Theatrical Theology


Mar 5 2003
As soon as Mel Gibson's directorial end-credit popped up on the black screen, I made a dash up the aisle while searching my jacket pockets for my cell phone. Hardly anyone else stirred, giving me clear sailing to the exit. I wanted to hang around to see how people were reacting to one of the most controversial and highly publicized films in decades, but there was no time. As I ran from the theater, my mind was also racing with thoughts about what I had just experienced. Moments later I was at my car talking to a Seattle TV news reporter shortly before she was to go on the air. She knew from The Berean Call's website that we had had some reservations about the film prior to seeing it, and she wanted our critical perspective after we had viewed it.  What should I say? The news program's audience would be mostly the unsaved, yet I couldn't stop thinking about believers who had seen or who would eventually see this film, many at the encouragement of their pastors. Furthermore, she told me that my input would be limited to a couple of sentences. I don't remember exactly what I said, but as I recall it went something like this: “Having spent a number of years in the movie industry, particularly as a screenwriter, I appreciated Mel Gibson's craftsmanship in bringing his personal vision of Christ's crucifixion and death to the screen. Technically, it's a superb movie. On the other hand, as one who loves and studies the Scriptures, I would not let Mel lead a Bible study in my home. His vision does not square with the Word of God.”  T.A. McMahon "Showtime for the Sheep: The Church and The Passion of the Christ" pp. 5-6