I know some of y’all are going to be watching the Avengers: Infinity War release tonight and I hope you have a great time. First, because you are my friends and I typically hope that my friends have great times when they do something, and second, because I will be watching the movie later on (this weekend or next) and hope it is a good one. Tonight instead of going to a crowded theater, I will be watching The Mission with Conor & Wesley, two friends with whom I have been reading the book “Hollywood Worldviews: Watching Films with Wisdom & Discernment” by Brian Godawa. This week we talked briefly about films concerning followers of Christ that are made by people who aren’t coming with a specifically Christian agenda – not anti-Christian just not coming with an agenda to promote Christianity.
I usually prefer movies about Jesus and Christians that have not been made by film makers that don’t have a Christian agenda. I think the reason for this is because non-specifically Christian movie makers are concerned with telling the story, while Christian movie makers often are more concerned with the message conveyed than the story itself. The thing is that the story is the message within Christianity and we have a great story (after all it has been called The Greatest Story Ever Told). That’s why Jesus taught in parables. It is why the first four books of our New Testament are gospels (i.e. stories about the good news of the Kingdom of God that was inaugurated by Christ). It is why so much of the Old Testament is told in stories. Christianity isn’t about learning syllogisms and propositions. It is about the restoration of relationship with God through God’s own sacrifice in Jesus. You get to know a person (and in this case the Messiah) through stories. In my opinion Christian films often don’t focus enough on the story because they don’t realize that the story is the message. Film makers without a specifically Christian agenda often just focus on the story and the message gets through in spite of them because, once again, the story is the message.
Anyhow, I mentioned while talking with Conor & Wesley that I loved the movie “The Mission”, a movie that does an amazing job of detailing the change that happens through Christ and the threat such Christian change posses to the powers that be. Well I discovered that neither of them have ever seen the film. Seriously! How could this be. I wasn’t going to let this stand.
So tonight while you may be watching an Avengers movie we will be watching The Mission and eating grilled pork chops and mashed potatoes. Personally I am a pretty big fan of the plan for the evening.