I write these words a short time after watching "The Nativity Story" with my family and find that I am somewhat discouraged. One of the premier Christian movie review websites (ChristianAnswers.Net) hosts numerous reviews raving about the Biblical accuracy and attention to detail that was evident within the film. Personally, I found the attention to detail to be less than satisfying and the Biblical accuracy to be essentially non-existent. I am discouraged because the reviews on this Christian website seemed to accept "The Nativity Story" more for what it wasn't than for what it was. It wasn't the typical Hollywood shoot-em-up cuss-em-out movie and that seems to be what has impressed people the most. To my mind far too many liberties were taken with the story of Jesus' birth (necessary to stretch several paragraphs of Biblical text into 90 minutes of movie) and far too many incidents occurred of non-Christian behaviour being given tacit approval. (After the movie had completed eleven months of filming the woman playing Mary revealed that she was pregnant by her boyfriend. I do not presume to judge such behaviour but it indicates a strange state of Christianity that the woman playing the part of one of the most revered women in history could become pregnant while playing that part and that no one seems to be disturbed by it. A similar statement could be made about the movie "The End of the Spear" in which actor portraying both Nate Saint and his son Steve Saint is a prominent homo-sexual rights activist.) My discouragement seems to stem from the fact that movies such as "The Nativity Story," "The Passion of Christ" or "The End of the Spear" seem to find far more favourable an audience than truly significant movies such as "The Miracle Maker" or "The Gospel of John."


I've been wondering why a Christian audience would accept mediocrity that does little or nothing to advance the gospel of salvation. Conversations that I have had with other Christians reveal that a disturbing number of us seem to have a Christianity that is comforting rather than challenging.