Thursday, October 13, 2011
Going to the Movies
"The fundamentalists said, Don't go to the movies. The evangelicals said, Go to the movies- especially black and white movies by Ingmar Bergman- and probe their worldview. Experimenters in CCM (Contemporary Christian Music)-style film would say, Go to movies like Joshua, soft-focused retellings of the gospel message using cinematic form. But most evangelicals today no longer forbid going to the movies, nor do we engage in earnest Francis Schaeffer-style critiques of the films we see- we simply go to the movies and, in the immortal word of Keanu Reeves, say, "Whoa." We walk out of the movie theater amused, titillated, distracted or thrilled, just like our fellow consumers who do not share our faith. If anything, when I am among evangelical Christians I find that they seem to be more avidly consuming the latest offerings of commercial culture, whether Pirates of the Caribbean or The Simpsons or The Sopranos, than many of my non-Christian neighbors. They are content to be just like their fellow Americans, or perhaps, driven by a lingering sense of shame at their uncool forebears, just slightly more like their fellow Americans than everyone else" (Culture Making, p. 89).