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
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.
Labels: Christian worldview, personal