In the opening pages of this very informative and engaging volume the author reminds us that Christians generally approach the viewing of movies in one of two ways. Some ignore movies because they understand them to be a waste of time and a detriment to culture. Others attend movies but are passive to their worldview and give little thought to the content from a Christian perspective. The author has written this work to help us avoid both extremes.
Realizing that movies are modern stories, Godawa is sensitive to the fact that the reader must understand storytelling and the central theme of some type of redemption in most stories. The first of the book’s three sections examines storytelling and myth from a Christian perspective.
Godawa is very aware that movies exhibit a worldview. In the second section existentialism, postmodernism, and some other worldviews such as fate and monism are explained. He interweaves numerous examples of movies that reflect these worldviews. In order to make his points he often reveals the ending to the movies he discusses throughout the book, including this section. He warns the reader of this at the outset.
He has entitled the book’s final section, “Spirituality in the Movies”. Chapters in this part include “Christianity”, “Angels, Demons, Heaven and Hell” and “Faith.”
The book concludes with an appendix on “Sex, Violence and Profanity in the Bible”. In this section he gives many examples to undergird his thesis that the Bible is far more graphic and provocative than most people think. However, this does not provide an open door for the prospective reviewer to watch any type of movie.
Godawa forthrightly states that we should not watch any movie that causes that viewer to sin. Throughout, the book evidences a Christian perspective on viewing. By his faithful writing he shows in practice how one is to think Christianly in regard to movies. He devotes one chapter specifically to developing a Christian worldview, but in reality the entire volume is an application in Christian worldview thinking.
The author is well qualified to write this book. He is a Christian and also an award winning screenwriter. He has viewed many, many movies and is adept in bringing the worldviews of these movies to the surface in order to shine the light of Scripture on them.
Throughout the book the author points the reader to further resources that can be studied to get a firmer grasp on topics discussed in the book. Chapters conclude with “Watch and Learn” sections that further direct the reader in applying the theme of that chapter from a Christian perspective.
This is an excellent volume for adults to read. It is also a very helpful work to read with one’s children or to use in a classroom to show how to integrate Christian thinking into what our culture is producing. I believe this is an important volume for homeschool families to employ in their curriculum.
An additional benefit of this book is that it provides us better opportunities to respond evangelistically to coworkers, neighbors, etc. who regularly watch movies without viewing them from a Christian framework. In our conversations we can lovingly show that Christianity provides the only true worldview through which movies and even life itself can be properly viewed.
- Byron Snapp
Byron Snapp is a graduate of King College (B.A.) and Reformed Theological Seminary (M.Div.). He was Associate Pastor at Calvary Reformed Presbyterian Church, Hampton, Virginia, from 1994 until his retirement in December 2014. He is a native of Marion, Virginia. He has had pastorates in Leakesville, Mississippi, and Gaffney, South Carolina. He served as Assistant Pastor in Cedar Bluff, Virginia prior to his ministry at Calvary Reformed. He has served as editor of the Presbyterian Witness and was a contributor to A Comprehensive Faith and Election Day Sermons. He is currently a member of Westminster Presbytery in the PCA. He and his wife Janey have 3 children and several grandchildren.