Friday, April 14, 2006

The Evangelistic Impact of the "Greatest Tool of Evangelism"

CT is wrestling with the evangelistic legacy of Mel's Passion. Despite marketing it as "the greatest evangelistic tool of our time" just two years ago -- to the tune of a $600 million windfall for Mel Gibson -- Barna reports:

“Among the most startling outcomes…is the apparent absence of a direct evangelistic impact by the movie…. Less than one-tenth of one percent of those who saw the film stated that they made a profession of faith or accepted Jesus Christ as their savior in reaction to the film’s content.”
The disconnect, Barna argues, was in relying on a movie to change a life:
“In an environment in which people spend more than 40 hours each week absorbing a range of messages from multiple media, it is rare that a single media experience will radically reorient someone’s life.”
Related: Beyond Passion, Living a Crucified Life 2.0.


At 4/14/2006 01:47:00 PM, Anonymous [rhymes with kerouac] said...

The last paragraph of the CT article says, "Movies give us an easy, non-threatening way to continue a conversation and deepen relationships with pre-believers that we've already started."”

There's two ideas inherent in this quote, one being that we can engage in conversation and relationships with 'pre-believers'. The other is that this process can be - with the right tools - "non-threatening" and "easy".

What a curious thing - a non-threatening and easy gospel.

Is the problem that 'they' watch too many movies already, or that we are looking for an easy out, a methodology of 'conversation' and 'relationship' that is absent of sacrifice and service.

Am I missing something?

At 4/20/2006 11:51:00 AM, Blogger Jeremy Del Rio said...

No, I think you're onto something. At the heart of Christ's "follow-me" message is losing oneself to find ourselves (what He pointedly called taking up our crosses daily). That said, I think media can be used as a tool for dialogue and conversation. Just as Jesus used parables about fish and coins and seeds and weeds and kingdoms and crosses and grain and servants and bridegrooms and sons, followed by vague admonitions for those with ears to hear to hear, so too we should use the devices of our culture to convey truth.


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