Some reading material for the eager mind and the hungry soul.
Even though this isn’t an article, I highly recommend that you watch this episode of Book TV on C-Span where Rod Dreher discusses his book, The Benedict Option.
“Rod Dreher talked about his book The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation, in which he argues that American Christians should look to St. Benedict, a sixth-century monk, for ideas on how to reverse the spiritual crisis in the country today. Mr. Dreher then participated in a panel discussion on the topic.”
“And so it seems as good a time as any to evaluate: in their current state, is this flood of Christian films a good trend?
My answer is simple: no. I know it can seem petty to pick on Christian films, but they have become a noteworthy representation of Christianity. Every conversation I have with a non-Christian requires dealing with their perceptions of me as a Christian, which more often than not means dealing with the Republican Party, televangelists, and Christian media. The issue of representation aside, the problems in Christian films must be addressed, because they are not just issues of technique or stylistic preferences. They are issues of integrity.
There are currently two primary problems with Christian films: (1) they are either inherently dishonest and/or (2) they are primarily concerned with what C. S. Lewis called “egoistic castle-building.” Note: discussing both issues will require me to generalize about Christian films at large, so there will be (I hope) some exceptions. But I believe the trends discussed here are self-evidently true for a great majority of the Christian film genre.”
“We are like Jesus? Unfortunately, this gets translated into the thin ethical framework of W.W.J.D. (What would Jesus do?) It gets framed as a behavioral management approach. Jesus cared for the poor so we should care for the poor. Jesus loved his enemies so we should love our enemies. While these propositions are true, they miss the bigger point. To be “like Jesus” in this world means to be a frail, weak and profoundly limited human being who is filled “to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (see Ephesians 3:14-20) This is not about becoming a superhero. This is what it means to become a saint—a “holy one.”
“The Kingdom of God, then, has downward momentum and overlaps with the principalities of the present age. This “already-but-not-yet” perspective means that Christians operate as those who see and participate in the new creation even in the midst of the tumult around us.”