I Agree with Brian McLaren.

(Thanks to Elizabeth Rambo for the link!)

I agree with Brian McLaren. Print out this article and give it to your pastor.

Here’s an excerpt:

For whatever reason, when I walked out of the 2005 film Hotel Rwanda this thought wouldn’t leave me: If we really had the mind and heart of Christ, this is the movie we would be urging people in our churches to see.

In fact, I can’t think of a more worthwhile experience for Christian leaders than to watch Hotel Rwanda and then ask themselves questions like these:

Which film would Jesus most want us to see, and why?

Why did so many churches urge people to see Gibson’s film, and why did so few (if any?) promote Terry George’s film? What do our answers to that question say about us?

What were the practical outcomes of millions of people seeing Gibson’s film? And what outcomes might occur if equal numbers saw Hotel Rwanda – as an act of Christian faithfulness?

In what sense could Hotel Rwanda actually be titled The Passion of the Christ?

What do we make of the fact that a high percentage of Rwandans who participated in the 1994 genocides were churchgoers?

What do we make of the fact that a high percentage of the Americans who ignored the 1994 genocides (then and now) were and are churchgoers?

What kind of repentance does each film evoke in Western Christians?

Why might the kind of repentance evoked by Hotel Rwanda be especially needed during these important days in history?


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  • Josh

    Hmmm… well, rather than simply repeat myself, I’ll just give you the link to my full-length review:


  • Doug

    That’s okay Matt, he can always use Nazi Germany or current foreign invasions to support his point.

    McLaren is a friend of a friend and I’ve talked with him now and then and often wondered about the effects of his growing media attention, so it’s good to see him asking provocative questions like this. In fact, I wish more Christian film critics were asking these sorts of systemic questions about the entertainment industry and its practical outcomes and what cultural assumptions they are promoting on a week-to-week basis.

  • Matt

    That excerpt is very good, and I plan on seeing the movie soon, but one caveat: For McLaren to use the term “churchgoer” is disingenuous. Americans have a specific definition of that term, and McLaren is too smart to not know that. The Hutus and Tutsi s were not and are not churchgoers in the same sense that Westerners are. There was no excuse for genocide, but one cannot possibility view the violence there in the context of Western words like that.

    Again, I like the excerpt and the interview, but that term itself is completely bogus on McLaren’s part.

  • Bryan Zug

    Brilliant excerpt Jeffery — thanks.