Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Working in the world through film

Over the last few days, there has been some critical feedback directed towards this article published in the Wall Street Journal. Basically the article was written by the founder of Movieguide.org and tries to show that the United States prefers moral/capitalistic movies based on some profitability statistics (that weren't very convincing). In making their arguement, the authors end up alienating Christians from being thought of as good artists within the movie industry. Mark Moring from Christianity Today wrote a great response to the Wall Street article. Scott also jumped in the discussion here

Jeffrey Overstreet, author and award winning film reveiwer, has responded to much of this as well, and I like what he had to say at the end of this post:
"When the loudest 'Christian voices' in the media consistently embarrass those that actually have something of merit to contribute… when they manipulate statistics and pretend that all America wants are cute, safe, Christian stories with pre-packaged morals at the end… how can we hope to have any meaningful engagement in culture, or appreciate the riches of the stories and movies that others have to share?

If anybody reading this wonders, 'What’s the big deal? Why not have a Christian movie industry?' I encourage you to read the first three chapters of Through a Screen Darkly. That’s where I shared stories from my own life about the awful consequences that can come from such good intentions, and I also shared examples of what is possible when Christian cast of 'branding' and instead glorify God with quiet excellence. If we stop focusing on creating 'Christian Spielbergs' we may realize that God is already revealing himself through Spielberg himself, and that by working in the world rather than separating ourselves from it, we follow Christ’s own example."

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