Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Six reasons to see Fireproof this weekend.

This past weekend I finally got the chance to see Fireproof with Abby and our friends Chris and Jennie West.

As the Rotten Tomatoes movie critic aggregator gave Fireproof a grade of 43%, I went into this movie with fairly low expectations; however, I left the theater raving about the movie. In this post, I'm not going to review or critique Fireproof in a traditional way (readers can read an excellent review HERE), but instead I'm going to recommend this film for the following six reasons:

1. The gospel presentation is clear. As a Christian, I long for the gospel- the good news of salvation through knowing Jesus Christ and faith in what He has done- to be proclaimed throughout the earth. Usually, I do not look for movies, the vast majority of which are made by non-Christians, to present the gospel; at best movie-makers may draw upon certain themes related to Christ and His work. But when a group of Christians get together to make a movie and part of their intention is to present the gospel, there is a concern over whether their presentation will be in accordance with biblical teaching. In Facing the Giants, a previous movie from the makers of Fireproof, I thought that the gospel presentation fell short of biblical teaching in two specific areas: a) the lack of reference to the Cross; b) the lack of any clear explanation of why we need salvation- i.e., that we have sinned against God, ignoring Him, living in defiance of Him, and we are subject to His wrath. [Read my entire review of Facing the Giants HERE.] By contrast, Fireproof was very clear in regards to both of the areas just mentioned.

2. The movie was certainly entertaining on a number of levels. Most of us go to the movies wanting to be entertained, and this movie does not disappoint in this regard. The fire-fighting sequences were suspenseful enough that I was on the edge of my seat during a couple of scenes. The comedy was funny enough that I and the others with me were laughing out loud. As a man, I do not cry during movies, but I will admit that I had to fight back tears due to some of the dramatic situations depicted on screen.

3. Marriage was honored. God holds a higher view of marriage than what we see in most movies. God's view of marriage is so high that He says, literally, "I hate divorce," in the Old Testament (Malachi 2:16) and Jesus in the New Testament forbids divorce except in cases of adultery (Matthew 19:9). Fireproof reflects God's view of marriage, showing a selfish man who wants to divorce his wife, but whose life is changed by Jesus Christ, who saves him from his sin and empowers him to fight for his marriage by expressing true, sacrificial love to his wife, despite her initial lack of forgiveness.

4. The sin of viewing Internet pornography was confronted. The makers of Fireproof are courageous in thoughtfully addressing a sin which is often hidden, but is so prevalent today and has caused devastation in so many marriages.

5. The wisdom of the elderly was honored. Main stream sources of entertainment today regularly glorify the young and despise the old. Notice, for example, how many comedians are now making jokes about Sen. McCain's age. The trials often faced by the old- the normal health problems associated with advanced age and the loss of memory- are made the subject of lame jokes on sitcoms, the old are seen as kooky and out-of-touch, and the possibility of the elderly possessing vital wisdom is ignored. In contrast to the view just described, the Bible honors the elderly. The Old Testament Law commands "You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord" (Leviticus 19:32 ESV). Job, whom God Himself describes as "blameless and upright" (Job 1:8), declared, "Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days" (Job 12:12 ESV). [For more on this issue, see Tim Challies' article, "Gray Hair is a Crown of Glory: Ageism in the Church," found HERE.] Fireproof honors the wisdom of the elderly as the main character's elderly parents are the people who introduce him to Jesus Christ and who instruct him in how to save his marriage. The wife in the movie also benefits from a conversation with an elderly co-worker.

6. You have the opportunity to help Fireproof stay in the top 10. After three weeks in theaters, Fireproof is still one of the top 10 highest grossing movies in the country. But last weekend, Fireproof did fall to the number 10 spot. If the above reasons to see this movie have been persuasive to you at all, I encourage you to not delay, but to see Fireproof this weekend (either for the first time or take some friends who haven't seen it and see it again). By keeping this movie in the top 10 an additional week, we can help movie producers to recognize the value of making movies that contain qualities such as those mentioned above.

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Blogger KBS said...

Hi Andrew! It's Karen. I hope Aunt Katherine is doing well! We are continuing to pray for both her and Uncle Rayford. Would you give Troy Mike's blog address? Thought he might enjoy... ~
AND, give Theresa a hug for me! Love y'all!!

9:34 AM  
Blogger MarieP said...

Hey, bro! I just went to see Fireproof with a couple friends from church, and we thought it was great! This is how Christian movies should be made...

Trivia: Kirk would not kiss anyone other than his wife, so in that scene he is kissing his wife but you can't tell because of the shadow. Kirk is Fireproof :-)

11:39 PM  
Blogger paul said...

Andrew, thanks for the encouragement to see the movie. My fiancee and I went last night, and I thought it was very good. The cinematography might not have had the polish of Hollywood and the drama might have been a little over-the-top at times, but I thought the film was such a great teaching tool in all the ways you mentioned so as to more than make up for that.

9:36 AM  
Blogger ridge765 said...

I have a copy of the Love Dare book from the film--have you seen that? It's probably the most relevant and powerful tool I've used in my marriage yet. We also have a copy of a "couple's kit" which is a bible study based on the movie that couples can do together; it's even got clips from the movie on DVD. I found both of these at a discount (yay!) at Hope this helps. Thanks for the recommendation.

6:55 PM  
Blogger More Christ Like said...

Leslie McFall has an interesting way to deal with the so-called exception clause in Matthew 19:9 that appears to allow for divorce and remarriage for marriage unfaithfulness.
He has written a 43 page paper that reviews the changes in the Greek made by Erasmus that effect the way Matthew 19:9 has been translated. I reviewed McFall's paper at Except For Fornication Clause of Matthew 19:9. I would love to hear some feedback on this position.

9:15 PM  

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