Monday, October 25, 2010


Critical Thinking

A few days ago, I ranted about how sometimes a movie is just entertainment. I did so becasue there is a book out "teaching us how to watch movies." Well, more on the book is emerging, this time from Justin Taylor. Justin does the reader a service by listing movies that a potential reader should see before reading the book due to spoilers.

Now first of all there is a certain irony in a blog post encouraging people to see movies BEFORE reading a book that is supposed to teach us how to watch those movies.

But that said, Taylor's list is by chapters of the book, which it turns out are by movie genre. Here's some of them:

The more I read about this book, the more the special failing of the church in general and Evangelicalism in particular in this age is driven home to me. We have reduced Christianity to a series of ideas and then we struggle to make them work in the lives we live on a day-to-day basis. We end up analyzing the trivial to see if it is "Christian" or not, which is to say in this age, does it prescribe to the right set of ideas?

Dear friends, Christianity is not a set of ideas - it is a group of people. Different people to be sure, and ideas are part, but only part of what change us, but we are people first. When we limit faith to the ideological we limit the transformation power of Christ's resurrection. We use thought to hold power at distance. We critically think ourselves around the gospel, but we never actually plunge into it.

You see here's the thing. If I allow the Holy Spirit to truly transform me, then I can go a see a movie, any movie, and rely on that same Holy Spirit to inform me as to when it is necessary for me engage and when it is possible for me to simply enjoy.

I think my point is this - if Christianity is all about how to think about things then we must constantly be "on guard" - we can never truly engage with what is around us. But if we have the confidence of being new people then we can engage the culture around us in a way where we might be able to make actual evangelical progress.

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