Son Of God - Movie

Amy and I went to see the “Son Of God” movie tonight. I went in with the hopes and expectations because of friends reports and internet conversations. I came away with mixed feelings. On the one hand Roma Downey has a knack for telling a story. She seems always to reach for the heart and pull on the emotions. To her credit, there is no story ever told more emotional than the story of Jesus, and she played the emotional aspect of the story well. The story of Jesus' compassion and love, even when faced with immeasurable opposition, was told eloquently and clearly.
If a viewer was looking for Biblical accuracy you will be sorely disappointed. So many scenes held only a hint of the truth of the text. The lines of the characters where 'dumb-ed down' to the point of near foolishness.
Even worse, there were obvious opportunities to tell a beautiful story and she missed the opportunity. For example, the name of the move is “Son Of God”, in the Biblical story, at the crucifixion, a Roman centurion made a bold statement - “Truly this was the Son Of God!” Why was this omitted? This was not only a 'proof' of the deity of Jesus by the witness and statement of a ranking Roman officer, but it would have solidified the purpose of the movie! Another example, when Jesus returned to the twelve after his resurrection, in the movie, Thomas makes the statement “It really is you!” What? Really? How could the script have been left so elementary? The book of John clearly emphasizes this statement in the upper room - “My Lord and my God!”. Thomas makes a radical statement of faith and confirms, once again, the deity of Christ. Why would the script eliminate this opportunity to proclaim that Jesus is not only a prophet, a teacher, but He is the Son of God! (by the way, the Bible says “the doors were locked”, but in the movie the door was wide open).
There were so many moments in the movie I just shook my head and wondered, why did they miss the richness of that moment? Why would they say it that way when the truth of accuracy says it with such depth and meaning.
The movie was supposedly told from John's perspective yet the entire book of John was written to prove that Jesus was the Son of God. This was John's passion and purpose; “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”
Having said all that I could go on for many pages ridiculing and nitpicking the entire movie. However, amongst the flaws, inaccuracies, and outright omissions, I struggle with the fact that we live in a generation of Biblically illiterate people, myself as no exception. I wonder to myself, what would Charles Spurgeon or DL Moody have thought of the movie? I fear their criticism would have been far more harsh than mine. Yet, the question begs, did Roma Downey bring the story of Jesus to the people? Will the un-churched and juveniles of the text find the 'Son Of God' within the story that was told on the big screen? Can the inaccuracies be forgiven for the sake of the furtherance of the Gospel? I struggle with the answer to that question. I think so often that the church no longer speaks the language of our culture. We have, once again, like in the dark ages, reserved the absolute theological truth for the academically educated and experienced parishioners. The truth, beauty, and astounding grandeur of the Bible is as relevant and specific today as it was to John when he wrote it. John wrote to the people, not to the upper class and pharisees. Are we communicating to the people? Yes, the same Bible, but do we tell the story? Do we teach repentance before a Holy God, or do we just tell them to be good? Who decides what is good? Do we stand on the absolute perfection of the Word of God, or do we water it down with emotional stories? Do we adequately tell the story of the Son Of God?
What do you think? Did you watch the movie? Does it tell the story of Jesus? Will people walk out of the theater with a heart ripe for repentance? Will they meet Jesus on the big screen? Is is satisfactory that Hollywood is even making the attempt? Is there harm done by the artistic license of inaccuracy?
I would like to know your opinion. I would like to hear your thoughts. Not just about the movie, but your thoughts about our success in communicating the story of the Son Of God to a generation that doesn't know Abraham from Timothy.
- please comment below
Dave

Comments Welcome