More Mail for CT’s Top 10, and My Visit to an SPU Classroom

A couple of days ago, I posted some of the complaints that have come in to CT Movies about the year-end Top Ten List that they posted. And I replied to those complaints.

I also used them as material to enliven my presentation when I guest-taught a class for Dr. Joyce Erickson on literature and Christian cultural engagement yesterday at Seattle Pacific University.

Speaking of “engagement,” several of the students were engaged enough to stick around for another 30 minutes discussing how Christians can enrich the cultural dialogue on movies. We discussed Signs, Saved!, Born into Brothels, and others. It was a rewarding experience for me, and a privilege, to have this opportunity. It’s the second time I’ve guest-taught at SPU (I guest-taught a class for my friend and mentor, the award-winning Dr. Luke Reinsma, a few months back), and I hope to do this again. Frankly, I’m trying to pack so much into that hour-long session, I’d prefer to expand it into a quarter-long series.

I’ll be talking about movies again at GreenLake Presbyterian Church on Sunday, March 13th, in the evening service.

Anyway… back to the Top Ten debacle….

Now, the CT Movies editor has posted some of the positive feedback that’s coming in. And it is encouraging, especially after that initial wave of predictable, wearying outrage.

I appreciate your critics. The Christian public can be very opinionated about what Christian organizations do, and I imagine you have received a lot of criticism. But there are Christians out here who are very thankful for a site that honestly evaluates film and can find spiritual benefits without merely catering to the Left Behind 2 club. – Jennifer Harris

Regarding the flak you’ve received for your top 10 list, please know that I appreciate your critics’ ability to practice criticism at a deeper level than merely counting swear words or body parts. That makes Christianity Today Movies one of the few mainstream Christian publications whose film coverage is not embarrassingly amateurish. I commend you for choosing a better way—equipping me to make my own choices based on reliable information and thoughtful Christian analysis. – Kenneth R. Morefield

Thanks for a strong list of movies among the best of 2004. I wish most Christians made the time and exception to view movies like Eternal Sunshine and Before Sunset before jumping to hasty censorship. I appreciate the work in your department even though it’s like approaching a scorpion raising its sting. – James Harrelson

Regarding all the negative mail concerning your Critics’ Choice list: I think your reviews of films like Million Dollar Baby help Christians see that art is about more than not offending people or being propaganda. I give you credit for being willing to acknowledge the excellence of films that raise questions in a thoughtful way. – Todd Truffin

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