Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Olasky, You Can't Be Serious

As if we needed any more evidence that evangelicals have far too high a view of the value of religious movies, Marvin Olasky had this to say in the February 18th issue of World:
Fifth, praise and thank the filmmakers who, having made a mistake, made the best of it. Haven't we all made worse mistakes? A chorus of "gotchas" has rained on what should be a parade. The filmmakers should be hearing "attaboy" comments from those who wait for Christian-themed movies as old Simeon waited to see the Christ child.
Olasky makes some reasonable points in this editorial (full text), he also makes several bad ones and at least one plain factual error. Forget all that, though. The analogy in this conclusion is simply preposterous. The arrival of Christian-themed movies (which apparently need not even mention Christ) should be welcomed with a joy comparable to that appropriate to the arrival of the King? I wish I could imagine that this were intentional hyperbole.

11 comments:

Ryan Martin said...

These days are dark indeed. Only in America.

Scott Aniol said...

I saw this, too. Unbelievable.

Wendy said...

You think THIS is what makes the days dark in America?

I read the article. I don't see Christian themed movies as the advent of an effective new tool in evangelism, but otherwise, I thought his analysis was reasonable.

Here's the problem. In their noble quest for the purity of the gospel, the fundamentalist blogging community keeps focusing on the wrong battles. They exhaust their arsenal against non-heretical issues, and then are so marginalized by their lack of credibility (or oblivion to the main issues) that they become a non-factor where the gospel most needs us to battle. Those who think Steve Saint, Michael W. Smith, and Rick Warren are the problem have been well destracted by Satan from the issues and people through which he is really working against the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Thankfully, there are others not similarly distracted (some within the fundamentalist community) who are doing real defense where it counts for the sake of the clear gospel of Jesus Christ.

Ben said...

Wendy,

My point in this post clearly has nothing to do with Saint, Smith, or Warren. It has everything to do with the great evangelical hope that the media of pop culture will become an efficient vehicle for the gospel. That hope most definitely is a big part of the problem.

If you've been reading here, you know that I don't think attacking ETE is part of the solution. On the other hand, exposing the gospel according to Warren is worthwhile.

Wendy said...

The point in the article about the advent of Christian movies was sarcastically aimed at those who have over hyped their value. At least, I read it as a rhetorical device. And it was a minor point--not at all the thrust of the article as a whole.

There is no "great evangelical hope in the evangelistic movie". There is a subset within evangelicalism that promotes them and places undue emphasis on them (perhaps). But I don't see it as even a blip on the radar screen of the evangelical community at large (the McArthur-ites, Piper-ites, Mahaney-ites, Harris-ites). Maybe the Warren-ites enjoy them and get excited. I don't know.

Ryan Martin said...

Here, here.

Ben said...

I hope you're right about Olasky. I don't think you're right about evangelicalism. We could only wish that MacArthur, Piper, Mahaney, and Harris represented the "evangelical community at large." Unfortunately, that's not the case. The Warrenites, Hybelsites, Osteenites, and McLarenites are a far more substantial (in number, not theology) segment of evangelicalism.

Ryan Martin said...

The "here, here" was for Ben, by the way.

Scott Aniol said...

Oh, and here I thought you flopped positions all of a sudden, Ryan!

Ben said...

RM,

Thanks for the affirmation. I feel validated. By the way, due to some travels last week I was tardy in answering your most provocative question here. It's done now.

Ryan Martin said...

I am all about validating.