Lights! Camera! Action!
A Biblical Perspective on Popular Films
Whether you prefer comedy, action, or suspense, movies influence how audiences view culture and society. In his book Christ, Culture, and Cinema: How Faith and Films Intersect, Jeffrey Skopak takes analyses one step further and connects popular films with biblical truths, as well as modern culture. Through titles ranging from children’s animation to historical docufilm, Skopak shows how secular movies can spark conversations that point toward the redeeming grace of Christ Jesus.
Rev. Dr. Lawrence R. Rast Jr. agrees with Skopak about the influence of film on culture. In the foreword of Christ, Culture, and Cinema, he writes, “Movies play a significant role in our lives. They permeate our culture. Not surprisingly, they impact the life of the Church too. That is the focus of this book. While this volume doesn’t examine movie production, it does explore the meaning and application of familiar movies and how they reflect, either closely or more distantly, biblical themes and principles. To put it a little differently, this book explores how movies affect us, especially as members of the Body of Christ. It also suggests ways in which we might legitimately and faithfully apply their lessons.”
Rather than simply leaning back and watching movies, readers are encouraged by Skopak to tune in to the experience by asking questions designed to help think more deeply about the culture reflected in the movie and how their faith relates to it.
Each scene, or chapter, in Christ, Culture, and Cinema examines a well-known movie, showing how it reflects issues in today’s culture and comparing it to biblical examples and wisdom. Topics including love, leadership, community, and mentorship are examined. This book is ideal for use with small groups; Skopak helps you learn to reach into cultural spaces to share the Word of God and the story of your faith.
Grab some popcorn and join Skopak as he analyzes films such as Toy Story, Hidden Figures, and The Princess Bride, along with many others, as they point to Christ.
Praise for Christ, Culture, and Cinema:
“How do entertainment trends and the biblical narrative relate to each other? Jeffrey Skopak has masterfully crafted an answer. By connecting selected stories from the big screen with the saving stories of Jesus, Skopak interprets Hollywood with God’s Holy Word. And since movies also serve as a metaphor for the relationship between theology and culture, we gain unsugarcoated insights into related topics like the power of social media, the cult of superstardom, and the scourge of societal racism. Skopak lays bare both the contemporary significance as well as the eternal considerations we can and should draw from motion pictures.”
Rev. Dr. John Arthur Nunes, Pastor, author, educator, speaker
“Jeff Skopak has put together a delightful study and presents in a very relatable way how the movies can, and often do, influence our faith life, complete with a discussion guide. Drawing on popular and celebrated movies, the book takes readers on a journey of insight and enjoyment as we look at movies in light of culture from a new perspective. It is the marriage of how we can use means like our modern culture as reflected in the movies and gain deeper spiritual insights, all as a platform to connect people to Jesus. This creative presentation reminds us of how our God can use all things, even the things often corrupted by sin, for His glory.”
Rev. Dr. Gregory S. Walton, President, The Florida-Georgia District of the LCMS
About the Author:
Jeffrey Skopak was born and raised in New Jersey. He has served as a pastor all over the United States, from small urban ministries to large churches and schools. He is currently the senior pastor of Grace Lutheran Church and School in Florida, where he lives with his wife, Amy, and their rescue dog, Reggie.
About Concordia Publishing House
Concordia Publishing House (CPH) is the publishing arm of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. For over 150 years, CPH has been providing individuals, churches, and schools with products that are faithful to the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. From books and Bibles to church supplies, curriculum, and software, CPH offers over 10,000 products to support the proclamation of the Gospel worldwide. Visit CPH online at cph.org.