Reader Mailstrom, 6/17

I’m chronicling memorable messages from the daily maelstrom of Looking Closer email. Most of these letters are real. Some of them may be amalgams of a variety of messages. Some of them are what I read between the lines of the things readers really wrote. Each installment of Reader Mailstrom will be updated over the course of the day, so check back to see if I’ve responded to you.


Regarding the misguided condemnation of Christianity Today at

After reading my earlier post in defense of CTMovies reviewer Camerin Courtney, Cathleen Falsani, author of Sin Boldly and The God Factor: Inside the Spiritual Lives of Public People, comments on my Facebook page:

This kind of thing makes me want to slap people, Jeff.

I know that feeling, Cathleen. As writers like you have taught me, the most effective response is a powerful piece of reasoning, written in by a calm, cool, collected, insightful writer. Unfortunately, readers have me instead. Care to contribute an editorial?


Regarding the misguided condemnation of Christianity Today at

Then this came in from reader James Blake Ewing:

People are still complaining about CT’s Sex and the City review? Or have they developed a new platform to burn you guys at the stake?

I know you guys must get sick of all the negative mail you receive but I personally find your responses very helpful. “Have We Lost our Minds?” may be the most helpful thing I’ve read from a Christian film-going standpoint (besides Through a Screen Darkly of course).

So keep up the good work, stay the course and maybe you’ll get through to some of the hardest critics, the critics of the critics. I know you’ve changed my moviegoing mindset drastically and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

Thanks, James. Like I said, we get this kind of protest all the time. But we get plenty of “thanks yous” from people who are searching for a vigorous (and yet consicientious) engagement with the arts… something more than mere “morality policework.” I’m glad you enjoyed Through a Screen Darkly. It was basically a volume of the insights that great writers like C.S. Lewis and Madeleine L’Engle have passed on to me, so I’ll just send your thank on to them. Somehow.

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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.