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Photo courtesy of Peter Skadberg

I finally watched the first episode of The Finder on Hulu last night. The program will air weekly on FOX and, as is usual for me, I’ll catch episodes more sporadically as they appear online. I enjoyed the show. The characters and dialog were compelling enough to go back for another episode, even if some of the plot logic was a bit sketchy. The thing that really caught my attention though, was the flavor of Christianity running through the dialogue.

One of the show’s main characters, Leo, played by Michael Clarke Duncan, is the owner of a restaurant/bar in south Florida. He is the business manager / lawyer / friend to Maj. Walter Sherman, played by Geoff Stults, who was medically discharged from the U.S. Army with a brain injury that enables him to find things in a supernaturally non-methodical manner. A teenage girl, Willa, played by Maddie Hasson, lives in a trailer on Leo’s property.

Willa comes from a “family of criminals.” She is currenlty on probation from juvenile custody, working for Leo as one of the conditions of her release. It is intimated in the dialogue that Leo has a shady past of his own, but is reformed, and sees potential in Willa although Walter does not agree that Willa is able to go straight.

At one point in the show Walter is explaining to Leo that there is a problem to only seeing the best in people. He says that when we do, we miss the presumably not-so-good parts. To support his point, Walter tells Leo that Willa will run away. Leo responds by saying that he has had his own time as a ruined man and that it didn’t stop Walter from having faith in him.

“That’s because I think you’re one of the finest men that ever lived,” Walter says to Leo, “tied with Jesus and Cal Ripken Jr.”

Later, Leo is trying to explain to Willa’s probation officer why the girl should not be placed back in juvenile detention. The probation officer gives Leo a long list of Willa’s crimes and declares her a sociopath. Leo, though, counters with the notion that Willa “is redeemable” and therefore not a sociopath.

Clearly, Leo perceives humanity through the eyes of a reformed sinner archetype! Leo is a Christian! I hope the show does well and continues to portray positive, loving examples of interpersonal interactions.

That dialogue led me to wonder, though, about the roots of the word “redeem” and the problem of severe mental disorders in our society. How do we as Christians handle someone who may be diagnosed as manifesting behaviors that are beyond the help of our known therapeutic methods?

In researching my questions, I found two roots of the word in the Koine Greek and two roots in Old Testament Hebrew. I also discovered several lively discussions between pastors, priests, and psychiatrists regarding APD, antisocial personality disorder (sociopathy). I will discuss my findings over the next few days. In the meantime, check out The Finder. It airs on FOX at 9pm est. on Thursdays. I’ll be watching tonight!

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