CULTURE, MOVIES, AND POSTMILLENNIALISM

Hollywood worldviewsPMT 2015-099 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Postmillennialism believes in cultural engagement. In fact, it necessarily does so, and it does so as a transformationist approach to culture. That is, we believe that fallen culture must not only be challenged by the gospel and God’s word, but must be transformed by the power of God working through his people.

Modern American culture is greatly impacted by Hollywood movies and therefore by the Hollywood worldviews. Since movies are very much on people’s minds today, we as postmillennialists must recognize the power of story, the power of movies to affect our culture. And to do so, we must be able to discern, critique, and rebut the fallen worldviews presented in most movies today.

Perhaps the premiere analyst of Hollywood’s worldviews is Reformed, postmillennial, Christian apologist, screen writer, and author, Brian Godawa. His book Hollywood Worldviews: Watching Movies with Wisdom and Discernment is a must-have book for the alert Christian today.

In Hollywood Worldviews Godawa guides you through the place of redemption in film, the tricks screenwriters use to communicate their message of redemption, and the mental and spiritual discipline required for watching movies. This book helps you enter a dialogue with Hollywood that leads to a happier ending, one that keeps you aware of your culture and awake to your faith.


Redeeming Pop Culture
by T. M. Moore

Why is it important for us not to ignore the culture around us?
How can we engage, influence, and advance pop culture, and
how can we put popular forms to good use in God’s kingdom?
Moore urges us neither to flee from popular culture nor to immerse ourselves in it blindly.

See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com


His ten chapters are:

  1. Sex, Violence, & Profanity
  2. Stories & Mythology
  3. Redemption
  4. Existentialism
  5. Postmodernism
  6. Other Worldviews
  7. Jesus
  8. Christianity
  9. Faith
  10. Spiritual Warfare

The church I pastor is sponsoring a two-day “Hollywood Worldviews and the Bible” seminar with Brian Godawa on Friday and Saturday, September 18–19 in Greer, SC. Godawa will be presenting five lectures on important worldview themes in movies. He will be illustrating his points with brief clips from popular films. I have seen him present his seminar on three occasions and have always come away with a greater appreciation of the challenge before us.


Greatness of the Great Commission
(by Ken Gentry)

An insightful analysis of the full implications of the great commission.
Impacts postmillennialism as well as the whole Christian worldview.

See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com


His lectures will be:

  1. Hollywood Worldviews (1) (Friday, Sept. 18, 7:00 pm
  2. Hollywood Worldviews (2) (Friday, Sept. 18, 8:15 pm
  3. Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang: Sex and Violence in the Movies (Saturday, Sept. 19, 9:30 am)
  4. Beyond Entertainment: Redemption in the Movies (Saturday, Sept. 19, 11:00 am)
  5. Horror as a Biblical Genre (Saturday, Sept. 19, 1:00 pm)

If you live anywhere near Greenville, SC, I encourage you to come. His presentations are enlightening, challenging, and encouraging. Our church is:

Living Hope Presbyterian Church
318 Hillcrest Dr.
Greer, SC 29651

See our website: LivingHopeSC.com

Leaflet Hollywood Worldviews

 

 

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6 thoughts on “CULTURE, MOVIES, AND POSTMILLENNIALISM

  1. Kevin Klosski August 19, 2015 at 9:15 am

    You know Dr. Gentry,
    I have always tried to be positive and optimistic as I can be toward the culture in the United States, but lately I seem to be changing as I only see the culture (even movies and films) becoming more corrupt according to the deceitful lust. I know you say “it ain’t over until it is over” and “God does not need the United States”. Well I am almost sure this nation is doomed under the judgement of God. The Godless, the wicked and evil ones have made and keep making great advances in their sinful purposes for this nation. Without any restraint, (it seems) sin and iniquity run rampant. I think of a verse in the Book of Revelation and I pull it out of context to only make a point. The United States is a habitation of demons and the movie and entertainment culture only prove this point. Honestly, every Christian should throw away their tv in my opinion. But we won’t and I will not either. I guess I have been thinking more highly of myself than I ought and I believe this to be so of the church in this nation also. We hide in our homes and behind the four walls of the church. Yes, there is open air preaching/street preaching being done but with very little effect. As far as I can tell. I may be wrong in judging this. I may sound dispensational but kingdoms rise and kingdoms fall. I expect this evil wicked kingdom with a timid fearful church purchased by the blood of Christ to fall. I even hope it does quickly. I throw my hands up in disgust because of the evil issues before us. Disgust at myself mainly and at the Church of Jesus Christ that is in a state of quietism. Accepting the modern day secular humanistic, atheistic homosexual etc society that rules this land with no real resistance against it. We don’t know how and are afraid and to consumed with taking care of our families and personal business. I may be wrong in saying this as there may be many praying, but not much talking with the wisdom of God that cannot be resisted. I see the sin in my own life and ask what can I do, although I can honestly say that I have cried out to my Savior Jesus who promised whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved and not be made ashamed. Christian books are written, sermons are preached, individuals go to seminaries but the culture is ruled by the wicked. I have heard it said when homosexuality becomes dominant in a land you can be sure the judgement of God is being executed and the Christians and non-christians are being given over to believe a lie. We may say surely not Christians, but when evil comes on the scene and begins to prevail and the church does nothing, there is first shock from christians, then tolerance and then acceptance which seems to be true reality now and where I am headed as even my praying cannot seem to do nothing or impact this culture. I know, I sound so self-righteous and I know I am. God have mercy on me a sinner. The church (including myself especially) is poor, blind and naked believing we need nothing. There I go judging again, Sometimes I get so tired of seeing facebook professing Christians posting the promises of God to them personally that I become distraught knowing we are not as we should be. A church that is glorious, without blemish or fault, which Christ will return for. I know sanctification is progressive and I sound like Elijah but I really believe this nation is done and it’s calamity will come upon it suddenly as God’s word says. There i go thinking I know the eternal mind of God again. I know I would regret this tremendously if it happened but I sometimes wish the glory of God’s vengeance and justice would fall suddenly and immediately and destroy this nation that has forgotten the One True Holy Living God, but in all truthfulness the whole world seems this way. I try to stay consistent and steadfast in my love for Christ but the truth is, it is not the truth concerning me. I think the truth is, only the Lord is steadfast in His love for us. I so wish Christ would always be the centrality of my life and Psalms 119 would be a living and true aspect of my life. Sanctification: fits and starts, I believe I have heard you say, so true, so discouraging. Movies and entertainment is filled with homosexuality now days. Why do we allow ourselves to be entertained by the very things God forbids and calls an abomination. Things we are entertained by movies and entertainment that call for the death penalty in God’s word. I think because Ichabod is written across the Church in this era. The glory of God’s Holiness has departed. Maybe it is just me. I should quit judging the rest of the church and take the log out of my own eye so I can see clearly. I am discouraged, tired, weak and not sure if I really care for this nation anymore. Obama and his evil administration rules and as much as I beg God for forgiveness nothing matters or changes. Forgive my self-righteousness as I know only God’s will, will be done. I know I probably sound like one of Job’s friendly advisors.

  2. Kenneth Gentry August 19, 2015 at 9:31 am

    Just as our sanctification has its ups and downs, so does the influence of the gospel. Just as we believe Christ is coming again, even though he has not come yet, does not mean he is not coming at all. Patience is a biblical virtue which is necessary for doing the Lord’s work. I believe God is punishing America. I pray that his church here will awaken and that God will not turn from us. But the gospel doesn’t need America.

    For my thoughts in this regard, see: http://postmillennialismtoday.com/2015/07/10/obama-sin-and-postmillennialism/

  3. Kevin Klosski August 19, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    Dr. Gentry,
    I see I need to pray for this biblical virtue of patience truthfully and honestly, but I noticed you seem to be unsure (if I understand what you have said correctly) what God is ultimately and sovereignly going to do with the United States of America. You said, “God is punishing America” I believe this punishment is also due to movies, films and entertainment that is unholy, blasphemous and definitely not beneficial and resulting in His goodness to the church. In many ways our homes which should be blessed by God have become places of worshipping other gods through movies and films. I know this varies from family to family and in various degrees. In what way do you see God “punishing” America at this time in History? Is it giving us a belly full of our own evil desires and no longer restraining sin? You said you are praying that God “will not turn from us” Can we be sure that His turning away has not already happened or at least in the process of happening in ways we do not see or understand? At least to some degree and happening in a way that America will be caught in it’s own net of sinful rebellion toward God. I read the link you gave and I understand the power of the Gospel is greater and destructive to sinful societies as it overcomes the dominion and principal of iniquity in sinners, but it seems at this time to have very little influence on individuals and culture. Is this God’s punishment also? Am I correct to say that you are not sure what God will do with America in judgement, or will God come with healing in His wings since you said, “the gospel does not need America”? Which I think you mean, ‘if he does not show mercy is his judgement, His judgment could be destructive in ways we never thought could or would happen. (AD 70) Not predicting this but when God’s wrath is kindled just a little, well, I will let His word speak to that:

    Psalms 2:12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction, for his wrath can flare up in a moment.

    Charles Spurgeon on “Kiss the Son”- The scene again changes, and counsel is given to those who have taken counsel to rebel. They are exhorted to obey, and give the kiss of homage and affection to him whom they have hated.

    Even in the Book of Revelation which I don’t even know why I am mentioning this to someone much more gifted and knowledgeable not only in this book but the entire bible it speaks of the wrath of the Lamb of God.

    Let me say this, if God does come with healing in His wings and heals our backsliding, brings a fear of a Holy God to this nation, it will be the greatest demonstration of mercy I have ever seen in my lifetime. It will be shocking and surprising to me as when the angel of the Lord delivered Peter from prison and the church who was praying for his release and safety but did not believe when God actually did it.

    or, this just came to me,

    Metaphorically speaking when David committed, adultery, deception and even murder, God punished him severely even by killing his baby. Could I equate metaphorically David’s rebellion to God judging this evil culture in America and the Church. David I believe put on sackcloth and ashes and prayed for mercy until the baby died. Because he said he did not know whether the God whose mercies are renewed every morning would show mercy and save the babies’ life or not. Are we to do the same because we do not know whether the Lord will have mercy on us or not, that is when all’s said and done according to His Holy will. God did tell David he would kill the baby and he did.

    And in God’s word he speaks of nations: He did tell evil nations he would destroy them if they did not repent which I know is a gracious gift and virtue of God given through Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is exactly what happened to Job and the nation of Nineveh. God said he would destroy them but the Gospel of mercy prevailed upon them all in their repentance.

    Jeremiah 18:7. If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, 8 and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. 9 And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, 10 and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.

    Romans 11:33 -Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!

    Deuteronomy 29:29 “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

  4. Kenneth Gentry August 21, 2015 at 8:48 am

    Since I am not a prophet, I cannot say for sure whether God is now turning away from us for good, or not. But it appears that he is already turning us over to our own sins. This is evident in many respects, economically, politically, culturally, personally, etc.

  5. Kevin Klosski August 21, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    I put my hand over my mouth and I will just shut up over this issue and let it be what God has determined. I can be long-winded about stuff (I don’t really know much about) but you have shown me it only needs a quick simple answer. Forgive if I got off issue and took up time I know you could have used elsewhere and more effectively.

  6. Kenneth Gentry August 25, 2015 at 7:16 am

    No problem. I am glad you are reading, thinking and interacting.

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