In a deleted scene from Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction," Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) tells Vincent Vega (John Travolta) that she needs to find out what kind of person he is before she'll go to dinner with him. Here's what she says:
My theory is that when it comes to important subjects, there's only two ways a person can answer. For instance, there's two kinds of people in this world, Elvis people and Beatles people. Now Beatles people can like Elvis. And Elvis people can like the Beatles. But nobody likes them both equally. Somewhere you have to make a choice. And that choice tells me who you are.
There are other important things in life that can tell us what kind of person you are: chunky peanut butter, or smooth? Regular cola, or diet? It seems to me that the same is true when it comes to reading the Bible. Do you read the Bible as a helpful tool in your climb up toward moral betterment or as the story of God coming down to broken, sinful people?
In a very real way, our lives are defined by how we answer that question. Specifically, our lives are defined either by a cross or by a ladder. The ladder symbolizes our ascension-our effort to "go up." The cross symbolizes God's descension-his coming down.