Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My Favorite Religious Movies

I love movies and I love religion. It only makes sense, then, that I would love religious movies. However, sometimes the religious movies that I enjoy are not necessarily religious movies at all. They may not have positive messages about faith, but they are almost always thought-provoking.

Here is my list of my favorite religious movies (in no particular order).
  • The Apostle. God can use anyone, even people who do bad things. I love this movie because Robert Duvall loses everything that is important in his life, yet allows God to lead him. I also like any movie where the lead character's name is Dewey.
  • Leap of Faith. Steve Martin gets his chance as a healing evangelist. Martin's charlatan should be required viewing for all ministers.
  • A River Runs Through It. Could there be a more idyllic, yet tragic, setting for a movie. The atmosphere is wonderful.
  • The Mission. Robert DeNiro is a missionary? That is enough to recommend this movie by itself.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. A good adaptation of a classic book re-telling the Christian story. Adventures abound as the Pevensie children save Narnia and meet Aslan.
  • The Lord of the Rings. All three of these films are excellent. There are very few, if any, movies that set good vs. evil in a better context.
  • The Ten Commandments. This is still one of the greatest spectacles in movie making. And although the special effects look a little dated and awkward today, Charlton Heston will always be Moses.
  • Elmer Gantry. Not unlike Leap of Faith, Burt Lancaster plays a traveling evangelist on the take. His crusading against the evils of alcohol disguise his own sins and shortcomings.
  • The Rapture. This is a rarely seen film that is not for the faint of heart. Rated R for good reasons, it raises important questions about faith, community, sin, salvation and the end of the world.

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