In recent year there has been a developing Reformation of content and Renaissance of artistry in media production and delivery. On January 16, The Christian Spotlight on Entertainment asks readers to give feedback on specific TV shows in its TV Spotlight. Most movie services for theaters, DVDs, and streaming provide feedback and review tools to give consumers a voice about what they want and do not want to see. Giving consumers ways to voice their opinions and even more importantly taking actions based on the voices of consumers has been one of the factors in the ongoing Reformation of content and Renaissance of artistry in media content and delivery.
Also, we have growing services for providing redemptive media, such as Christian Cinema that released on January 15 its list of top-selling 100 movies from 2015 based on Audience Choice. Further, due to the expanse of user-friendly and widely available streaming technologies and services, we have experienced in recent years free and paid streaming to the world of the greatest artistry produced in the United States in the finest facilities and from across globe to the world at large.
Furthermore, there have been critical times in history as men exceeded God-given moral and ethical boundaries and immorality and violence slide faster and faster down the slippery slope to perdition, when one man made a significant difference to lead countries and cultures back within the God-given moral and ethical boundaries again. Such examples are Constantine, Roman Emperor, who made the church preeminent over the Roman Empire and Martin Luther, the reformer who enabled the Word of God to later have preeminence over corrupt church leaders and policies.
These were not perfect men with perfect results, but they illustrate the power of one God-ordained, God-empowered person to move the course of history back into better and safer moral boundaries. Then under Queen Elizabeth in England the Reformation of spiritual life, morals and ethics coexisted with the Renaissance of artistry. Again these were not perfect times, but they illustrate the possibility of coexistence of morals, spirituality, and great art.
In recent years we have been witnessing a kind of Reformation of content and Renaissance of artistry developing in the United States in media and delivery of the best in performing arts across many delivery platforms. We have seen more active consumer feedback and growth of technology that has facilitated this reformation and renaissance. We have also had national leaders who have been making a difference in encouraging this ongoing reformation and renaissance. Dr. Ted Baehr of Movieguide® has been counted among them.
For movies and TV, on January 16, Dr. Ted Baehr of Movieguide® writes, “2015 was a Spectacular Year for Movies with Faith & Values. He reports that movies with the following characteristics did the best at the box office: family-friendly, Christian principles, spiritually uplifting, moral, conservative, inspiring content, biblical worldviews and more. He reports of litany of examples of 2015 movie triumphs: “Cinderella” triumphed over evil and greed with courage, kindness and forgiveness: “The Good Dinosaur” learned to “fear not” so he could reunite with his family; Oh in “Home” learned how important mothers and children are; in “Inside Out” Joy learned that self-sacrifice saves other; “Max” taught his human family about faith, morals and patriotism; and “The Peanuts” affirmed the values of compassion, honesty, selflessness, and bravery.
Further, triumphs of 2015 movies that Dr. Baehr outlines are the following: “Shaun the Sheep” out that sheep need a shepherd; “War Room” helped people find a deeper, active, and real prayer life; “The 33” showed that only God can do the impossible; “Ant-Man” showed that fathers and daughters need each other; “Avengers: Age of Ultron” warned people not to play God; “Furious 7 showed us the way to our ultimate home; “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part Two” showed us that power corrupts; “JOY” used her God-given talents to succeed; “Jurassic World” showed that stewardship triumphs over playing God; “Mission Impossible-Rogue Nation” extolled friendship, self-sacrifice, loyalty, and doing the right thing.
Furthermore, Dr. Ted Baehr reviews more triumphs of 2015 movies: “Mad Max” learned that by grace he could be redeemed; “The Martian” realized that Jesus was vital to his survival; “Brooklyn” showed that a Christian marriage ceremony saves a marriage; “Captive” showed the power of Grace; “Do You Believe?” showed us how we should live; “A.D.: The Bible Continues” showed the power of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers; “Ancient Roads from Christ to Constantine” revealed the Truth through scholars; “Blue Bloods: Hold Outs”; told us to study the Bible for solutions to real problems; “Chicago Fire: Forgiving, Relentless, Unconditional” told us that God calls us to unconditional love and forgiveness; Dolly Parton’s “Coat of Many Colors” showed the real meaning of faith, family and love; and “Saints and Strangers” showed the American history of a real faith in Jesus Christ.
Dr. Baehr and Movieguide® are right that 2015 was marked by movies and TV that affirmed Christian, biblical, patriotic faith and values. He is right that 2015 demonstrated the morally uplifting, redemptive movies showed strength at the box office domestically and internationally. He is right that moviegoers throughout 2015 supported the Good, the True and the Beautiful. .
Now as we look ahead in 2016, we see that many good family and redemptive movies due in theaters for the rest of the year. These include: “Kung Fu Panda 3,” January 29; “Race,” February 19; “Risen,” February 19; “Providence,” February 12; “Young Messiah,” March 11; “Miracles from Heaven,” March 23; “God’s not Dead 2,” April 1; “The Jungle Book,” April 15; “Same Kind of Different as Me,” April 29; “Finding Dory,” June 17; “BFG,” July 1; “Captain America: Civil War,” May 6; “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2,” June 3; “Star Trek Beyond,” July 22 ; “Ben-Hur,” August 12, “Pete’s Dragon,” August 12; and “Star Wars: Rogue One,” December 16.
Further, many other promising family and redemptive movies are in development for cinemas: “Left Behind 2,” “Full of Grace,” “Do You Believe 2,” “The Resurrection of Gavin Stone,” “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair,” “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician’s Nephew,” “Ten Commandments,” “King David,” “Apostle Paul'”(with Hugh Jackman), “Pontius Pilate,” “Butterfly Circus,” “The Adventures of Tintin 2,” “Touchdown on the Tundra,” “Wanted,” “I’m Not Ashamed” and a slate of HD Texas movies.
Furthermore, Disney live-action remakes of classic animated family movies continue in development: “Aladdin,” “The Jungle Book,” “Mulan,” “Dumbo,” Winnie the Pooh,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Pinocchio,” “Fantasia,” “Tinker Bell,” and “Chip ‘n’ Dale.”
With darkness and danger ever present in our world in recent years, it has been “The Worst of Times.” But as the Reformation of content and Renaissance of artistry in media prevails and continues, it has also been “The Best of Times” with more of the Best yet to come.