Thursday, September 23, 2004

meeting mels Jesus at the movies

Research just out shows that Mel Gibson’s The Passion had no lasting impact on faith. Given the inadequacy of its theology, all I can say is thank God.

Only 16% of viewers said it had affected their religious beliefs, while 9% prayed more and 8% attended church more. Interesting that half of movie goers in the US were Christians (53%). That means that a good number of Christians could watch Jesus being beaten and flogged, yet remain unmoved in faith and practice.

As for its evanglistic potential, the research found the apparent absence of a direct evangelistic impact by the movie. Despite marketing campaigns labeling the movie the “greatest evangelistic tool” of our era, less than one-tenth of one percent of those who saw the film stated that they made a profession of faith or accepted Jesus Christ as their savior in reaction to the film’s content. Let me repeat that – one-tenth of one percent!

Does this mean movies missionary potential is limited? Well, the research found that while 41% of adults had seen a movie in the last 2 years that caused them to think more seriously about faith, they were more likely to be active religiously before hand.

This would suggest that movies are not a postmodern magic bullet.

Posted by steve at 06:12 PM


  1. 🙂

    Comment by Paul Fromont — September 23, 2004 @ 7:06 pm

  2. is it my imagination, or did you predict that it would have no lasting impact on faith? I think you did…

    Comment by maggi — September 23, 2004 @ 7:58 pm

  3. $610 million in ticket sales. guessing $15 per head, that’s more than 40 million people. 9% of whom, or more than 3 million people, are praying more. will 3 million people praying more really have no lasting impact?

    perhaps the movie will have no lasting impact on my faith. i would certainly agree that movies are not a magic bullet. and i didn’t see much of the identity of the Jesus i know expressed in that movie.

    but i don’t agree that there will be no lasting impact from 3 million people praying more, 3 million people trying to interact more with God.

    maybe the lesson for me is this: who am i to say that because God hasn’t used this movie to work in my faith, He hasn’t used it at all?

    Comment by kelli — September 29, 2004 @ 4:35 pm

  4. Great movie.
    Don’t know if it will have a lasting spiritual impact but is that why he made it?
    I think it’s funny that some Christians piss and moan about how Art just needs to be art and then when someone makes a movie about Jesus it needs to have some sort of evangelical twist too it.

    Thank you Mel Gibson for making a movie about Jesus that pulls no punches. (no pun intended)

    Comment by mykel — October 8, 2004 @ 7:26 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.