Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Audacity: Love Can’t Stay Silent

50 minutes / 2015
Rating: 8/10

I used to think the main flaw with Christian movies is that so many of them are simply sermons disguised as dramas. But I’ve recently realized that the problem with these dramas wasn’t that they were sermons but rather that they were bad sermons… and paired with bad acting and worse writing.

In Audacity Executive Producer Ray Comfort has done something different. This is still a message movie – it’s for Christians, about why we need to, and how we can, spread the Gospel to homosexuals – but it's one in which pretty good writing and pretty good acting have been paired with an absolutely fantastic sermon. The end result is something every Christian needs to see.

The story begins in a typical office setting. When attractive Diana aggressively challenges bike messenger Peter to defend his biblical beliefs about gay marriage he heads to the Internet to do research. How can he present the truth winsomely?

Fortunately Peter finds YouTube videos from street evangelist Ray Comfort in which homosexuals are interviewed and challenged, and yet seem to appreciate the exchange. How does Comfort pull it off? By focusing on what we all – heterosexual and homosexual – have in common: our sinful tendency towards sexual lust.

Just that quick, Comfort shows that the tendencies we are born with can’t be our guide to what is right or wrong. His is also an inclusive approach. He doesn’t approach homosexuals as someone above or better than them, but rather as someone in a similar situation, also in need of a Savior. And he explains that because he believes the Bible to be true, if he loves his homosexual neighbors then he has to speak up.

In total Comfort’s witnessing videos only amount to about 15 minutes in this 50-minute production, but they are the crux around which the whole film revolves. In the dramatic sections we get to see how “everyman” Peter ends up putting into practice what he has learned. It’s believable enough that most viewers will be able to imagine themselves in Peter’s shoes and learn right along with him what it means to speak the truth in love. We can’t stay silent. We need to share what Jesus has done for us, and what he can do for homosexuals too.

To learn how to do it well, consider gathering a few friends together to watch and discuss Audacity. It’s available for free viewing online at www.audacitymovie.com (and the DVD can be had for $5 there) or you can click on the video above.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Living waters

69 minutes / 2015
Rating 8/10

This is one part nature documentary and one part evolutionary takedown. Illustra Media understand that a great way to expose evolution is to take a close in-depth look at some of the creatures that God has made. In Darwin’s day scientists didn’t have the ability to look inside the cell, and only had a glimmering of how incredibly complex even the simplest living creatures are. Now we know so much more – it turns out that even the simplest cell in our body has astonishingly complex and coordinated inner workings. Some have compared the complexity of a cell to the complexity of an entire city! In other words, the more we know, the more apparent it is that evolution can’t be so.

In previous films Illustra Media took a close look at butterflies (Metamorphosis) and birds (Flight). This time they have turned their attention to four maritime creatures: dolphins, sea turtles, pacific salmon, and humpback whales.

Time doesn’t allow a full detailing of just how awe-inspiring this investigation is. But I’ll give you a small sampling of what the documentary shares about the complexity of dolphins. These creatures can distinguish between a ping pong ball and a golf ball via echo-location. This is a form of sonar, and better than anything man has ever constructed. The dolphin’s sonar system can spot fish up to six inches under the sand and can find a BB at the bottom of a swimming pool.

Dolphins also have a complex air return system which allows them to make the high frequency sounds they need for echo location by blowing air past two sets of “phonic lips” and then recoup that air and redirect it back to its lungs. This air return system allows it re-use this air and to echo locate for more than ten minutes without needing to surface for air.

This is only scratching the surface of the dolphin’s complexity but this is already enough to expose the impossibility of evolution. The dolphin is able to:
  1. make the sonic sound
  2. focus and direct it
  3. receive it
  4. and, finally, have the ability to interpret and understand the signal they are getting back 
All four of these elements are needed or else the system won’t work at all. So how could evolution – random mutation and natural selection – be responsible? The idea that all four elements evolved to be at the very same time is beyond fantastic. So too is the idea that they would evolve one after another and be selected for, despite having no function (despite having no evolutionary advantage) until all four are finally developed and the whole system is up and running. Evolution simply can’t account for systems such as this, which are so obviously and clearly designed.

Living waters is a remarkable documentary with wonderful visuals of all the creatures discussed. My pre-school children weren’t able to follow the discussion, but the close-up videos and computer animations kept their attention. Meanwhile their mom and I were stunned by the sheer brilliance and creativity of God!

I should mention that while mention is made of an Intelligent Designer, He is never specifically named as the God of the Bible. That is disappointing, but every Christian watching this will most certainly give God glory. I can’t recommend it enough – this is a amazing look at some seemingly simple but incredibly complex creatures.

You can by a copy at Amazon.com by clicking here.