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Monday, December 31, 2012

Entertaining For The Faith

I recently saw a "Christian" movie that, while theologically correct, approached its core values with such wooden reverence that it begged a question that seems vital:

Are Christian movies and books being made for the edification and entertainment of the faithful, or are they in the evangelical service of the Great Commission?

There's nothing wrong with playing to the committed Christian audience, and indeed even the faith of the most ardent Christian can need bolstering.

But there is a potential beyond that, which is only rarely being tapped - the movie aimed specifically at the non-Christian, which extends a hand of welcome and hope, without being judgemental.

Examples do exist in film, but they aren't quite what one might expect. "Blood Diamond" has a lovely exposition of God's unconditional love for us, mirrored in the feelings of one of the characters for his son.

"The Hurt Locker" is billed as being about the statement that 'war is a drug', but its shrewd heart models "greater love hath no man, than he who is willing to lay down his life for his fellows".

Both of these movies would presuppose a knowledge of the New Testament to be effective evangelical tools, but that's not bad; there are a lot of churchgoers whose faith only goes as far as Christmas Trees and Easter Eggs.

The trick is to follow up the movie message with one that firmly anchors the viewer's mind on the scriptural message.

Any ideas, out there?

1 comment:

  1. Jesus shocked people. The truth can be shocking. Jesus scandalized people. Love can be scandalous--in the right way.
    If Christians just produce nice saccharine Pollyanna stuff, is this product really Christian?
    Not that it's good to produce gratuitous schock--I guess that's shock and schlock--and scandal, but...
    [And I think some Christian apocalyptic stuff overdoes shock and scandal and schlock.]