The Gospel According to Brit Brit: Musical Tells the Story of Christ Through Britney Spears Songs

And on the 8th day, God created Britney.

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Stephen Lam / Reuters

How the tables have turned: now Britney's going to be in the audience, as the new X Factor U.S.A. judge

It’s Britney, b*tch.

Andrew Lloyd Webber may have just been one-upped by Patrick Blute who has created SPEARS: The Gospel According to Britney, a musical that chronicles the life and times of Jesus Christ through the unlikely pairing of pop songs by Britney Spears. In promotional materials for the musical, Blute asks the question that is on many minds: “Is it the greatest story ever told to the greatest music ever written?” The only way to answer that question is to be in the Foxwood Theatre on Nov. 7 for the musical’s one-night-only Broadway run.

According to the musical’s website, Blute laid out songs from the Britney oeuvre like “Stronger,” “One More Time” and “Crazy,” into a narrative that tells the tale of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. While some Christians may find the concept eyebrow raising, on his website, Blute assures potential attendees that the show is not sacrilegious and instead is the perfect outing for churchgoers who also love Britney. “It appeals to those from a religious background because it tells an essential story using fragments of pop culture in a non-offensive way,” the 23-year old Columbia University graduate explained.

The show was originally staged in April 2012 at Blute’s alma mater, where it played for a sold out crowd. Judging from the Britney-themed enthusiasm around the TIME office, we have to assume Thursday’s show will be just as packed.

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BabuG.Ranganathan
BabuG.Ranganathan

TRADITIONAL DOCTRINE OF HELL EVOLVED FROM GREEK ROOTS (Google this title to access and read the full Internet article)

Although I am a conservative Christian theologian (Reformed Baptist), I no longer believe that the Bible teaches or supports the traditional view of hell with its doctrine of eternal torment or suffering. The Bible does teach eternal punishment, but that eternal punishment ultimately is not eternal torment.

Few in society realize just how much ancient Greek philosophy influenced early Christian thought on hell.

The ancient Greeks believed and taught that the human soul is immortal and indestructible. When early Christianity adopted this belief then it became only logical to believe that those who go to hell must suffer eternal torment.

Although the wicked in hell, for a period, will suffer consciously for their individual sins, the ultimate penalty for sin itself will be the eternal death (literal death) of soul and body and the eternal loss to immortality. That is what the Bible means by their eternal punishment. It is not the "punishing" that is eternal but, rather, the "punishment".

God's righteous wrath is not an end in itself but a means to an end - that end being the eternal (literal) destruction of the wicked. Neither will God allow sin to exist for eternity by keeping sinners alive for eternity in hell. Neither is eternal torment necessary for God to satisfy His eternal justice.

But, what about those passages in the Bible which say that the wicked will go into "eternal fire" and that in hell there will be "weeping and gnashing of teeth forever and ever," and other similar passages that seem to teach eternal torment? My article, "Traditional Doctrine of Hell Evolved From Greek Roots," examines these passages in the light of the context of Scripture and by comparing Scripture with Scripture.

You will read how and why the teaching of eternal torment entered early into Christianity, how the Bible has been misinterpreted and taken out of context to support eternal torment, and how the Bible, rightly divided and studied in context, refutes eternal torment.

A minority of Christian believers, across denominations, has believed this view, including the great Christian hymn writer Isaac Watts, author of “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross.”

EXCERPTS FROM THE ARTICLE:

In Genesis 2:17 God told Adam not to eat the fruit of a certain tree (the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) and God also told Adam that if he did eat of it he would die on that very day. Specifically, God said to Adam, "For in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." But the Biblical record shows that Adam did not physically die on the very day he disobeyed God and ate of the forbidden fruit. Because Adam did not physically die on the very day that he disobeyed God most Christians believe that God was referring to spiritual death and not physical death.

However, in the original Hebrew, in which the Old Testament was written, the grammatical tense of the word "die" in Genesis 2:17 is in the imperfect mood. The imperfect mood denotes a process. Thus, what God was actually saying to Adam is that he would start dying on the day he ate the forbidden fruit. The literal translation from the Hebrew of what God said to Adam is: "Dying you will die." God was not, therefore, referring to spiritual death but to physical death. The fact that God later prevented Adam and Eve from having access to the tree of life (Genesis 3:22-24) so that they would not live eternally in sin proves that God was referring to physical death and not spiritual death.

Some have argued that because man was created in the image of God then all humans must possess an immortal soul. However, being created in the image of God doesn't necessarily mean that we must possess every attribute or even possible attribute that God possess. For example, God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent - but we are not. The Bible is clear that immortality is an attribute that will be given only on Resurrection Day for those who have put their trust in Christ for salvation.

In Scripture the word "forever" does not always mean endless or eternal duration. For example, in Exodus 21:6 (KJV Version) we read that certain people were to be servants "forever". Obviously this cannot mean eternity. The word "forever" or "everlasting", in the original Hebrew and Greek languages of Scripture, simply means the entire length or duration of something. If that something is immortal then the word "forever" must mean eternity. But, if that something is mortal or temporary in nature then, obviously, the word "forever" cannot mean eternity.

Figures of speech such as "unquenchable fire" are used in the Bible to mean that the process of destruction is unstoppable or irreversible. We see an example of this in the Old Testament book of Ezekiel 20:47-48 where God says that when His judgment comes on the land even every green tree will burn and that the fire "will not be quenched". Obviously, those trees are not still burning. It is important to understand just why God uses such terms in Scripture as "unquenchable fire.

In the Bible, there were some judgments of God in which His wrath was quenched or stopped such as in the case when Moses interceded and pleaded before God for the rebellious Israelites in the desert. When Moses did this God stopped or quenched His wrath against the rebellious Israelites. Thus, when God says, in Scripture, that the wicked in the end will be destroyed with unquenchable fire what He simply means is that nothing can intervene to prevent Him from carrying out His wrath fully through to its completion. Over and over in the Scriptures God is described in judgment as being a consuming fire. God's righteous wrath in judgment is not an end in itself but a means to an end.

When the Bible talks about “eternal judgment,” “eternal damnation,” “eternal destruction,” it’s in reference to the result and not the process! It is not the punishing that is eternal but, rather, the punishment! It is not the destroying that is eternal but, rather, the destruction! It is not the dying that is eternal but, rather, the death. Just as the term "eternal redemption" in the Bible doesn’t mean that the process of redeeming is eternal but, rather, the result (no one would be saved if the process of redeeming were eternal) so, too, the eternal judgment of the wicked doesn’t mean that their judging is eternal but, rather, their judgment (the result). 

Babu G. Ranganathan*

B.A. Bible/Biology 

The author, Babu G. Ranganathan, has been recognized for his writings on religion and science in the 24th edition of Marquis "Who's Who In The East."