Apologetics swallowed-up by Cinema?


#1

Our faith is in movies. Or rather, in the habit of opinion that ‘the movies’ (i.e. most movies) have encouraged in us. We will accept any theologically correct answer about God from any apologist, but if that same apologist should try and persuade us that certain films do not bring us closer to this God, then we will no longer walk with him. How do we explain this phenomenon?

Has the cinema replaced our faith in God with faith in self; faith in ‘seeing’? Has cinema taught us the habit of proudly proclaiming “we see, we see” while our blindness remains?

How is it possible that we here at CA cannot agree on whether The Passion of the Christ comes from God or from the devil?


#2

If there is a thread here that claims the Passion of the Christ movie is from the devil, I have not seen it.


#3

[quote=puzzleannie]If there is a thread here that claims the Passion of the Christ movie is from the devil, I have not seen it.
[/quote]

Me neither.


#4

I haven’t seen such a posting either!

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#5

The catholics on this board seem to like the movie very much only the rabid fundamentilist seem to hate the movie.


#6

I haven’t seen any negative remarks made about “The Passion of the Christ” either… Whether from fundamentalist or otherwise. Maccabees, where have Fundamentalists been bad mouthing the movie?


#7

Okay, I’ll add my response of confusion as well. I must have missed the threads where people put down Mr. Gibson’s movie. Furthermore, I would need to be brave to criticize it here. Most Catholics seem to be very positive about the movie.


#8

My concern is more that the cinema has replaced literacy. The visual arts in general seem to be replacing, if they have not already, the common heritage of western civilizatiion.

It used to be that certain literary or historical references to aspects of our common heritage would be instantly recognizable. No longer. Now, what is recognizable are references to particular movie scenes or TV episodes. I can’t really believe that this is a good thing for our culture.


#9

If there were any Catholics here in CA who said such a thing, give us the link to his or her post and we will respond accordingly. I have yet to see a Catholic here in CA say so. I would not, however be surprised if the person who said such thing[if ever there was], is a die-hard anti-Catholic or even an atheist.

But Catholics? I don’t think so.

Gerry :slight_smile:


#10

[quote=Pace]How is it possible that we here at CA cannot agree on whether The Passion of the Christ comes from God or from the devil?
[/quote]

Strange, I thought it came from Mel Gibson.

btw, the movie was very well made. I liked the technique letting everybody talk in their native language. The Latin was even understandable.


#11

Maybe the poster refers to Mel Gibson’s use of the devil in scenes of the Passion of the Christ. I didn’t appreciate that interpretation too much.

Jesus died to save us from his sins, but I think when using images of the devil, rather than focusing on the people who allowed the decisions to be made (which may have been the devil’s will, but how can we say that Jesus died because the devil will him to, when Jesus chose to die for us as part of fulfillment of the covenant and to save our souls from the devil), makes us question how much it was God’s will to let Jesus die, and it makes it to easy for people to day they could not control their will because the “devil made them do it.”

Many, many of the church’s doctors and others have written tat we are never given more temptation than our will has the ability to bear; we jsut need to become more aware of this fact and to increase our ability to defend ourselves by increasing our faith in God and seeking his graces through prayer and other spiritual practices, like receiving the sacarments and discerning God’s guidance in scripture or anywhere from life. This is important to understand not only in order strengthen us in our struggles against temptation but also in order to responsibly realize the adequate form of contrition when we do succumb to temptation, so that we can be truly forgive for our sins.


#12

[quote=puzzleannie]If there is a thread here that claims the Passion of the Christ movie is from the devil, I have not seen it.
[/quote]

I’ve raised this question within other threads about The Passion . I’ve also read some other posts in those same threads that were at least open to the possibility that this movie wasn’t ‘inspired’ by God.


#13

since the movie The Passion produced by Mel Gibson is not sacred scripture it cannot be said to be inspired by God in the sense that scripture is. Some feel Gibson was inspired to undertake this project, which may or may not be true. His subject matter, to the extent that the script relies on scripture and sacred tradition, is the inspired Word of God, but just because a movie is made about a biblical event or personages does not make the movie inspired.


#14

[quote=JimG]My concern is more that the cinema has replaced literacy. The visual arts in general seem to be replacing, if they have not already, the common heritage of western civilizatiion.

It used to be that certain literary or historical references to aspects of our common heritage would be instantly recognizable. No longer.
[/quote]

I was going to post in the “ask an apologist” forum: Will we desire to read in Heaven? Or: Is Heaven more like reading or more like watching a movie? The philosopher Peter Kreeft has an essay at his web site where he mentions a “habit of seeing” that many of us have “tragically” lost.

Now, what is recognizable are references to particular movie scenes or TV episodes. I can’t really believe that this is a good thing for our culture.

I would have said the same thing until I saw the David Lynch films (and TV episodes).

One of the words Dr. Kreeft uses to describe what is lacking in our ‘vision’ is “sacramentality”. What I fear about The Passion is that it is all the ‘accidents’ (like the appearance of bread after consecration) without the substance. The beautiful thing about Lynch’s art is that it seems to be all ‘substance’.


#15

[quote=puzzleannie]since the movie The Passion produced by Mel Gibson is not sacred scripture it cannot be said to be inspired by God in the sense that scripture is. Some feel Gibson was inspired to undertake this project, which may or may not be true. His subject matter, to the extent that the script relies on scripture and sacred tradition, is the inspired Word of God, but just because a movie is made about a biblical event or personages does not make the movie inspired.
[/quote]

It’s an interesting question that your words bring to my mind: Can a movie made explicitly about the Word of God (the “Word made flesh” = Jesus) really claim to be anything less than inspired?

No matter how we answer that question, we still should probably ask whether a viewer of such a movie could possibly make that distinction while he or she is in the very act of watching the movie. Can we receive these images into our minds without them going to our heart also? This is why I was wondering if today’s movies, and especially this movie, only serve to reinforce our desire to say “we see” .(i.e. we can choose to look at whatever we want to look at; which is the philosophy of pornography. Or: If God allows something seeable into this world then I am going to look at it; which is a philosophy that is prepared to blame God for all sin)


#16

[quote=Pace]It’s an interesting question that your words bring to my mind: Can a movie made explicitly about the Word of God (the “Word made flesh” = Jesus) really claim to be anything less than inspired?

?
[/quote]

there have been any number of movies about biblical subjects, including the life, passion and death of Jesus. Just because the movie is about Jesus (the Word) does not mean it IS the Word.


#17

“No matter how we answer that question, we still should probably ask whether a viewer of such a movie could possibly make that distinction while he or she is in the very act of watching the movie. Can we receive these images into our minds without them going to our heart also? This is why I was wondering if today’s movies, and especially this movie, only serve to reinforce our desire to say “we see” .(i.e. we can choose to look at whatever we want to look at; which is the philosophy of pornography. Or: If God allows something seeable into this world then I am going to look at it; which is a philosophy that is prepared to blame God for all sin)”

Pace, what do you think of Douglas Sirk’s films?
And of Roland Barthes’ writings on cinema and signification?
Of negative theology?


#18

radio-cipher,

Would you mind sharing your thoughts on these subjects and how they may relate to what I was saying? And maybe you could give a list of the Sirk films you would recommend?


#19

[quote=Pace]Our faith is in movies. Or rather, in the habit of opinion that ‘the movies’ (i.e. most movies) have encouraged in us. We will accept any theologically correct answer about God from any apologist, but if that same apologist should try and persuade us that certain films do not bring us closer to this God, then we will no longer walk with him. How do we explain this phenomenon?

Has the cinema replaced our faith in God with faith in self; faith in ‘seeing’? Has cinema taught us the habit of proudly proclaiming “we see, we see” while our blindness remains?

How is it possible that we here at CA cannot agree on whether The Passion of the Christ comes from God or from the devil?
[/quote]

You are giving much too much credit to movies - they are a form of entertainment and nothing else!

Yet criticizing movies is a nice form of expressing one’s opinon: PLEASE NOTE (i.e. N.B.) Opinions are like noses, everybody has one and they all smell! my own quote

Neither movies nor hollywood represent America, the registered voter, via our our elected representatives, represents America.


#20

[quote=Kevin Walker]You are giving much too much credit to movies - they are a form of entertainment and nothing else!

Yet criticizing movies is a nice form of expressing one’s opinon: PLEASE NOTE (i.e. N.B.) Opinions are like noses, everybody has one and they all smell! my own quote

Neither movies nor hollywood represent America, the registered voter, via our our elected representatives, represents America.
[/quote]

How do we account for the films Mulholland Drive and Dogville, then?


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