Professor Intertwines Faith and Film on Radio Show

How the big screen communicates worldviews

Apr. 22, 2010 By Jenna Bartlo

The media industry has a major impact on the way one views reality, according to Doug Geivett, professor of Philosophy at Biola University. Faith, film, and philosophy were the topics analyzed by Geivett and Iron Sharpens Iron radio host Chris Carnzen, airing on 1440AM. The theme was birthed from the book Faith, Film, and Philosophy, which Geivett helped contribute to.

“A lot of the problems of philosophy, things that we talk about in philosophy that relate to the Christian worldview directly relate to things that are explored in contemporary film,” said Geivett.

Geivett discussed the connection between worldviews and film, explaining that film has a direct impact on society’s ideologies individually and communally. He subconsciously believes film has the capacity to shape a person’s worldview and commitments in life in some way.

“I would say the deeper concerns are those ideological things - those things that concern our orientation to the world and our ultimate commitment in life and how we find meaning and so forth,” said Geivett.

Christians, as Geivett explained, are no less susceptible to the power of film than anyone else.

“They basically turn themselves over emotionally to the power of film to be entertained and find that it’s also shaping them in many ways,” said Geivett.

Carnzen brought up the fact that some claim using film in churches can diminish the sacredness of the church. On the contrary, Geivett explained short films or skits are instead tools that can be used to communicate persuasively and more clearly than the typical form of preaching.

Faith, Film, and Philosophy examines lessons that viewers can learn from movies like The Matrix, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Pretty Woman. The book explores classic and contemporary films with several major philosophical themes from a Christian perspective.

Geivett’s chapter in the book also explores the film, The Truman Show. Truman, the protagonist, finds himself with the difficult decision of either discovering the truth or continuing to live in the artificial world that is comfortable for him in the movie. The Truman Show, as well as other movies, has several implications for reality.

“Truth can be painful. The goal should be that if we find something is true, that may not be desirable, that we would still accept it to be true and organize our lives around that fact,” said Geivett.

Written by George Garcia, Media Relations Intern. Jenna Bartlo, Media Relations Coordinator, can be reached at (562) 777-4061 or through email at jenna.l.bartlo@biola.edu.

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