Courageous, the newest Christian film

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Andres, Sep 29, 2011.

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  1. Andres

    Andres Puritan Board Doctor

    Here is a trailer for the newest Christian film, Courageous. It opens in theaters tomorrow.


    What are your thought on this friends? I know most of us haven't seen the entire film at this point, but based on the trailer, I hate to say it, but it seems so cheesy to me. It's from the creators of Fireproof. I saw that movie and I thought it was pretty lame. Bad acting. Predictable. I expect much of the same with this movie. Am I being overly critical? Should we be more supportive of films like this so that Hollywood will be encouraged to produce similar movies? I mean at least it's clean and has a positive message, right?

    Here are some issues I potentially see with the film: does it present the true gospel or a watered down moralistic version where Christ died to make us better parents? Also, do we really expect non-Christians will go see this? I don't know if it's supposed to be evangelistic or what it's purpose is really, but it seems to me that only those who are already Christians are going to have any interest in the film. Or perhaps it's just entertainment and I'm reading way too much into this? Okay, your turn...go.
  2. AThornquist

    AThornquist Puritan Board Doctor

    I hope it is surprisingly successful so that it shocks Hollywood and gives incentive for there to be further production of films that aren't filled with immoral garbage. During our prayer meeting last Lord's Day my church prayed that it would be used to God's glory. I hope it is. If that means that only one unbeliever sees it, may the Lord make good of it. As to quality and the Gospel presentation, we'll just need to wait before any judgment is made.
  3. Andres

    Andres Puritan Board Doctor

    So Andrew, would you say that all Christians should automatically go see it, simply because it's a "Christian" film? I'm not saying that's necessarily a bad thing, I'm just wondering how we should judge/support the arts. I mean we don't blindly support other arts simply because they're Christian do we? Or is the difference that Hollywood is generally viewed as so corrupt that this is a nice change of pace?
  4. AThornquist

    AThornquist Puritan Board Doctor

    Although I did snicker at the 14-19 second mark as cop action was underway. It is quite Hollywoodified, but that would be the case whether the movie is religious or secular.

    ---------- Post added at 08:36 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:32 PM ----------

    I would say that the Christians who want to see it might as well see it. The fact that there isn't a danger of sitting in the movie and fearing that the f-bomb will drop or that the Lord's name will be used vainly is very relieving, and if one feels compelled to check out the movie because of the honorable standards, then go for it.

    ---------- Post added at 09:03 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:36 PM ----------

    A solid brother gave his review on Facebook just now:

    "Finished watching the movie Courageous. I was deeply moved. While I am sure that evangelical artsy-fartsy reviewers will skewer this film, every Christian father should watch this movie. May Christ use this movie to challenge fathers to be the men He has called us to be!"
  5. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Movies work best when they give their message in parable form rather than in preaching form. But for some reason, evangelicals and evangelical filmmakers don't seem to get this. Unless it directly and obviously preaches, a movie doesn't feel "Christian" enough to many evangelicals. As a result, they make and celebrate inferior movies that, counter-intuitively, speak less powerfully than they could if they were less preachy.

    It probably isn't fair to label this one in that vein without having seen it. I hope it's better than that. And I applaud the making of any film with a godly message. But the trailer makes me fear it'll have that same, now-familiar shortcoming.
  6. jogri17

    jogri17 Puritan Board Junior

    Some of the most Beautiful ''christian'' media I've seen are secuar T.V. Shows. The twilight zone, for example, is an excellent way of using the 3rd use of the Law to preach morality in a nuanced way that entertains people, and creates critical thinking.
  7. Weston Stoler

    Weston Stoler Puritan Board Sophomore

    The problem with me and these movies is because of the unusual bad acting I can never get into the movies. It is fueled on christian participation and that wins no non-christians to christ. Facing the giants was laughed all the way through when I watched it in high school a few years ago. Not because we laughed at the jokes but because of the bad acting. No one was impacted. It was a joke.
  8. Bill The Baptist

    Bill The Baptist Puritan Board Senior

    What I hate is all the commercialism associated with the movie. Walk in to a Lifeway or other Christian bookstore and you will be inundated with Courageous T-shirts, coffee mugs, posters, pledges to hang on your wall, buttons, pens, books, bible studies, and of course the DVD itself (when it comes out).
  9. J. Dean

    J. Dean Puritan Board Junior

    Instead of making "Christian" art, we need Christians making art. We need people making art, be it music, movies, painting, literature, etc., with a Christian influence, instead of simply trying to take a sermon point and fitting a movie plot around it.

    I point to C.S. Lewis on this matter. Lewis wrote stories that were good because they were good stories. Yes, there is certainly Christian influence on the stories, but Lewis' primary point was not to hit the reader over the head with a sermon and then throw little plotlines here and there into the books. What he did was first craft a good story, and then weave nuanced theology into the work. Big difference between the two.

    To be honest, entertainment is a poor venue for straight theology, simply because entertainment is not meant to engage the mind in a meaningful way. At best, it engages the emotions and elicits temporary responses. At worst, it loses the message in the tumult of the medium. With all due respect to people who make movies like Courageous, Fireproof, and Facing the Giants, wrapping theology in a thin packaging of entertainment only brings about a mediocre product which garners an audience of people who already know the intended message, while the world simply scoffs as us, and does so for the wrong reasons.

    We need Miltons. We need Lewises. We need Christians who create art for the sake of art, who enhance that art with good theology, rather than turn out terrible art because they're so concerned with the theology that they sacrifice the artistic vehicle in which that point is delivered. If you're going to communicate Christianity through art, you need to place importance on the art; otherwise you lose a good message in a shoddy product.
  10. Jeffriesw

    Jeffriesw Puritan Board Freshman

    I seen it last spring in a private screening here in Tampa, 2 of my friends are in the movie. I thought it had a good message and the acting seemed to be quite a bit better than the typical "christian movie" offering.
  11. Zach

    Zach Puritan Board Junior

  12. Andres

    Andres Puritan Board Doctor

    Excellent thoughts Mr. Dean! You have articulated what I had rolling around in my head far better than I could have. Thank you sir.
  13. Pilgrim Standard

    Pilgrim Standard Puritan Board Sophomore

  14. Stargazer65

    Stargazer65 Puritan Board Freshman

    I guess my standards are lower. Flywheel, Fireproof, I like them all.:eek: I'll probably like this one.

    I'm just a sucker for all these "A Scrooge's heart gets changed" type of sappy movies. If it says Hallmark Hall of Fame, my wife and I are probably watching it. :hug: It doesn't matter to me whether the acting or production is good.

    I thought the gospel presentation in fireproof was not too bad.
  15. he beholds

    he beholds Puritan Board Doctor

    The trailer didn't look cheesy to me, actually. I would watch this--and I watch Rated-R movies, so it's not because I only like "Christian" movies. Though it will be nice to see a movie and not have to close my eyes and hum so I can't see or hear the gross or scary parts.
  16. Tripel

    Tripel Puritan Board Senior

    It doesn't interest me. That is partly because I saw Facing the Giants and disliked it so much.

    Great thoughts by Jack and J Dean.

    I don't want a movie to preach to me. I want it to force me to connect some of the dots myself.
    And I especially don't want to watch a movie that has everything turn out great for the Christians. I was very disappointed with the message in Facing the Giants, a message that those who commit themselves fully to the Lord will have everything turn out well.
    I haven't seen Courageous so I can't say with certainty how it ends. I just imagine it's going to be sappy.
  17. SolaScriptura

    SolaScriptura Puritanboard Softy

    Nah, Christians shouldn't make movies that try to be either encouraging to believers or illuminate the gospel to pagans. Instead we should poke fun at the non-Hollywood production value of Christian films just as we mock many foreign films and other indie projects for their relatively low budget productions.
    Further, we should not watch the "questionable theology and alltogether lameness" presented by Christian films (or Christian music for that matter), and instead we should just dive headfirst into the enjoyment of overtly and distinctly non-Christian movies (and music) because of their superior message production value culminating in an altogether sublime entertainment experience.
    Finally, we should speak about operating morally within the tastes and dictates of a godless industry (i.e., "don't make Christian movies... just make "good movies")
    and appeal to folks like Lewis, forgetting the fact that his fictional books never really made much of a splash in the larger pagan culture and instead were staples within Christian circles.

    So, let's not waste our time with this drivel and instead lets line up to watch a movie with better production value where we can watch people degrade themselves and violate as many of the commandments in 90 minutes as is humanly possible.
  18. Mindaboo

    Mindaboo Puritan Board Graduate

    I won't be going to see it, but it's more because I am not a movie goer. However if my kids were wanting to go see a movie and they asked me which movie I'd rather have them spend their money on, I'd say Courageous over a secular movie.

    I watched Facing the Giants and Fireproof with all of my kids. Yeah, it's bad acting, but I'd rather have them watching something that promotes Christ than the goofy shows on the Disney Channel. I thought Facing the Giants was okay. I didn't like the idea that it all turned out great because of their faith. But there were some good points too. The coach prayed and he stood firm even when he was dealing with discouragement. I did like Fireproof. I thought it had some bad acting as well, but I thought the overall message was good. I don't like all of the books that are sold with the movies. It drove me crazy when I'd walk into the Christian bookstore and find the "Love Dare" book from wall to wall. I didn't think these movies teaching was terrible. Like I said I'd rather watch these "low budget" movies and support them than the movies that mock God by using His name in vain every five seconds and that promote sexual immorality.

    But, that is just my opinion. Andrew I'll still be your friend if you don't agree with me. If I can overlook the fact that you are a Dallas fan I can certainly overlook our difference in movie watching. ;)
  19. Phil D.

    Phil D. Puritan Board Sophomore

    Ben, thank you for saying what I was thinking, yet expressing it much more effectively than I ever could have. :up:
  20. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Supposedly 120 million copies of the The Chronicles of Narnia have been sold, which puts Lewis ahead of The Hardy Boys and Winnie the Pooh in terms of series sales. I think it would be difficult to do that without more than a few unbelievers picking one up from time to time.
  21. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    You know the existence of those goggles is classified information, and that field-testing has turned up a 1.5% incidence rate of false positives. But what you are failing to consider is that since the regenerate are unfailingly generous those 120 million (- 1.5%) have each loaned their set to other people, which explains why I have both had arguments with, and witnessed arguments among unbelievers about the Chronicles.
  22. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    You know every time we go down this road I ultimately triumph by citing "A lean on the shoe this means slips slips hers" so let's take that as cited and prevent the calloohing.
  23. Weston Stoler

    Weston Stoler Puritan Board Sophomore

    You receive my first chuckle of the day sir!
  24. LawrenceU

    LawrenceU Puritan Board Doctor

    Spot on, Ben! Spot on.
  25. au5t1n

    au5t1n Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    How do we know it's meant to be evangelistic? From the trailer it looks like it might be convicting to believers about being more diligent fathers. Yes, the trailer was cheesy. I probably will never see this movie (busy engineering student without a TV), but it could be fine.
  26. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Sadly no, I am incapable of that.
  27. Andres

    Andres Puritan Board Doctor

    I see your point Ben, but your above line of reasoning is illogical. We don't only have a choice between a Christian film or the godless, perverse, secular film. I don't think anyone on this board would say Christians should watch the latter, but there are plenty of films which fall somewhere in between. I seem to enjoy those films the most.
  28. au5t1n

    au5t1n Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Right. I feel the same way about music. As a psalm-singer I don't have much use for CCM worship songs on Christian radio stations. Is my only alternative secular songs which promote godless values? No. There is also good music with wholesome lyrical content that reflects all aspects of life (not just an evangelistic or special worship tool). The best of this kind ought to be made by Christians. Likewise a movie shouldn't always have to be an evangelical sermon to be set apart from the drivel that proceeds from Hollywood. But as I said above, as far as I can tell, this movie might have value for some believing dads whether unbelievers watch it or not.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011
  29. Andres

    Andres Puritan Board Doctor

    Glad we can still be friends on this one. Actually, I'm not in disagreement with you (although I do watch the Disney Channel). I'd like to see this film, just to see what it's all about. I won't go the theatre though; I'll wait for the DVD. That's what I did with Fireproof. I kinda forgot about Facing the Giants, but maybe I'll try to track that one down too.
  30. SolaScriptura

    SolaScriptura Puritanboard Softy

    1. I believe that Christians need the Gospel preached to them regularly lest we forget and begin trusting in ourselves or thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought. The epistles are full of Gospel presentations to churches. Plus I happen to accept the notion that there are unregenerate folks in the pews and on the membership rolls of churches. Therefore, I am not opposed to evangelistically themed productions directed towards the "church crowd."

    2. I believe with all my heart that if you look for messages in wordly movies that actually promote truth, goodness, and justice without glorifying sin in some manner then you will have a very very short list. The collective forces of our culture conspire against that which is true and honorable and excellent. The world, more often than not, calls "good" evil, and "evil" good. Thus whenever a Christian or group of Christians tries to provide an alternative that reinforces godly habits I think it is commendable and honorable.

    3. Specifically concerning the apparent theme of this movie - being a good dad - if the statistics are right then I'd say that dads in the church are in need of all the encouragement and reinforcement they can get.
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