Renewed Mind Movie Talk

Renewed Mind Movie Talk

For a while now, I’ve wanted to do something that would help Christians get a better sense of how to approach film and literature. I fear that the effects of the “culture wars” of the 80s still linger, and Christians too often think about movies as just tools of moral education or propaganda, and therefore only watch things that are “safe” (like Star Wars and Marvel movies) or things that explicitly reinforce their values (like the God’s Not Dead series).

I think this is a mistake, for a number of reasons. Not only do the “safe” movies rarely operate according to sound doctrine, but treating art as a mere training tool strips it of its human element.

To this end, I’ve started a video essay / lecture series titled “Renewed Mind Movie Talk.” Every Tuesday, I’ll post a new video in which I unpack the worldview of a film (or, occasionally, a tv show or comic book), and put it into conversation with Christian theology.

I’ll do this, not with the goal of sanctifying the film, but rather to help uncover the real human desires or beliefs expressed in the movie, and then think about how Christianity responds to these same longings or convictions. I hope that this series will teach Christians how to recognize the human in popular art, and how to care for that humanity in light of the gospel.

My first video addresses the morality of 2008’s Iron Man, and relates it to Christian morality, as expressed in Ephesians 2:1-10. I hope you enjoy, shoddy production values and all.

5 thoughts on “Renewed Mind Movie Talk

  1. Nice video! I liked the idea of questioning our perspective of goodness and morality. It had never occurred to me that the majority of the goodness Ironman did was based on what was good for him (so we assume if it’s good for him, it must be good for everyone else). Good work in putting this together!

    Like

    1. Thanks man!

      I find that this is a fairly common thing in superhero stories — the heroes tend to spend most of their time fighting other super people, and not so much saving the day. It’s kind of a byproduct of “shared universe” storytelling, and deconstructionist stories like Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns have shown us how fraught the rescue narrative can be anyway, but it still struck me as significant in Iron Man.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, and one of the things that I like about this new video series of yours is that I have a feeling it’s going to discourage me from just mindlessly escaping through a superhero film (at least without first thinking about what the fight is about!)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I absolutely love this! This is a fantastic idea. I really enjoyed the video and how you connect dots while also separating the differences between morality and goodness in the Bible from that of the movie. Very cool idea and very relevant approach to the subject of morality with contemporary examples. Looking forward to these now!

    Liked by 1 person

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