Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Fox Faith and today's Christian movies

Christianity Today online has a new article today about Fox Faith, the movie production company Fox began to target the Christian niche. It's no secret how I feel about ventures such as this, and I'm not alone. Here's a past CT commentary about Biola's Media Conference, with comments from all sides of the issue.
Several issues are at play here. First, there's the question of art. We've dealt with that a lot in this blog--see the "Christian Art" blog and a bunch of others here... In summary, I love art, I think Christians ought to be doing art, and they ought to be doing it well. I don't like art that is mediocre (or just bad) in the name of "evangelism"--what I often call propaganda art.
Second, there is the question of entertainment. This is a trickier question for believers. Is entertainment a valid reason for doing something? Our culture is so hooked on entertainment, would avoiding pop entertainment choices be a valid counter-cultural movement for us? I personally don't think so, it sounds too much like the fundamentalists who don't "dance, drink or chew, or go with girls who do." But there is no doubt that entertainment shapes our world significantly here in the US, and rather than give up entertainment altogether or do the hard work of figuring out where the good entertainment is, we would rather create the bubbled sub-culture that is "safe and fun for the whole family" and that way we can "escape" the dirty entertainment of the world and still feel good about ourselves. And does "entertainment" need the same standards of quality applied to it as "art" does?
Finally there is the question of money. Fox Faith (and others) have recognized that there are fewer and fewer Christians opting out of entertainment, and more and more that are willing to give up being "in" the world in order to live in the bubble. To be fair, I have no doubt that there are folks at Fox Faith that really want to produce quality art and entertainment. But I also think that major companies would not be jumping into such ventures if they didn't now believe there is a good chance to turn the profit they want, and there are some people who are there only to turn that profit. Believers need to be careful that in creating a "safe" bubble for "Christian" art that we don't create a whole generation of entertainment-addicted Christians, even if that entertainment is "safe and fun for the whole family."

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