The Perfect (Moral) Storm

I am serving as a teaching assistant for my advisor's Religion and the Cinema course.  In preparation for an upcoming lecture on the representations of preachers, ministers, and evangelists in film, I have been watching loads of films that feature such characters in lead roles.  As the lecture approaches I am trying to watch at least one of these films each day, all the while hoping that Netflix will not stall my account activity.  One of the early, most famous of these films is Rain (1932), di … [Read more...]

A Country Gospel: Pop Theology Turns 200

For Pop Theology's 200th post, we celebrate 1973, the year of the Jesus musical.  That year saw the release of  Jesus Christ Superstar, Godspell, and the lesser-known The Gospel Road: One Man's Journey on the Road to the Truth.  While perhaps not as popular as the first two and certainly not as cinematically polished, directed Robert Elfstrom and writer/narrator Johnny Cash manage to blend a reverent retelling of the life of Jesus with lively country gospel music mixed in. … [Read more...]

A Sacred and Secular Negotiation

In the closing minutes of his new documentary, Religulous, Bill Maher transitions from an agnostic point of view to an atheistic one.  He moves from saying, "I preach the gospel of I don't know," to saying, "For humanity to live, religion must die."  Such a transition signifies Maher's narrow-minded view of religion and also his misguided understanding of secularization.  Maher believes that the eradication of religion will help humanity flourish and put an end to many of the conflicts that di … [Read more...]

Bad Movie Monday: The Happening

It's been a while since my last bad movie Monday, what with the start-up of Monday Night Football and Heroes.  With a little extra time on my hands this week, I picked up a free rental of M. Night Shyamalan's latest film, The Happening (2008). … [Read more...]

Not So Ridiculous…

One of the great things about our Constitution is that it guarantees both the freedom of religion and the freedom from religion.  Individually, we are free to practice whatever faith we choose or no faith at all.  These two freedoms meet head-to-head in Bill Maher and Larry Charles' new documentary, Religulous.  … [Read more...]


A couple of weeks ago, I watched and reviewed Flywheel, the first feature-length, widely-released film from Sherwood Pictures.  I have been amazed by the financial success of this film and their subsequent release, Facing the Giants.  I greatly anticipated their newest film, Fireproof, and have been tracking its box office results as well.  As I suspected, their filmmaking has improved and, surprisingly, so has their scriptwriting. … [Read more...]

A Long Overdue Miracle…

It is certainly unthinkable that precious few, if any, Hollywood films have yet to focus on the African American soldiers who fought and died in World War II.  In a way, it is also surprising that Spike Lee has not taken up the topic until now.  While it is also unfortunate that critics have generally slammed Lee's latest film, I certainly do not expect a much deserved and long overdue subject to excuse poor filmmaking.  I had been wanting to see Miracle at St. Anna for quite some time, but all t … [Read more...]

Before the Giants…

Before the surprising success of Facing the Giants, Alex and Stephen Kendrick, produced their first feature film, Flywheel.  With a budget of only $20,000, these relatively new filmmakers cast community and church members to tell a morally uplifting story about the power of prayer and the necessity of placing God first in your life. … [Read more...]