That's why David Bruce spends hours every week watching movies and writing about them—all in his free time and for no compensation. Bruce says he's a missionary to a "pre-Christian" world, one so influenced by motion pictures that they have become the world's "common language."
Bruce, 51, uses the Internet to reach this world through his Web site known as Hollywood Jesus (www.hollywood
jesus.com). "The myths and stories that ask the big questions in life in our culture are found in the sanctuaries of our cinemas," Bruce says. "[A Web site with movie reviews] seemed like the best approach to reach this culture."
Bruce is pastor of the 130-member Patterson (Calif.) Covenant Church. He describes Patterson as "a town of 9,500 surrounded by cows." While attending a Billy Graham crusade in San Jose in 1997, Bruce heard Graham cast a vision: "I challenge Christians to use the Internet for good." A few days later, Bruce began planning a Web site to review movies from a Christian perspective and use those reviews as a springboard to the gospel.
Bruce had never used e-mail before starting Hollywood Jesus. He took a crash course in creating Web sites, and Hollywood Jesus launched in March 1998. It has registered almost two million hits since then, and more than 800 Web sites link to it. Web surfers from around the world visit the site regularly. Bruce, a father of seven, has enlisted the help of his daughter Kathleen to manage the ever-increasing pile of e-mail he receives.
A representative of New Line Cinema wrote Bruce to let him know the studio appreciated his review of Pleasantville. Bruce has also been interviewed by German television and the Wall Street Journal.
Through Hollywood Jesus he engages "pre-Christians" ...1