Saturday, February 03, 2007

Christian Art

Robin Parrish, who edits infuze magazine, has spent his last couple of editor's columns bemoaning the lack of quality art from the church. I feel his pain; I have found myself going to the recent flurry of movies produced by Christians with a great desire to see high quality. Unfortunately, I have been disappointed. Many of the films were above average, but in general they have not been superb.

I was thinking about this while reading the AFA Journal this morning. The AFA has for years been laboriously documenting the overwhelmingly negative attitude of Hollywood and TV towards anything Christian. This month, they have an article reviewing five movies either out, or just about out, that all have a decidedly Christian feel: Rocky Balboa, Amazing Grace, The Last Sin Eater, Thr3e, and The Goal. I haven't seen Rocky Balboa, I have seen Thr3e, and the other three are not out yet.

It is difficult to express how frustrating it was to read these reviews. For the most part, they focused on the negatives of the movies: the (relatively small) number of profanities, the lack of a complete telling of the gospel, and other elements. I find myself wanting to scream at someone, "Could you possibly just rejoice at the fact that there are 5 movies out that present Christian faith in a positive light!!!!" Sure, Rocky Balboa doesn't have a call to holiness in it, and the movie depicts faith in the context of making it through the hard times in life. But why is that bad? This is a major film from a major studio that presents faith as central to its main character's life. And this isn't just any character, Rocky is an American icon; as close to a cultural hero as we come in this country.

Just once, I would like to see these so-called defenders of American and Christian cultural sensitivity recognize that not everyone shares the purity of their vision. We live in a culture that is awash in vulgarity and profanity; and I for one appreciate the attempt to make a movie that shows that faith works in that world, not just the one inside the four walls of a modern evangelical church.

1 comment:

Andy said...

I agree with what you're saying and am glad someone else feels that way. I'm sick of pettiness in mainstream Christian media.

Will any Christian publication ever look at the meaning and lessons in movies, art, etc. rather than just pick at the profanity, innuendos, etc.?

A solid Christian response should be able to grapple with the ideas presented in media.