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Chinese Missions Conference Workshops


Movies today powerfully reflect and shape beliefs, attitudes and values on a global scale. By cultivating the art of watching and listening perceptively, Christians can better understand what people today are thinking and feeling. Contemporary movies also provide important evangelistic “points of contact”–non-threatening opportunities for stimulating conversations on matters of faith.

Movie Theology Workshop Handout


Environmental destruction is perhaps the greatest contemporary threat to human civilization. Historically Christians have been among the worst polluters. This presentation highlights the internal resources that Christianity can draw on to become a global force for the preservation and healing of nature, rather than an ideological foundation for its continued abuse. Christian commitment to creation care need not siphon energy away from evangelism. It can actually increase the credibility of the Gospel and also provide opportunities for building partnerships and personal relationships with environmentally concerned unbelievers.

Evangelism and Creation Care Workshop Handout

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Atonement in Gran Torino

The new movie Gran Torino (2009) is a remarkable exclamation point to the Clint Eastwood film genre. From memorable earlier films like Dirty Harry and Unforgiven, we are accustomed to witnessing grim vigilante violence that poisons the avenger and leaves little room for hope. We are familiar by now with Clint Eastwood’s steely eyes, lined face, laconic speech, barely-suppressed rage and tortured soul—the very things that have made him an American cultural icon. Who would have guessed that Eastwood, now in his 70s, would go theological on us?

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Woody Allen and the Terror of the Void

Woody Allen, the famous Jewish comedian and film-maker, was featured in a recent issue of Newsweek (August 18/25, 2008). Allen has always been fall-down funny, but this article reveals a hidden and more intimate side of this celebrity. We discover that he is haunted by the terror of the void, and the apparently meaninglessness and futility of life. You might not pick it up from a lot of our church programming, but this is where Christianity really has something significant to celebrate.

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Liturgy of the Rolling Stones

Shine a Light, a film about the Rolling Stones, opened last week. It’s a rollicking tribute, by Academy Award winning director Martin Scorcese, to one of the most legendary rock groups ever. For over two hours viewers are in the front row of a high-decibel Stones concert in New York City. I may not know a lot about rock and roll, but I know a liturgy when I see one. And this was a liturgical celebration of the raw vitality of life.

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