David Swanson, associate pastor of Parkview Community Church in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, is back with his second report from Park City, Utah. In this post he questions our assumptions about church and culture, and asks leaders to consider a new posture toward films.
It's day 4 of the Windrider Film Forum at the Sundance Film Festival and so far I've seen 4 dramatic features, 4 documentaries, and a set of short experimental music videos. I find this funny since I don't generally watch this many films in a year! Some of the films we've seen have been purchased by production companies and will soon be coming to a theatre near you. Others will be seen by very few people after this festival ends in a few days.
Our days at the Windrider Film Forum begin each morning with a teaching session at Mountain Vineyard Christian Fellowship facilitated by Fuller professor, Craig Detweiler. Craig has asked us to view each film with an open mind, expecting to catch glimpses of the Kingdom of God. This quote from C.S. Lewis has served as one of our starting points:
We sit down before the picture in order to have something done to us, not that we may do things with it. The first demand any work of art makes upon us is surrender. Look. Listen. Receive. Get yourself out of the way. There is no good asking first whether the work before you deserves such a surrender, for until you have surrendered you cannot possibly find out.
This week we've been asked to "get ourselves out of the way" as we show up to these films and pay attention to what the filmmakers are attempting to tell us about our world. It's been a fascinating experience.
For example, yesterday we saw a gritty film about sex trafficking called Trade . Surrendering to this film means watching ...