The latest letters to Christianity Today Movies continue to demonstrate the great divide…
No Heads in the Sand
I am a pastor of a large church in Denver and appreciate your approach on reviewing films. I am proud of you for reviewing R-rated movies and coming to the conclusions you come to. Because of you, I am going to see Little Children because I want to live in the real world. I regret that some Christians have adopted the attitude where we are afraid or unwilling to see the world as it really is—sinful and broken and in need of a Savior. Jesus met the world with the appropriate attitude—to seek and save the lost. Please don’t succumb to the pressure to conform to the “ostrich with his head in the sand” mentality of many Christians today. Face films with a realistic and honest approach as you have been doing.
Have We Lost Our Minds?
Have you people lost your minds and perhaps your souls? I saw The Departed, and your review astounded me. This is one of the worst films I have ever seen. Besides their obvious attempt to break the world record for profanity and violence in one single movie, the movie contained a ridiculous story line. It was typical Hollywood in its attempt to denigrate and corrupt every possible authority figure and profession that our society has commonly held in great esteem—policeman, detectives, psychologists, firemen, priests, nuns, etc. Just who are we supposed to identify with in this film? Did I really need a lesson in just how fallen this world actually is? We would not want to end a movie with the “good guy” actually bringing the “bad guy” to justice—that would offend our new post-modern, hip sensibilities. Come on, CT, you should know better. Want to be really cutting edge, revolutionary in thought, hip, and shake the world? Tell the truth and don’t worry about what others might think!
I think many of your readers’ comments taking you to task over the 1-star rating for Facing the Giants is unfortunately indicative of many Christians’ ho-hum attitude toward the arts and beyond. Too many Christians think, “Why should I strive for excellence when OK will do?” Or, “Who cares if it’s done well, as long as I thank Jesus at the end.” I think Jesus wants us to do our best in everything, whether it’s cleaning our homes, entertaining our neighbors, planning a Sunday morning worship service or making a movie. Unfortunately, half-hearted efforts in our artistic and scholarly pursuits only confirms what the world already think of us—religious fanatics who left our brains at the door, are driven only by emotion and are content with average. How sad.
I agree whole-heartedly with your philosophy of rating movies. Nothing makes me more sick than a Christian movie that is not done well. Who is our God? What does he expect of us? What can he accomplish through us? We should be making the best movies on the planet. Shame on us for not doing so.
When I was at Covenant College in the 1980s, some of us went to see a Billy Graham Productions movie. Afterward, I commented that I liked the message but that the movie itself wasn’t very good—mediocre acting, predictable story, etc. A couple of people objected that the message should outweigh the art, and for a “Christian film,” the level of quality isn’t as important as the message. My point then, and now, is that the quality of the art is as important as the message, especially if the film is trying to reach beyond the “choir.” Thank you again for pushing the importance of art.
Your review of Facing the Giants is disgusting. This was one of the greatest movies I have ever seen. The audience seemed to agree with me also. There were cheers, whoops, laughter (in all the right places, not as you stated at the actors), and the inspirational parts were, well, flat out inspirational. I think your reviewer needs to be more in touch with the average Christian rather than set themselves up as a movie critic. I see this is one more example of Christianity Today going further away from the Bible and moving toward a liberal theology.