I find it interesting how diverse the tools of the modern day Christian have become. They have come to transcend the traditional praying, fasting, supplication and speaking in tongues to include music and movies that are capable of challenging our deeply held beliefs, stimulating our prayer life and deepening our Christian faith.
As you will find below, I have taken the liberty of doing a brief review of the three of such movies that I watched and found truly memorable:
- The Shack
This poignant movie is an intriguing adaptation of the New York Times Best Selling book of the same name authored by William P. Young in 2007. The movie takes on a weaving spiritual journey of a father Mackenzie Phillips (Played by Sam Worthington) whose once perfect life turns upside down due to the abduction and murder of his daughter. This incident, coupled with his troubled past draws a wide gulf within his once ideal family. Wracked with guilt, pain and an identity crises, he slips into depression until he receives a mysterious letter signed “Papa” inviting him to a cabin.
Hopeful at the prospect of unraveling the identity of his daughter’s killers, he follows the meandering trail of the letter but all that his curiosity led him to was an old, abandoned cabin (shack). Desolate, he was on the verge of killing himself when he encountered a mysterious trio led by Papa (Octavia Spencer). This encounter led to his understanding of life in a broader context, freeing from an inclination to condemn himself and others. Thus began his journey of healing and a rediscovery of his faith.
- War Room
If there is ever a perfect motion screen depiction of the phrase “prayer is a powerful weapon”; “War Room” takes the cake. Tony and Elizabeth cut the picture of an ideal couple. Great jobs, a beautiful daughter and a fabulous house. But underneath that façade of perfection lies a failing marriage, a flirting husband, an increasingly bitter and stressed wife, and a daughter who picks up on all of the ugly nuances despite the couple’s attempts to hide them. However, their lives take a sudden turn when Elizabeth encounters her latest client, Miss Clara (Karen Abercrombie) who senses the stress Elizabeth was going through and challenges her to establish a prayer room (war room) and to draw up a prayer battle plan.
Elizabeth takes this advice and goes toe to toe with the enemy in the battle for her family’s survival. In a sequence of events, Tony’s misdeeds came to light where the consequences led him to rededicate his life to God, and Elizabeth found love, tolerance and peace of God arising from her newborn relationship with God. In the end, we are reminded that victories are from God and do not merely happen by accident.
- God’s Not Dead
“God’s Not Dead”, a 2014 Christian drama tells the story of a newly enrolled college freshman, Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper) whose theism and Christian beliefs were promptly and unceremoniously put to the test by his philosophy lecturer – Professor Radisson (Kevin Sorbo) on Day 1 of class. At the risk of failing a grade, each student was required to scribble “God Is Dead” on a piece of paper. Josh declined, the only student to do so, thus drawing the ire of Professor Radisson who smugly offered him the chance to defend his rebellion by proving God’s existence through a series of debate on the topic in the course of the semester.
In the tumultuous sequence of events that followed, Josh faced stiff tribulations in the stubborn Professor Radisson, and his girlfriend Kara who did break up with him for his refusal to admit God’s inexistence. Alone, intimidated and overwhelmed, Josh wonders if he can successfully defend his stance. This movie weaves together layers of intrigue, disbelief, betrayal, strength and resilience and also prompts the audience to examine their relationship with God. Eventually, Josh was able to prove to Professor Radisson that God truly did exist; this made the Professor mad at him. However, Josh’s strong faith in God was able to turn many to righteousness. In the end, Professor Radisson came to believe that God did exist and gave his life to Christ.
In addition to the above, there are a couple of other Christian movies I would recommend for anyone who wants to grow in their Christian walk or merely desirous of enjoying a standard Christian thriller. They include Courageous (2011), Let There Be Light (2017), Fireproof (2011), Letters to God (2010), Heaven Is For Real (2014), the Passion of the Christ (2004), Miracles from Heaven (2016), God Calling (2018) etc.
Written by Temitayo Ogunmokun