spirits that speak

2.08.2007

Is this the best we have to offer?

Well, we've done it again. Another film, based on a source written by a Christian, is being released. The description is as follows:
The Last Sin Eater
When a mysterious man "absolves" her grandmother's sins by eating bread and wine at her grave, 10-year-old Cadi wants the same redemption---while she's still alive! But in her quest for deliverance she uncovers a dark secret that threatens to divide her family. What will happen when the two face each other---and the One who can truly save them? Based on the award winning novel by Francine Rivers.

I don't think this is something we should really be trumpeting. Why can't we do better? This film is being promoted by Christian book stores and is being released as a "major" film.

I have a theory on this. I think we do have better content to offer and are doing so, but not necessarily on the same avenues. It's well known that Christians are involved in every facet of Hollywood productions. Involved in actual culturally relevant films, music, and tv. They may not have a controling interest in all situations, but their influence is pervasive and contributes significantly to the form that a lot of these works take.

This leaves the remainder. Those whose ideas fail to fall outside the box and can really only be given any positive buzz within the Christian community. While I certainly think the effort is noble, it falls far short of being relevant to anyone but Christians.

If many of our artists efforts only really make a difference when they're "preaching to the choir", are those efforts all 100% worth our time?

10 Comments:

  • I don't know this movie through a hole in a wall so I should probably be the last to talk. That being said, your blog hit a chord with me.

    I think for me, it seems that we as Christians are watering down the word of God by trying to make it entertaining. Did Christ do this? I may be way off base here, and please correct me if you want, but it seems that what the world needs is not a watered down message of the gospel... they need the unadulterated gospel.

    2 Timothy 4:2 says that we should preach the word in season and out of season. Just some thoughts... however tangential they may be.

    By Blogger adangomiadonye, at 16:27  

  • well, i think this is yet another spot where you and i will part ways.

    in my opinion, Christ did do that. he made his parables attention grabbing. he used topics that he knew would draw the crowd's attention and entertain them until...BAM! he hits them with his point.

    sounds like you're taking the timothy passage out of context here, too. but i'll have to read it myself since, your paraphrasing of it actually sounds like it proves my point more than yours.

    thanks for reading and commenting.

    By Blogger johnny m, at 23:26  

  • Once again the lines of communication are broken down :) the good thing is I agree with you. Christ used stories and miracles to testify to who He is and what He wanted to tell us - among other things.

    We have a calling to not leave it there - but to preach the word as well, in season and out of season. That's just what hit me out of what I read... it might be a put down for me to call it a tangential thought to tangential thinkers so I'll just say it was a thought.

    By Blogger adangomiadonye, at 23:48  

  • I read that book - the story line you mentioned doesn't sound anything like that book. Is it really based on F. Rivers' book? If so, EXTREMELY loosely. Like just the title.

    By Blogger Shiny Beamer, at 10:38  

  • adango, my only problem remaining is that your initial comment seemed to insinuate that we have to water the word down in order to make it entertaining. the problem isn't just that insinuation, but also that too many people see an intentive interpretation as "watering down". completely wrong, as far as i'm concerned.

    shiny, that is the description that is posted for the movie. the worst part is the preview being played on radio stations here. terrible!

    By Blogger johnny m, at 18:51  

  • sorry - what I was trying to say was that we do water down the word, myself included. I think it is perfect in it's original form, be is Greek, English, Spanish... whatever. God's word does not need to be watered down to make it entertaining or effective, the only way it is any of those things is by the work of the Spirit.

    By Blogger adangomiadonye, at 00:00  

  • well, i kind of agree there.

    but the thing is that some of the stories Jesus told were a paraphrase of what was already in Scripture. paraphrasing is normally done for the purpose of restating, to make it fresh for the current generation. however, some people would call that watering down. and, for argument sake, translating Scripture from its original language is watering it down too, since it's stripped of its original meaning to be converted to the limits of the language it's being converted to. i know i personally came to this conclusion after taking a couple of years of basic Biblical Greek and doing some reading in the Greek Testament.

    if you agree that God's word transcends that process (i.e. the english Bible holds the value God intended in the original writings), then i think you can agree that His word will transcend what happens to it when it's watered down by today's story tellers/evangelists (at least the ones who you might say do water it down). therefore, watering down isn't really a concern is it?

    i'm not sure we'll ever actually get this worked out, tho. do you have an example of what you would say is a watering down of Scripture today?

    By Blogger johnny m, at 01:43  

  • I like where this discussion is going... well, hopefully it is going somewhere.

    I agree with you that Christ used parables/stories to illustrate the text, but He always followed it up with the truth - namely, the point (for us that is God's word). For Christ, that was Him - He was the Word.

    I think we should use stories/analogies where applicable, but not leave it there - namely we should use God's word to solidify statements we make, hopefully these statements are bathed in prayer and through a right spirit.

    It is difficult for me to come up with a good example where we water down the word of God, b/c often the examples I come up with in my head are just misrepresentations of God's word. But that does not mean it doesn't happen.

    I don't think this is the best example, but I think it will work - provided we can see the applicablility. The example I'm thinking of is when Christians tend to define God in terms of a loving, caring, friend and disclude the jealous, angry, sovereign side. Again, this is perhaps taking things way out of context, and forgive me if that's all you see. That is not my aim.

    But, I don't think it is popular in our Christian culture to talk about God as a jealous (Exodus 20:5), angry (Deutoronomy 31:17) or sovereingn (Job 31:15). We also use lingo in Christian culture that doesn't even jive with Gods word. We make God out to be someone, who is less than He is, to suite what is comfortable to us.

    Again, I want to remphasize here that my thought is tangential at best, but hopefully it is something that is not lost.

    PS - I think it is time for another late night 'talk'. I hope your week is going well.

    By Blogger adangomiadonye, at 15:00  

  • hey adango,

    i don't really follow your example, but i think that's because i didn't previously understand what you meant by "watering down". it seems, based on your example, that you were actually talking about not seeing the big picture. and there i agree. we (meaning Christians) are too often so entranced by God the Teddy Bear that we don't realize that image of God is almost completely wrong.

    i did have one other thought about what you said...

    you mentioned that Jesus always followed his stories up with the truth. actually, there are those that He almost refused to do so. He got frustrated with the disciples for not simply deciphering the meaning on their own and hesitantly told them what His story meant. this tells me that Christ saw value in interpretation. something that is key in the works of Christian artists whose art isn't blatantly Christian.

    i don't believe for one second that God or Christ are at all interested in spelling everything out for us. if that were the case, we wouldn't have brains that are capable of analytical thought.

    yes, the world needs a substantial Gospel. this doesn't mean that we are all called to be tactless, however, in our delivery of it. Jesus wasn't.

    By Blogger johnny m, at 17:44  

  • May God grant us His strength, mercy and grace to preach the gospel to those who so desperately need to hear it - and if needed, use words. If words are spoken, might they glorify, magnify and exalt Christ. Might are hearts and minds be tuned to sing His praise and exalt Him. He is worthy of this. May I come to understand this more fully.

    By Blogger adangomiadonye, at 12:08  

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