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I wonder if anyone could help me. This is in connection with a project I'm working on. Could you recommend any books or movies about someone from an Evangelical background, probably but not necessarily a preacher, trying to spread the Good News in the world. The Apostle is the one that comes to mind movie wise and I suppose I'm wondering if there are many novels or other movies which tackle the same theme. I'd be grateful for any help. Thanks.

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I'd disagree actually Ken. Evangelical covers a fairly broad spectrum IMO, with fundementalism at one extreme of that spectrum. Spectrum is not necessarily the best word, but if suffices to show the extremism of that movement relative to the whole.

The church in question would certainly consdier themselves to be evangelical, and I'd wager they would not consider themselves to be fundamentalists either.

As for other sugggestions, there is also Elmer Gantry, and Leap of Faith, obvisouly those guys are both phonies.

But I'd recommend Ron's article on it which is [link coming soon]

Matt

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Yeah, you can say that

about both films really

, which is why I only half nominated them - it depends how you want to use them I guess - but yes it is more complex and so are other characters in it.

Speaking of which Jean Simmons is involved in mission in Guys and Dolls as well - The Salvation Army would call themselves evangelical as well.

Anyway, I finally tracked down Ron's article (How have we got this far on the thread and not mentioned Magnolia (fear of Ken?)

and there's some discussion of the subject at this thread after this post took it in a new direction.

Matt

Edited by MattPage
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Probably the best film which explores someone who is not a preacher is The Big Kahuna.

I would also include the evangelistic presence of Margaret Drummond (Pauline Collins) in Paradise Road.

There is the delightful Preacher's Wife .

In a roundabout way and showing the secrets of evangelicals is Simon Birch.

Perhaps you could include The Green Mile - with the faith of Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks) exemplified within that hellish responsibility of being in charge of death row.

Denny

Since 1995 we have authored a commentary on film, cinema in focus. Though we enjoy cinema as an art form, our interests lie not so much in reviewing a film as in beginning a conversation about the social and spiritual values presented. We, therefore, often rate a film higher or lower due to its message rather than its quality of acting or film-making.

Cinema In Focus Website

Free Methodist Church of Santa Barbara Website

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What about "Dusty" in the recent To End All Wars? Denny's mention of Paradise Road--also based on a true story--reminded me of it.

Does the book have to be fiction? Many missionary biographies, not all of them about preachers, exist, such as Elisabeth Elliot's The Savage My Kinsman

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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Beth - absolutely - To END ALL WARS is an even better example than Paradise Road.

Our review of TO END ALL WARS

Denny

Edited by Denny Wayman

Since 1995 we have authored a commentary on film, cinema in focus. Though we enjoy cinema as an art form, our interests lie not so much in reviewing a film as in beginning a conversation about the social and spiritual values presented. We, therefore, often rate a film higher or lower due to its message rather than its quality of acting or film-making.

Cinema In Focus Website

Free Methodist Church of Santa Barbara Website

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Thanks very much everyone. As usual you've come up trumps. Interested to see In his Steps being mentioned, I read that last year and while it's not the best written book in the world it is certainly a powerful piece of work and one which had an effect on me. I'll check out the recommendations. On the distinction between Evangelicals and Fundamentalists, there's a difference in my mind anyway. I recall reading something by John Stott where he said Evangelicals are less absolute about the literal nature of biblical truth and more engaged with society as opposed to a tendency towards separatism among Fundamentalists. Anyway, thanks very much.

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If you want scholarly, try George Marsden's Fundamentalism and American Culture: The Shaping of Twentieth Century Evangelicalism 1870-1925. It is an excellent work.

Marsden also has several more books about Evangelical Protestant influence. I highly recommend him.

"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - Groucho Marx

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Did anyone mention Saved!, or A Walk to Remember?

Edited by MLeary

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

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Did anyone mention Saved!, or A Walk to Remember?

You would have thought "Mandy loving" Stef would have mentioned those already.

...the kind of film criticism we do. We are talking about life, and more than that the possibility of abundant life." -M.Leary

"Dad, how does she move in mysterious ways?"" -- Jude (my 5-year-old, after listening to Mysterious Ways)

[once upon a time known here as asher]

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Thanks very much everyone. As usual you've come up trumps. Interested to see In his Steps being mentioned, I read that last year and while it's not the best written book in the world it is certainly a powerful piece of work and one which had an effect on me. I'll check out the recommendations. On the distinction between Evangelicals and Fundamentalists, there's a difference in my mind anyway. I recall reading something by John Stott where he said Evangelicals are less absolute about the literal nature of biblical truth and more engaged with society as opposed to a tendency towards separatism among Fundamentalists. Anyway, thanks very much.

A good, brief, sketch of the differences between fundamentalists and evangelicals can be found in Alister McGrath's Evangelicalism & the Future of Christianity. You're on to the difference when you mention separatism. Fundies tend towards "secondary separatism" which demands not only a separation from the world but also from other Christians whom they deem wrong. Historically, evangelicals have been more interested in engaging the culture while fundamentalists have not. Unfortunately, as mentioned elsewhere, the two terms have become blurred. My wife and I ran into that blurring in a rather brick wall like way when we found ourselves in a fundamentalist environment that had been presenting itself as an evangelical one; it was not pretty. Interestingly, the latest New Yorker has an article on Billy Graham's last crusade in New York which positions Graham as a kind of via media historically and also does a good job presenting the history of these two branches of Christendom.

Jesus is not a zombie...I shouldn't have to tell you that.

--Agent Booth, Bones

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