It is rewarding to have a seminary president whose opinion on cultural issues is highly valued. Why? Because (among many other things) it resulted in Cami & I getting free tickets to a sneak preview of the new movie The Nativity Story this past Monday night. Overall, I enjoyed the movie. The thing I appreciated most was the picture that it gave into the cultural realities of that time period as it tried to faithfully follow the biblical story.
Dr. Mohler has written a perceptive review of the movie at his blog. As I read it, I thought to myself–you and him watched the same movie, at the same place, at the same time and your capacity to critique the movie is nowhere near what he has to offer in this blog post. I guess that is why they pay him the big bucks! If you are thinking about seeing the movie, then his analysis should help you make that decision.
When it comes to the virgin birth, the divinity, and the saving mission of the Christ Child, the movie never blinks. Cinematographers may find fault with the presentation of the angels and the voice of God, but I have the sense that where the director had to choose between accuracy and artistry, accuracy often won. For that decision Christians should be thankful.
Should the story of Jesus be reduced to film? That question is not as easily dismissed as some might think. Nevertheless, The Nativity Story is the first major Hollywood studio film in many years to deal with a biblical story. In fact, World magazine reviewer Steve Beard reports that The Nativity Story is the first such release from a major studio since Ben Hur and The Ten Commandments.
So, Hollywood has produced a major film with a national release that straightforwardly presents the central themes and events of the biblical accounts of Christ’s birth. We should not let that fact pass without notice. The movie opens across America on December 1.