesus Christ. However, and this is the part where I don’t totally agree, all revelation is provisional for now and must be continually tested. One of the reasons he says is, “Only God’s final revelation at the end of history will bring with it final knowledge of the content and truth of the act of God in Jesus of Nazareth.” (Systematic Theology, v.1, p. 30). There is some truth to this, as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:8-12, “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” Even more, this affirms the numerous passages that says upon Christ’s return “every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” (Phil 2:10-11).
Now, I do think God’s revelation so far is just as valid as what will be revealed. But my point isn’t a debate with Pannenberg, who would school me no doubt. The point is, this is the nature of faith, we place our hope in what God has done and look forward to what he will do. Like a detective, we follow the clues as we walk through life, discerning who is a friend and who is an accomplice. We sometimes have hard evidence but never the definitive link. We sometimes just follow our gut, like Gibbs, because experience with God has taught us a few things. But we await the final and definitive revelation. God has revealed himself to us through Jesus Christ. This is a real revelation and one of the clues to history and our own lives. It might not always make sense, and all the clues don’t always seem to point to a clear and definitive cause. But we place our faith in what we know, that he has revealed himself in Jesus Christ; and we await the Scooby Doo Ending. When all that has been hidden will be revealed (Mt 10:26), all the masks will be removed, the true culprits shown, and there will be no doubt who is Lord and Savior over the whole universe, Jesus Christ.