Reel Theology: Must-See Films for Christians

by Kim on January 20, 2006

As Chaplains at Swansea University, Richard and I have been running a “Reel Issues” night for several years. Once a week during term-time, we meet with students at the chapel, pass around the sweets and popcorn, watch a flick, and then discuss the issues. Now we have decided to put together a list of “Reel Theology: Must-See Films for Christians”.

We made up the categories - and sub-categories! - as we went along. Spoilt for choice, we dug, disputed, negotiated and compromised over the films themselves. We look forward to your telling us where we got it wrong!

While few of the films are “religious”, all of them, we think, raise issues of fundamental theological importance for Christians to consider: issues like grace and transcendence, meaning and purpose, good and evil, sin and redemption, innocence and experience, virtue and vice, exile and homecoming. And remember, in each category we have chosen what we think are the most theologically interesting films.

Cinemas have been called the cathedrals of our times, and sociologists suggest that film-going now functions for many people as a (substitute) religious activity (participative, affective, existential, contentious, etc.). Unlike many a church service, at least this worship is rarely boring. And certainly not if the object of veneration is among our “must-see films”! Enjoy!

Animated: Shrek (2001)
Beauty and the Beast: King Kong (1933 and 2005)
Biography: Amadeus (1984)
Buddy: Pulp Fiction (1994)
Buddy (women): Thelma and Louise (1991)
Buddy (comedy): Some Like It Hot (1959)
Christmas: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Comedy: Life of Brian (1979)
Comedy (romantic): Annie Hall (1977)
Comic Book: Spiderman (2002)
Courtroom: 12 Angry Men (1957)
Desert: Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Fantasy: The Lord of the Rings (2001, 2002, 2003)
Fight: Raging Bull (1980)
Gangster: The Godfather, Parts One and Two (1972, 1974)
Gangster (Jimmy Cagney): White Heat (1949)
Heist: The Italian Job (1969)
Historical: Schindler’s List (1993)
Horror: The Wicker Man (1973)
Horror (science fiction): Alien (1979)
Jesus: The Gospel according to Saint Matthew (1964)
Medical: Awakenings (1990)
Medieval: The Name of the Rose (1975)
Musical: The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Mystery: Chinatown (1974)
Mystery (noir): The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Prison: Dead Man Walking (1995)
Prison (escape - successful): The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Prison (escape - unsuccessful): Cool Hand Luke (1967)
Romantic: Casablanca (1943)
Science Fiction: Blade Runner (1982)
Science Fiction (comedy): Mars Attacks! (1996)
Science Fiction (family): ET (1982)
Sea: Jaws (1975)
Sport: Field of Dreams (1989)
Swords and Sandals: Spartacus (1960)
War: Apocalypse Now (1979)
War (comedy): M*A*S*H (1970)
Western: Unforgiven (1992)
Western (Spaghetti): The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
Western (comedy): Blazing Saddles (1974)

Foreign Language
Danish: Babette’s Feast (1987)
French: Grand Illusion (1938)
French (Canadian): Jesus of Montreal (1989)
German: The Enigma of Kasper Hauser (1975)
Italian: Life Is Beautiful (1998)
Japanese: The Seven Samurai (1954)
Spanish: Like Water for Chocolate (1992)
Swedish: The Seventh Seal (1957)

All-Time Great: Citizen Kane (1941)

{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

1

Dave Warnock 01.20.06 at 1:37 pm

I would add Chocolat for it’s commentary on the Church (and for Juliette Binoche).

For SF comedy how about “Galaxy Quest”

For over prententious philosophy “The Matrix”

2

Kim 01.20.06 at 1:50 pm

Thanks Dave W.
Thought of “Chocolat”, couldn’t think of a specialised category. How about “Sweeties”?!
Re. “Galaxy Quest”, Richard’s the SF expert.
“The Matrix” - just couldn’t make the final cut; perhaps you’ve just suggested why!

3

Eugene 01.20.06 at 2:41 pm

What about Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. There is a lot of negative opinions about God in it, worthy of some apologetical insight.

Eugene

4

Chris T. 01.20.06 at 2:54 pm

I am a bigger fan of The Bishop’s Wife for a Christmas film. :-)

5

dh 01.20.06 at 3:11 pm

Why should Christians watch “Life of Brian” when Jesus is the answer to all of those questions raised. I guess in a weird way it is like Ecclesiatastes but in the movie they present Jesus as not the answer. How does that promote proper theology?

6

Kim 01.20.06 at 3:22 pm

dh,
even if Life of Brian were an anti-Christian film - and it isn’t - but even if it were, that is no reason not to engage it. Provocative and profound protest atheists like Nietzsche, Marx and Camus have “promote[d] proper theology” far more than many a pious but muddle-headed Christian.

7

malc 01.20.06 at 3:40 pm

that and the fact that ‘The Holy Grail’ is the better of the Monty Python films, despite what “Brianites” might think!!! :p

However, I do give my thumbs up for ‘Galaxy Quest’ cause it’s a great film with all sorts of issue that you could dicuss……

I would say that the Matrix could be ok for Reel Issues, but only if you were willing to ignore the two sequals (and in all honesty, we all wish we could!!).

I also think that Gattaca is another great film for looking at divisions on society, the meaning of self, or what is life for.

8

Richard 01.20.06 at 3:52 pm

Hitch Hikers isn’t on the list because I thought it a terrible film. A great radio show. A worthwhile tv show. Not too bad as a book. But the fillum? Awful!

Galaxy Quest would have been a better choice than Mars Attacks! and I have to take the responsibility cos Kim more or less conceded the SF categories to me. I apologise for the error.

The Holy Grail is wonderful. But it doesn’t raise as many issues for Christians as The Life of Brian. And it isn’t as good. Python’s finest work, imho.

dh - Have you seen The Life of Brian?

I haven’t seen The Bishop’s Wife, Chris. I’ll try to correct the gap in my education!

9

Dave Warnock 01.20.06 at 4:12 pm

For a more modern film in the Heist category how about “Oceans 11″? Not that I have seen the Italian Job in a long time. Or you could have “The Thomas Crown Affair” (I prefer the newer one, just for “the” dress).

Has there really been nothing good in the romantic field since Casablanca?

10

Kim 01.20.06 at 4:37 pm

“Oceans 11″ is an excellent Heist film, Dave W., no doubt about it. Thanks. I don’t know the new “TCR”, but I think Richard and I would stick with “The Italian Job” over the old one for sure.

As for “Casablanca”, however, be careful, Dave - be very, very careful. Indeed take off your shoes, you are walking on holy ground! (I’m using hyperbole, dh!). There have certainly been good films in the romantic field since “Casablanca”, but “Casablanca”, to coin a phrase, is in a “field of dreams”, or (if you like) a different ballpark.

11

Richard 01.20.06 at 4:40 pm

I fear I didn’t like Oceans’s 11.
At all.

12

dh 01.20.06 at 5:04 pm

I don’t believe Nietschke, Marx, etrc. has promoted a more proper theology. Define pious and muddle headed and how does God consider that and is our understanding of that actually being judgemental?

Also, I never said we shouldn’t engage it but I just don’t feel it promotes a proper theology. If you reread I gave it the benefit of the doubt by saying it reminded me of Ecclesiates.

Anything that goes against “I am the way the Truth and the Life no one comes to the Father but through Me.” or “If you deny Me I will deny you before My Father in heaven.” or “Without Faith (Faith in Christ) it is impossible to please God.” or “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me” is anti-Christian. I will say that understanding the questions from atheist gives us a better understanding to “give an answer” and to go against something and ideas that go against Christ.

13

malc 01.20.06 at 5:15 pm

I would say that that under that, ‘Life of Brian’ certainly isn’t anti-Christian…. you could almost look at it as a warning agaisnt false prophets, though Brian is very adament that he’s not a prophet, despite what his followers think!!!

In fact, like it says in the film, he’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy…….. hehehe!!!!

14

Eugene McKinnon 01.20.06 at 6:43 pm

dh,

What Kim is trying to say is that if you want to engage the world you better be prepared to watch their movies and read their books.

Life of Brian was originally planned to be an anti-Christian movie, but the more the Python boys studied the context in which Jesus lived they had a better appreciation for the context in which he lived in and came up with the film.

It is not that sacrilegious (okay maybe the crucifixion scene is a bit much) but there was at the time many false Messiahs about being crucified therefore Brian winds up as an unhappy victim to it all.

Always look on the Bright Side of Life. DA-da-duh-Da-dee-da-dee-da (I cannot whistle).

Eugene

15

dh 01.20.06 at 7:00 pm

Like I said “Also, I never said we shouldn’t engage it but I just don’t feel it promotes a proper theology.” I just feel it is an anti-Christian movie. Where does “be in the world and not of it” comes in? Aren’t some things that are non-Christian that we shouldn’t partake in? I’m not saying we shouldn’t “partake” of this movie, but to think that it promotes a proper theology I feel misrepresents the facts when it comes to Christianity. Does that make sense? As you can see I do have somewhat of a balance. I just feel that the proper representation needs to be presented or addressed when the misrepresentation is more readily available. I will say at times that the misrepresentation needs to be observed so as to come with the answer to that which is the correct representation. Does that make sense?

16

blonde 01.20.06 at 8:10 pm

How did Keep the Faith not make it in? (and what’s theological about the Thomas Crown Affair (either version)?)

17

Kim 01.20.06 at 9:06 pm

Spot on, Eugene - and you’re right about the making of “Brian”. Only don’t be too hard on the “world” - “their movies”, “their books”.

My point is not just “know your enemy”: because there are friends outside the church - and there are enemies within. Indeed Karl Barth used to say that Christians “will find unbelief first and foremost in themselves” - and they will find insight and - yes - truth even in non-Christians.

18

Dave Warnock 01.20.06 at 9:36 pm

blonde,

re Thomas Crown Affair

Loads to reflect on theologically. Some obvious areas include ethics, gods of this age, the nature of justice, the nature of crime, gender typing, personal priorities …

19

craig obrien 01.20.06 at 9:54 pm

Not sure what category you would put it, but Sister Act (1992) starring Whoopi Goldberg is an excellent film that challenges the self-perceptions and cultural connections of the church.

20

Richard 01.20.06 at 10:45 pm

I’m fond of Sister Act, but I worry about its message: change the music style and watch the people come rushing in…

dh - *have* you ever seen The Life of Brian?

21

Dave Warnock 01.20.06 at 11:21 pm

“I’m fond of Sister Act, but I worry about its message: change the music style and watch the people come rushing in…”

If I remember it was not just the music that changed but a whole enjoyment of worship/life and a revitalised mission (cleaning up the school and neighbourhood).

There should be good scope for discussion around topics such as “Should we enjoy worship?”, “Should worship be reverent and what do we mean by that?”, “Does God prefer classic hymns?” …

22

Beth 01.21.06 at 12:18 am

Well, malc, I guess someone had to say it! One of the best film quotes ever.

How about the German Nowhere in Africa? And the Welsh Hedd Wyn? And how could you have left out the British film Priest? Well, maybe you never saw it because I think the UCI in Swansea refused to show it! I think maybe Fight Club could be a good addition, and the relatively recent Kingdom of Heaven. And also New Zealand’s Heavenly Creatures.

I didn’t realise that the point of these lists was to “promote proper theology”. I’d as soon watch something that questions my worldview as something that confirms it. And I hate to sound pompous, but if a theologian who’s studied these things in depth and has a profound understanding of both philosophy and the Bible tells me that an atheist thinker was a good theologian, I would at least ask him what he meant by that rather than simply rubbishing the idea out of hand.

23

Ben Myers 01.23.06 at 12:56 pm

Great list, especially the foreign films. But where, oh where, is Amelie?

24

Phillip Fayers 01.23.06 at 2:14 pm

Ditto on the where, oh where, is Amelie? sentiment.

And how about adding:

Anime: Ghost in the Shell (1995) [ The nature of humanity ]
or Perfect Blue (1997) [ The nature of reality and who we choose to be ]

Chinese Language: Hero (2002) [ One man's sacrifice for a higher cause ]

Comedy (Low brow): Dragnet (1987) [ No good reason, its just a funny
film and you get to copy the dance... ]

Hong Kong Action: The Killer (1989) [ There, but for the grace of God,
go I: Examines the differences and similarities between the good guys
and the bad guys. ]

Martial Arts: Once Upon a Time in China (1991) [ For the minor
character of the Jesuit priest, and also the themes of honour and duty. ]

Pirate: The Princess Bride (1987) [ What one man will do for love. ]

25

Ken 01.23.06 at 2:52 pm

No respectable Reel Theology list should be without The Dekalog… that’s a huge omission.

26

dh 01.23.06 at 4:02 pm

Yes I saw it before I realized what it stood for. I was young and nobody told me what it was about. I saw “Holy Grail” and I thought it would be along those lines and I was surprised by “Brian” at the time. I wish I never saw it for the reasons I mentioned above. I’m just being truly honest here.

27

dh 01.23.06 at 4:04 pm

Even if I didn’t see it doesn’t take away from the points I made. Kim, I just don’t feel we need to learn something from something that is so anti-Christian. Bankers learn what the counrterfits are not by reviewing the bad money but by studying the good money alone so much until the bad money is so evident. Something to think about in light of “Be in the world but not of it.” or “Be wise concerning good and simple concerning evil.”

28

Mark Anthony 01.23.06 at 5:37 pm

How about a tragicomedy category, with “American Beauty” as first choice? Great parable on sin, redemption and resurrection.

29

tortoise 01.23.06 at 8:45 pm

Delighted to see Shrek at the top of your list (alphabetical order of categories has nothing to do with it, of course). I’ve long considered it the theologically richest film in my own humble DVD collection. “Ogres are like onions”… a classic!

There are three or four that I’d want to add:
The Fisher King [category: Redemption?]
Dead Poets Society [category: Coming-of-Age]
K-PAX [category: hmmm. Science Fiction (mystery)?]
Regeneration (1997; not very well-known) [category: War (First World War)]

30

Kim 01.23.06 at 10:54 pm

Keep the Faith and Sister Act are good - but not good enough to oust any incumbant.

Amelie, I have already confessed to Ben, I have not seen.

Thanks to Philip for his additional categories and films - some of these I have also yet to view.

The Dekalog - is that the one with Karlton von Heston?

Amercan Beauty under a new “tragicomedy” category? Go for it!

The Fisher King - fine but flawed - Robin Williams finally gets on my nerves (cf. Dead Poets Society).

What surprises me most is that we haven’t been flayed for the absence of a Coen Brothers film - The Big Lebowski being my favourite, and certainly one of the great comedies of recent years. But what category? Perhaps the Brothers merit a category of their own. But then that could be said of a lot of directors.

Finally, in the Sport category, does no one admire The Natural?

31

Ben Myers 01.24.06 at 6:18 am

For comic book film, I would probably have chosen Sin City. The film has a great cast and a really stunning script.

And why has no one mentioned Hitchcock? Am I the only one who still finds Psycho wonderfully, unbearably powerful?

32

Ken 01.24.06 at 7:15 am

Kim: Dekalog is a Kieslowski film of ten one-hour short films, each designed as a sort of meditation on one or more of the ten commandments. It’s one of the finest pieces of cinema ever; indeed, Kubrick viewed it very highly.

33

Kim 01.24.06 at 7:16 am

Psycho - a hit, a palbable hit. Yes, what, no Hitchcock? “Suspense” is surely the category - a category, alas, we missed.

34

Kim 01.24.06 at 8:07 am

I’ve just thought of another missing category: “Disaster” movie.

How about Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ? It is certainly a theological disaster!

35

Kim 01.24.06 at 8:10 am

Ken: Thanks for the follow-up. And sorry to be so facetious!

36

Richard 01.24.06 at 8:58 am

I’m appalled at us, missing Hitchcock. A category all of his own, surely.

I’ve got some birch twigs - I’m going to give myself a damned good thrashing!

37

Ben Myers 01.24.06 at 10:41 am

Glad to hear it, Richard. And while you’re doing penance, I hope Kim is busy watching Amelie (not as penance, but as a taste of paradise). ;-)

If there was a category for “adaptation of a book”, I’d probably go for the beautiful BBC version of Pride and Prejudice (not to be confused with the recent Hollywood abomination). Was ever a more captivating romance depicted on screen?

38

Beth 01.24.06 at 10:58 am

Ben - I think that I too had best go watch Amelie considering the write-up you’re giving it… But for adaptation of a book, I think there must be better contenders - the BBC’s Middlemarch for one, as well as Kubrik’s A Clockwork Orange - though the all-time great, I, Clavdivs, is probably too long for this list.

39

C.R. 01.24.06 at 2:11 pm

Eugene,
RE: your quote of the song, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” would be a good “theme song” for Robert Schuller, don’t you think?!

40

dh 01.24.06 at 2:51 pm

Passion of the Christ a disaster? I don’t think so. Christ was crucified and resurrected and we can’t fully understand what Christ went through without understanding historically what crucificxion was. It was very historically and theologically accurate.

41

Richard 01.24.06 at 3:52 pm

Sadly, I fear The Passion… was neither historically nor theologically accurate, dh. If you’re interested, my review of the ffilm is here.

42

Beth 01.24.06 at 4:30 pm

Thanks for the link to your review, Richard. The Passion… is still sitting in my DVD collection unwatched, having been given to me. I’m not sure when I’m going to feel like getting round to it. Perhaps Valentine’s Day, when the idea of perpetrating meaningless violence somehow always comes unbidden to my mind? :)

43

dh 01.24.06 at 5:03 pm

To call Christ’s death as “meaningless violence” seems so sad to me when Christ’s death and resurrection wasn’t “meaningless”. The Bible says that “He was a lamb to the slaughter” or all of the prophetic referrences by the sacrifices, the healing of the Jews in Moses day with the snake on a stick as prophetic of Christ on the cross. “Christ being made a curse for us” in light of “cursed is everything that hangeth on a tree”. aS you can see Christ’s death and resurrection were necessary and the way He died and rose again were part of God’s plan for redemption.

44

dh 01.24.06 at 5:06 pm

The bible says he was beaten 39 times and we know the Romans used cat of nine tails when this was done. The Bible says His beard was pulled out. The Bible says He was hung and nailed to the cross. The Bible mentions that each stop pharisee, Herod and Pilate that He was beaten. How He was beaten it doesn’t say but historically the nine tails was used.

45

dh 01.24.06 at 5:10 pm

Minus the crow scene and the demonic scene with Judas (although the bible says satan entered Judas) the purpose of all of this was from the prophecies of the OT of how Christ would die. The only problem with the movie was not showing the resurrection of Christ in the movie. Other than those things (which seem a little nit picky) I don’t understand how we can go against something (the rest of which) was Biblical.

46

Beth 01.24.06 at 5:37 pm

Jesus’ death = meaningless violence? Certainly not. Gibson’s film (from what I’ve heard and seen) = meaningless violence? Definitely.

47

dh 01.24.06 at 5:58 pm

Well are you saying that when the Bible mentions how He was beaten at each stop, His death on the cross and how violent it was, that all of those actions toward Jesus were meaningless? Gibson (other than the crow, demon scene and not showing the resurrection) was showing what the bible actually says about Christ’s death. The fact remains it was a violent death that Jesus experienced and to say that violence was meaningless I have a problem with when the Bible mentions specifically and in exact detail how Christ died. (reread my previous two responses for the detail I mentioned and how it lines up). Does that make sense?

48

Eric C. 01.24.06 at 6:09 pm

Suggested Category: “Third World” or “Missions” or “Roman Catholic”
Title “The Mission” (w/ Jeremy Irons).

And I echo someone’s suggestion above of “American Beauty”; perhaps there could be a category for “Mid-life Crisis”. Having just entered my own, I suddenly understand that the average 40-year-old-man’s desperate need for a 20-year-old girl and a convertable sports car has absolutley nothing to do with said girl or said car, but with escaping death.

Cheers,

Eric

49

malc 01.24.06 at 6:46 pm

that depends…. historically, Roman cat-O-ninetails use little dumbells at the end of the whips to inflict damage…. if the film the whip has hooks, designed for tearing in to the flesh (or the desk).

Was this over-the-top film violence??? I think yes……

And while I would question Amelie as a taste of paradise….. it is a very good film, which I enjoyed greatly!!!

50

Kim 01.24.06 at 7:05 pm

Hey, guys, forget the forgettable Gibson movie - what’s it called?. We’re talking “must-see” films, not “must-not-see” films. Don’t let dh sidetrack you!

51

dh 01.24.06 at 7:31 pm

Malc, the cat o tails might not have had hooks but they did have glass and pieces of metal. In light of this I don’t think it is over the top violence. Must not see films? come on in light of the fact of the OT and the fact of the specific description of Christs death pre crusifixion and during crucifixion.

52

malc 01.24.06 at 8:13 pm

Oooo!!! Oooo!!!! Finding Nemo!!!!! A tale of searching, a tale of family values, a just plain good tail……

53

Kim 01.24.06 at 9:10 pm

Hey, Eric C, maybe the car, but, personally, as a 50-something, I wouldn’t be so symbolic about the girl! :)

54

Cindy 01.26.06 at 3:36 am

Reading the suggested list of films and all the comments was quite interesting and entertaining. Thank you for the diverse and creative compilation. After reading the comments I’m a bit hesitant to add my own favorites, but oh well, here it goes. I’ve heard discussed the allusion to baptism in Toy Story (name of the owner written on the beloved toys) and Signs (saved from demonic-looking aliens by water). Also the concept of Grace as a free gift (Nicole Kidman’s character in Dogville) and the consequences of refusing that gift in the end. As for the “Passion” comments, well, I love Tarantino, but THAT (for example) is meaningless violence. I get that resurrection and redemption are themes in his movies, and I’ll still like them, but the violence is truly cringe-worthy and over the top. The context (Richard’s review) for “Passion” is sin - yours, mine, everyone’s. That was a very clear and profound context for me when I saw this movie. I agree it isn’t for everyone, but the horror story is our sin and total depravity, and look at how much blood, gore, and shame from our loving Savior it took to be covered in His righteousness instead. That’s a bit preachy, but a point I really needed to make. The movie isn’t an evangelism tool or a requirement for Christians, but my untrained, humble opinion is that it deserves to be on the list because of the beautiful and thought provoking imagery (some Biblical/historical and some artistic license) - by His stripes (inflicted violently!) we are healed and that is brutal beauty to me, not offensive or gratuitous. So thanks again for the great list of great films and for the chance to share!

55

Kim 01.26.06 at 4:03 pm

Thanks for your heartfelt and graciously put comments, Cindy.

What you say about Tarantino is interesting. I found the violence in “Reservoir Dogs” to be nihilistic - but not in “Pulp Fiction”. Counter-intuitively, perhaps, “PF” spoke to me of grace (which, interestingly, is the name of Butch’s motorcycle).

56

dh 01.26.06 at 8:36 pm

Cindy, why isn’t it an Evangelistic tool? I know many non-Christians when they saw exactly what Christ went through on the cross accepted Christ and with that their lives changed. Loved your reference “by His stripes we are healed”.

Kim, PF spoke of Grace and Passion didn’t? seems strange to me. I saw no Grace in PF or Kill Bill (both of which I walked out after watching 15 minutes of both, why I went to watch them I have no clue). I just don’t see the connection between Tarentinos movies and the Bible and I definiately don’t understand how anyone would prefer Tarantino over the Passion.

One question I have never got a good answer for: Why is it when people watch Tarantinos movies people laugh especially Kill Bill? It doesn’t make sense to me. None of the scenes were funny or humorous. It really points to how numb people are to violence that is outside of the context of what Christ truly did on the cross. If an actual Biblical event happened it can be displayed but when gratuitous Kill Bill is shown I see no redeeming value in it and I definitely don’t see any redeeming value in laughing during such grotesque qratuitous scenes. No one laughed in the Passion (not putting it in the same breath but bring it up as to how weird people are).

57

Beth 01.26.06 at 9:43 pm

dh - so, you saw no grace in the first fifteen minutes of PF? Well, there clearly can’t have been any, then.

58

Beth 01.27.06 at 2:10 am

And, tell me something else - what do you make of Jesus’ words in this context - “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”? Are we really such a culture that the only thing that can move us to belief is seeing some graphic violence going on?

“I believe in Jesus because I saw him being beaten to death” - give me a break! Some fundamentalist headcase making a film about him is not a good basis for belief; this is a faith of fashion, which will wear out with last season’s jeans.

59

dh 01.30.06 at 5:10 pm

I think when people realize the lengths to which Christ dies for us that people can understand how much God loves us that He was willing to suffer all that was described in the gospels regarding His suffering which is very descriptive. People who are not believers have always thought of Jesus as soft and never realized to what lengths Jesus made Salvation available to us. It isn’t the violence but understanding the purpose of Christ’s death and resurrection that non-Belivers can see how Christ was the “propitiation”. Also, Gibson a fundamentalist? that is truly a new one on me.

What do you make of “How can they hear in whom they haven’t heard and how can they hear without a preacher? Evangelism is in showing Faith word and deed. Can’t that be visual?

I know many including Kim and Richard where I used the passage given from Jesus to Thomas regarding them questioning the Bible on certain things. I don’t think you want to go there with that passage.

60

Visitor 02.22.06 at 12:18 am

Life of Brian is blasphemous and to think otherwise is ridiculous. If the crucifixion scene is really just about a man called Brian then it loses its whole dynamic and ceases to be so funny. People who find it funny respond to one thing and one thing only: the ridicule of our Lord and savior. People need to wise-up and learn to read the movie properly.

61

Beth 02.22.06 at 9:41 am

Visitor - I’m not sure that you’re reading the movie properly yourself. I don’t see it so much as ridiculing Jesus per se, but as ridiculing the Christian establishment and religion, which is a very different thing. But that’s beside the point. So what if it is blasphemous? Anyone who has ideas or beliefs that cannot be factually proven must at times submit themselves to scrutiny, questioning, disagreement, condemnation, mockery and ridicule. It’s healthy. It’s one way in which we can hope to come to an ever deeper understanding of and love for our faith.

62

dh 02.22.06 at 2:14 pm

I, like what Vistitor has to say on this, I don’t buy the whole “Christian establishment” thing. Beth, if the story ridiculed Buddah, Allah, or any other lower case god people would be up and arms and say “you’re intolerant and would have the governments put a stop to it but when people ridicule Jesus and the like it is okay? That is such a double standard. That is why when people use the term intolerant, bigot I ask them certain questions and it seems every time from this particular group of people I get the same conclusions as the one here. I believe strongly that ridicule leads more times than not to a great hardening of heart than the “deeper understanding” that you project. It also reveals how hard people are. People can believe what they want and I pray that as many hearts as possible will be soft towards the Gospel but ridiculing others should not be included.

63

nick 03.19.06 at 11:52 am

What about Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie when she tells the bishop that she doesn’t like jesus before the bishop kills the man requesting the last rites?Hilarious and an antidote to the pious sanctimony of most religious discourse.

64

mr skin 10.27.06 at 4:06 pm

That’s cool. Whoopi is emceeing a gala for the Worldwide Orphans Foundation. I just love Whoopi!

65

mr skin 11.07.06 at 10:12 pm

I think it’s about time they did a remake of Blade Runner, or came out with a second version.

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