Note: This is part of my review of books for my lists of 2012 recommended Christian worldview and apologetics gift books recommendation.
Excellent book on a Christian worldview when it comes to viewing movies, and probably the best book of its kind. It stresses that Christians must bring the Word of God to bear concerning what they are seeing. The best question that a Christian can ask in evaluating any film is what does it say about the nature of man. Does the movie promote an anthropology that is contrary to that of Scripture or does it confirm it? The author makes the point that even if what it teaches about man is contrary to what our systematic theology tells us about man, yet it still speaks truth–that man would try to supress the truth of God in righteousness. I love how he brings Romans 1 to bear in the topic of evaluating culture, in which film is an artifact of culture. The point he makes about Romans 1 goes beyond just movie watching but an analysis of other aspects and creative outflow of society in general. After an opening chapter on discernment and how to interrogate a movie which lays the ground work for the rest of the book, the author Grant Horner launches into analysis of several kinds of genre of films. If you have ever had an English literature class in which the professor is able to open your eyes and see a book you are reading at a deeper level of things you never noticed previously, you would enjoy experiencing the same epiphanies with this part of the book (it does help that Horner is an English professor at The Master’s College). His chapter on comedy discusses about the Christian view of irony–and how irony is the result of a fallen world in which the world is not the way it ought to be. Prior to this book I never thought about irony in these terms before. Horner does the same kind of analysis with scary movies as well, with a great discussion of how scary movies in light of Romans 1 is our way of managing fear that we can control–and how that helps us cope with our suppression that God is frightening for sinners. Scary movies then is our way out in order to release the valve so to speak. The author also devote a chapter on romance and most interestingly film noir. The author does not take you down a path of smut but was able to point out illustrations of Christian principles as well, and movies with bad ideology that viewers might not readily pick up. His last chapter on man and meaning of life and memory is a fitting end, in which he argues that man is trying to suppress the knowledge of God by also suppressing the memory of that suppression. As I said earlier I believe this is the best book of it’s kind. It’s filled with many observations of movies and also biblical discernment. I thoroughly recommend this book to everyone.