Dr. Lawrence Angelo works for Virtual Space Industries, running experiments in increasing the intelligence of chimpanzees using drugs and virtual reality. One of the chimps escapes using the warfare tactics he was being trained for. Dr. Angelo is generally a pacifist, who would rather explore the intelligence-enhancing potential of his research without applying it for military purposes.
Jobe Smith, a local greenskeeper with an unknown learning disability, lives in the garden shed owned by the local priest, Father Francis McKeen. McKeen’s brother, Terry, is a local landscape gardener and employs Jobe to help him with odd jobs. Father McKeen punishes the challenged Jobe with a belt whenever he fails to complete his chores.
Dr. Angelo realizes he needs a human subject to work with, and he spots Jobe mowing his lawn. Peter Parkette, Dr. Angelo’s young neighbor, is friends with Jobe. Dr. Angelo invites both of them over to play some virtual reality games. Learning more about Jobe, Angelo persuades him to participate in his experiments, letting him know it will make him smarter. Jobe agrees and begins the program. Dr. Angelo makes it a point to redesign all the intelligence-boosting treatments without the “aggression factors” used in the chimpanzee experiments.
The key to Christ is provided by the figure of Job, whose suffering prefigures that of Christ. The almost unbearable impact of the “Book of Job” resides not so much in its narrative frame (the Devil appears in it as a conversational partner of God, and the two engage in a rather cruel experiment in order to test Job’s faith), but in its final outcome.
What we get at the end is a kind of cheap Hollywood horror show with lots of special effects—no wonder that many commentators tend to dismiss Job’s story as a remainder of the previous pagan mythology which should have been excluded from the Bible.
Against this temptation, one should precisely locate the true greatness of Job: contrary to the usual notion of Job, he is NOT a patient sufferer, enduring his ordeal with the firm faith in God—on the contrary, he complains all the time, rejecting his fate (like Oedipus at Colonus, who is also usually misperceived as a patient victim resigned to his fate).
Since the function of the obscene superego supplement of the (divine) Law is to mask this impotence of the big Other, and since Christianity REVEALS this impotence, it is, quite consequently, the first (and only) religion to radically leave behind the split between the official/public text and its obscene initiatic supplement: in it, there is no hidden untold story.
Apropos Christianity as “revealed religion,” one should thus ask the inevitable stupid question: what is effectively revealed in it?
So what is revealed in Christianity is not just the entire content, but, more specifically, that THERE IS NOTHING – NO SECRET – TO BE REVEALED BEHIND IT. To paraphrase Hegel’s famous formula from his Phenomenology, behind the curtain of the public text, there is only what we put there. Or, to formulate it even more pointedly, in more pathetic terms, what God reveals is not his hidden power, but only his impotence as such.