I’ve been catching up on movie reviews over at Shepherd Project Ministries. Well, they are kind of reviews, but really they are more of a discussion of themes and of places where movies connect with the Christian faith in some way – maybe they parallel a story in the Bible, or challenge us to think about the nature of God, or illustrate some truth… Those are the things our reviews really highlight.
I write these in the hope of a couple of possible outcomes.
- Your faith is strengthened because you are encouraged (and maybe challenged!) to see Christ in everything around you.
- Hopefully your favorite movies can become essentially parables for you, illustrating some particular aspect of the Christian life in a way that brings clarity to you. (IF I do my job right!)
- Movies are a great common ground in our culture. Your friend may not go to church with you, but he/she will probably see a movie with you, or at least talk about the movies with you! (If not, you probably aren’t actually friends after all…I’m just saying.) It is my sincere hope and prayer that the “reviews” and the discussion questions at the end will help you to turn movie talk into faith talk (or at least more meaningful talk that will someday lead to talks about faith)… And OH MY GOODNESS you’d better let me know when that happens!!! I will be pulling a serious King David and dancing oh-so-undignified in the streets when I hear from readers that our SPM movie reviews helped them use a movie as a tool for evangelism and lead someone to Christ! WOOHOO!!
Seriously – it’s always nice to hear any positive feedback. It’s great when I hear how a review helped someone in their faith and walk with Jesus. It’s great to know the work is appreciated for any reason, but I do so long to hear that people are actually being motivated, not just to think about things themselves, but to have those conversations with others–friends, family, children…whatev.
SO, anyhow – I’ve been catching up on getting movie reviews online for some of the current flicks – here are the direct links.
The Croods I LOVED how this movie basically paralleled the Christian journey. People living in the dark meet someone with the light, who tells them about the Sun and shows them the way to escape destruction, avoid harm in the journey, and enjoy paradise afterward…and in the process they all become more kind and loving and humble, etc. – SO cool!… Oops – now you don’t really need to read my review since I just summed it up – but do, read it anyway-at least for the discussion questions – just humor me! 🙂
Olympus Has Fallen (Gotta love McMillan: She didn’t want to go out without a fight!)
Jack the Giant Slayer 3 should be obvious, but you may have missed them (don’t feel bad!) parallels between Jack the Giant Slayer and the Bible
The Call This one really challenged me to think about evangelism….
Oz the Great and Powerful – OK, I didn’t hyperlink that because…the review isn’t done yet. Ugh! I’m trying. It will be soon! Like within 24 hours soon… so check back for it! The link will be: http://www.shepherdproject.com/oz-the-great-and-powerful-review/ but it’s not yet. But, I can tell you that I have been planning to write a little about world views – Oz is a fantastic opportunity to discuss world views and what a person believes about the nature of God. I actually talked with some Jr. High girls about it today…using Oz and helping them recognize what the movie was subtly implying about God and faith. I actually loved Oz – it was fun and the whole theater was laughing out loud… a lot…but even more so, it was so full of fab opportunities for discussion – and that is just speaking my love language in a movie!
It may sound strange, but writing a few of these reviews made me even more thankful for Easter. Thinking about what Halle Berry’s character risked to save another life made me more thankful for what Jesus not only risked but sacrificed to save mine. Watching the Croods move from darkness to light and follow the Son (ok, Sun, but I’m thinking metaphorically) and the joy and love and freedom from fear that it brought them makes me so thankful that Jesus came to BE the Light and help me live in the Light. It made me see afresh how glad I am that He came to set me free from fear, sin and death and to help me live life abundantly.
May Jack the Giant Slayer be a reminder to us all that there will come a time when we all will bow – not before a magic ring, but before the name of Jesus. Some will bow begrudgingly as captives before their conqueror, but for us, let it be willingly, as citizens before our beloved King.
Clinging to the cross,