Showing posts from October, 2020

Should You Criticize Movies You Haven’t Watched?

It is inherently problematic to condemn a specific film or television show from the sidelines, without personal experience of what that work of art communicates. When Christians dismissed Darren Aronofsky’s 2014 film Noah, for example, many of them did so on erroneous grounds, not knowing what was actually in the movie. Blind condemnation is dangerous and unhelpful.When it comes to pornographic content, however, we move away from the debatable and ambiguous elements of artistic merit, and toward more solid distinctions between right and wrong. Hypersexualized storytelling methods are an aspect worth criticizing. A Christian can—and should—condemn pornographic material without having to engage each instance on a case-by-case basis.Thus, I am comfortable and confident to condemn pornographic techniques used in any mainstream film, whether I’ve seen that film or not. Such condemnation is not unfair to the work as a whole. That is why I have spoken up about certain films I haven’t watched…

An Incarnational Approach to Racial Sympathy

It’s a scandalous concept: Hebrews 2 tells us, “[Jesus] had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest…” (v. 17). God the Father is even said to have made the Son “perfect through suffering” (v. 10).The very thought is baffling. What was it about the perfect son of God that needed perfecting? Nineteenth century theologian Albert Barnes provides some helpful commentary:[Christ’s] subjection to his humble condition…made him such a Saviour as man needed, and qualified him fully for his work. There was a propriety that he who should redeem the suffering and the lost should partake of their nature; identify himself with them; and share their woes.It was necessary, Scripture tells us, for God the Son to experience human life and suffering, which somehow perfected His ability to sufficiently sympathize with us (see also Heb. 4:15). Jesus didn’t relate to us from afar; He drew near, suffering with humans, as a human—and ultimatel…