“Fireproof”… a breath of fresh air

7 10 2008

Have you seen the new film Fireproof?  If not, I highly recommend it!

I asked my mom to babysit the kids so Michelle and I could get out for a quiet dinner for two, and my lovely parents gave me the ol’ $40 handshake and told us to catch a movie and make an evening of it.  Normally, this would have been tough because finding a movie that appeals to both Michelle and I is like finding a decent running back in my fantasy football league… it ain’t happening.

But wonder of wonders, we remembered that Fireproof was opening that weekend, and we were both curious to see what it was all about.  Fireproof is the latest production of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, GA.  Their previous films include Flywheel and Facing the Giants, both of which I have heard great things about, but I have not seen them myself.

Fireproof follows a man whose marriage has taken a turn for the worse and both have begun the divorce process.  Through spurring on by friends and family, he decides to give it one last go to try to save the marriage.  This attempt at reconciliation, however, is done according to the rules of a 40-day program given to him by his father.  This program is a biblical model that focuses the husband to change his attitudes and decisions towards his wife.

Two things about this movie really caught my attention:

1. It was very well made and entertaining Read the rest of this entry »


The Theology of “The Dark Knight”

13 08 2008

I just saw “The Dark Knight” and was very impressed.  I was a fan of Christopher Nolan before he signed on to direct “Batman Begins”, and have only become more enamored with his work since.  This incarnation of the Batman brought excellent direction and vision as well as wonderful acting.  The recent surge of comic book movie adaptations has been well served by a desire to stay true to the underlying human element working out in the storyline.  This has made them more relatable and relevant, both of which makes for great movies.

What I really liked about “The Dark Knight” is that it focuses so much on the psychology or rationale behind what drives the characters.  This ultimately makes the roles more compelling, but more importantly places different philosophies of life in a spotlight to consider.

In short, the movie makes you think.

If you find yourself talking about this movie with a friend, it could be a great springboard into talking about the spiritual implications of the philosophies put forth in the movie.  Let me break it down for you:

Batman is all about justice.  He believes that there is right and wrong.  He believe justice can be administered and enjoyed by society, but only if pursued within the confines of a set of rules and morality.  Now neither the comics or the movie ever discuss the standard for these rules or morality, but for the christian, it should be obvious that to us it is God’s word (Ex 20:1-17).  Batman also believes in the ideal of sacrificial serving.  He is willing to give up his wants or his livelihood for the greater good (John 15:13).  While the movie will never be confused with an evangelistic tract, it does espouse very broad biblical truths.

The Joker
The Joker believes there is no morality. Read the rest of this entry »

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

30 04 2008

It is not often that I feel like standing up and cheering a movie in the theater, but this was just the experience I had after seeing the movie Expelled this last weekend.  My friend, Chris, put together an outing for students and adults from our church to go see the film and I’m very thankful he did. 

Simply put, the movie Expelled exposes the oppressive hold that Darwinian evolution has on academia.  It is shot in documentary style, and tells the story of the conflict between Intelligent Design and Neo-Darwinism in the scientific community.  Now, that last sentence might have made the movie sound boring to some of you, but it is anything but.  Ben Stien, who wrote, produced, and functions as the inquisitive tour guide in this investigative documentary has put together a film that is humorous, informative, disturbing, and very engaging.  I sat in the row behind many of the students and the movie held their attention the entire time.

Although I could have applauded the movie for the quality of its craftsmanship, it was the truth presented in the film that really gave me a charge. Allow me to share some of the highlights. 

First, the movie made very clear that the issues between Darwinian Evolution and Intelligent Design are not merely scientific issues, but a clash of different worldviews.  The Evolutionists are not “pure” scientists; they are scientists who are drawing conclusions and presenting theories based on their worldview.  Evidence that challenges their worldview is dismissed.  I found the emphasis on this point refreshing since this charge of bias is usually only placed at the feet of the religious, while the humanists claim objectivity.

Second, Expelled does a superb job of showing the logical implications of the worldview of the Darwinian Evolutionists.  The film draws a line from Darwin’s theory to some of its ugly offspring: the Holocaust, eugenics, abortion, and euthanasia.  I can imagine that this connection will enrage many evolutionary scientists, however those scientists need to acknowledge the obvious link between theories like natural selection and survival of the fittest and what happens when they are socially applied.

Third, although Ben Stien probably doesn’t realize he is doing this, this movie points to the truth of Romans 1:18-23.  God has made himself evident through the created order and sinful men are bent on suppressing this truth.  The film ends with a powerful exchange between Stien and Richard Dawkins in which Stien asks Dawkins, “But what if, when you die, you find yourself standing before God; what will you say?”  Dawkins responds with Betrand Russell’s famous quote: “God, you gave us insufficient evidence.”  Although Dawkins thought himself quite cleaver in using the quote, his words drive home the point of the movie: people are intentionally suppressing the evidence that God has left!

I’d like to go and view the film again to watch it with a bit more critical eye (during the first viewing, I was just focused on following the films logic and trying to understand its premise).  That being said, I still feel comfortable encouraging you to go check it out.  Although it is not a Christian film, the movie’s worldview is a lot closer to ours than most of what you find at the Cineplex.   Kudos to Expelled for exposing what is going on in the American scientific community!

For a little more enticement to see the film, check out this clip.