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Watching Son of God is a bit like listening to a pretty good tribute band doing a set list of Top 40 hits you have heard most of your life. The delivery is not bad, and the individual songs carry enough significance for you (both emotional and biographical) ...

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Robert Romanelli

March 13, 2014  1:37pm

Reading the comments, I find the same old problem: co-called Christians in America are so steeped in their denominational world views that they can't grasp the true nature of a God who is all about relationship and not at all interested in religion. Religion is the enemy of God--always has been, always will be. You really have to begin there if you want to understand this movie called Son of God. Too many people who call themselves Christians are too obsessed with how much they hate Rob Bell or John Eldridge or George Barna and call them hypocrites and not enough focused on how much God loves sinners and how far He has gone and is still willing to go to save them. Son of God said to me: And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto Myself. That fact is far more important than all the exegesis and hermeneutics in the world.

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Robert Romanelli

March 13, 2014  1:30pm

It's fascinating that Christianity Today tries to be a critic of cinema. A journal in film studies might have done a more objective job at considering Son of God as art in the film medium. One's first reaction to the above article could very well be a sense of having missed the point. Like Lord of the Rings, Son of God as a movie might be in a genre all of its own, and not subject to analysis based upon a certain artistic point of view. The two things that stood out in my mind when I saw the film were 1) it definitely is a visual experience aimed at today's contemporary and young generation; and 2) it does present the Gospel as a love story from a Creator who is more concerned with relationship than He is with religion. Christianity Today needs to read more of Frank Viola, Jon Zens, and Andrew Farley; and less of whatever comes out of the institutional church so steeped in the Old Covenant but so unaware of the power and grace of the New Covenant. Maranatha!

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Mark Tannock

March 09, 2014  10:35am

I went to see this movie last night. I was very disappointed. This did not portray a true picture of our Lord and savior it was geared more towards new age and the occult. It was more of a mockery of the life of Jesus in my opinion and basically supported Roman Catholic false doctrines. It magnified Peter and concentrated on making him the leader of the disciples. At the end of the movie it depicts that one disciple remained alive and banished. Then it shows where Jesus made a special mention of him as the rock where he built his church. How misleading is that? Peters name in the greek is interpreted as a small stone or pebble not a rock. Peter is not the first pope of the Roman Catholic faith but was a dedicated disciple of Jesus Christ. What bible did this movie come from? What gospel are they preaching? It is not the gospel which Jesus gave to Paul, that's for sure. Galatians 1:8 KJV [8] But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

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Dale Bowers

March 08, 2014  9:12am

I have been a Christian for over 30 years. I am conservative and believe the Bible is the Holy Spirit-inspired word of God. I saw this movie a week ago. I had hoped to see in Christianity Today an honest, Christian, Bible-based review of this movie. I, like several others who have left comments, am deeply disappointed in the review by Mr. Morefield. Ronald Christanelli is correct that this is a Fifth Gospel, and I might add, not a combination of the original four. This is a new, non-Bible based Gospel. Jim Bartlett also states in his comments that this is NOT a Bible-based movie. I walked away from the movie deeply disturbed, particularly by the way the miracles were depicted but also how Peter was called to be an apostle. Each one has been, in my opinion, drastically changed. When Jesus called Simon (Peter) to follow him, there are two accounts. Matthew and Mark say that Jesus stood on the shore and called to Peter and Andrew, who were in the boat fishing, to come follow him. (Mt 4:1-20, Mk 1:16-18) In John, Andrew hears Jesus teaching a crowd of people, then goes to bring Peter to hear Jesus. Nothing about fishing in this account. (Jn 1:35-42) In Luke, it says that Jesus was teaching a crowd. Peter and Andrew were on shore cleaning their nets. Jesus climbed into the boat and taught the crowd. Then Jesus tells Peter to go out to deeper water and cast his nets. (Lk 5:1-9) This account appears to be the one used in the movie, yet they left a lot out and added something that isn’t in any scripture. This Gospel says that there were two boats laden with fish and names the other fishermen as James and John. So there were four men and two boats out with Jesus. The movie has no crowd, only one boat with Peter and Jesus the only occupants. As Peter is casting his net and catching fish, Jesus is seen stirring the water with his hand. There is no mention in any of the Gospels that Jesus stirred the water with his hand when he asked Peter (Simon) to cast his nets and caught more fish than ever before. Another miracle I had a real problem with was raising Lazarus from the dead. In the movie, the tomb is closed by bricks, not one stone. Scripture states that Jesus angry and troubled, then that He weeped. None of this is portrayed in the movie. Then the major detour from scripture, Jesus enters the tomb and kisses Lazarus on the forehead in the movie. In scripture, Jesus asks that the stone be rolled away. Jesus then speaks to the Father. Then he calls “Lazarus, come out”. Lazarus comes out still wrapped in his graveclothes. None of this was depicted correctly in the movie. (Jn 11:1-44) After the death and burial of Jesus, the movie portrays the empty tomb closest to the Gospel of John’s account. (Jn 20:1-10) The Gospels of Matthew (Mt 28:1-10), Mark (Mk 16:1-8) and Luke (Lk 24: 1-12) all tell of more than one woman going to the tomb. There the women were confronted by a man or men (depending on the account) at the tomb who explained that Jesus was not there. I walked away from this movie with a deep disquiet about what was portrayed. I felt they had to make the miracles appear to be magic tricks rather than Jesus speaking and what He spoke happened. I would never recommend this movie for a non-Christian. There are too many changes to scripture that would only confuse the discussion with non-Christians. The movie is difficult to follow if you did not see “The Bible” series on cable or know the Bible stories already. Many characters are never named, there is a woman following Jesus with the apostles - late in the movie she is named Mary - but which one we are never told. (I see no account of this in scripture.) If Christians go to see this, go prepared. While this may have been a better attempt than other movies, it misses the mark in my opinion. I’ve read other reviews (in particular one by Pennie DeWitt) that this borders on being a New Age cult film.

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Hillary A Johnson

March 07, 2014  9:08pm

Saw the movie and enjoyed the experience. Not true to the scriptural text, but I don't think that was the point. Like some contemporary Christian music, it's entertainment. There is enough there for good discussion and I believe it will be a DVD staple for church movie night around Easter. Not unlike the Ten Commandments (Cecil B DeMille version) or the Passion. It's a story based on the scripture, not the scripture.

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Rob Vandiver

March 07, 2014  5:28pm

I went to the theater and watched it. It wasn't horrible. I understand that any movie of the life of Jesus has to leave most things out. So the question becomes, why did they include the portions they did? It seems like what they were trying to do is explain why the Jews wanted to kill him and why the Romans did it -- all to avoid a riot turning into some minor disturbance and Pilot getting into trouble over it. This misses the reason why He came - to heal the brokenhearted and set captives free. The movie didn't spend much time on those episodes. And the Jesus portrayal was "wispy" and uncertain. Jesus set his face like a flint, the writers say. There wasnt anything about his appearance that called attention, so that was off. What would be good would be a whole television series of the quality of The Passion. Now that would be awesome.

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Marilyn Jacoby

March 05, 2014  1:57pm

All in all it was a good message. We need to take the positives out of it. Seeing scenes of what Jesus went through for my salvation always draws me closer to Him. The love of Jesus was portrayed in this film and I give it a thumbs up. The Resurrection of Christ is always exciting to see and to talk about. Happy to see this kind of movie in the theater.

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KIDS KARDS

March 05, 2014  1:31pm

Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. The Holy Spirit wrote the Scriptures, not this, or any other screen play. It is the inherent power of the Truth of Scripture that leads to repentance and peace with God through Christ. No movie can do this. Movies recreate Christ in the producers fallible image... just what Satan wants. SOLA SCRIPTURA In Christ MJG

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Erick DuBois

March 04, 2014  11:51pm

This movie was very poor and the "few" biblical inaccuracies cannot be ignored. The film portrays the kind of Jesus society wants to believe in and not the real Messiah in the bible. Many seem to be content with a watered down version of the Gospel in which everything is covered in love and grace, where the cross is degraded to home decor and repentance is unbiblical. But let us remember that Jesus warns the Church of Laodicea (Rev3)that we cannot be lukewarm! We are not to tolerate Jezebel, her false teachings or seductions either. What is to become of the church if the Word of God is not our highest authority in all matters? Jesus is the Word of God (John1) and we cannot afford to deviate from Him. For all of our modern advances we as a corporate church are no where near the church in the book of Acts. They had no microphones, websites or worship teams but they preached with such an anointing that THOUSANDS surrendered to Christ in ONE day.

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Walt Morgan

March 04, 2014  1:05am

Making a silk purse from a sow's ear is always an endeavor. Some will settle for a knock off, others want the real thing. God's word is under attack because it is too easily mistranslated so that the masses will not reject, The Message. I just ask for the truth and then see where that gets us.

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Jim Bartlett

March 03, 2014  7:27pm

There may be some good in this film. But I think it will cause believers' confusions- and lead to unbiblical attempts to "recast" Jesus. I understand good storytelling. While it may be emotionally appealing or reinforcing to *what we (previously) know* of Jesus - In essence this film seems more About Jesus, than Knowing Him. Isn't that the very problem we've had in the Church for centuries? Getting our info. thru electronic/visual media compounds & confuses this challenge. So what IS the "target audience"? Christians in name only? It is NOT "an exegesis"...[they]wanted "the Bible" miniseries (TV last year)...[to be about] "God's love and Jesus's deity." I have worked within New Age media, know how people can use "truth-gaps" to insert their spins on what is NOT told. Jesus' deity? We've seen crazy ideas that "update" Jesus from the likes of Buddhism, Sufis & enlightened spiritual masters. The problems are not artistic- It is in key omissions that open up false interpretations.

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John Keogh

March 03, 2014  2:19pm

Good review, and honest. Wanted to like this film but found it to be poor in so many ways. Here's my review, on Christian Film Guide. http://www.christianfilmguide.com/son-of-god-2014-review/

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Diane Prevatte

March 02, 2014  9:02pm

The Good News is the Good News, I don't care how many times I hear or see it. Christians, please don't be like the Pharisees!! So the movie is not perfect. The one who it is about is perfect! I really believe an unbeliever could see this and find Truth. And know there is something more to this world and this life! Why so critical? Because we already know it?? I am disappointed in this "Christian response". I saw mercy, grace and love. Not what the world is used to seeing. So to the pastor that is saddened, don't be! Be glad, He is in control still. There was something as a Christian I needed to be reminded about. Christ was human and divine. I nailed Him to the cross and He still loves me! He forgives me! Hallelujah!

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Josh Watson

March 02, 2014  11:53am

Overall, much better than most everything else in the theaters these days. A few biblical inaccuracies, though: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151978954872475&set=a.41781592474 .55738.614787474&type=1&theater

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Judy Reeve

March 01, 2014  9:02am

I appreciate a movie review with a Christian perspective that is still a review about the "movie". We don't have to be afraid of admitting it's downfalls.

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D. McDonald

March 01, 2014  6:46am

Well said Rick D, David W, and Ronald C. To some of the others, I'm not sure how giving an honest review of a Christian movie is somehow denigrating or pushing people away anymore than when someone critiques Joel Osteen. I haven't seen this movie, and I'm not comparing Osteen's bad theology to this movie's, but just because something is labeled Christian doesn't mean we have to shut our minds off. PS. Peter Johnson, if you consider this article "academic writing in academic-speak," you need to read more academic writings.

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RONALD S CHRISTANELLI

March 01, 2014  5:23am

It is difficult to find any Christian review of this movie which dares to be honest in its critique. To have a criticism or "dis" (find fault with) this movie in any way is seen as to in some sense "dis" Jesus. Some pastors who have previewed the movie are hesitant to have to give a true assessment of this presentation, and instead simply default to exhorting their congregations to see it in order to send a message to Hollywood to produce "faith-based" movies so as to attract Christian crowds (and their shekels). At best it can be said that the novel re-arrangement of some of the subject matter from the Four (original, inspired) Gospels in this movie has produced a "Fifth Gospel" from the perspective (imagination) of an Angel.

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Steve Seelig

February 28, 2014  7:42pm

I like to read reviews often before I see the movie. As a Christ-follower and minister for 45 years it always thrills me to hear of a film that focuses on the gospel message. Unfortunately this review gave me NOTHING to look forward to. Even if we had been teased with a visual teaser to the stories of Jesus we have come to love. This all saddens me.

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Charles Nestor

February 28, 2014  5:22pm

The review is totally confusing. It seems the reviewer is saying that if you know the story, don't see the movie. Is the acting good? iIs the script faithful to the biblical text? Is the cinematography well done? Directing? Sound? What about the controversy over the choice of musicians? Did the writer actually see the movie or did he read other reviews? Very poor and he is a college cinema teacher nonetheless .

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David Kendrick

February 28, 2014  4:10pm

You folks have really lost your way. If you want to provide secular movie reviews - find another forum or job. It is amazing that Christianity Today gives the "Wolf of Wall Street" a giddy positive review - 3 and 1/2 stars but offers a two and 1/2 star pseudo intellectual treatment of "The Son of God". The message and evangelic possibilities of the movie trumps all. It is amazing that this movie - by this - name is playing in our multiplexes. You should be encouraging not trying to run folks off.

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