Book of the Month: June 2013


This was a very good book on one level, and a very important book to me on another.

First, Meaning at the Movies was a good book because it managed something that a lot of Christian books about movies do not manage. If there is a ditch on both sides of the road, as there usually is, this book stays out of both of them. On the one hand we find the problem of an over scrupulous approach, where worldview analysis is done by cuss counts, and the thinking is about as deep as the skin that is being complained about.

The opposite error knows only one thing, and that is that of having no intention of being lumped in with that first group. The phrase Christian liberty is used as an all-purpose disinfectant, and if it has a sound track, clear thinking about it becomes immediately impossible. You don’t want to be in either ditch, but it has to be said that this ditch is dumber and dirtier than the other one.

Meaning at the Movies is a book that is not ashamed to bring foundational biblical truths to bear on the movies, and to praise or blame them accordingly. At the same time, the biblical truths that are applied are not trifles. The things that the overly pious object to are placed in their proper context — but it is not as though it is the beginning and end of the matter.

The book was important to me personally because it helped assemble a number of truths that I have known for years in a particular configuration that was much bigger than the sum of the parts. A few things clicked for me. And these truths are radical truths — the kind that affect everything. Before mentioning what those were from this book, let me illustrate what I mean by a radical truth.