The big bible based media event of 2013 was The Bible miniseries. This, in my opinion, was a wonderful piece of work. Not perfect mind you, but I believe it accomplished the purpose for which it was created. Some will critique it because of the secular/spiritualistic associations of the married duo Mark Burnett and Roma Downey who were responsible for it coming to pass as it's producers. Some, because it is not a verse by verse portrayal. I was moved enough by what I was able to see of it on TV that I asked for it on DVD for Christmas. I was not disappointed.
Don't get me wrong, it has flaws. They do take certain contextual liberties with where and when certain statements are made and events take place. However, the liberties they take do not change the overall impact of the redemptive story of the bible as a whole regarding the fallen state of sinful man and our need for a Savior that can only be found in Jesus. They hit many important highlights along the way and they take you all the way through Revelation to the extent that they could with budget and time restraints. I am not aware of anything that has been produced to date that has attempted to paint the whole picture of scripture from beginning to end.
It could be argued that people will make assumptions of their understandings of scripture based on this miniseries and that this could be dangerous. This is true but let's face it, that is what we are here for as Christians. Because people use any and every means to justify what they want to believe about God and the bible, including never cracking their bible and taking, without question, the word of preachers who preach unbiblical doctrine . If we allow this miniseries to do what it was intended to do which is, to be a conversation starter, then we can take those opportunities to go to the scriptures, make corrections, and share the gospel.
I for one pray that many will watch it that might be much less likely to open a bible, and that it will create the interest in God's word that it is intended to create. That was the purpose behind it's being made in the first place. I am very glad it was made.
Son of God
2014 is getting off to a relatively fast start with the release of two Christian movies that have been in promotion, at lest on FB, for some time. Son of God comes out February 28th. It essentially appears to be the parts of The Bible miniseries that focused on Jesus' life, ministry, death, and resurrection. While many movies have been made surrounding this topic my hope is that people will recognize Jesus as the actor from the miniseries and want to go see it, or maybe get someone to go see it that perhaps will not watch the miniseries. This movie could have been made simply as an easy opportunity to capitalize on the popularity of the miniseries however, if people get saved because of it, I don't care. The same thing happened with the preaching of the gospel in the Apostle Paul's day while he was in prison. He didn't care what the motivation was as long as the gospel was being preached(Philippians 1:14-18).
God's Not Dead
God's Not Dead is a movie geared around the defense of the Christian faith. It comes out March 21st. It is set around the debate over God's existence in a college philosophy class. I have seen several trailers for this. There are probably a couple of theological points that I would differ with slightly but on the whole I think it does what it set's out to do from what I can tell.
I have read critiques by those who want to pick at the viability of the overall story line. For instance, as to whether a college philosophy professor could actually get away with his insistence that students either write God is dead on a piece of paper or defend their reason not to. At the end of the day, it is a story with a specific purpose. Fiction often creates mildly to totally implausible scenarios in order to accomplish the purpose of it's story. It does not appear to be doing major damage to any biblical concepts such as movies like Noah, starring Russell Crowe, are doing. (More on that another time).
The fact is that if we are consistent in sharing our faith, we will be challenged. Sometimes in the classroom, sometimes at work or on the street. So that aspect of this story line is not implausible at all. If it get's people thinking about what they believe about God and why they believe it and challenges those that are Christians to be able to give a defense for why they believe then I will be thrilled(1 Peter 3:15). We must be ready at all times, in season and out of season(2 Timothy 4:2). This appears to be the purpose of the movie and I think it will challenge and inspire youth and adults alike to consider just how prepared they are to stand up for their faith and defend it appropriately.
I have trailers for both of these movies on my blog page. Feel free to go check them out if you are not already on it reading this. I pray that all of the movies discussed here are tools that will feed your love for God and the bible and that you are able to use them to positively influence others to pursue a relationship with God through Jesus Christ as well.
Hope you go see them and support the Christian movie production efforts. Take someone with you. It may just change their lives.
Share the love. Defend the faith. Live a life worthy of the gospel! (Philippians 1:27)