David Taylor and his best friend, Charles Frank, are the future of Atlanta's historic New Revelations Church. On Sunday mornings, David leads the choir and congregation in worship at the church his father founded. He's the pride of his father, Pastor Fred Taylor (Clifton Powell), and his mother. But when his mother dies unexpectedly and his father's church responsibilities keep him from making it to the hospital, David feels like his heavenly and earthly fathers have let him down.
Fifteen years later, David's only connection to his youthful faith is the large, diamond-encrusted cross hanging between his well-toned pecs. And he's now using the voice that once led worship on sultry, seductive R&B. When David (played first by Michael Pagan, then Boris Kodjoe) finds out that his father is sick, he puts his R&B career on hold to help guide the future of the church he loves. But while he's been gone, Charles (Idris Elba) has been serving faithfully. Charles, now married to David's cousin Charlene (Nona Gaye), has his own plans for the church, and some big dreams for himself.
It all adds up to a twist on Jesus' parable of The Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32). Here, the story leaves the flannelgraph board for the big screen in a modern-day adaptation that's rife with real-life conflict, careerism, church politics and more than a hint of romance.
The Gospel is a solid retelling of the parable, and that's partly because it's a drama rather than a comedy. That fact alone makes it a refreshing change from recent portrayals of African-Americans, and particularly African-American Christians—as was the case in The Fighting Temptations, which, interestingly, starred Cuba Gooding; his younger brother Omar plays a key role in this film. The ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 60+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more
This slideshow is only available for subscribers.
Please log in or subscribe to view the slideshow.