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Book Review: Hollywood Worldviews, by Brian Godawa

  • IVP Books
  • May 2009
  • 260 pp.

I first picked up a copy of Hollywood Worldviews from a bookshelf in an Upper West Side apartment. New York City, a cultural center of our age, was an appropriate setting for first reading a book about thoughtfully engaging with the primary storytelling medium of our day: film. And though Godawa does focus on discerning the worldviews of numerous films, this book can equip readers to discern worldviews in books, television, video games–you name it.

I love Godawa’s humble approach to films. Theologically, Godawa shows us a tension in film: on the one hand, our fallen nature makes any product we create inherently flawed, whether it promotes a Christian worldview or a secular one; on the other hand, God’s gift of common grace means that nearly all films–aside from those depicting purely gratuitous material, such as pornography–contain some aspects of the truth of God because they are a part of God’s general revelation. Films are not the inspired Word of God–therefore they are all skewed in some way by sin–and yet they are within the sovereign reality that indelibly bears His fingerprints.

Yet, if Hollywood Worldviews was only a theological primer, there would be nothing that unique about it. What makes this book special is its discussion and categorization of hundreds of films. Godawa makes me eager to read each page because I feel like I’m a fly on the wall of a room in which Christ-loving film critics are having a spirited discussion about the positive and negative aspects of hundreds of films. When I read Hollywood Worldviews, it’s as if I’ve been invited into an exclusive club that I have no right belonging to. After all, when I sit down and watch a film, I usually have the stance of a partaker of entertainment rather than a disciple of Jesus (if I’m perfectly honest).

Godawa’s book will help to cure Christian America of thoughtlessly viewing or flippantly deriding movies. He will help to make us more like Paul, who, at the Areopagus, has a “redemptive interaction with culture” (p. 254). I pray that this book finds it’s way next to many filmgoers and movie renters in the years to come.

Buy it at Amazon. (For the sake of transparency, this is an affiliate link, so I do receive a tiny percentage of any purchases made through the link.)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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About davestuartjr
Dave Stuart Jr. is a full-time teacher who writes about becoming better, saner teachers at TeachingtheCore.com. He is a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband to Crystal, and a father to Hadassah, Laura, and Marlena.

2 Responses to Book Review: Hollywood Worldviews, by Brian Godawa

  1. Brian says:

    Thanks, Dave! I appreciate your kind remarks about my book Hollywood Worldviews.
    Check out my new novel on Amazon, Noah Primeval, I just released in November.
    In that one I put myself to the test and wrote a book that reads like a movie.
    It will blow your mind and imagination.

  2. Bob Rogers says:

    Thanks. I’m preparing a sermon on having a comprehensive worldview, and this was helpful information.

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