Peter Chattaway on “For The Bible Tells Me So”

At the Arts and Faith conversation, Peter T. Chattaway reveals that he has seen For The Bible Tells Me So, a documentary about homosexuals and their experience in the church.

His comments are revealing.

There appeared to be almost no theologically conservative voices among the interviewees, except perhaps for Richard Mouw, who gets maybe two soundbites — one of which includes a line to the effect that the anti-gay case has to rely on the New Testament because the Old Testament on its own doesn’t really make the case (so even in including a “conservative” voice, the filmmakers use to make it a “liberal” point).

Wondered why the filmmakers would implicitly criticize James Dobson for comparing gay propagandists to the Nazis, only to use footage of Adolf Hitler and concentration camps later on when explaining why those who disagree with homosexuality must be resisted.

But oh, I would be remiss if I did not mention that I choked up a few times, too. The Bible interpretation and political footballing is what it is. But you’d have to have a heart of stone not to be moved by the personal testimonies.

This is followed by good questions from other participants. I imagine the film will be celebrated far and wide as a compelling expose. But Chattaway’s response sets a good example of “fair and balanced” by daring to hold the film to the standards of good documentary filmmaking.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.