Missed Part 1? Go here
In a broader sense of importance, movies in a real and corporal way remind us of our humanness, brokenness and our need for redemption. Movies have the ability, quicker than any other form of media to awaken us from our consumer-driven, self-indulging slumber and remind us that our story is being played out in God’s theater. As believer’s we know, our story is wrapped up in His story of redemption, and this is where as believers we must understand our role as “ministers of reconciliation” living within a fallen culture in need of redemption. The power of the Gospel must permeate every facet of our lives and as we engage with film, we must do so with both our eyes and hearts looking back to the redemption that was given and looking forward to the restoration to come. This is why good storywriting always involves an understood need and a search for redemption.
Too often we turn to movies for pure entertainment value, allowing the message and the media to wash over us. These experiences can sometimes seem outer-body (thanks 3D), other times completely other worldly via a red-pill inducing Matrix scenario, yet always provides one thing: story. Movies, above all else are stories. And so is the Bible. Scripture is the story of God’s redemptive activity throughout history, and instead of writing a systematic theology about his involvements with humanity, he wrote a dramatic narrative that gives the world a glimpse of his beauty, goodness, grace, love, wrath, power and mercy. Even while on earth, Jesus spoke about the kingdom of God through stories and parables to convey his message. As Brian Godawa writes: “he chose stories of weddings, investment bankers, unscrupulous slaves and buried treasure over syllogisms, abstraction, systematics or dissertations. He could do abstraction; he preferred not to.”Simply put, movies are stories and God loves stories.
There is much to be said about how and why worshippers of God, should engage in cinema. Should we even bother? Isn’t most of what Hollywood produces worthless? The way we react to what our culture produces says a lot about our faith, our Creator and our purpose. Throughout these posts want to answer significant questions regarding how God’s work in redemption and restoration both in humanity and culture are seen in the world of cinema and how believers are to interact with film with Redemption in mind.