What do Christians "do" with movies? Do we treat them the same way as those who don't know the God of the universe? "Like everything else in human life, a radically different approach to film is necessary for believers," explains Grant Horner, author of Meaning at the Movies.
Horner is calling Christians to really think about the worldviews expressed in movies. Meaning at the Movies challenges us to not zone out to mindless entertainment, but to actively discern and interact with the messages we are exposed to.
"Discernment takes hard work," Horner explains. "We easily confuse error and truth; it is the most basic consequence of living in a fallen world. Truth and error are often so entangled in this world that we can even despair of detecting them, much less separating them. But we must learn to discern. How many times have you walked away from a film unaware that you have bought into subtle philosophies and worldview positions that could undermine your faith? We should walk away—we can walk away—stronger for having been exposed to error, and exposing it as error.
Non-Christians will generally have as primary motivations for film-watching entertainment, pleasure, vicarious living, an event to share with friends or loved ones, and so forth. For the believer, every moment is an important decision; some of these decisions will please God, and others will please only ourselves. We need to increasingly choose the former over the latter."
Horner does not simply list criteria for judging film art; instead he encourages Christians to develop biblical discernment in film and culture.