Wayne R. Scott with
“We [Christians] must hold the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other,” wrote the German Theologian Karl Barth. While we don’t agree with everything Barth has said about the Bible, he’s made a great point here. Christians are not to be of the world, but they are called to be in it. The news helps us stay in touch with culture and the Bible helps us interpret and influence it.
Yet, we’re convinced that with Hollywood’s influence our movies may tell us more about our current state of affairs than the news. It’s long been said that stories are the language of our generation.
I (Dane) came across a book recently titled “Movies are Prayers: How Films Voice our Deepest Longings.” I’ve yet to read the book, but I love the title. If our stories are our prayers, then it’s easy to see that our generation is desperate for answers to questions like the following. Is justice possible? How can man do such wicked things? What is man? What is his purpose?
If you think of it, these questions are as old as Solomon, for times change, but the human condition doesn’t. The problem is that while our films consistently prompt the right questions, they stumble in providing, or even pointing to, satisfying answers. Jerram Barrs, Professor at Covenant Theological Seminary, refers to these glimpses in our stories as “echoes of Eden” (see his book with the same title). Our films tell us that we want to return to Eden, but we have no idea how to get there, or, in different words, we’ve rejected the only way back there.
That’s why Barth’s right on this point: we must hold God’s Word to the pulse of culture, for as the cry of the human heart hasn’t changed, neither has the response of the Sovereign Father: “Look to my Son.”
At LifeHouse Theater, we seek to tell redemptive and inspirational stories that serve as a beacon of hope amidst the entertainment choices offered in our troubled world.
So, in conclusion, Christians, let us hold the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other, but maybe we should have Netflix streaming in the background too. Listen to the prayers of our culture; they’re desperate for a response: if Scripture is in your hand, we have that response.