Rant by Gene
Rant is probably too strong a word for this post. Call it more of a recollection. If you’re a regular reader here at LTBM you’re very familiar with what we try to do with our reviews. Our goal is to write movie reviews from a Christian perspective, and shine some light (pun intended) on what practices and worldviews Hollywood promotes with their films. I think we fill in a nice little niche. To my knowledge there are just four other sites doing something similar. They are, in no particular order; More Than One Lesson, ReelWorld Theology, Are You Just Watching and Movie Bible Study. Hopefully what we write here is an encouragement to all our Christian readers, and for those that aren’t Christians our hope is you at least enjoy our general reviews of movies, and perhaps give Christianity a look-see 🙂
In describing this blog to some family and friends I inevitably talk about how I came up with the idea. It occurred to me that I’ve never really shared that with our readers here. So, for your mid-week reading, I thought I’d share how the idea of LTBM originated!
In November of 2012, fellow writer Derek Caldwell and I attended an apologetics seminar at Spring Creek Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin. Some prominent apologetics at the seminar were William Lane Craig, Gary Habermas and Greg Koukl. A myriad of topics were on the table. Everything from the cosmological argument for the existence of God, to evidences of Jesus’ resurrection, to whether we have the intellectual capacity to talk about God at all! But the session that made the biggest impact on me, and spurred the creation of this blog, was a “break-out” session on evangelizing on social media. I’m fairly outspoken on Facebook regarding my beliefs, so I was interested in what tips I might get in this session. To this day I can’t remember the name of the gentleman leading the class, but one thing he said stuck with me: Write about what you love.
I think I kind of drug Derek along into this class, but hopefully he enjoyed it as well. In the first 20-30 minutes of the class we went through some pretty basic tips when engaging others online: stay calm and composed, give thoughtful responses, be meek and gentle… pretty common sense stuff I thought. The speaker then took us through some examples on his blog. His soccer blog. Hold on, this is an apologetics seminar right? And you’re pushing your blog about soccer? To be fair it was more of a personal blog and he wrote about a handful of things such as book reviews (where a particularly hostile comment was handled). But, he explained, he loved soccer so that’s a lot of what he wrote about. Then he explained how there are some times where his Christian beliefs and worldview intersect with something he’s writing about regarding soccer. Then he said it; Write about what you love.
What do I love? I love my wife and family, but there are a bazillion blogs about peoples’ families. I’d be lost in the crowd. What do I love? I love movies. Hey… I love movies. That’s it! Movies are a primary source of entertainment for millions of people. Movie are an instant conversation starter. “Hey, have you seen the new _______?” Plus, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched a movie that I’ve found morally reprehensible, logically fallacious or downright preposterous in terms of the worldview the movie or its characters promoted. Often times specific verses from the Bible pop in my head as I’m watching certain scenes or hearing the dialogue. I love movies.
The thought of starting a movie blog percolated in my mind for a good month. I may have mentioned it on a whim to Derek on the drive back from the seminar when we weren’t playing the word connection game (inside joke). It seemed too big for me. I have a full-time job, I run our local middle school baseball program, I have a house to upkeep, and I have a wife and two kids (now three!). I have to be able to post new things more often than just once or twice a month. If this was to become a reality, I would need some help. I asked some friends who I knew shared my love for God and movies (in that order). They connected me with some others who shared those passions as well. Among other things we discussed the name of the blog. We settled on ‘Let There Be Movies’ as a play on the creation account in Genesis 1:3, “And God said ‘Let there be light… ‘”, but ‘Finding God in Hollywood’ and ‘Theollywood’ were early front-runners. We also discussed how to arrange the reviews to work in the Christian angle, and what extra features to have.
Fast-forward about 17 months to the current day and we’ve reviewed 91 movies, posted a lot of cool lists and rants, and developed our “moral dilemma dialogue” feature, where two of us argue opposing views on one or more moral dilemmas presented in a film. All that from the simple statement: Write about what you love. I’m very grateful to all the guys, current and former, who have humored me enough to take on this task with me. I hope you all get as much enjoyment out of it as I do. Big thanks to: Derek Caldwell, Tres Barker, Elliott Prasuhn, John Shue, Logan Judy, Eric Cupp, Nate Sala and Tyler Smith.
Well, there’s our story! Maybe you can relate a little to something here. In the spirit of sharing, feel free to comment below or provide a link to the story of how you started your blog, whether it be about movies or Christianity in general. We’ve loved writing reviews from a Christian perspective, and we’d love to hear how you began writing as well. Also, if you share our love of God and movies, and would like to start writing reviews from a Christian perspective, leave your contact information here or message us on Facebook or Twitter and maybe we can add you into the fold