What is it that people are looking for in theater or entertainment as it relates to theology? Professor Mark Lewis talks in this episode of Theology for Life about why story is part of our narrative and why we are all ‘actors’ in different ways. Something that acting does is that it allows us to be more in touch with how and what we are communicating and if we are being authentic to who we are in Christ.
Ed, Lynn, and Mark discuss where the movie industry going, and what Christians should be watching and surrounding ourselves with. All of us have different tolerances, Lewis says, but we do need to be aware that Hollywood is mirroring our culture and trying to sell us something. We must ask if, after we have watched something, have we drawn further or closer to God?
Lewis reflects on what actors must consider about the play and the part, and how his life was impacted by certain roles.
An actor spends his or her life examining his or her own life in order to build a bridge to someone else’s life, says Lewis. We must understand things around us to qualify us to be authentic. There are certain qualities we must have—empathy, compassion, authenticity. The world doesn’t need another actor, Lewis says. What the world is dying for is truth-tellers and the arts are a good place to begin to tell the truth.
Mark Lewis is Associate Professor of Communication and Director of the Theater Programs at Wheaton College. He previously worked as an actor in New York City for 15 years.
Lynn Cohick is Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College.
Ed Stetzer holds the Billy Graham Distinguished Chair of Church, Mission, and Evangelism at Wheaton College, is Executive Director of the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism, and publishes church leadership resources through Mission Group.