aRt & tHeOlOgY: Christ. Caviezel. Christians and Confession.

A friend recently sent me a link to a Jim Caviezel interview, given in August of 2010 at Rock Church, San Diego.

Throughout it Caviezel discusses his reasons for working on the ‘Passion of the Christ’. He details the before and after experience, making it clear that the work was not easy.

Unfortunately he didn’t discuss his work in ‘Frequency’ (2000), Jim Caviezel_compendium ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ (2002) and ‘I am David’ (2003).

He did, however, make some pointed remarks about freedom, society, faith and politics.

For example:

 ‘We cannot continue as Christians and sit here and say, “well I’ll only be a Christian if it’s about prosperity”…’

‘…Every generation of Americans needs to know, that freedom exists not to do whatever you like, but having the right to what you ought’

{Quotes appear @ 21:50-23:34 in the video linked below}

Three things stand out.

First, Caviezel’s delivery. His tone is for the most part sombre, sometimes urgent, but appeared to be full of conviction. He is keen to proclaim a message.

Second, despite some cheesy remarks from the interviewer, who all-in-all did a great job, Caviezel stays focused on his message. He sticks to clear points of interest that suggest this is not a put on just for entertainment or publicity value.

Third, Caviezel appears to be a man of conviction, speaking about lessons learnt from difficult experiences and introspective reflection.

Despite what you might think about ‘The Passion’ Movie, Mel Gibson or Caviezel, this interview is a rare insight into the journey of an actor who, by taking up the role of Jesus in the movie, gained more than he gave up or had stripped from him.

Caviezel knows the caveats in interviews where testimony plays a major part of the content. His comments make it obvious that he has put lot of consideration into how to communicate his faith in the shadow of masked pleasantry. This is tacitly referenced to in his statement that:

‘…you don’t have go out and do a song and dance for secularists because they won’t believe – they won’t believe anyway. You can pray for them, but understand people are going to choose evil’

{Quote appears @ 22:43 in the video linked below}

I thought the interview was candid and free of theatrics. It reveals a man willing to confess his faith in Jesus Christ, in full awareness of the cost to his own financial security, professional reputation and ambition.

Seeing as how this interview was almost four years old, you may have seen it.

If not, the full 40min is worth making the time to watch it.

(Please note: the linked video contains limited footage of the crucifixion scene in the movie)


Rock Church, 2010 Events: Jim Caviezel Comes to the Rock :
Image: The Passion of the Christ


8 thoughts on “aRt & tHeOlOgY: Christ. Caviezel. Christians and Confession.

  1. art & life notes says:

    Thanks for sharing this! I’ll look forward to watching the video – it will be nice to hear the man speak off screen.
    I’d seen the Count of MC and I Am David, and I think they’re both great movies. But I hadn’t heard about Frequency, so I’ll check that out as well.
    ‘Hope all is well!


    1. Rod Lampard says:

      Hi Scott. Good to hear from you again. It’s been a while since I watched Frequency. I might have to rent it again. Re: ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’, have you read Dumas’ book of the same name? I’ve watched the American and French version but still find that the book has much more to it. Each movie leaves out or only just covers the rich theological content in the narrative.


      1. art & life notes says:

        I’ve seen both movies, and the endings of both radically depart from the way the novel ends. But at least the ending in Caviezel’s movie was believable, and was in some ways more satisfying than the book or the Gerard Depardieu movie, (at least to me, if I’m remembering everything correctly.) I think I remember feeling like the book was largely about cold revenge and justice, and seemed to be lacking in themes of grace and redemption, (which would be understandable given the main character’s story.) I admit my memory is fuzzy now, and I didn’t actually read the book, but listened in as my wife read it to our daughter years ago. It’s a great story. What is the theological content in the book that impressed you? Maybe it would be worth reading again…


  2. Rod Lampard says:

    @Scott. There are a number of theological points of interest which stand out. The first being self-sacrifice such as the priest, without whom Dantes would not have escaped or have been able to thwart the cycle of abuse revisiting the young and poor in the story. Dantes also intervenes by helping (granted not entirely selflessly) other key characters in need.

    For me the key point of interest for Christians in Dumas’ story is the abuse of power and an effective response to it.

    Others include the webs weaved by greed, lies, and deceit.There is a raw human attempt to find a road between justice and revenge. Despite the advice of friends, wealth and freedom, Dantes struggles to adjust to the ”new world order” in which he finds himself. A man trying to reconcile himself to the truth that the world he knew longer exists.Everything has been taken from him. Purpose, love, relationships, career, employment – life. In his tale we find tension between action and inaction. The empowerment of hope, love, atonement, and rescue, in the face of longing, bereavement, absence, abandonment, temptation, accountability and judgement. (brokenness)

    The nature of his doubts about the rightness of his actions show conviction. For example: Dantes makes it clear that he is aware of his sin: discovered in the irony that ”he became a dragon in order to slay the dragon” – he laments this, noting in the end that with all the education he benefited from he ended up deceiving himself. Even though Dantes considered himself to be so, he realises that only God is good/divine; only God can pass sentence. Dantes becomes a victim of his own bitterness and emotional confusion. The lines between him being victim and villain become blurred.

    Dumas reaches out beyond his time by reinforcing Edmond Burke’s adage that ‘evil thrives when “good” men do nothing’.In a lot of ways TCOMC is a cautionary tale about that. It is an example of blind trust, unprotected innocence (not to be read as naiveté or ignorance), and the point that revenge often harms those who seek it.

    The story is not pleasant but it is a powerful reminder that those who feel powerless in fact have power. It speaks to us a warning that betrayal does not just include what is done to us, but what we can do to ourselves.

    There are deeper themes such as finding distinctions and acting on them. Those are the ones I remember.



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