Monday, February 16, 2004

I was visiting Len's blog, and he raised some interesting questions about Mel Gibson's "Passion" film.

It seems to me that evangelical Christians don't get art. We generally have a utilitarian view of art and that's why so much of our "art" sucks. (See: Left Behind and a host of Christian bands.) If Mel is using us to get the word out about his film, I have no problem with that and for this reason: I don't think Mel's primary or even secondary goal in making the film was evangelism. What I've read and heard from Mel is that this film is something that he felt compelled to make, a calling of sorts. So, I'm confident that it will be a good film because it won't be burdened with trying to achieve anything other than telling the story.

If we then choose to use that film as an evangelistic tool, well, that's another thing entirely. I have no doubt that it may raise questions for non-believers and that's great. Good art raises questions and leads to conversations. But I'm not in favor of using the film as an evangelistic campaign.

As for who will go see it, I do feel that it will be predominantly viewed by Christians. I also think that all the hoopla about Mel's supposed anti-semitism will give the film a wider viewing than it otherwise would have had, ala The Last Temptation of Christ.

Any thoughts?



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