We’ve All Missed the Point of ‘God’s Not Dead’ (It’s Blaxploitation)


He's Shirley A. Live.

He’s Shirley A. Live.

So…here’s the embarrassing post where I admit that I actually kind of liked God’s Not Dead.

Yes, it was full of terrible acting and hackneyed apologetics.

Yes, it was full of offensive stereotypes of Muslims and atheists.

Yes, for a movie supposedly about a philosophy class, it didn’t seem to have a clue what philosophy is.

And yet, taken on its own terms, it still kind of worked.

Will it convert anyone? Not with its beyond-tenuous grasp of teleology, biology and cosmology. Will it make Jesus cool again? Of course it won’t — Jesus was never cool. (Sorry, Jesus.)

But if you’re judging it on those terms, you’ve profoundly missed the point of God’s Not Dead — and of evangelical films in general. Continue reading

In the Spirit of Aronofsky’s ‘Pi,’ Here’s a Mathematical Proof that ‘Noah’ Would Have Pissed Everyone Off, No Matter What

I haven’t seen Darren Aronofsky’s Noah yet (gave up movies for Lent, grr), but here’s what I’ve learned about it from the blogosphere:

If you read that, you now know everything there is to know about Noah. Congratulations! Continue reading

Donald Miller Left Me Standing at the Altar, in More Ways Than One

[NOTE: If you’d rather read something less squishy and more concrete, or less Lutheran and more Reformed, my total-BFF-who-I-just-met, Derek Rishmawy, has a great piece over at Christ and Pop Culture.]

In addition to being a blogger, memoirist, and in-demand speaker, Don Miller is known for being hungry like the wolf.

In addition to being a blogger, memoirist, and in-demand speaker, Don Miller is also known for being hungry like the wolf.

Oh, Don Miller. You used to be cool.

I admit it. Like pretty much every Christian my age, I had a torrid love affair with Blue Like Jazz (the book, not the movie, but also kind of the movie). What can I say? Jazz is to us post-evangelicals what Atlas Shrugged is to libertarians, or what The Lord of the Rings is to hippies, or what Martha Stewart Living is to really terrible people.

But now I kind of want to take it all back. Continue reading

Blue Like Jazz: Too Subtle for Its Own Good

It’s a rare thing to be sitting in a movie theater and feel like the film you’re viewing was, somehow, made just for you. I’ve had that particular experience once before. Maybe twice. The first time was with Treasure Planet, because, at the time, nobody but me recognized the supreme awesomeness of steampunk, or of the combination of pirates and space — a pairing far more inspired than chocolate and peanut butter (which I’ve always found to be overrated, but don’t tell my wife). I might count Ratatouille among these as well, but I won’t, since everybody likes Pixar movies, and I have no desire to make myself a cliché.

What you can add to the list, however, is Steve Taylor’s film Blue Like Jazz. I feel pretty alone in really loving this movie, since the theater was deserted when I saw it and it’s currently sitting at a disappointing 48 on Metacritic. But I suppose that’s to be expected. It’s not the sort of movie you’ll love if you walk into the theater with your brain turned off (which, given the massive success of Michael Bay, is apparently what most people do), and it’s not something that will beat you over the head with a trite presentation of the Gospel message (did you hear that noise? it was Kirk Cameron shedding a single tear). What it is, is the story of a single believer being drawn out of the Slough of Despond by the still, small voice of God.

When I got home from the film, I posted this on my Facebook page, along with a link to the trailer: Continue reading