This weekend, we (our church’s youth ministry) headed to the dollar (well, actually the three-dollar-fifty) movies for a dinner and a movie out. Out of a lack of good choices of movies that would be entertaining as well as appropriate for grades 6-12, I chose Happy Feet for our group to watch. It certainly was a fun movie (my wife and I would like to adopt a dancing baby penguin now). However, I have a professor–Dr. Doug Groothuis at Denver Seminary–who has almost ruined movies for me, especially children’s movies. The reason? I now test just about every movie for its underlying worldview. (Not all movies, however. Sometimes a movie is just a movie.) I would have to see the movie again and take notes to really get its worldview down, but two beliefs of the worldview stuck out: belief in something greater than ourselves is juxtaposed to using our mind, and the opinions of elders should be distrusted because they’re stuck in their old-fossil like ways, which ultimately harms the greater society.
Now, you might find yourself saying, “C’mon, Benjer, it’s just a movie!” Maybe so. But all forms of communication communicate something, and I didn’t like what this movie was communicating. I believe that their are sensible reasons for believing in a higher power, namely the trinitarian God of the universe that has revealed himself–among other ways–in the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. A also happen to believe that people who are significantly older than me might have a bit to say about our world that I need to listen to. By the time the youth I was with graduate from high school, I hope that they’ll have learned that every movie does indeed present a worldview and to wonder if the worldview presented correlates to truth. But I also hope I don’t ruin all movies for them.