Monday, March 30, 2009

Knowing Movie-Making vs. Knowing How to Treat a Woman

Doug Wilson knows that Fireproof is far from a great movie by movie-making standards. But to those Christians who will be so caught up in that fact that they will miss out on what he considers to be legitimately edifying content, he offers this insightful comment:
If I set myself to think of couples in marriages that I think would be greatly helped by watching this movie, I would run out of fingers inside of a minute. I can also think of Christians who would be offended by the schlock, but many of them would be those who know more about how a movie ought to be made than about how a woman ought to be treated. And they would rather watch a movie about a woman being abused so long as the movie was made right than to have the woman treated right in a movie that offended their refined sensibilities. So which is the altar and which is the sacrifice?
I'm all for Christians raising the bar on the art we make. I remember watching a video online once that was a satire of Rob Bell's Nooma film about "Bullhorn Guy." Besides being frustrated at how condescending the video was towards a Christian brother (one who I myself often disagree with), I remember thinking that the really ridiculous thing was how bad the production was on the satirical video as compared to how good the Bell film was. There is some truth to the phrase, "The media is the message."

That said, I am convinced that Wilson is on to something here. The question for me is simply this: how are Christians going to prioritize our disciplines? In this case the contrast is discipline in movie-making (or just watching and critiquing!) versus discipline in growing to love our wives like Christ loves the church.

And I'll gladly take more bad Christian movies over more failed Christian marriages.


Anonymous said...

I've had these exact same sentiments about the film, but this quote succinctly summarizes it perfectly.

Anonymous said...

Definitely an interesting way of looking at it. I find myself drawn to criticize movies like that because of their poor acting and poor production, and sometimes I miss the good message that is deep within the film.

I've never seen the film personally, but perhaps I should give it a chance before I critique a movie that I've never seen.