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In Theaters Now: Jesus Revolution
Age is a funny thing in movies; actors rarely seem to play their actual age. In the new Christian film, Jesus Revolution, Kelsey Grammer plays real-life pastor Chuck Smith who founded Calvary Chapel as part of the late-1960s Jesus Movement. But Smith was in his early 40s when the event of the film took place while the famed portrayer of Frasier Crane is in his late 60s.
Joel Courtney plays a high school Christian convert in the film, though he’s been eligible to serve in the U.S. Congress for a couple of years now. But the most fun piece of casting is Jonathan Roumie as Lonnie Frisbee (and yes, that was the name of the hippie turned pastor – Frisbee). What makes it fun is that everyone comments on Frisbee looking like Jesus. He says, “There’s no one I’d rather resemble.” But Roumie is best known for playing Jesus in the web series, The Chosen.
There are a few other things that don’t exactly exemplify authenticity. Though the events in the story take place in Southern California, Alabama plays that role not terribly convincingly. And I’m not sure who else was bothered by this, but a young woman in the film is holding “The Way,” a popular paraphrase of the Bible. Which actually came out in 1972.
But the film does get something very important right. The feeling of revival; the excitement and passion of discovering that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true and means something in the present age. I was a kid at that time, but I know people who lived through these times and they tell me they got this right. There were young people who rejected the values of their parents and looked for meaning in sex, drugs, and rock and roll. And didn’t find it. And then found meaning in Jesus.
You shouldn’t be surprised to learn there is a discrepancy between the views of the critics and the attending audiences. At Rotten Tomatoes, the critics gave a rotten rating of 58%, while the audience raved with a 99% positive rating. I would rarely trust either poll, but I found this critic’s quote quite interesting, “A gently told story preaching to the converts, assuming that evangelical Christianity is unassailably the answer without considering this particular form of worship may not be the answer for all.” That was the opinion of Nell Minow of RogerEbert.com.
Yes, why would these unenlightened rubes not realize that there’s more to this world than their old-fashioned faith? But they followed a leader who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me.” Rather narrow-minded, that fellow was.
And Chuck Smith said, “You have only one life and it will soon be past, and only what’s done for Christ will last.” Again, rigid theology, that. As Andre Crouch sang back in the day, “Jesus is the answer for the world today. Above Him, there’s no other. Jesus is the way.” Some of us still believe this. Maybe you should stick to reviewing films instead of religions, Nell.
Anyhoo, it is a rather corny film. But you might learn a little about an interesting time that has echoes in what is taking place at Asbury University today.Published in Entertainment
Actors have been spoofing their ages as long as there have been actors. Hal Holbrook tacked on 40 years to his age when he took his “Mark Twain Tonight!” play to Broadway.
As far as critics go, they can be interesting, but their takes can be rather uneven. Roger Ebert (the critic not the website) probably missed the point of every science fiction movie he ever saw. He lacked the outlook of a science fiction fan.
I didn’t know it came in red. Must be a newer edition.
It’s the one in the film. But yeah, I had the green version.
I’m glad to see a review here, thanks! Whatever its pluses or minuses as a drama, the popularity of this film is getting a lot of interest in the film industry. It’s an old showbiz lesson: you don’t have to be perfect to be popular.
I could have sworn mine was blue. I remember my friend would take my copy and stick her nose in it and I would say “Hey, get out of my Way!” Ah, Catholic school humor.
We had a stack of the black ones in the Baptist church we attended when I was a child. That was in the early 70s. Weirdly enough, after they passed out of service there, the next place I saw The Way Bible was on my agnostic father-in-law´s bookshelf in Chapel Hill in the late 90s.
We’ve been disposing of more books in our house and in the process came upon a black one several days ago. I don’t remember if it ended up on the keep pile or in one of the others.
I definitely remember the green ones, too.
Well, when I was a kid my parents took me to see Grease where a bunch of 30 year olds were high school students, so I’m used to that.
That is always an indication that the film has some moral or Christian overtones.
I liked the film. It has some laughs and maybe a tear or two, and gives a glimpse of a movement that could happen again.
I’ve got a couple copies of the one that’s just the New Testament. It’s an amazing artifact of that era. I’m never getting rid of it.
While churches were praying for revival, a lot of them didn’t know what to do when a bunch of hippies started turning to Jesus. I wonder what would happen today if a bunch of they/them’s start truly seeking the Lord?
20 percent of Americans believe the Bible is the literal word of God.
29 percent of Americans believe the Bible is a collection of fables, history and moral precepts recorded by man.
49 percent of Americans believe the Bible is inspired by God, not all to be taken literally.
From the Gallup Poll news release: Fewer in U.S. Now See Bible as Literal Word of God
Good thing the outcome isn’t determined by a vote.
What is your purpose in posting this in this thread?
I find that the use of the word “literal” in such discussion is unhelpful, and probably misleading.
I believe that the Bible is the word of God. Some of it is to be interpreted literally, some is not. This is obvious in the case of the parables.
Is the following passage to be taken literally or as a parable?
Matthew 19:21 (New Revised Standard Version)
How should readers interpret this passage, literally or as a parable or in some other way?
Did Gallup do a poll on whether fewer people give credence to Gallup polls?
What’s this thread about? I thought this thread was about a movie?
The hobby horse cavalry has sallied forth.
And is something stopping you personally from drafting a remark that puts the topic back on its course?
No. I just grow weary of internet atheists who think that after 2,000 years they’ve finally found the perfect argument to put Jesus in the grave once and for all!
But … but … they’ve read the great Richard Dawkins! and … um … that other guy! They know everything there is to know about theism!
City of God? Nope. Never been there. But the title Mere Christianity sounds promising.
Why does that make you weary? Maybe a vitamin deficiency?
I’ve run across these types most of my life, and have had a variety of reactions to them. I sometimes find it interesting that they have a compulsion to proselytize about it.