What Should We Ask the Movie?

The Tuesday feature of the Worldly Saints blog examines something I have been reading lately. Usually, I can read about one book per week. These posts are meant to share some of my reflections from the latest book, magazine article or blog post I have or am reading.

Summer is time that many families will go to the movies. Hollywood has known for years there are a few times a year that you want to release your “blockbuster” movies, and summer is one of those periods.

Everyone goes to the movies. And with the growth of Christian and faith-based films these days, more and more Christians are going to the movies. Just in the last month, I have been to the movies twice and plan on another outing in the next week or so.

My goal in this blog post is not to talk about whether Christians should go to the movies are what kinds of movies or ratings are appropriate for Christians to view. I thought I would share some sound counsel from John Frame on the types of questions we need to be asking when we decide to see a movie. I came across this article in 2009 and it found it’s way to my reading pile the last few days, and I was encouraged by the helpful list of questions he encourages all Christians to ask when they watch movies, and they can be used especially if you take your children to movies. Here is his list of twelve questions that Christians need to ask the movies they decide to view.

1. Who is writing, directing and producing the film? This will help us understand the worldview(s) of those who are making the movie.
2. Was the movie of high quality, in regards to it’s production?
3. Was the movie true to it’s own position?
4. What genre of film was it?
5. What is the worldview being presented in the film: theistic or atheistic, Christian or non-Christian, etc.?
6. Can you give the plot, the main characters, etc.?
7. Are the problems that are presented in the movie solvable and how are they solved and by what methods?
8. What morals are being taught in the movie: relativism, dogmatism, sexism, justice, etc.?
9. If the movie is a comedy, what or who is the object of the humor and is it honorable humor?
10. Are there any allusions to historical events or people or Scripture and are those allusions accurate?
11. Are there any chief images or symbols in the movie?
12. Are there detectable religious themes?

If you are interested in reading Frame’s article entitled “Questions to Ask of Films”, click here.

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