For Michael Elliott, who writes "Movie Parables" on Crosswalk.com, the multiplex can be a training ground for spiritual growth. "If we can train our minds to think of God's Word while watching films," he says, then viewers can "continue with that discipline outside of the theater, applying His Word in every situation of life." Elliott uses movies to help make the Scriptures more alive to readers, "just as Jesus Christ taught God's Word by using images and events taken from the culture of his day" in his parables.Elliott says he's unlike most Christian critics he has read, who "will give their estimation of whether the film is appropriate for viewing or not." He is more concerned with how audiences view a movie. "My main objective," he says," is to find an element or theme within the film which illustrates a biblical principle. I call my 'reviews' parables because I use the movie (either in full or in part) as an analogy for a deeper spiritual principle." Whether the film is appropriate for Christians, he believes, will depend on the individual. "What may be a stumbling block in my walk for God may not be one to someone else," he says. R-rated movies "may contain elements that are offensive, but oftentimes those can be easily discounted or ignored as the more beneficial elements of the story take center stage."He uses the current hit Erin Brockovich as an example. "Yes, the title character dressed like a tramp and spoke like a longshoreman. But she also displayed great courage, perseverance, compassion, discipline, and dedication—all of which are exemplary qualities that are shared by many biblical men and women." In his review of the film, Elliott specifically compares her with the apostle Paul, referencing 1 Corinthians ...

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