Friday, February 27, 2004

Let me preface this by pointing out that I have not seen “The Passion of the Christ,” and having a 1-month old daughter, I’m not likely to see in the theater anytime soon. I think that several of the issues surrounding the movie are interesting though.

First is the suggestion by many evangelical Protestants to use the movie as an evangelization tool. I’ve read a couple of reviews that suggest that this might not be very effective. Judy Coode, writing in Sojourners magazine, notes that for those not familiar with Christianity the movie probably won’t make a lot of sense. She says that as a Catholic, the movie struck her as a two-hour Stations of the Cross. She described the movie as “an agonizing and thought-provoking piece of work.”

Jeffrey Overstreet writing in Christianity Today makes several similar comments. First, there isn’t much in the way of context for Jesus’ life. No mention of how he came to be in the world or his ministry prior to his last days. Also that it is interesting is Protestant endorsement of the film when it relies so heavily on Catholic iconography and doctrine. He points that it is possible “to understand and appreciate Christ's sacrifice without having to swallow a blow-by-blow account of the destruction of his body.”

I also thought I’d pass along a commentary written by my pastor, Beth Estock from Aloha United Methodist Church. She explains why she’s seeing “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen” instead of “Passion.” She argues that the film exploits viewers through fear, and that “the root of sin is letting fear have its way in our lives.” If you like what you read, stop by for her sermon every Sunday at 11 am. Here are directions to church.

Well, as you can probably tell I have a tendency to get long winded. So I’m stopping.



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