Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Review of the movie "Amazing Grace"

I went to see the movie Amazing Grace this last weekend and it is very good. The cinematography was well done as well as the other cinematic aspects. The movie did a good job of showing the amount of desire Wilberforce had in seeking to abolish slave trading and the lack of respect for human life by those that fought to continue the slave trade. However, why does it seem there is always a however with “Christian” movies, I do think that the movie missed the true impetus of all that Wilberforce did. In the new February 24th issue of World Magazine is an article by John Piper that reflects on the true driving force behind William Wilberforce’s desire to abolish slavery and that was justification by faith alone.

The question is often raised as to what makes a movie Christian and I think that it has to be a focus on Christ, which this movie does not have. I am anxious to hear what believers and non-believers say about this movie as I am guessing that the non-believer will see one man’s desire for righting wrong and they may even see faith coming into play in some manner. However the faith they will see is not portrayed as not of being in Christ. The God displayed in the movie is nebulous enough to not offend so even if the non-believer sees Wilberforce’s faith as being in God it will be in such a way as not to create an issue in people’s hearts and minds.

The movie does mention Christ once when they repeat the famous line from John Newton: “I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Saviour.” This is not enough to make a movie “Christian” but it might be a start.

This all said I highly recommend this movie and along with his movie I recommend reading about Wilberforce and being ready to answer questions you may get about this movie. I would even say this movie may allow you to talk to other Christians about the importance of doctrine because it was doctrine that drove Wilberforce to do what he did and not simply some “feeling” he had. Above all things I would hope this movie drives believers to seek to see how their faith actually interacts with their lives and if it does not then they would sit down and reflect as to why.

As far as books here are some I recommend.

Roots of Endurance by John Piper
Amazing Grace in the life of William Wilberforce by John Piper (free PDF online)
A Practical View of Christianity by William Wilberforce
Wilberforce by John Pollock (this is out of print but I found that it is going back into print in England so I am trying to find where it may be gotten in the US.

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