Thanks to the Team at Christianity Today

Thanks to the Team at Christianity Today August 7, 2009

Just an FYI:

Due to my present overload of writing responsibilities and other various pressures and stresses, I’ve decided to surrender my participation at CT Movies. My latest Through a Screen Darkly column, “Feasting on Films”, will be my last contribution there for the foreseeable future (although I certainly won’t close the door, as circumstances may change).

It’s a sad day for me, in some ways: I’ve contributed to CT’s online endeavors regularly since sometime around the beginning of 2001. I remember that one of the editors at CT told me, about a year-and-a-half into it, that he was surprised I hadn’t “burned out” writing about the turbulent territory of religious media and Christian engagement with film. As it is, I still love the topic, and am as passionate about writing about it now as I was eight years ago… and even eighteen years ago, when I wrote about it for Seattle Pacific’s student newspaper.

It was tough to make this decision. But I’ve been taking a lot of steps lately to reclaim a healthy lifestyle. Cutting back on major projects is a part of that, even though that means I have to give up some things that have given me great pleasure in the past.

I’ve learned so much, made so many new friends, and had so many memorable conversations and debates in my years writing for CT. I’ll never forget Film Forum, or my first tour of the CT offices, or the weekends when I met other fine reviewers like Steven Greydanus and Steve Beard, and enjoyed interviewing the casts of Return of the King, Constantine, Firefly, Big Fish, and other movies. I hope that someday I’ll find myself in a position to contribute there again.

When I look at how the cultural conversation about Christian engagement with art and entertainment has changed in the last 20 years, I am again impressed with the spirit of courageous engagement at CT. CT has blazed trails that are so much more rewarding than those paths of cultural condemnation and fear-mongering still traversed by so many in religious media.

I’m especially grateful to Steve Lansingh, who first recommended me to take over his Film Forum column in 2000, and CT’s Ted Olsen who agreed to take me on, and coached me along the way. That was my introduction to CT, and my first real “job” as a reviewer. My life would be very, very different today had that not occurred. I’m also grateful to David Neff, Mark Moring, and John Wilson who have all been generous with me. I’d like to think I’ve learned a little about writing along the way. I plan to stay in touch with them, and with all of the friends who have enriched this experience and taught me so much.

But no, I’m not tired of writing about these things. I’ll keep on, so long as there are folks interested in reading. This journey’s still in the early stages. Thanks so much to all of you, too, that have been encouraging along the way.

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  • Jesse G

    Jeffrey, your insights and recommendations about films such as Children of Men, The New World, and Wall-E changed my life for the better. Nuff said.

  • Pedro Foster

    Jeffrey, I was so glad to read you reviews that I will not watch a movie with out reading your reviews since 2004-2005
    my wife and my six year old son and I will go to the drive in movie in Santee California and knowing about the movie always give me peace that I will not been exposing my house to vains movies. Thank you for defending me thru this piligram world you have been a great compass and a brother who has sat with me thue my movie time. please find another place to use your give and let us know of any of your endevours.
    sincerly the Foster family.

  • David (Mississippi)

    Your reviews have been a breathe of fresh air. My wife and I have consistently gone to them to discover film gems we would have missed had we not read your column in CT. I especially have appreciated your fair-minded critiques from an evangelical and artistic perspective. I wish you well as you shift priorities. Thanks also for the encouragement you have provided our daughter Kelly.

  • Vikki (Philippines)

    This is sad news, Jeffrey! I read your Millions review through CT and it definitely introduced me to Film Forum, then then the new and of course your books…

    But being a medical doctor myself, i support your decision. Those were good times and good work, my friend… *sobs*.

  • Doug

    looks like i found out about you and work a year or two before Dan did, but my journey/appreciation of your work and writing sounds about the same. thanks so much, Jeffrey! Blessings on you and your good wife and your work in the future for the Kingdom in this important area!

  • Dan

    I remember I first found you online through CT three or four years ago. I liked your columns and reviews so much, I googled you and found your site. Congrats for eight years of quality insights on CT, and may God bless whatever he holds in your future!