Mainstream films and the Christian faith are often at odds with each other. However, we highlight a few books that attempt to bridge the gap between faith and film, revealing more similarities rather than differences between the two.
In these five titles listed below, readers learn the perspectives of both the faithful and filmmakers regarding many real life topics. You’d be surprised how much they actually share!
Hollywood Heroes: How Your Favorite Movies Reveal God
By Frank Turek, Zach Turek
From “Star Wars” to “The Avengers,” we love to see the battle between good and evil play out on our screen. It’s ingrained somewhere in our system to root for the heroes to triumph against pain and suffering because we long for the same in our world. In that way, our movie heroes are actually patterned after Jesus Christ himself. This book explains how our fascination with superhero stories reveal truths about God and His mission for us. Buy Hollywood Heroes via Amazon
The Message Behind the Movie―The Reboot: Engaging Film without Disengaging Faith
By Douglas Beaumont
People of faith are increasingly at odds with mainstream films because of their disagreements on matters like violence, nudity, and other moral issues. However, author Douglas Beaumont argues that a film need not only be judged by its methods, but also its messages. By examining cinematic techniques and use of genres, this book will reveal how filmgoers of faith can still discern a film’s message regardless of the storytelling elements presented on it. Buy The Message Behind the Movie―The Reboot via Amazon
Through a Lens Darkly: Tracing Redemption in Film
By Marjorie Hewitt Suchocki
Even as people of faith, Christians are constantly grappling with personal weaknesses and sins. The notion of redemption sounds delightful, but is harder in practice. Now, what if we can learn a thing or two from our brothers and sisters in the filmmaking world? Exploring the works of Ang Lee, Clint Eastwood, Terrence Mallick, et al, readers are invited to ponder both the relatable and contrasting ways films and Christianity deal with the subject of redemption. Buy Through a Lens Darkly via Amazon
God on the Streets of Gotham: What the Big Screen Batman Can Teach Us about God and Ourselves
By Paul Asay
What do God and Batman have in common?
If you think this is a far-fetched question, Paul Asay’s book will show you differently. The book delves into 70 years of the Caped Crusader’s history, with primary focus on Christopher Nolan’s two Batman films — “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight” (eventually rounded out with “The Dark Knight Rises “). Asay unmasks the spiritual meaning and redemption metaphors beneath the flashy superhero cowl. Buy God on the Streets of Gotham via Amazon
Deep Focus: Film and Theology in Dialogue (Engaging Culture)
By Robert K. Johnston, Craig Detweiler, and Kutter Callaway
This book is for readers of faith who share interest in the art of filmmaking beyond its entertainment factor. Rich in discussion about theology and film critique, this book will enrich your knowledge about a wide array of classic and contemporary movies and what makes them really tick. Buy Deep Focus: Film and Theology in Dialogue via Amazon
Other books on faith and film to consider:
- God in the Movies: A Guide For Exploring Four Decades Of Film
- Into the Dark: Seeing the Sacred in the Top Films of the 21st Century
- Christ, Culture, and Cinema: How Faith and Films Intersect