Monday, October 25, 2010
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:
- “A Time to Laugh: A Theological Approach to Comedy“
- “Exorcising the Psycho: The Invention of Fear for Pleasure“
- “Hollywood Invents Romance: Of All the Gin Joints, in All the Towns, in All the World, She Walks into Mine“
- “Film Noir: The Dark Side, or Solomon Goes to Hollywood“
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.