The Big Lebowski at church!?!?!

Let me open with saying this, I’m a huge Coen Brothers fan and I own The Big Lebowski. It’s one of the few movies I own, in fact. And… this church NOT Catholic but Anglican.

Here’s my question:

Do you think it’s okay for a church to advertize and have a meeting in the parish hall to study The Gospel According to the Big Lebowski, along with showing the film? “Please no one under 14.”

My sister was appalled. I admit, I was excited at first, then thinking it’s not a great idea. My pretty liberal hubby was “uncomforable” that they’re doing this. None of us is going, I’m just presenting this to you lot for discussion. Thanks!


I’m not sure I have a problem with it being shown in a church hall. The worship is another matter. I haven’t seen the film though so I don’t know how much “objectionable” content it has.

i love the movie,saying that there is no way it should be shown on church for the gospel i’m not familiar with it,but i doubt very much that it could be appropriate.

I’m intrigued, and I’d like to go!

Are you sure they are actually planning some sort of religious activity around the movie screening? It occurs to me it might be a joke reference, like I might tease an Obama supporter by calling a speech of his ‘the Gospel according to Barack’

Sounds like it is in the parish hall, and they will gather there to view the film and study the book. Doesn’t sound like worship to me. :shrug:

Hey man, you know you guys like need to just chill man and just you know…enjoy the film man. :stuck_out_tongue:

Maybe they are showing it, to bring an important point about Revelations when Jesus returns to smite his enemies. “No one [messes] with the Jesus!” :smiley:

It’s a really good movie, but yeah that does seem like a strange pick for a church. Oh well, it seems more like the church is just trying to have some type of social gathering. Who knows…maybe they’ll find some religious themes to discuss. The language in the film can be a little harsh, but I assume they’ll make it be adults-only.


And just remember, man, “The Dude Abides”…:yup:

And WE DON’T ROLL ON SHABBOS! Shomer Shabbos!

I think its an excellent program.

It seems the book in questions may actually be “The Dude Abides: The Gospel According to the Coen Brothers”. Here is a capsule description of that book:

From Publishers Weekly

  It must be true that God can be found even in the quirkiest of places. *Chicago Sun-Times*  religion journalist Falsani mined the 14 films (since 1984) of Joel and  Ethan Coen to find God and to articulate their spiritual and religious  questions and challenges. The Coen brothers have a reputation for  injecting a lot of dark humor into their movies, but as the author  illustrates, the comedy is an avenue to deeper issues. Death, betrayal,  greed, the seeming absence of God and the dire consequences of one's  choices are the complex themes expertly handled by the filmmakers.  Falsani does not posit that these films are overtly religious, but she  does successfully convey their spiritual insights about the human  condition. Each chapter provides a movie plot summary and concludes with  an insightful segment dubbed The Moral of the Story. Falsani is an  expert at pop culture analysis and her love for the celluloid arts  shines forth brightly—her interpretations are nuanced and sophisticated  without being pretentious. Film lovers, whether religious or not, will  be pleased. *(Oct.)* 

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Sounds like an excellent program for an Anglican (or even a Catholic) Church, showing how can be found in all things if my parish were running the program I’d go.


That’s the book they’re using. The program announcement said, “No one under 14.”

Thanks for the responses. I was interested in what others thought.

The Big Lebowski is a pretty good movie but I don’t think it would be very good movie to teach the gospel with.

“A Man for All Seasons” would be better.

They’re limiting it to 14+, so that is good.

It is an odd choice, but depending on how it is handled, it might help some people.

Good movies and literature tend to bring out human strength and weakness to study them under a microscope. I think there are a lot of valuable lessons in the movie, from the standpoint of “how not to live a life”…all good jumping off points. Again, as long as it is done in the hall and interjected with kind of a “What would Jesus say about this…?” I think it is a creative approach.

Still, if it scandalizes people. I don’t know… that’s a tough call. So much depends on the parish, it’s location, and the people running it.

In the right hands, I don’t see a problem, but it would take a very delicate and expert hand to make this work well.

I have to admit, I would, too. But, it still depends on the audience/people running it.

I knew a nondenominational Christian pastor in our old neighborhood who held “services” in bars, and the like. He really was very nice and so was his family. He had a lot of good points and was trying very hard to “sell” everyone on Christ. I think, maybe, he did get some people to turn over a new leaf, but there were so many problems…and like the “cool” parent, I saw a major lack of respect for the man and also for God as an offshoot.

Not that this is the same thing, but there always has to be an underlying sense of decorum and respect. As long as this doesn’t try to turn God and the Church into a “cool” parent, it could do good things. :shrug:

I know Catholics, priests and laity, who attend Theology on Tap!

I agree with the sentiment: taking the message to the people in a place they are comfortable and in a way that begins to open the door to deeper thought. Please don’t take my comments as derogatory toward that mission. For me, there is a fine line and people have to walk very carefully to make efforts like this work without causing people to disrespect the Church.

Done well, though, it’s a great thing.

Agreed. Just wanted to add that I love these types of thought experiments - “Let’s talk about the Christian values you find in Harry Potter / .”

Far be it from me to disparage such a movie, but if ALL we watched for spiritual development are lives of the saints movis and if ALL we read for spiritual development were the Bible, the Catechism, and lives of the saints books and ALL we listened to for spiritual development were Gregorian chant … we would be very dull and intellectually infantile indeed.

We need to have some analytical tools at our disposal to understand, appreciate, and interpret all sorts of art in all sorts of mediums in order to appreciate and learn from what is good while setting aside what is bad or questionable.

Yeah well…that’s just like your opinion man.

Don’t be fatuous.

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