Part 2: The Moral of the Story

We've been wrestling with the question of just how explicit, in the things of faith, a Christian film should be. Should it be in your face with Jesus and the gospel, or should it be more subtle?

We asked two sharp-thinking filmmakers to help us wrestle with the question. Rik Swartzwelder is an L.A. filmmaker whose short, The Least of These, won numerous awards on the film festival circuit. Atlanta's Angela Harvey is a filmmaker, writer, graphic designer, and founder of Crimson, which produces independent films, gospel tracts and greeting cards.

In an oversimplified nutshell, Swartzwelder believes Christian filmmakers should feel free to be direct with spiritual content—including the gospel—in the context of cinematic storytelling, while Harvey believes such things should be communicated in a more subtle way, if at all. With those assumptions as the starting point, we asked Rik and Angela to debate their positions in an e-mail exchange—which we're now sharing with you in a special four-part series, starting today and running through Thursday.

We kicked off yesterday with Part 1, where both parties essentially presented their opening positions on the topic. The debate steps up a notch today with Part 2 …

Angela Harvey writes:

Let me address some of the direct questions you've posed, then I'll delve deeper into my position.

First, I did not say, nor did I intend to imply, that Christian filmmakers should hide their faces or their faith from the audience. That would be disingenuous and a terribly unsatisfying experience. When I say "Christian themes," I mean that filmmakers can incorporate things like quoting Scripture in dialogue, though perhaps not citing chapter and verse. ...

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