Gary interviews Dr. Ted Baehr about movies and his current work, as well as his own personal history with the film industry.
Most evangelicals tend to think in “words.” This is certainly understandable because of the Protestant focus on the Bible as the sole authority (sola Scriptura) and the Lutheran concept of the “priesthood of all believers.” When this is applied to storytelling and film, this primary focus on word over image ends up killing the spirit of the message in favor of trying too hard to make sure the message is clearly heard. Dr. Thom Parham puts it this way:
Film excels at metaphor—forging a connection between dissimilar objects or themes. It doesn’t fare as well with text messaging. Show, don’t tell, is the rule of cinema. Christians, however, can’t seem to resist the prospect of using film as a high-tech flannel board. The result is more akin to propaganda than art, and propaganda has a nasty habit of hardening hearts.
In other words, when Christians think about story and movies they invariably look for ways to present the Gospel in clear and uncertain ways. For them, the end determines the means and the finished product usually suffers as a result, coming across as lifeless and artificial.
Movies are a self-contained world. The writers and producers make the rules and the circumstances for the worlds they create. Most often though, films use the assumed order of the natural world and don’t attempt to re-write reality for the viewer. Films either reinforce the real world or they rebel against it. Either way, they provide a great way to think through worldview issues and their consequences.
Using Classic Films to Teach the Christian Worldview
Classic movies are often heavily dialogue-based, which provides a necessary counterpoint to the visually stimulating and soundbite-driven modern method of moviemaking. Real life is about real conversations, and classic movies provide a great virtual training ground for thinking and living in the real world of ideas and consequences. Also includes illustrated PDF ebook that helps to reinforce and explain the concepts discussed in the lecture.Buy Now
Gary interviews Dr. Ted Baehr about movies and his current work, as well as his own personal history with the film industry. Ted’s company reviews and critiques nearly every movie that is released in light of the Christian worldview.
 Thom Parham, “Why Do Heathens Make the Best Christian Films?” essay found in: Spencer Lewerenz and Barbara Nicolosi (editors), Behind the Screen: Hollywood Insiders on Faith, Film, and Culture (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2005), 57.