Which is a better kind of film to watch?

Is it better to watch a film with no religious overtones whatsoever, or one that espouses as form of Christianity that is overtly Evangelical? My case in point: Facing the Giants is overtly Evangelical, pushing the “Health and Wealth Gospel” in a decidedly ham-handed way. In my mind, if you want to watch a sports themed movie about overcoming obstacles, Radio, We are Marshall, or Miracle would all be better choices. Any thoughts?

Radio was very hammy IMO. But why does it have to be one is better than the others? Wouldn’t it be better to watch a movie that is well written and acted and “clean”? All of the movies you gave as examples are great sports movies, if that’s the genre a person likes.

I’ve never heard of Facing the Giants, was it a limited release film?

I never heard of it until last night. It is made by the same people who did Fireproof

There is another option: keep looking. Maybe neither is the better/best film.

Hmm… not ringing any bells either… how are you hearing about these films?

I heard about Fireproof originally on Catholic radio, with strong praise for its pro-marriage message, and it is also available in out campus bookstore. Friends of mine were watching Facing the Giants, which could be best described as as “after-school special” fare, with a none-too-subtle “health and wealth” message thrown in. They pretty much beat you over the head with “if you devote your life to Jesus, everything will go your way”

I think it’s fine for well formed adults to watch a movie like Facing the Giants or any of the others like it. I would be cautious in showing it to younger viewers. I was reading a study (which I apologize for not being able to track down in order to site it) regarding teaching your children using secular, Christian, or Catholic textbooks. The outcome was when teaching kids use only secular sources supplemented by Catholic sources or strictly Catholic sources. Kids or others not well-formed in their faith have a hard time picking up the errors in the Christian texts and end up confused on matters of faith and doctrine. I think the same could be applied to movies. (PS I’m aware that Catholics are Christians but I didn’t know a better way to distinguish between the types of books.)

Yes it was. It was on the strength of the movie that professional actor Kirk Cameron joined with the Sherwood Baptist Church to produce Fireproof. It initially open to about 500 screens nationwide but had a high per screen average attendance and made a small run with about 1000 screens. The church is in pre production of their forth movie now. It has done better then most of this generation’s “Christian movies” from the likes of Cloud Ten Productions which uses professional cast

I’s rather choose one with no religious overtones. I am RARELY offended by a film or show or whatever with no religion, but am sometimes when it’s a bad use of religion. I love religious symbolism and allegories, but often times, it feels more like Cardboard Christianity. It’s fun to watch an anime with Christian charactors, since 8 ties out of 10 they’re not “christian”, but rather, a Japanese artists idea of “Christian”. This can be applied to American films too, of course. If religion isn’t the theme, it’s usually used for comedic effect, or used as an archtype (the goth, the hero, the prostitute, the Christian…)

Shondrea, I have to agree with you for the most part. You’re astute. While I’m not Christian myself, I have to say that most writers who take on the Christian perspective do so poorly (even those who are themselves Christian). Given my Catholic upbringing, it’s offensive to me when people misrepresent Christians–especially Catholics. Anime is a big offender of this, but it’s hardly the only offender. The problem is–and I don’t understand why–that there are very few talented Christian-oriented writers out there. There was a time when some of the best writers in the world were Catholic: think of the era of Flannery O’Connor and J.R.R. Tolkien. What’s happened since? Flannery O’Connor is still considered one of the greatest writers of all time, and it may come as a shock to some of you that she’s still taught in those evil East Coast liberal institutions like the one where I’m getting my MFA. Catholics need more Flannery O’Connors. And they may exist. But you need to look for them in the stacks and not on TV or in film. Hollywood will not, unfortunately, be their venue.

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