American Mythology’s Endgame
The largest cultural event of 2019 is the release of “Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame.”
Endgame is the mythology of America’s young. Earlier generations looked to John Wayne, but today it is Marvel; and Endgame’s official message paraphrased is “be who you are, not who you are supposed to be.” That has ramifications, so don’t be the last to know. The largest cultural event of 2019 is the release... Continue Reading
Killing a Legend
"The Highwaymen" takes aim at the wrongheaded heroizing of Bonnie and Clyde.
It probably shouldn’t be surprising that mainstream reviews of The Highwaymenhave been tepid, given how hard it pushes back against a film Hollywood has long hailed as one of its greatest works. And there’s no question it indicts the media for heroizing the wrong people. But that would be just another us vs. them movie,... Continue Reading
Best of Enemies Movie: Klan leader, Black Activist; Race, Religion, Reconciliation
What happens when you assign a Ku Klux Klan president and a Black civil rights activist to collaborate on school desegregation – in the racially charged 1971 U.S. South?
What fueled their change? Atwater wrote in the Durham Herald-Sun, “In church the preacher says that if you want to be like Jesus you must be ‘born again.’ That really is the only way I can describe it. Something came into our lives…. The blinders came off and we…saw how much we had in common.... Continue Reading
Abby Johnson and the Movie ‘Unplanned’
Abby Johnson: “Unplanned is a movie I never planned on making”
“You know, I was a little disgruntled. I had been told that we were required to double our abortion quota in our clinic. They told us we must sell more abortions, and start doing them through the 6th month of pregnancy. I thought that was absurd, that it was much too late in the pregnancy.... Continue Reading
‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Unwittingly Promotes the Bible’s Sexual Ethic
Freddie Mercury’s life ended tragically, the result of rebellion against God. To their credit, the filmmakers don’t shy away from painting very close to that truth in Bohemian Rhapsody.
In no uncertain terms, the viewer is made aware that Mercury’s life has become a bacchanalian pursuit of pleasure. And that pursuit, the gay lifestyle, was his undoing – his enemy. On the flipside, the filmmakers make sure to highlight the path that he should’ve taken. A path of traditional sexual ethics and marriage. ... Continue Reading
American Gospel: Christ Alone, Film Review
In the U.S. there has arisen a particularly virulent form of false teaching—a gospel which promises cash and comfort to Christ’s followers, and in so doing bilks the poor, the needy, and the ill.
One of the great blessings to the church recently has been the emergence of quality Christian documentary filmmaking. We’ve been blessed by the fruits of the creative labors of folks like Media Gratiae and Stephen McCaskell. The work of Brandon Kimber and his Transition Studios adds to that growing library of excellent films which are educational, entertaining,... Continue Reading
What the Gospel Co-Allies Could Learn from Non-Christian Movies
If everything has to have Christian significance, you are going to miss a lot of life.
A basic problem is an inability to regard non-Christians as confronting real life situations that believers also face, or portraying Christians as people with similar problems to non-Christians — juggling multiple loyalties, avoiding temptation, maintaining integrity, or even looking up to people without faith for insights into the human condition. Is it possible, for instance,... Continue Reading
Mary Poppins Returns: Echoes of the Gospel?
Mary Poppins Returns has so many (unwitting?) allusions to Scripture, an entire book could be written on it.
As Emily Blunt tells us as the “new” Mary Poppins, “Everything is possible, even the impossible.” Blunt captures the regal looks, facial expressions, voice, and mannerisms of Andrews in a remarkable fashion. But, the strength of this visual masterpiece is not the impeccable acting, whimsical music, nor the outstanding cinematography and CGI. It is the... Continue Reading
American Gospel is an excellent film to watch individually or as a family.
The great strength of the film is that it’s not only a negative examination of the Word of Faith movement, but also a very positive and helpful examination of biblical truth. Those who watch it will not only be convinced that the prosperity gospel is evil, but they will also know exactly why it is... Continue Reading
D’Souza and the “Death of a Nation” Documentary
Dinesh D’Souza has produced another provocative political documentary that targets the Democratic Party as the source of all evil; however the real battle in America is not political but spiritual.
As a theologian, what concerns me about the documentary is that most everything in the documentary appears to be viewed through the spectacles of pure politics. As one of my friends said to me after viewing the documentary, the real battle in America is not a political battle, but rather a spiritual battle. After seeing... Continue Reading