Jonathan holds an M.A. in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary and a B.A. in History from Seattle Pacific University. He is currently a Ph.D. student in theology at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. Jonathan’s interests include history, film, urban ministry and Bonhoeffer studies. He is also a screenwriter with a current film, “The Hearts of Men,” in production for a 2015 release. He and his wife, Amy, have two children.
Today, many wonder if filmmaking might be the best means for Christians to slip past resistant minds in a guarded culture.
Yet, unfortunately, Christian filmmaking often connotes films that are clichéd, preachy or artistically substandard—or, worse, simply do not ring true.
While some Christians claim that the lack of quality is due solely to budget constraints, what if there is a deeper issue at play? What if part of the problem is that we are simply unable to trust that an excellent story or parable could still stir persons’ hearts without needing to explicitly explain or defend Christian truths or values?
When Jesus told parables, He seemed to trust His Father to further stir the hearts of “those who had ears to hear.” Today, in filmmaking, can we likewise trust God to take stories that we have committed to Him and to continue to work in the hearts of those who have “ears to hear” long after the credits have rolled? Is it possible that Christians films could actually sparkle with both an imagination and an authenticity that would entice even the most “watchful dragons” to pursue the spirit at the center of such a narrative?
If Christians began to make films that more closely resembled the stories of Tolkien, Lewis and, most importantly, Jesus, where might such a wildly creative narrative approach take us? What might our films begin to look like? What are your hopes for Christian films in the world of tomorrow?
Let’s dream together!
Just joining us? Read The Power of Parables for a Watchful World – Part 1