Doce me faces voluntarem tuam quia Deus meus es tu

Thursday, December 30, 2004
One of my Christmas presents was a hardbound copy of the Francis Schaeffer Trilogy (thanks Mom and Dad!). The volume contains the God Who Is There, Escape From Reason and He Is There and He Is Not Silent. I've yet to really get into the book, but in just skimming through I came to some pages where Schaeffer notes the films of Bergman and Fellini. (Evangelical Outpost made the same notes in this post a while back). Now while I've seen a handful of foreign films, I'll confess that I've never seen 8 1/2 or Cries and Whispers. But in my case, chalk it up to a long list of movies on the "to-view" list, not outright avoidance.

What really strikes me here is this: how many evangelicals today, even of the intellectual bent (Moreland, Mohler, etc.) have bothered to watch these films? I don't doubt that they know of them, but have they seen them or others like them? Schaeffer would not praise these works in their entirety, but I think it's clear that he at least realized the importance of engaging the art. Contrast that with today, where the cry is for family films, non-offensive music and nothing challenging in the way of visual art. The differences here are revealing. I think Schaeffer would find much in our Christian culture that he would like, but I doubt very seriously he would care for the way the evangelical world has, on the whole, engaged the world of art, film, music and literature.

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