« Glee | Main | A Perfect Church »

02 March 2010

Comments

ED... (who blogs at Sincere Ignorance and Conscientious Stupidity)

I wasn't that taken with the effects, either...

Ali

why does his defence sound like the guy who votes BNP and claims "i'm not a racist, i even have a black friend!"

bad case of literalism being read into a parable!

fr dougal

What a balloon - he's doubtless wanting to ban Aesop's fables and thinks the Da Vinci Code is a documentary. IT - IS-A-STORY STOOPID!

Billy

Let me be the first to accuse him - he's a fundamentalist! Christianity is also full of pagan beliefs.
If he has a problem with the popularity of this film, perhaps he should ask why christianityTM does not satisfy instead of blaming the devil for the skill of graphic designers.
What was your reason for posting this?
Do you agree with it?

lynn

this is another reason why I dont watch Mark Driscoll.
Plus I'm not that good at doing dishes.

GadgetVicar

I enjoyed the film.

Driscoll's piece reminds us of the power of the preacher to get it wrong, or to rant, or to fixate on single issues. I'm all for analysing culture - trouble is it can steal any joy in the thing. Most folk seeing Avatar will not analyse it at any level (they'll just enjoy it as they munch their popcorn), and Christians watching it are very unlikely to turn to Buddhism or paganism as a result.

Driscoll has got himself into trouble before when he has spoken badly of other people (and had to publicly apologise). He has a bit of a potty mouth in the pulpit, which might get him a name as being down to earth, but is never really necessary.

Pastors of every theological flavour should be careful not to peddle their interpretation of cultural events as the Gospel and be sure of the ground on which they stand, otherwise it's just opinion or a review.

Driscoll is at his best when he is expositing Scripture. You might not agree with all he preaches (on the role of women for example), but he's a gifted communicator who has grown a church from nothing to 5000. Not many of us will get to do that. With great power comes great responsibility (to get it right). Sometimes leaders get it wrong...........

Coxy

"With great power comes great responsibility..."

If I'm not mistaken Dumbledore says that to Harry in one of the excellent HP stories. I wonder what Driscoll makes of the Potter stories.

I would have to say, although I haven't seen the film, that I'd be tempted to agree with dougal but will reserve final comment until I have (although I'm in no hurry to!).

 ryan

>>>With great power comes great responsibility..."

This, famously, is Spider-Man' motto and has been for DECADES!! Am unsurprised that the Harry Potter folks ripped it off.

ryan

>>"With great power comes great responsibility..."

This, famously, is Spider-Man's motto and has been for decades. Unsurprising that the makers of Harry Potter rubbish ripped it off.

>>>ut he's a gifted communicator who has grown a church from nothing to 5000.

By appealing to their worst instincts, in the same way that a Republican presidential nominee coming out on an aggressive pro-war footing will automatically garner support. Amusing to see Christians bemoaning the success of Avatar whilst , apparently, taking bums-on-seats as the criteria by which to judge the Church's success.

GadgetVicar

How do you know he's appealed to their worst instincts? Could you be making a rash assumption in order to back up some prejudice?

Oh come on, Ryan. Of course numbers matter. We're to go and make disciples. When we don't, we fail. Simple as. Not rocket science. I don't subscribe to the idea that success for the Church shouldn't be measured by numbers.
"And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." Acts 2:47b

Sure, personal growth is an important measure of success too, but it's linked to numerical growth too.

ryan

>>Oh come on, Ryan. Of course numbers matter. We're to go and make disciples. When we don't, we fail. Simple as. Not rocket science. I don't subscribe to the idea that success for the Church shouldn't be measured by numbers.
"And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." Acts 2:47b

How does this square with your view that (at heart) liberalism in the church was the result of an appeal to a feminist,pro-gay culture? Wouldn't that suggest that if (say) the attendance at liberal churches DID grow then that would be a spiritual validation? Also, 'add to their number daily' most logically denotes 'normal' church growth - not some kind of 'proof' of their favour in God's eyes. It's hardly , looked at dispassionately, a 'the bigger the church the better it is in God's eyes' passage.And that's aside from the (inherent) dangers of proof-texting - no doubt Mark Driscoll and the like would love to have the impact (and - albeit posthumous - fame and glory) of the Apostles, but that's not necessarily a point in their favour. And that's aside from the question of whether getting more people who meet a particular BRAND of Christianity (c.f. Alpha's success with middle class and up types) is more like crafty recruitment-drive marketing than fishing for men. And you can argue that church growth is important without implying a kind of spiritual scale that 'proves' that the churches of Rick Warren Mark Driscoll are somehow succeeding at a necessary christian act that others are failing at!

>>How do you know he's appealed to their worst instincts? Could you be making a rash assumption in order to back up some prejudice?

Prejudice is judging without facts. You may disagree with what I call 'worst instincts' but I'd argue that fundamentalism,prosperity gospel, Neocons-at-prayer very much do appeal to them. YMMV.

GadgetVicar

I don't know what makes liberal churches appealing. I certainly wouldn't suggest it's as simple as what you have described (aren't you putting words in my mouth?). If they grow it might be because they put on a good show, or attract a certain clientele or a myriad of other reasons. Good numbers can be produced by all sorts of things.

My concern is to see people coming to transforming faith in Christ. As far as I know, much of the growth at Mars Hill Church has come from non-churched people coming to faith. That matters, not to me, but to the Lord. I'm pragmatic enough to ask, "What is working there that I might learn from?" That requires me to stop being a cynical so-and-so.

Ali

its not a bad film Coxy, and worth seeing, the storyline is ok, the graphics amazing. I just hate superficial analysis of movies, and this has got to be one of the most superficial misrepresentations I've seen in a long time.

lynn

http://www.facebook.com/jasonpaulclark?ref=ts#!/notes/jason-clark/is-mark-driscoll-right-is-avatar-the-most-satanic-movie-ever/331932807985

not sure if this will come out on your blog but it's a fantastic Christian perspective.

ryan

I'm not going to slog through past sermons (not least as the references to MOI! probably get edited out by the usual suspects!) but have you really *never* claimed that liberal churches have compromised the gospel in a bid to fill the pews? Identifying this dynamic is not the same thing as refuting liberal theology per se. Sorry if I implied that the above point was the extent of your engagement with it! Afterall, you did read +Gene Robinson's memoir... ;-)

>My concern is to see people coming to transforming faith in Christ. As far as I know, much of the growth at Mars Hill Church has come from non-churched people coming to faith

Yes, but the US is arguably more culturally Christian than parts of the UK - is it over 50% who claim to believe in (an inevitably Judeo-Christian) God? Of course, the history of the abuses of the Religious Right are one reason why I'm less...enthuiastic..about the 'success' of evangelical churches(Jesus, apparently, doesn't care about the poor but blesses those who persecute gays with bountiful guns and millionaire tax breaks). The size of such churches - or the yields of Alpha-style recruitment are about as miraculous as W11 residents voting for David Cameron. It's curious that evangelical/fundamentalist types - who are spiritually rigorous fans of sheep/goats saved/hellbound dichotomies - put such an emphasis on numbers. I don't think I've ever criticised US evangelicalism success as a money-making racket. And , apropos nothing, there's a billion Catholics in the world. Curious (or not) that more prosperity gospel types don't follow their logic to its logical , Roman, end. Could it perhaps be that they prefer Christianity that makes them feel good about themselves (c.f. the use of "life in all its fullness" passages to justify piggy consumerism)and rock show worship to the genuine humility - and discipleship - that flow, like water, from sacramentalism?

Graham C

I don't post here often, just taking a break from studies. I haven't seen Avatar (must be the only one) but I don't think you can discount what he says just because people watch films for entertainment:

While yes most people enjoy a movie and don't critique it in the same way. This does not mean that the themes/plot of the movie wash over them without making an impact.

Movies are very similar to other media's such as literature which does influence people. I was listening today to a radio 4 show about sexuality in literature post 1950 looking at the link between what people read (and saw) for enjoyment and how it influenced the culture of the day.

Writers are often credited with leading a generation in new forms of thinking. It's not a big step (or an incorrect one) to take the same view with Films or Gaming. On the other side, one could say that media's reflects the mood of the culture. Similarly then, films could represent what people are thinking at the time.

Therefore, I think it is valid to look past the special effects and discuss the underlying messages of films, including big blockbusters.

After reading number of reviews about Avatar it seems that the film (to many observers) pushes a "save the planet" or "hug the trees" belief a fair bit. Paganism is often built on the worship of mother nature and if Avatar pushes that view ie. mother nature is to be worshipped, then that is paganism.

The discussion is then: "Does avatars theme/plot etc. promote paganism." And/Or "Is the plot a symptom of the underlying feeling within culture ie. that we can find spiritual fulfilment by being at one with nature"(Rather long questions).

Without seeing the film I am not able to answer that but it is a valid discussion.


PS. Even if it is pro paganism this doesn't mean Christians shouldn't watch it and enjoy, it a personal choice! Just as going to the Pub is fine if you are able to control your drink.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

GadgetVicar serves with: