Justin Taylor|8:54 am CT

Les Misérables

In recently watching the first few numbers from the 10th anniversary of the musical Les Misérables, I wondered: in contemporary culture is there another example of something so popular where the Christian themes are so numerous and explicit?

See, for example, the number of themes you can identify in these first 10-15 minutes:

As many readers will now, this December (2012) a new film version—with some of the musical numbers—will appear, starring Hugh Jackman (Valjean), Russell Crowe (Javert), and Anne Hathaway (Fantine)—and also including Sacha Baron Cohen as Thénardier and Colm Wilkinson (the original Valjean in the London musical) as the Bishop of Digne. It is directed by Tim Hooper, who previously directed The King’s Speech.

Those who want to read the book will probably want to consider the recent edition by acclaimed translator Julie Rose.

John Piper writes, “We have little hope that his spiritual pilgrimage led him to Christ and heaven. But in the providence of God, and by the grace he scatters so liberally among his adversaries, Hugo was brilliant in his blindness. The imago dei and the remnants of his Christian roots break forth—to the praise of his Maker.” Piper reproduces some of his favorite quotes from the novel here. For more extensive list, see this series of excerpts collected by Trevin Wax.

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