I am intrigued by two things about this production of Leonard Ravenhill’s sermon ‘Judgement seat of Christ’ (below). Firstly is the eschatological theology behind Ravenhill’s statement that ‘entertainment is the devil’s substitute for joy’ – something I am cautiously in agreement with Ravenhill about, which means that I am still processing it theologically. Secondly, that the music from Hans Zimmer’s song ‘All of them’, which featured Moya Brennan, in a piece from the 2004 film ‘King Arthur’, has been used as a sound bed for the dialogue.
There is a keen sense of irony in the use of a film score for a sermon that carries the statement: ‘entertainment is the devil’s substitute for joy’. However, my purpose here is not to unpack this fully, as I would also have to cover the messy copyright concerns about how some Christians loosely respect the intellectual property of others in ways which may not honour God. (Disclaimer: I am not implying that the author of the video below does not have permission to reproduce the material, they may have. What my uncertainty here proves, is just how difficult – ambiguous and grey – this topic really is. Hence my reluctance to discuss it at length here).
Therefore, my point is to only suggest that even in our best efforts we may end up contradicting ourselves; inadvertently crossing a line, consequently handing our opponents unnecessary ammunition (those who are more than happy to misquote and misappropriate what we may say or write).
The phrase Australians use for this activity is ”nit-picking” – it is an ugly metaphor – but it does illustrate a point of order which suggests that, when it comes to what we write or say (co-create with God), some people will dig for little things which may or may not be there, only in order to shame and ridicule. The academic realm where this can happen a lot is decontextualization, and the even more precarious – proof-texting. The urban term is ”trolling”.
That said. I enjoy Hans Zimmer’s work. I have even gone to the trouble of ordering the Compact Disc of certain film scores even though I’ve purchased the song on iTunes (I know, it is a curious habit – but hey I’d be surprised if I was the only one who did this) I also really like what Leonard Ravenhill has to say, his message is relevant, timely and therefore worth the seven minutes of your time.
All that said – both the music and the material, certainly has the potential to bring together our hearts and God’s, in a point of impact which majestically climaxes in the following short prayer:
…”Master forgive, and inspire us anew”… (Leonard Ravenhill)
2 thoughts on “aRt and tHeOlOgY: Ravenhill, Hans Zimmer and a point of order”
that line he said when people respond to you with “You’re trying to be holier than us”, is a difficult one to know how to fix. I need to tell my mom to stop sending sweets to our home. I also wonder if we should choose our friends based on their holiness or their availability. Like, should we just love everyone as much as we can or should we avoid sinful people because we will probably get caught up in their sins. The Israelites had it easy living in their tribe and avoiding other societies, but we’re just dropped down in the middle of everyone and it is hard to stay pure, it even feels unloving to stay pure when the people around you are indulging in sin. You are intentionally making yourself an outcast. Love or purity, there’s probably some balance where you can have both.
I agree. It is difficult to work through the ”you think your so righteous, well you’re not” shaming tactics. I recently had this said to me by a relative over a disagreement. My wife and I seem to exist in a too worldly for some Christians/too Godly for the world paradigm, so I understand to some degree what you mean. I think that it’s this way because we don’t live with a secular vs sacred mindset. I am unclear as to whether or not this informs what Ravehill is talking about in his sermon – I am generous with my interpretation though, and I will say that I understand him to be reinforcing the – be in the world but not of it biblical view. Showing them that all humanity are children of God, whom He loves and reaches out for in Christ. I also think the idea of the world for Paul and Jesus was the primal aversion to God – a rejection of the God who comes to us. i.e.: sin is the rejection of grace. Which today is expressed in what Karl Barth called practical atheism – where Christians only give lip service to being Christian (Something Niccoli Machiavelli pointed out as being essential to impression management in his book on 16th century politics called ‘The Prince’).