07 February 2008 ~ 0 Comments

Day 2 Highlights – Part 1

A little behind.  I’ll post some highlights for each day over the next few posts to catch up.  So much has happened, I can’t even come close to hitting it all, so why try?  Eh?

Dr. Thom Parham

This guy is part of the WGA and a film professor at my wife’s alma mater, Azusa Pacific University.  He spoke about "Finding Our Passion in Filmmaking" and had some great thoughts!  Here’s a couple highlights:

  • You can encapsulate truth in a story and catch them off-guard and make them connect the dots and figure out what you’re talking about.
  • Studios may think we’ll eat anything.  We need to refine our taste to appreciate good movies.
  • Craft films with substance and beauty
  • Just because a filmmaker adheres to a different worldview doesn’t mean he or she has nothing to say
  • Christians are the new gays in Hollywood: everyone wants to play one, no one wants to be one. –Dean Batali
  • Don’t be afraid to “get real” – if we want to connect with people we need to show them we have the same problems they do
  • Movies are not evangelical, they are pre-evangelical
  • Art that people dislike and inspires discussion is better that art that is forgettable

Oddly enough, I left this session now wanting to see 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up.  Sounds odd, I know.  But Thom had some great insight into the maker of those movies and his work which somehow tends to be subversively conservative.  He shows the downside of that lifestyle in going so far over the top in that direction.  What would happen if a Christian movie maker created a film with  similar method?  Something to ponder.

His point that probably rung true with me the most was the need for more Christians "behind enemy lines" in entertainment.  We tend to get one or two back there, get excited, and leave them on their own to get picked off.  To be successful in creating culture we need to see hundreds of artist trying to break across the lines.  I guess I appreciated this in part cause I’m so sick of us telling our youth that they need to use their talents to create Christian music and art.  Let’s get them out of the bubble and let them create redemptive art in the marketplace!

Jon Tyson

This was the smaller group discussion time with Jon.  Again, the guy is brilliant and is doing some pretty awesome stuff in NYC at his church, Origins.  He had 2 main points to discuss:

  1. Making sure we don’t create ahistorical churches
  2. The death of alpha male leadership in the church

Being that our group was the cluster of smaller churches, we chose to focus more on the former (being that the latter tends to be more of a mega-church mentality, however we are far from immune to it in my opinion).  I can’t even come close to summing up all we talked about there, but here are a few thoughts I was able to pull out of the mix:

  • There is a difference between contextualization and relevance
  • Our churches need to be rooted, not relevant
  • People need to understand their place in the greater picture of Christian history
  • I really need to look more into "narrative theology"
  • We try to get people to serve in our church on Sundays and devalue the other 160+ weekly hours of their lives, although we would never overtly say it.  (Wow…there was a lot behind that.  That one really hit me between the eyes!)
  • Teaching is not the solution

As a result of our discussion, I went to Amazon during it and ordered The Shaping of Things to Come.  It’s on its way and I can’t wait to check it out.

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