Documentary “Holy Rollers” is a good gamble

Should Christians gamble?

Do we know what the Bible says about it, or do we simply carry unquestioned assumptions? While there are some areas of consensus that emerge from a sound theology and application of the Bible, the way the real-life Christians approach their interplay with Blackjack in Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card-Counting Christians pulls the rug out from some of the traditional arguments. Is what whey’re doing really even gambling? It also raises other intriguing questions. This video review takes a look at the film directed by Bryan Storkel as his crew as they follow this card-counting “church team” in a unique and captivating documentary.

It’s one of those unique films that provokes thought about what Christians really believe: is the Christian life simply following a set of rules – “do’s and don’ts” – or is it really about relationship with our Creator and Savior and applying that to our way of life? As these players deal with real-life friction, both from the casinos they’re playing at and from within the group itself, we are presented with lives seeking to explore their biblical stance instead of unexamined Christian assumptions.

Do Christians blindly follow Christian principles espoused by various religious leaders, or do they really think through the nuance and application of faith in Jesus? While the film doesn’t try to answer these questions directly – Storkel simply keeps the camera observant – these men and women, their thoughts and ethics, can provide a mirror for our own stance on gambling, money, the Bible, the way God speaks to us, and more.

Holy Rollers is available on DVD, VOD through iTunes, Amazon, YouTube, Blockbuster, Vudu, Xbox, AT&T, Verizon, DirecTV, Time Warner and more – check out for more details. I’ll also be emceeing a special screening of the film in Seattle Friday March 16th followed by Q&A with some of the players.

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  1. Ben Crawford

    Thanks for the thoughtful assessment. Your second paragraph captures why I was interested in this project from the get go. We can’t claim to be any sort of perfect example but we can be a part of a story that reinforces that it’s not about any one particular rule set.

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