Jesus Christ, Movie Star


What did Jesus look like? Sacred images of Jesus grace churches worldwide, but millions of moviegoers picture Jesus from classic films. Now, one of America’s most beloved faith-and-film writers invites readers on an inspiring journey, meeting Jesus again through a dozen big-screen stories of Christianity’s founder.

Because nearly everyone enjoys talking about movies, this kind of program is a terrific way to welcome newcomers and energize inactive members in growing congregations. If you find yourself trying to convince clergy and lay leaders that this is a good idea, tell them that a faith-and-film series is likely to bring new faces into the congregation and, depending on how you choose to organize your series, could lead to church growth.

Pop some popcorn and invite your friends. This is fun and spiritually enlightening. From many years of guiding viewers, Dr. McNulty knows what details you will need to host a successful evening. If you are not part of a group right now, you still can enjoy this book for your own home viewing—most of the films included this book are easily available from the media services now reaching American homes, including Netflix and Amazon.

You’ll find complete discussion guides, including tips on selecting short film clips to show to your group, on 12 films. Some are straight-forward depictions of Jesus: The Gospel According to St. Matthew, Jesus, The Miracle Maker, The Visual Bible: The Gospel of John, The Passion of the Christ, Son of God, and Jesus Christ Superstar. Some feature inspiring and thought-provoking stories that have made many moviegoers think of Jesus’s life, including: Jesus of Montreal, Cool Hand Luke, Bagdad Café, Broadway Danny Rose and Babette’s Feast. In addition, the book includes shorter overviews of dozens other Jesus-themed movies. And, the book includes online resources that will help you easily locate the latest versions of these films.

In exploring movies in this way, we are following Jesus’s example of using stories to enlarge his followers’ vision and challenge them to live as if his kingdom of love and justice had already come.

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