I'm an evangelist, an author and a movie buff. I love Jesus, the Gospel and a really good movie.
Ever since I was a kid I used movies to escape the noise of my very loud, very volatile inner city family. When a Gospel-passionate, rule-heavy fundamentalist church reached my entire family for Christ I still watched movies as a way to escape the pressure of quasi-legalism.
To this day I love a good film. It's been rumored that I have even ducked out of the Dare 2 Share office for a few hours to watch a movie in the middle of the day. While I can neither confirm nor deny those rumors I believe that a high quality movie does a soul good.
And therein lies the problem with most Christian movies. Many of them would be considered good by Lifetime Channel standards but not on the big screen. Sure, Christian films are getting better, but many have a long way to go to catch up to Hollywood standards.
So how do I decide what a good movie is (apart from the moral content and worldview?) I have a simple rule of thumb: If I forget that I'm in the movie theater and get caught up in the story for two hours or so then it was a great movie. If I keep looking at my watch then it was either mediocre or flat out lame.
Last night when my wife and I came to an early preview of The Case for Christ movie we had high, but hesitant, hopes. Far too often we have seen a trailer for an upcoming Christian movie that looked pretty good, only to be disappointed when we saw the actual movie. I've often used the qualification for half-way decent Christian films, "That was pretty good for a faith based film."
No such qualification was necessary for The Case for Christ. It was well written and superbly acted. It triggered both cheers and tears. It was a good movie.
This film was as much of a love story and a mystery as it was an apologetic for the Christian faith. It was equally relational and relentless. It kept you locked in right up until the climactic and emotional finale.
I can't think of a movie better suited for you and your spouse to invite an unreached couple out to enjoy than this one. Afterward you can unpack the powerful message of the movie together. I call it a "popcorn and coffee double date." Invite a couple out for a movie night, buy them tickets and popcorn and enjoy the movie together. Then take them out for coffee afterwards and ask, "What did you think about the message of the movie?" From there just let the conversation flow.
My wife and I are already planning our popcorn and coffee double date night. The movie's ending provides a natural and emotionally engaging way to continue the conversation afterward.
If you're a pastor, rent a theater and give free tickets to every one of your church members who are willing to bring another couple. If you're a youth leader bring your youth group and use it as a powerful discussion starter with all the unreached friends they bring.
This movie releases on April 7th so get cracking people. Go here for more information. And pray with me that millions are reached through this very unique and very engaging movie.
Trust me, you won't be checking your watch.