Part 3: The Recruiting Power of Film

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.

In yesterday's Part 2, the debate ranged from what the gospel should "look like" in a movie to exploring the Holy Spirit's role in conveying the message. In today's Part 3, the debate continues, including an exploration into whether "Christian" films are actually recruiting tools …

Angela Harvey writes:

As a freelancer, I do a lot of work for churches, and I would consider that work "Christian." But when I write or design something for a secular organization, I do that work with excellence and unto the Lord—but I don't necessarily consider the end product "Christian" in nature. I don't think it's possible to make Christian ...

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