Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

The Sexual Revolution, Magic Mike, and the Grey Areas in Between

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012 by Dale M. Coulter

The recent release of the movie Magic Mike and the growing popularity of the book Fifty Shades of Grey have rightly prompted some serious reflection by Christians on the nature of the sexual revolution as it attempts to legitimize all forms of sexual expression. What makes such reflection even more necessary is that youth pastors and even pastors, in some cases, are touting these latest expressions of the sexual revolution as relatively harmless. In many ways, both the book and the movie are mere expressions of the sexual revolution, and yet they also contribute to its ongoing impact on the larger culture, an impact that is ultimately destructive to men, women, their sexual relations, and especially the children who result from such relations. Read the rest of this entry »

Is Christ a Superhero?

Monday, August 30th, 2010 by Wolfgang Vondey

Those who know me personally, probably know that I have a small plastic figure of Batman on my desk. Batman is my superhero. Batman has always been my superhero. What attracted me to Batman was that he did not really possess any super powers. He is a human being with particular dedication and motivation–a story I have followed for decades until recently. The successful movies of the 1980s and 90s seemed to poke fun at the character at the cost of yielding any (moral) message. And the widely successful Batman movies of our days cast the caped crusader in yet another image; one I was not used to. This was not the superhero I had looked up to. This was different. This Dark Knight was a mere puppet of the villain with no words to spend on the moral life, the vision of the good life to which the original Bruce Wayne seemed to have aspired.  At some point after I had left my childhood dreams of being Batman behind, I encountered Christ on a crowded subway in Tokyo. Jesus replaced the need to emulate the superhero. If I were a boy today, I am not sure I would want to be Batman–that Batman they know today. I would prefer to be like Christ–he’s not a superhero.

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Rated Holy – Movies and Games fit for Christians

Monday, May 31st, 2010 by Wolfgang Vondey

What movies do you like to watch? Do you like a particular genre? What’s your favorite movie? And what kind of movie would you never watch?

If asked those questions, answers will vary. But most likely, few people would answer based on the audience rating of the movie. Have you ever heard someone say, “I just love PG movies” or “I only go to see what’s Rated R”? If anything, the R-rating is a boost for sales.

What games do you play? Do you like a particular kind of game? What’s you favorite game? And what kind of game would you never play?

If asked those questions, answers will vary. But most likely …. Well, you get the point. If anything, favorite games are rated “M” – for mature.

I would be surprised to find that Christian households differ. In fact, most Christians do not care how a movie is rated if they really want to see it.

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The Love of God in Unexpected Places

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010 by Diane Chandler

Movies have a way of gripping the heart and hurling us headlong into their plots. This was especially true of the movie, The Blind Side, the Oscar-nominated movie for best picture.

Based on the true story of Michael Oher, a 17-year old who had skipped in and out of foster care, the movie shows how one unlikely family took him into their home and wrapped him in the love, dignity, and value so stripped from his childhood years. Michael found love in a seemingly unexpected place – in the home of the well-to-do Tuohy family.  Not your typical scenario for a poor, black, homeless kid.

If we stop with the feel-good ending of how Michael made it through high school and college before being drafted by the Baltimore Ravens into the NFL, we have missed the point. This story captures the heart of a loving God who orchestrates the events of our lives and passionately pursues us with fierce resolve and compassion. And God often uses unlikely human agents as his emissaries.

In Luke 15, the familiar parable of the prodigal son so powerfully provides a glimpse of the Father’s heart for His children. After a younger son had left home with his father’s inheritance and then wasted it on riotous living, the prodigal finally came to his senses. While hungry and coveting the pigs’ pods, he recollects the provision, security, and tenderness of his loving father. Desperation and hunger prompt the prodigal’s return home. Unworthiness calls him to return as a hired hand. Shame keeps him from returning as a son.  The memory of privileged sonship taunts him.

In his book Exclusion and Embrace, Miroslav Volf describes how the parable portrays the younger son as excluding the father. Essentially, the younger son orphaned himself by leaving home. Yet the father never released his internal embrace of the son. Volf writes, “The most significant aspect of the story is, however, that the father who lets the son depart does not let go of the relationship between them…Away from home, the son remained still in the father’s heart. Against the force of the wrongdoing suffered and the shame endured that sought to push the son out, the father kept the son in his heart as an absence shaped by the memory of the former presence.”

Overjoyed at the younger son’s return, the father embraced the prodigal and spared no detail in the celebrative homecoming. When I think of God’s extravagant love for us, I envision what this scene might have been like. The father’s love transformed the younger son, just like the Tuohy family transformed Michael Oher’s life. And so it is with us. As the Father’s love pours into our hearts, we move from the posture of orphans to sons and daughters. And it changes everything.

I invite you to share how you experienced the unconditional love of Father lately? Perhaps in unexpected places?