The film industry’s recent releases of “God’s Not Dead,” “Son of God,” and “Noah” are bringing the Bible to markets and courting both controversy and praise.
Although biblical themes have always been prominent in literary works and theatrical performances, this is the first time in memory that so many Bible-based films have been released in only a few months. For example, the film “Noah” is based on the story from the book that Jews call the Torah and Christians call the Old Testament.
Regarding what the recent releases might mean for the Christian faith, Los Angeles Korean United Methodist Church Youth Pastor Won Seok Yuh told JSR, “I think such films with religious or Christian themes could be helpful in reimagining and engaging people about their faith and beliefs, but every film may need a religious leader to carry on the conversation after the viewing.”
Pastor Yuh continued, “I feel wary of the possible misinterpretations and misrepresentations of God, Christianity, the church, and the Bible.”
However, Whitney High School English teacher Bryan West believes there is potential in such movies and says, “movies can actually take biblical themes and biblical ideas and put them in a regular sort of context. People are more apt to want to listen to or watch that.”
Yet West also notes that some audiences are wary about such releases.
“All too often… a religious sort of movie immediately turns a lot of people off before they give it any sort of chance. And they’re afraid they’re going to be “preached” to in the movie, …that it’s going to be like going to church for two hours.”
Although many people are split in opinion towards Christian-based movies, the three recent releases are only an introduction to what come in the future.