A Matter of Fear
The trailer for a new film put out by Answers in Genesis has recently appeared. The film is called A Matter of Faith. As one can tell from the trailer, it looks and feels a lot like the recent Christian film, God’s Not Dead. When the latter film originally came out I had my reservations and annoyances, some of which I shared with some friends at the pub, but I decided to let the hoopla pass without commenting on it. However, with this new trailer I feel like I have to say something.
These films reek of fear.
Check out the trailer for A Matter of Faith.
And here’s the trailer for God’s Not Dead.
The problem that I have with these films is the silly appropriation of the same trope: Christians versus educators. The attitude is Christians contra mundum. Christians versus the philosophers and Christians versus the scientists. If debates are what you want, watch a real debate. Don’t watch a scripted exchange where Christians defeat fictional foes. There is nothing about this trope that is helpful; Christians should be ashamed of the anti-intellectualism on display. This particularly bugs me because I attend a quote unquote Secular University. I love the world of academia, and I believe Christians need to be involved as contributing voices in all disciplines. And yet everything about these films smacks of fear: a fear of the academy and fear of education. In these films it is the relatively uneducated Christians who are victorious over the far-more-educated villains. This attitude not only perpetuates the false dichotomy between faith and reason, but it also convinces the broader world that Christians don’t care. These films do not encourage Christians to enter into the world of academia, but rather to see themselves in a constant fight against the educated, and that is what frightens me.