Do you like movies? Are you a cinephile? Do your friends consult YOU instead of IMDB? Were you raised on television? Do you spend hours talking cinema? Then this book is definitely for you. Or if you’re a casual consumer who thinks Hollywood simply exists for occasional diversion, this book may change your life.
“I am a film and Television student… your interpretations of the films have helped formed the kind of filmmaker I am becoming, and also the way I experience films.”
We crave narrative and usually don’t stop to question why. Are we perhaps created to consume story, or create story, because we’re image bearers of a Master Storyteller? In this book, movies meet God at the multiplex as the author challenges readers to redefine entertainment, understand the story they’re in, and experience a new integrated level of spirituality and entertainment.
“You actually look at the film aspects and see how the artist’s worldview really comes through.”
What can we learn about God from Doctor Who and Han Solo? What are people like Jon Stewart and even Michael Bay helping us understand about story, good and bad? Peppered with movie quotes and metaphors, journey through the incredible changes film and storytelling have had on 21st century culture. Instead of an overly-academic offering on film and faith, Cinemagogue weaves a narrative from the author’s own pop culture saturated life to the Greatest Story Ever Told: from Superman to Citizen Kane, Bertrand Russell to John Frame, Kurt Vonnegut to the apostle Paul, Optimus Prime to Jesus Christ. The journey takes us from our favorite narratives to our shared meganarrative, from a story-filled gluttony to the greatest story ever told. Again and again.
“…I grew up on television in the 80s and relate to the context you grew up in…. I thank God for you and your ability to glorify him in everything, no matter what.”
Classic notions of story structure, “monomyth” and universally shared themes in both popular and classic tales are examined in light of ancient scripture. From there, readers can see the genesis of creativity and worldview distortions from which conversation can bring us back to the future. After a dirty dozen examples of popular film in chapter five (with questions for discussion) the book tackles common objections with genre and content: horror movies, foul language, violence, sexuality, magic and more… and how many traditional objections are overshadowed by incredible opportunities for those brave enough to overcome fear and wade into the culture stream, secure in their faith.
“Your talk was one of the final confirmations of our move to Los Angeles to re-engage the film business by getting upstream in culture and trying to influence from the top down. Worked as an assistant on a TV series for a year, and now I’m working at a digital marketing agency that does a ton of film/TV work, as well as writing/producing my own projects.”
The book ends with a call and commission to those who consider themselves spiritual and religious to get their heads out of the sand, to start realizing and utilizing the power of narrative.
“…really convicted me in both the movie and gaming arena to analyze what I am watching/playing and why. I had almost zero discernment before stumbling onto your series…”
A requested resource by movie-goers, movie-makers, pastors and teachers, Cinemagogue is an extension of a website and podcast, providing a “how-to” for those who want to experience the transforming power inherent in all story.
“Listening to your podcasts… opened my eyes to examine what I watch even closer.”
Take your entertainment seriously while simultaneously having more fun with it than ever before. Learn how to watch to glorify, to be edified, and possibly to evangelize. Even better, create to magnify.
Pick up a copy of Cinemagogue and support the website. Get a few for friends as well: it’s great as a gift or for a book study. Start the conversation today!