“What?! You Mentioned Mormonism?”

A few days back, Christianity Today Movies published an interview with film director Richard Dutcher, who has a Mormon background.

And this provoked a classic reactionary response.

Read the letter, read CT’s reply, and shake your head and sigh…

posted 11/27/06
The fact that Christianity Today would even have an article about Mormonism in the light of being part of the true Christian umbrella is really crazy to me. It seems as when time goes by Christian media becomes more and more watered down and “tolerant” with what Christianity is defined as (even when it compromises the gospel). I wish a disclaimer was placed before or after the article that stated that the views of the Mormon “church” does not reflect that of Christianity Today—but I suppose Christianity is relative and subjective to some. I would appreciate it if we truly define who we are as Christians and not accept something so out there as Mormonism and try and place it as a true Christ-taught thing.
Anonymous

Editor’s note: Um, the article wasn’t “about Mormonism,” but was an interview with film director Richard Dutcher, who has a Mormon background. The article never said that Mormonism is “part of the true Christian umbrella,” nor did the article “try and place it as a true Christ-taught thing.” Matter of fact, we even noted to Dutcher that many evangelicals believe Mormonism is a cult. Can we not interview filmmakers and actors of all stripes without readers assuming that we’re saying they’re evangelicals?

It staggers the imagination.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” called Through a Screen Darkly, and a four-volume series of fantasy novels called The Auralia Thread, which includes Auralia’s Colors, Cyndere’s Midnight, Raven’s Ladder, and The Ale Boy’s Feast. Jeffrey is a contributing editor for Seattle Pacific University’s Response magazine, and he writes about art, faith, and culture for Image, Filmwell, and his own website, LookingCloser.org. His work has also appeared in Paste, Relevant, Books and Culture, and Christianity Today (where he was a film columnist and critic for almost a decade). He lives in Shoreline, Washington. Visit him on Facebook at facebook.com/jeffreyoverstreethq.

  • Charlotte

    Okay, this isn’t related at all (so it’ll probably get deleted, I know), but Disney’s going back to hand-drawn animation! WooHoo!

  • Dean

    Peter’s right. I’m going to have a hard time imagining Gyllenhaal in that role.

    http://www.deanabbott.typepad.com

  • Brett

    Someone please forward the Holmes item to Bryan Singer and “accidentally” type “Kate Bosworth” on it…

  • Peter T Chattaway

    And who’s going to complain about that switch?

    Um…

    I like Gyllenhaal. A lot. But do I see her as this character, who has already been established?

    No, no more than I see Tommy Lee Jones as Billy Dee Williams.

  • Stuart B

    Just imagine if CT ever did an article on Orson Scott Card or Ender’s Game!

  • Stuart B

    Just imagine if CT ever did an article on Orson Scott Card or Ender’s Game!

  • M. Cruz

    I read the interview, the letter and the response.

    Shake your head, indeed. Did the writer of the letter even read the article in full? It was a great interview with this guy, who seems to be making some thoughtful films. He seems like an intelligent, thoughtful filmmaker and I would have no problem watching his films. Nowhere did I see any endorsement of Mormonism whether stated or implied.

    I’m all for speaking out where speaking out is due. But there’s nothing here to be upset about and this letter makes all Christians look foolish.

  • Martin

    Gotta love those reader comments! Here’s my favorite:

    “No one but Jim Caviezel can play Christ.”

  • Anonymous

    It doesn’t stagger my imagination.

    Of course, I’m Mormon, and have had to endure this claptrap before.

    : )

  • Stuart B

    Just imagine if Christianity Today ever did a feature on Orson Scott Card/Ender’s Game!

  • Jeffrey Overstreet

    Let me get this straight.

    CT Movies interviews all kinds of filmmakers and artists about their work. Heck, I recently interviewed Darren Aronofsky, Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu, and Mike Rich, three men with very different backgrounds.

    But if CT interviews a filmmaker who happens to have a Mormon background, then we are somehow communicating that we consider him a Christian? If we discuss a film that had a Mormon involved in the production, we’re somehow endorsing Mormonism?

    I don’t get it.

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t the letter was all that reactionary…


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