"Free creativeness is the creature's answer to the great call of its Creator. Man's creative work is the fulfillment of the Creator's secret will."
Nikolai Berdyaev, The Destiny of Man

A Wednesday-night class at church about Hollywood movies was too intriguing to pass up. Settling into the same seat where on Sunday I studied how Acts reiterated Jesus' resurrection, I now readied to critique The Shawshank Redemption. What an odd confluence of worlds. After all, these were church friends, people with whom my husband and I had attended Bible studies, fellowship dinners, and prayer meetings. Whenever the topic of movies, television, or current books came up among Christian friends, awkward silences often fell over some corner of the room.

This night the awkwardness fell right into my lap. The instructor began with a casual reference to the recent comedy hit There's Something About Mary. I leaned to my right, preparing to confess to a friend, someone who knew the Bible very well, that we had rented that movie but turned it off when its raunchiness went over the top. But before I could say anything, he whispered to me, "That was the funniest movie I've ever seen." I just nodded. As cool as I try to be, I thought this, of all movies, should repulse any Christian.

Later in the class, the teacher used Chariots of Fire as a prime example of a "breakthrough" film. It ranks among our all-time favorites. We named our second child, Eric, in part after the lead character. So when a woman, a frequent worship leader, tapped my arm and with a little shrug of her shoulder whispered, "I just never got what people saw in that movie," I could not muster any response. But inside I was shrieking, Didn't get it? How could anyone, especially a Christian, ...

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