Review: To Save A Life (Movie)


To Save A Life – New Song Pictures – Scheduled to hit theaters January 22 2010

This isn’t going to be easy for me, not only because I generally write about music, not movies, but also because I may not be making a lot of friends with my review.  Hopefully I won’t lose too many in the process, but I won’t sacrifice truth for popularity.  Still, I implore you to read on, as I am willing to bet that even if “To Save A Life” doesn’t hit your local theater, I’m betting that it will hit your local Christian bookstore and maybe even your church.  Because this movie was filmed in and around my current home town and thanks to a very friendly publicist, I was able to view this screener as it was being shown for the first time in what is supposedly the final edit.  Let me describe what the movie is about, then I will let you know my thoughts on the picture.

The scene starts out with a funeral and a series of flashbacks that provoke the main theme of this movie, which is that the main character Jake Taylor’s childhood best friend, Roger Dawson, had just shot himself, which come to find out was because of the isolation he felt when Jake and everyone else moved on when high school started a few years back.  Jake is now forced to ask himself the tough questions, like what could have been done to prevent this?  The answers start to come in spurts when a local pastor introduces himself and befriends Jake, inviting him to come to youth group in case he wanted to talk about what was going on.

I’m not so sure what the rules are on movie spoilers, so I’ll just give some of the basics, which is easily done since this movie is pretty much all about the basics.  Though I came into the movie thinking that it was a suicide prevention story (it is), it also covers just about every other thing a teenager could face, you know, just in case.  Teenage pregnancy, youth groups, rebellious pastor’s kid, underage drinking, drugs, cutting, depression, you name it and it is probably in this movie somewhere.  I guess it wasn’t enough to just talk about one thing, so they tossed in everything they could imagine (making this movie probably half an hour longer than it needed to be.

When it comes down to it, however, this project is being marketed as some kind of an outreach, something that they are trying to sell to churches across the country as a way to reach kids.  The movie is based around a young man’s search for answers, which lead him to God (somehow), but leaves the viewer with more questions than real answers.

The movie spends so much time trying to show itself as not “religious”, that they forget to mention Jesus Christ.  Paul wrote in 1st Corinthians 2: 1-5 that “… I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God.  For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.  I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling.  And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”  This clearly isn’t how this movie plays out, with hardly even an illusion the Word of God (other than a Scripture being heard in the background and a couple mentions of the Bible).  No, instead, they have more curse words (two) in the movie (which the pastor says is the coolest thing he’d ever heard) than mentions of Jesus Christ (zero).  Yes, there was one very humble moment where Jake prays to God (the Christian God, surely), but without the knowledge of Jesus Christ crucified what is the point of all this?  This becomes nothing more than a very well done after school special with all the godliness of a very special “Touched by an Angel” episode.

So what to make of this?  Well, besides that my honesty may have hurt some people’s feelings that I really wish I did not have to hurt, this provides us an opportunity.  People may be talking about this at your church (or maybe not, this wasn’t a huge budget film, so how far it reaches I do not know), so this may give you who are Christians the opportunity to do what the film lacks, which is to point people to Jesus Christ.  The movie may have been done well enough that it intrigues a few people, but without those of you who have been saved by Jesus Christ to convey the message of the gospel then there is no point at all.  Thankfully, Christ is in control of these things and if we walk by His Spirit, not by the flesh, then He can use us to show people the love of Christ in His death and resurrection.

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118 responses to “Review: To Save A Life (Movie)

  1. TylerM September 8, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    My thoughts: don’t apologize more than even once in the review. That’s not your job. It was a good review, explaining the basics. You need to elaborate on the movie with a Spoiler: tag if need be.

  2. Aaron C September 8, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    I agree with TylerM, never apologize for a review. It’s your honest opinion and not the readers. There is many reviews that I didn’t agree with but enjoyed reading it because the reviewer was honest and the piece was well written. Give your opinion, that is what a reviewer does.

  3. Tyler Hess September 8, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    hey guys thanks for the input…my point wasnt really that I was trying to apologize, but rather make it clear that I wasn’t trying to be a jerk about things, I just wanted to get a Biblical point across, not just be a bull headed know it all punk. I figure being on the side of humility can’t be all bad if God talks so highly about it :)

  4. Ed September 22, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    TOTALLY disagree with your review. You’ll probably delete my post, but you should stick to music. THIS MOVIE IS AWESOME! Compelling, well-acted, real. Not like traditional Christian films at all. You should stick to reviewiewing music!

  5. Tyler Hess September 23, 2009 at 8:09 am

    why would I delete a comment that disagrees with me?

  6. Emily September 25, 2009 at 10:19 am

    I saw an advanced screening at Spirit West Coast this spring. I hear what you’re saying about them not getting into the message of Jesus Christ, but I think that is part of the outreach aspect. The movie isn’t designed to spell out the message of the cross, it’s to get kids to ask questions and to search for answers to things they’ve maybe never questioned before. If they had gotten too specific, the danger is that it could sound too Christian or preachy and non-christians would be completely turned off to it. Sometimes you have to just plant a seed; that is hint at the truth to get people interested. If you’re in their face about it or if you spell it out, the intrigue is gone, along with the motivation for them to seek it out on their own. I think that is the balance the movie is going for. Bringing God into the picture in a realistic high school setting without being too preachy in order to get non-christian teens to think about what they’re missing in their lives. As Christians, it is our job to be there to point them to Jesus when these questions arise.

  7. David Hood October 9, 2009 at 8:57 am

    I saw it at DCLA and was blown away with the quality of the acting and the overall production. I would say that this is not a “Christian” film if you think in terms of Fireproof. It’s a very, very good film that comes from a Christian worldview, but shows the reality of teenage life. Kids drink, they cuss, they sleep around, they party and they hope to be accepted as they try to come to grips with what it means to ‘grow up’.
    Ultimately, I agree with Emily, it was a huge discussion starter…there had to be 200 kids at the first showing, standing room only, and afterwards they were hanging out in the alcoves of the LA Convention Center talking about the story lines and the kids they personally knew that were going through the same things. What was eye opening for me was that the next day at least 800 kids were jammed in the hallway to the next screening because the buzz on it was so big. Kids had talked it up so much, there was no push from the stage about it, that they convinced loads of their friends to see it again. Man…I want to see that duplicated in my city…hundreds of kids from youth groups unashamedly pulling thousands of friends to see this movie (instead of Saw 6). I’m looking at my group differently now…they can all be “Jakes”

  8. Megan October 9, 2009 at 11:03 am

    I disagree with what you have said.. i am a teen and i saw the movie last night. I agree with ed i think you should stick to music. This movie was amazing and i thinks using cus words and things like that made it even better.. so much more realistic and it is a great tstimony to non-christians. I think emily has a good point.. the movie did a great job at portraying the real aspects of teen life and is also not to overwhelming or pushy for teens that are not christians. I am very excited for the movie to come out in January and i think it is a great oppurtunity for christian teens to spread the word and get all there non christians friends to come see it!!

  9. Dennis Muller October 10, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Wow, I am glad I am not the only one that thinks this movie is full of watered down, diluted, poluted faith. I am a youth director and took my 17 year old to this preview to get her perspective on this. I almost walked out during the first scene when the three letter word that should be used for a donkey was used for someones backside. Yes there are in total 3 curse words used, one of them twice. All are words found in the KJV Bible but these were used out of context and as a curse word. This is not the message you find in Fireproof either. My daughter was the first to say the “makeout” scene where they go to the room and he takes off his shirt as they fall on the bed kissing could have ended with them going in the room and closing the door. Implied > actually making these kids do things with someone that is not their spouse. In Fireproof Kirk Cameron had his wife be the body double in the scene where his character Caleb kisses Catherine. And where is Jesus at all in this movie? It has a lot of good but a 9×13 inch pan full of 95% pure ingredients to make the best brownies in the world is tainted by 5% dog poop. I wouldn’t eat it, and I won’t take my teens to watch this movie. Thanks for your honest review!!

  10. Anthony October 28, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    Just to say, Dennis, this movie wasn’t made to be a cushy, “here’s your christianity on a plate” movie. It’s meant to portray real life, and real life teenagers use curse words and go to parties and have sex. I think christian films that shy away from these things immediately make themselves culturally irrelevant because they water down reality.

  11. Tyler Hess October 28, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    I don’t think that two curse words make this movie real. Neither does the over the top storyline. The only thing that would make this movie real is the gospel of Jesus Christ. The only way that this movie will have any significant impact is if the Christians who bring their non-Christian friends to this movie will tell them that gospel. Otherwise, it is merely an inspirational movie that will be forgotten by the next day.

  12. Zac November 10, 2009 at 11:56 am

    “The only way that this movie will have any significant impact is if the Christians who bring their non-Christian friends to this movie will tell them that gospel.”

    You got it!

    Check out tosavealifeleaders.com and see the resources the makers of the movie have released to help Christians do just that.

  13. Mike November 14, 2009 at 8:06 am

    I am a youth pastor who previously was a counselor and my degree is in psychology. The arguements about this protraying “real life” are simply juvinile. Real life is about choices you make and what you let into your life. Sex, profanity, ect…these things are really going on, but not by everyone. There is another choice. I have not seen the movie, but have researched on the web (including this site). I have not made up my mind about encouraging my youth to see it or not. Both views are valid. It stops short of the “True Reality”; the power in the name of Jesus, but if follow up happens, that power can be added. Tyler…you may want to look at some other movies for us…I am now a fan.

  14. Dennis Muller November 15, 2009 at 7:25 am

    Anthony :Just to say, Dennis, this movie wasn’t made to be a cushy, “here’s your christianity on a plate” movie. It’s meant to portray real life, and real life teenagers use curse words and go to parties and have sex. I think christian films that shy away from these things immediately make themselves culturally irrelevant because they water down reality.

    So where does this reality end? Nudity, more vulgar words (cause that is what the youth are saying)? And by what measure are you saying what is ok? Mans morality or the Bible? Please read Ephesians 5:4.

    It is a very slippery slope. As Casting Crowns would sing…a slow fade (Psalms Chapter 1). Ask yourself would Jesus make this movie? Would he endorse it? And where is Jesus mentioned at all in the movie?

  15. Sheena November 16, 2009 at 10:45 am

    I’m 27, been doing youth ministry for 5 years. I absolutely AGREE with your review. I’m not even a normal, conservative youth leader. I listen to secular music, I watch secular movies, I have bachelors degrees in communications and ethics. Unfortunately, this so called Christian film didn’t seem much different than the secular things. I’m disappointed in this movie. I feel like a lot of compromises were made to show something that we get enough of on TV. I can understand (to a point) the simulation of sex, drugs, alcohol, etc., – we do that in church skits all the time – but the biggest compromise to me was the foul language (by the way there are 5 instances of foul language – 3 words, but 5 instances). The message of the movie would have lost absolutely nothing by leaving that out. But because Christian directors chose to put that in, it compromised the film’s integrity. It’s one thing to simulate the drugs and alcohol, but when Christian actors are using foul language on purpose – that’s not a simulation. It was simply unneccessary. I really like your point about “Jesus Christ” not being mentioned in the movie – that didn’t even occur to me, but you are right about that. That hits me even harder. We have again compromised by not specifying the one and only way to be free of sin – Jesus Christ – by just saying that “God” changed our lives. Every religion has a god. But only Christians have the true God – Jesus Christ – and it’s His name that needs to be called out.

  16. Brad Parks November 19, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    I went to the movie last night. I thought it was long and should have ended with the suiscidal theme or perhaps made it in 3 parts. I thought the spritual part was just right but I’m a Methodist. If it were more my kids would have turned it off. I work in a group home for problem youth and have for 30 years. I’ve shown lots of movies. I think you do have to plant seeds.

  17. Aaron December 10, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Haven’t seen the movie yet. Read the review and the posts. I am a pastor and will be seeing the movie in a private screening next Tuesday. Two verses come to mind initially:
    “Abstain from all appearances of evil.” I Thes. 5:22
    “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.” Phil. 4:8

    There are many things that are “real” in this world. There are a lot of those “real” things that I do not want to have encouraged to our youth as “normal” or permisable as Christians. Is the standard for us as Christians for what should be portrayed or viewed that it is “real” or as Philippians 4:8 says that it is viruous? It may sound as if I have made up my mind on this already. I have not. I will see the movie as I said. But our decisions as Christians should be based on Scriptural truth and principal primarily, not on comparisons with or philosophies of the world.

  18. Wes December 10, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    While I disagree with 99% of your review, and a majority of the comments on the review, conversation is a good thing. Its all about planting the seed. I agree with the concern that Jesus isn’t mentioned at all in the film.

    Other than that, I have 0 problems with the film. Complain about the language, but how about Family Guy, or The Office, or any other popular television show. We as christians have a huge problem with kissing in a film that promotes christian values, or language in a film with christian values, but we will watch, and let our children watch whatever comes on tv. I personally work with youth through a similar ministry as this, have the screener, and will be promoting the heck out of it. The reason why? It talks about issues that the church is way too scared to talk about. Show me a church youth ministry that actually focuses on issues like teen sex, cutting, accepting those that are different, pornography(the one that really chaps my hide), or any other of a number of current issues, for more than one Sunday or Wednesday a year, and I will concede. I reiterate, the church is too scared to talk about them. They are too worried about numbers.

    If you can’t tell what my review of the film is going to be like from this post, then I don’t know what to tell you. But I will ask that you go into it with an open mind. Could somethings have been different? Maybe. But will you use the overall message of the film, acceptance of those that are different than you? I hope so.

  19. Tyler Hess December 10, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    I agree that the church generally doesn’t discuss those things enough, but the answer still has to be found in Jesus, not just in consenting that these problems exist. i think that the movie tried to attack too many things at once, rather than just the issue of suicide, which made the movie a bit long and unfocused (more of a movie critique than anything), but if they had just shared the gospel somewhere that would have helped their case a lot.

    still, I think that we need individual accountability…if you’re going to see this with an unsaved friend or coworker or classmate or whatever then using it as an opportunity to share that gospel with them then this movie was not made in vain.

    Wes, have you heard the song “topics” by Nevertheless from the In The Making album…love that song…it coincides with your comments :)

  20. Wes December 10, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Nevertheless happens to be one of my favorite bands, and I am very sad that they are disbanding. And topics is one of my favorite songs. Its kind of one of my “anthems” if you will.

    I agree that i wouldn’t just send someone who doesn’t believe blindly into the movie. It would be a great movie to watch where you knew there were going to be people who might not be believers. And yes, the gospel def needed to be presented. As far as the length, I fall asleep during most movies we start after 9pm. I was glued to this one. The only other one that I have been like that recently with was Taking Chance.

  21. Tyler Hess December 10, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    yea…i was pretty bummed about ntl breaking up too…itm had some of my favorite songs last year

  22. Derek December 17, 2009 at 9:54 am

    Wes-

    I’m not sure what churches you have been a part of, but the Christian schools and churches I have worked for over the last ten years have discussed sex, pornography, suicide, depression, acceptance, etc ad nauseum. I think many churches are more progressive than you may think.

    God bless,

    Derek

  23. R. Margarette December 31, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    I was bummed to hear some of the comments on this site. I have seen “To Save a Life” and I feel it is one of the first faith based films that may make it out of the church walls and reach the people who are really hurting. The film encourages teenagers to love people and to love God which are the two greatest commandments in the Bible. This film is a great tool for those who are missional and are obeying the great commission. I totally agree with the verse that was quoted above but feel it has been taken out of context. “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is anything praiseworthy – MEDITATE on these things.” Phil. 4:8 This verse doesn’t say to completely avoid these things. This would be in opposition to the rest of scripture. If we are to “live in the world but not of the world” as Jesus has commanded us then we will be exposed to things that are “evil” and/or “sinful”. Honestly, I don’t know where some of you have been living. Maybe within the walls of your church buildings? When I talk with my unchurched neighbors and friends they say things much more “offensive” than what is in this film. My husband and I are very careful about what we watch and what we expose ourselves to but I can’t think of a better movie that I would recommend to my Christian friends as well as my unchurched friends and neighbors. I am so excited and can’t wait to hear of the stories of the lives that will be changed through this film!

  24. PD January 12, 2010 at 7:37 am

    Anthony :Just to say, Dennis, this movie wasn’t made to be a cushy, “here’s your christianity on a plate” movie. It’s meant to portray real life, and real life teenagers use curse words and go to parties and have sex. I think christian films that shy away from these things immediately make themselves culturally irrelevant because they water down reality.

    Dennis:So where does this reality end? Nudity, more vulgar words (cause that is what the youth are saying)? And by what measure are you saying what is ok? Mans morality or the Bible? Please read Ephesians 5:4.

    It is a very slippery slope. As Casting Crowns would sing…a slow fade (Psalms Chapter 1). Ask yourself would Jesus make this movie? Would he endorse it? And where is Jesus mentioned at all in the movie.

    You both make good points. Dennis i think you really make a good point though. We do need to be relevant, we do need to be able to reach people but at what cost. We look just like the world. You can get a point across and not be all religious and “cushy” without swearing and like previously stated by just having the two go into the bedroom and close the door. I think not looking cushy and religious is portrayed by Jake still having to deal with mistakes he made even after he received salvation; In that just b/c he gets saved life isn’t all of the sudden perfect, that’s what makes the other “christian” movies cheesy i believe. We should be setting an example for the world, not them setting one for us and having to have cursing and “sexuality” (as movie ratings call it) in the movies.

  25. R. Margarette January 12, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    All I can say is that Jesus was much more offended by the pharisees then Mary Magdalene. He hung out with sinners more than the pious, religious people of his day. He spent time with them, told them stories that made them think and demonstrated God’s love to them. So yes, I do believe Jesus would have made this movie. I don’t think the pharisees would have though. Let’s be careful to look at the heart of this film which is encouraging teens to reach out to the hurting and the outcast and show love which is exactly how Jesus spent his time on earth.

  26. Tyler Hess January 13, 2010 at 9:17 am

    you make some good points, except that Jesus would have pointed them to salvation, which is in Jesus, instead of leaving them hanging. He calls them to repentance, rather than saying that what they are doing is cool. The problem that Jesus had with the Pharisees wasn’t that they were saying that certain things were sins, but rather their heart and their lack of understanding of God’s heart. He said that if we want to enter the kingdom of heaven that we need to do even better than the Pharisees, which can only be done through one work, which is the “work” of believing in Jesus Christ.

  27. R. Margarette January 13, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Order the “To Save a Life” Devo2Go product and then let’s talk :)

  28. John January 15, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    I appreciated reading through the comments and agree, it’s hard to strike a balance between trying to be relevant and striving for purity by abstaining from the influences of the world. I feel like this movie could be used to present the Gospel because of the themes it presents. I hate that it’s a ‘God without Jesus’ message, but my hope is that Christians will provide the Jesus and that students who see the movie will be very convicted by the depiction of a typical American youth group that might look a lot like theirs.

  29. Mary W. January 16, 2010 at 12:25 am

    I have read the comments on this site and the review and I had a quick thought to share. I think it would be helpful to look at films more like parables. Jesus spent a lot of time explaining things and he didn’t always talk about salvation and he didn’t always call them to repentance. He told parables that encouraged people not to exploit their workers, justice, not wasting your talents, etc. The pharisees were often offended and perplexed at the way he taught, but he met people where they were at and taught them in a way they could understand. I think we all have a lot to learn from this film. It has challenged me to love the people in my life more and has even challenged me to see that God might still be using churches to help people.

  30. Brian January 16, 2010 at 8:28 am

    for those who have a problem with cussing, does anyone have a problem with what paul said in his letter to the phillipians?
    he says sh**. that’s right. its all context people. language is relative. its the context of the language that matters. God sees the heart – not the words that fall out of your mouth. those that are nit-picking this movie for content issues haven’t read the Bible. or the real one at least. go read the old testament. pretty vulgar too if you ask me. i reference the following verses: Genesis 38:6-9, Psalm 137. acts 1:18. i’ll stop there. point is – there is a story playing itself out bigger than self. this reality is plagued by sin. God is less concerned with sanitizing His people than He is redeeming the hearts of those that are lost. The truth is hard to swallow and resonates shallow if not blunt. I respect the filmmakers decision to tell it like it is. Beneath it is a message of God’s love. One other thing – for those that are disappointed that it doesn’t mention Jesus… Even Jesus Himself didn’t tell people about Himself outright. He spoke to them in parables. “He who has ears let him hear”. Not that we should avoid His name – but in cases where His name is not mentioned does not mean He is absent. The Spirit will do the work. Whoever wants to know the truth will find it. My two cents. Thanks for your honest review. I appreciate that. Truth above all things…

    http://www.jeffwofford.com/2006/11/wading-in-skubala.html

  31. Brian January 16, 2010 at 8:29 am

    P.S. Mary’s post (above) is on point.

  32. Tyler Hess January 16, 2010 at 10:32 am

    two things…
    one, the S bomb didn’t exist in Paul’s day, he wrote in Greek.

    Jesus did talk about Himself all the time. He called Himself the Son of Man, The Way, The Truth, The Light. He talked about Himself all the time. He said that if you had seen Him that you had seen the Father. He talked about OTHER things in parables, like the kingdom of Heaven. Not to mention that if you look at the epistles they repeatedly talk about Jesus by name. They don’t just say to believe in God, they say which God to believe in and why. Without the Gospel of Christ, we are all lost.

  33. Chad January 19, 2010 at 5:40 am

    it sounds to me that we are choosing to say what we want to fit our agenda. The fact is all scripture must be taken into account and if this is going to be a so called CHRISTIAN based movie then let’s mention Jesus. Christians were followers of Christ and were not ashamed of it, neither should we. I understand outreach but I think we use that excuse to often because we are afraid of persecution. Those that live Godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. If we all agree that Jesus is the answer to all of life’s problems then can’t we mention His name at least once in something we call Christian. We don’t have to ram it down there throats but at least mention the name above all names once.

  34. Bret January 19, 2010 at 8:51 am

    Good word Chad.

    Romans 1:16

  35. Sally R. January 19, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    I saw this movie at a pre-screenning and heard from the makers of it that it is NOT intended to stand alone. It IS intended to be an outreach, where christians & non-christians see it together. Non-christian teens invited to pre-screenings have actually already responded quite well to the movie and had alot of questions about living a life with JESUS. Evangelistic? Absolutely!

    Presenting the gospel through a movie ONLY would never be a good idea. Jesus prioritized RELATIONSHIPS, and this movie is intended to spark conversation, get kids asking questions, and show kids that there is a “Chris” out there waiting to talk to them about JESUS. Jesus sent his disciples out in pairs on purpose. He could have written the salvation message in the sky, but instead he chose to do it through people, through relationships. Through conversations.

    Christian teens too will be blessed by this movie as it challenges them to actually live out their faith by actions. “Faith without deeds is dead” -James 2:26b.

    This movie will speak powerfully to teens, who are growing up in a tough world with alot of intense peer pressure. They will be blessed to see that people understand them, and will be even more blessed to meet & talk with christians afterwards.

  36. Tyler Hess January 19, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Never? What about the Jesus film? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_%281979_film%29 Note that under statistics it says that 225 million people say they have dedicated their life to Jesus after watching that film. I’m sure that the stats are exaggerated, but to say a film alone can’t preach the gospel isn’t true. Of course after conversion Jesus would want them to get involved with a fellowship of believers and be taught God’s Word, otherwise He wouldn’t have built His church and prepared pastors, teachers, evangelists, etc.

    Does anyone feel that they make Jake more of a hero than Jesus? Just a point of discussion.

  37. Sally R. January 19, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Tyler, you make my point exactly. Christians and non-christians should see this movie together so the gospel can be presented through love & relationship, and “conversion” can happen with believers already there alongside them.
    You are right, I should not have said, “never.” The Jesus movie IS a beautiful gospel presentation, but it IS straight from scripture. It basically is the gospel in a different medium from the written word.
    ‘To Save A Life’ is not that. It is story about a real-life teen struggling to find purpose in life. Its more like a parable. Jesus spoke the straight Gospel, and he also spoke in parables. BOTH work to bring people to Him, to bring people to truth.

  38. Tyler Hess January 19, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    actually i make my point…the one that i made originally in my review in the last paragraph haha :)

    I don’t think that most people in on this discussion are as far off in their thinking as they think they are…and this has been a pretty discussion for the most part…I personally think that the movie itself could have done a bit more within the movie to present the Gospel to those who are not going to have someone to discuss the movie with or have those study aides, but i think that my conclusion in the review is possibly aligned with the supposed intent

    in the end, I’m glad we can at least talk about the best ways to present the gospel to unbelievers…its a lot better than not caring, right?

  39. John January 21, 2010 at 5:10 am

    I don’t have any problem with the world making worldy movies. But if a pastor makes a movie under the guise of it having a Christian message, then at least promote Christ; not some ambiguous message about being good or doing the right thing which is not the message of Christ. Churches today are so caught up in presenting the gospel so it is palatable to non-Christians that there is no longer a message. I think your review is right on.

  40. Clair January 21, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Hey, I definitely agree with you. I am going to see the movie this weekend but I have heard about it alot. I don’t think that I was meant to be something like ‘The Passion of the Christ” where people were converting in the theatres. I think that it was simply meant to be an opportunity for believers to bring their friends to something fun and in the end open up an opportunity to have a conversation about christ. Thanks for your honesty in your post.

  41. Kathy January 22, 2010 at 7:56 am

    Thanks for a great review and boldness! “To Save A Life” is to be commended for addressing real issues. Due to technical problems I saw only the beginning of the movie months ago at a screening. Saw full movie last night and was drawn into the plot more than I expected. Appreciated realistic look into life of today’s youth.

    Movie would have been better if it didn’t even touch on religious theme(s). Would have been best if it boldly dealt biblically with the issues. What I saw was an emphasis on “Judge not that you be not judged.” A tormented Jake seeks refuge in the church and struggles with SELF-improvement. Biblical repentance and faith in CHRIST ALONE result in guilt-eliminating, freeing transformation. As “To Save A Life” proves, without Christ, there is no grace, only meager attempts at self-improvement rather than life-changing transformation.

    For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, —Titus 2:11-13.

  42. Brian January 22, 2010 at 8:11 am

    A few points about this movie..(that I havent seen) and typical Christian films.
    1) Typically Christian films are very low budget and therefore limit their audience to Christians (or those they drag with them) who will watch such low-budget films for their “message”
    -the fact that this film had a bigger budget and higher quality filming is definately a step in the right direction if Christians want to reach people outside the church with their films.
    2) Most Christian films DO water down the realities of life and even water down the realities of the gospel.
    -What I mean by this is simply that in almost every Christian film I have watched (end of the spear being a noteable exception)
    The Characters of the film end up having their life’s situation enhanced when they accept Christ.
    -certainly, when we repent and surrender to Christ our lives do and SHOULD change. But They do NOT often become the idealic fantasy life portrayed in most Christian films.
    -Unfortunately, becoming a Christian doesnt mean we are going to end up… getting the christian wife or husband we alwasy wanted…leading our team to victory….finding financial success….making new friends…having our infertility cured….having all our dreams come true…etc etc. If this is the case when someone truly comes to Christ, then I guess the disciples must have been doing something wrong because they all ended up imprisoned and/or executed.
    -We need more films like end of the spear that show the cost of following Jesus. And stay far away from messages that are twisted to make the gospel “attractive”. (1 Corinthians 1:18)
    Otherwise, those who respond to such a movie and pray a prayer “accepting Christ” thinking that their problems will all be solved, may indeed turn their back on Him when they discover that their problems persist. God does not promise to make our lives easy or successful…rather he desires to crucify our old lives and give us new lives…lives in which HE calls the shots.
    Besides, the thinking non-christian will be able see right through such idealic messages. How about some films that show the coach or even pastor losing his job because of his faith and working at the local walmart and burger king while struggling to feed his family while all the while remaining true to Christ and having a joy that surpasses his/her circumstance? Or maybee films about the disciples themselves offering the message of the gospel even to the people torturing them??
    We need to start being HONEST about what the gospel is and what it means for our lives. We need to do so with excellence and integrity. …Perhaps such films will not be popular…but perhaps they will be respected for their honest protrayal.

    -As far as the movie including the realities of teenage sex and cursing. I dont think those are necessary. Good writers find a way to relate to their audiance without sacrificing their principles. There is plenty of drama and heartache to pull from without using such methods.

  43. R. Margarette January 22, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Brian-

    I totally agree with your review. I think you will love “To Save a Life”. It doesn’t offer simple solutions and the main character’s life does not become perfect and peachy once he decides to follow Christ. This is the main problem I have with films like Fireproof and Facing the Giants. I agree that it isn’t Biblical that becoming a Christian solves all your problems. TSAL is unlike any film in this genre. It is authentic, real and is already changing lives! Two kids at a screening last night came forward and asked for prayer for suicidal tendencies. They had both already written out plans but changed their minds after seeing the film. Another girl left the theater crying and said she wanted Jesus to come into her life and wanted to know how to become a Christian. This is just the beginning of the testimonies we will hear from this film. Thank God for filmmakers who are willing to stand against the critics from both sides. They are being criticized from the liberal press for making a religious film and those on the extreme right are making hurtful statements as well. I guess this can be expected when you are pioneers. Jesus encountered the same.

  44. Brian January 22, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    I think this is the bottom line:

    In no way should our expectations (and therefore disappointments) be placed on movies

    produced by Godly Christians when they don’t meet our didactic standards. Judge it based on artistic merit – yes. Skillfully written? Directed? Edited? Acted? Shot? Absolutely. Judge the Spirit of the movie? Was it fearfully made? Absolutely. But I don’t believe we should be judging each other on ‘how’ we tell our stories and what story we choose to tell. That’s for God to judge.

    I don’t think we should judge a movie’s ‘Godliness’ or “effectiveness’based on content (or lack thereof). How many times Jesus’ name was used or not used. That’s a Red Herring. If the movie clearly reflects the heart of God, then it should be embraced. If it strays, yes – it should be challenged. How petty are we to criticize those who are actually obeying God’s call? Sometimes He’s quiet; sometimes He whispers; sometimes He YELLS.

    Solomon in Ecclesiastes tells us there’s a time for everything. Doesn’t Paul say “Be all things to all men?” The Gospel may be received alike by all people – but that doesn’t mean it’s heard alike. We just need to trust that God’s will is being worked out. Whether its Facing the Giants or To Save a Life or To End All Wars – the filmmakers – will be judged accordingly. Who are we to critize the work of God if it doesn’t meet our short-sighted requirements? If a janitor’s humble work is just as beautiful in the sight of God as a gifted preacher’s, then isn’t it possible that a low-budget indy film that paints a portrait of redemptive love without saying Jesus be beautiful too?

  45. Tyler Hess January 22, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    did you really just say that using the name of Jesus is a red herring?

    without the cross of Christ there is no such thing as God’s redemptive love. without Jesus there is no redemption. No one can be saved by any other name.

    If it weren’t supposed to be an outreach, I wouldn’t care. If it were just a good clean movie I wouldn’t care. I like a ton of music albums that don’t say the name “Jesus” in them. But if you are preaching God…then not mentioning Jesus is just plain weak.

  46. Brian January 22, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    Hey Tyler. I feel what you’re saying. It’s postmodern – inoffensive. Like you said – weak – to throw out “God” for fear of turning people away at the mention of Jesus. Absolutely agree with you. I think you misunderstood my point. Or it may be that I didn’t articulate myself well. I didn’t mean to say that Jesus’ name is a red herring. It’s the *use* of His name that is. I can’t judge the legitimacy of a Christian movie by the number of times (if at all) Jesus’ name is dropped. If you’re going to a movie with the intent of tallying how many times He’s mentioned and if it’s not mentioned enough, conclude that its not of God – then go rail against it in a public forum because it doesn’t live up to the Christian billing it proclaims – then yes, the use of Jesus’ name is a red herring. It can totally take away from what God wants to do. Then we’re just infighting.

    I believe God speaks to different people in different ways. There’s a place for Facing the Giants and a place for Les Miserables. or Lord of the Rings, Green Mile, etc. I do hear what you’re saying though. I do. I just don’t think we can expect every Christian produced movie to go out with guns blazing. Each has their time and place.

    Regardless, pertaining to To Save A Life, my wife, our cousin and mutual friend saw it tonight. It deeply affected our friend and the rest of us found it solid…save a few flaws. I was paying attention to see if Jesus would be acknowledged and I was satisfied to find that He was blatantly the centerpoint of the movie. Was there a Gospel declaring alter call? No. But that doesn’t make the movie any less of Him. Bums me out that you were bummed. I guess I don’t get it. Talk to me here though – sincerely – what would you have wanted done differently? What defines a Christian movie? I’m curious. I’ve wrestled with these things my whole life – especially as a film major at Biola. I’m still sorting through it. Obviously I’m opinionated, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be swayed :)

    Brian

  47. Tyler Hess January 23, 2010 at 8:51 am

    i think the disappointment is in that its supposed to be an outreach, but looks more like a self help do it yourself deal. the movie obviously affected a lot of people, there’s no doubt about that, i’ve already heard countless stories…but without the gospel they are just left hanging…thinking that they have to change themselves…but we can’t change ourselves…we’re the ones that get ourselves into these messes…we need Jesus to do that change in us, so if we don’t specifically mention that He is the way to make these changes, then all those people who were deeply touched by the movie have no specific resource to go to. Sure, we can always hope that they end up talking to a saved friend about the movie or they end up going to church, but my guess is that it doesn’t happen as often as we’d all hope.

    if it was just a clean, fun movie made by a Christian that wasn’t intended to be an outreach then i really wouldn’t care…but it it supposed to be an outreach, so let’s outreach with Jesus

    and i use way too many …’s. the internet has made me too lazy for correct grammar haha.

  48. R. Margarette January 23, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Tyler-

    It is not a movie’s job to tell someone about Jesus it is your responsibility. Thank God for a movie that is moving people’s hearts and making them open to Jesus. Christians are not called to just tell people about Jesus, we are called to make disciples. This doesn’t happen without us reaching out to the world and befriending them. I know it would be much easier to put all the responsibility on a movie or your pastor but this just isn’t reality and it isn’t even Biblical.

  49. Brian January 23, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Tyler I respect your view – but after seeing this movie, I disagree with your assessment. Four of us saw this movie and none of us got the impression that it was self-help. The story blatantly pointed to Jesus. The main character Jake authentically and naturally wrestled with his questions as he faced tough life choices and it was obvious that God was the catalyst in the changing of his life. Jake invited God to play a role in his life and used him to reach out to others. And Jesus’ name was directly associated with this change.

    I think R Margarette (above) makes an excellent point – we are called to make disciples not believers. That is the Spirit’s role. This movie disciples…

  50. Caleb January 23, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    i just finished watching this movie in our local theater. churches were really talking it up. i immediately came home to find if anyone else noticed the HUGE gaping hole that the movie left out. the name of Jesus was never mentioned once. if someone came into that movie asking, “How do I become saved?” they might have left with a thousand different answers. “I need to go to church and read my Bible.” or “I need to be nice to kids at school.” or “I need to quit having premarital sex.”

    what bothers me more is that i know why they left out the name of Jesus: they wanted to avoid sounding preachy. well, if you ever feel that you have to hide the name of Jesus to preach your gospel, then your gospel isnt worth preaching. Revelation 19:10 says that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. prophecy just means inspired utterance… so i really doubt this movie was inspired by anything more than money.

    that said, im not against the movie. it has good life lessons in it and is better than lots of the junk that Hollywood puts out. but if you are looking for Godliness here… well you might as well just go watch the Book of Eli.

  51. Bret January 23, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    Well said Caleb….Rom 1:16

    For those rightly insisting that it is our responibility to preach the gospel, ask yourselves this: why didnt the writer/youth pastor, who had a platform the size of a school bus, do the same thing? Why pass up that opportunity? Why take a chance that a single soul walk out of this movie without even a glimpse at the glory of Jesus? Surely there will be viewers of this movie who dont have someone to present them the gospel afterwards. Why risk a single soul over trying to appear non-preachy?

    As Chriatians, we may be able to conncet the dots in this film, that Jake came to Christ. But a non-beleiver, who the film was made for, can not connect those same dots. THe most logical conclusion would be: if I go to church everything will be just peachy.

    I think its shameful that the convicting law and the saving gospel were not presented.

    Lets just call it what it is, a moral, secular movie….theres plenty of those around, so why are youth groups flocking to this one?

  52. Brian January 23, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    I don’t get it. Is anyone paying attention. Jesus’ name *was* dropped. The movie is not supposed to be a sermon. What is everyone expecting? It’s a story about Jesus working out his love through people…. A movie’s role is not to preach. It’s to testify. And it did that. People who are wagging their finger at this movie for not being ‘Christian’ enough are fighting the enemy’s battle. I don’t get this at all? It wasn’t a story about moral living. It was a story about a kid struggling to surrender his soul to the will of God in hard times…

  53. Brian January 23, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    I’m starting to believe those who think this movie is ‘too secular’ want all Christian movies to be “Time Changer” or “Left Behind”?

    Being that this is a Christian music site – let me ask you all a question – the Christian music you listen to – does every song have Jesus’ name in it? If it doesn’t, is it weak or secular?

    Go read the lyrics to the hymn “Come Thou Fount”. Is Jesus mentioned in it? According to your logic – this must be secular.

    What you guys are saying really bums me out.

    http://lordsaveusthemovie.com/

  54. Brian January 23, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    Come Thou Fount – I referenced the wrong hymn :) My bad. Excellent one though….

    “Jesus sought me when a stranger …”

    I meant to reference Amazing Grace…or Holy, Holy, Holy…or It is Well. Great is Thy Faithfulness. All powerful. All God honoring. None say Jesus.

  55. Bret January 23, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    Those great hymns dont include visions of drinking teenagers, abortion clinics, cursing and risque dancing….but yet you want to call a movie that does have those things, with no gospel message, “Christian”? BY your definition, the vast majority of movies are Christian.

  56. Caleb January 23, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    first off, i only joined this site because i was thrilled that the author of this review had enough discernment to write this article. in all honesty, i rarely listen to contemporary Christian artists. only a few that actually understand the gospel.

    and i really dont get you Brian. im fighting the enemy’s battle because i want AT LEAST ONE reference to Jesus as the way to God in the whole movie? no… i think not.

    ask yourself this question… WHY would these producers INTENTIONALLY leave out the name of Jesus from this movie? everything in a movie is deliberate. every scene, every word… so if a bunch of passionate Christians who love Jesus Christ were working on this movie for months or years, why is there no reference to him anywhere in the movie? what, the most important gift from God ever just happened to slip thru the cracks? you play a dangerous game when you want to eliminate the name of Jesus for ANY reason. come to think of it, i dont think i even saw a Bible anywhere in the movie. i saw devotions. and most devotions nowadays DO NOT have the Word of God in them. Satan doesn’t care what you read or watch. as long as it isnt the Word. does he not masquerade as an angel of light?

    whether these producers realized it or not, they allowed the gospel to be compromised here. secular movies that make no attempt at religion is one thing. movies that camouflage humanism, and play on your emotions to reach out to people, and do not couple that passion with the gospel of Jesus Christ… that’s a whole different ballgame.

    i dont care how pretty of a package the movie was wrapped in. if it doesnt have Jesus in it… then it isnt from God. and you can be sad if you want to… it makes me sad and i think God as well to see these people who are too scared to even mention the name of His most precious gift to mankind.

    there is a dearth of the Word of God in this land. will the real gospel of Jesus Christ please stand up?

  57. Mike January 23, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    The message shouldn’t be “Try Jesus out, cause He can help you when you are hurting”, such as implied in this film, but rather “Put on Christ. Repent and believe the gospel.” This watered down garbage is why 70% of teenagers don’t end up transitioning from youth group to adult services. They were never really converted in the first place.

  58. Bret January 23, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    Good word Caleb…..

    Tyler, brother, get some reveiws up for lecrae and Shai Linne:

  59. Bret January 23, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    Well said Mike, I would add theres many older people doing the religion thing. I dont even think this film gets to the “try Jesus out” message, much less presents the law or gospel.

  60. Jess January 23, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    I just watched the trailer…in like the 1st 5 seconds there was some hooch dancing around in a trashy outfit.lol. Yes, lets take the youth to see it. Sounds great.
    My hubby & I are a young couple, and we screen everything to avoid trash. Totally doable! We both have a past, worked w/ youth…aren’t “out of touch” w/ reality. We just believe Christians are supposed to be bothered by trash. Why compromise & take a group of kids you’re leading to a movie that has stuff in it that will tempt? Not ALL teenagers watch whatever.
    We know we’ll feel different than our “culture” simply b/c of this.
    Completely worth it :D
    *Eph. 5:3-5

  61. R. Margarette January 24, 2010 at 12:36 am

    Wow, Lord save me from your “followers.” After reading all these posts I can definitely assure you of one thing…. many of us Christ-followers who have a true RELATIONSHIP with Jesus cannot be as overt as we would like about our faith because of people like you. People who have misrepresented Christianity and made it more about rules than a relationship with the lover of our soul, the creator who loves us and desperately longs for a relationship with his children. When we say we are “Christians” we are immediately labeled and grouped in with people like you. People who are not loving. Who are judgemental and cruel. Sorry but this is the sad reality.

  62. Caleb January 24, 2010 at 1:04 am

    oh good God, spare me. you better take a look at this Jesus you follow. this Jesus drove people out of the temple with a whip. this Jesus said things like:

    “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

    But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

    Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

    For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

    And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.

    He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”

    oh but no one wants to hear the sharp edge of Love. no sir, let’s all just love each other, and hey who needs Jesus anyway. we dont need to mention him in our movie at all. lets just talk about doing good and talking to God. im not sorry for openly rebuking this movie. it is WRONG. and there is a difference between being judgmental as you say and speaking the truth. i expect secular movies from secular Hollywood. i do not expect secular movies from a group that contacts our youth wanting to show the movie in my church, and never even gives any hint of what it means to have a relationship with the lover of our soul.

    and for the record, the hooch dancing didnt offend me. it wasnt what was in the movie. it was what WASNT.

  63. Brian January 24, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    bret – i LOVE shai linne. dude brings it. theologically rich. love him. favorite of his is High Priest.

    caleb – i understand your heart. we are living in a postmodern culture where style matters more than substance and you correctly believe the modern day church is peddling grape juice as wine. I get it. I feel the same way. My spiritual war has been right here…for years. At Biola, I minored in Bible and majored in film. Ever since I started there (2000) – I’ve been right there. My friend Dustin Kensrue is in a band called Thrice. He is one of the most God fearing men I know and if you read his lyrics – although Jesus is not mentioned, he is at the heart of his writing. And because of that, he’s endured the same criticism that is being flung at this movie and it breaks my heart. dude…its not so easy as you make it. How do you communicate the truth in LOVE to a dying world? How do you effectively communicate the Gospel to our kids who are born into a culture blind to the destruction of its own impulses? How do you reach beyond their world toughened exterior and into their hearts? I believe you meet them where they’re at. You tell them what they already know. You don’t lie to them or sugarcoat anything. You tell them the TRUTH. And this is the heart of the movie. It may not be the best ever made – but the heart is there. It jumps into their world. The world thats going on and it dialogues with them about it. And it bring Jesus into it. The church doesn’t exist as an open door for the world to walk in. The church exists to be a light to the world. Not a blinding halogen light thats so strong they can’t see anything – but a warm light that exposes the wrong and reveals the truth without offending the senses. Jesus spoke the truth in love. You quote Matthew 10:34-36 and rightly so. I’m actually glad you did. I can’t help but notice the irony. This very verse you quoted is blatantly displayed in the movie. Relationships were divided because Jake decided to follow Jesus. And where you are absolutely wrong is that Jesus’ name was spoken of in the movie. Please watch it again and listen for it. I heard it loud as day. It was obvious to me. They prayed in His name and the students at the high school who disowned Jake identified him as a follower of Jesus. He stepped out. God stepped in and used him to Love – through action – the “least of these” – at the expense of his friends, his girlfriend and his father. Is Jesus in that? I saw Him there. My wife did too. I’m literally confused by the report that Jesus was never mentioned in the movie?

    Idea – If you believe Jesus wants us to step out and speak up for change for the sake of the Gospel and if you’re truly concerned about it – why don’t you call the church who produced the movie and dialogue with them about it? Might be fruitful to voice what God has birthed in your heart. Jim Britts (The Youth Pastor who wrote the movie) 760-560-5000 x126

  64. Caleb January 24, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    that isnt a bad idea at all. i may just go right ahead and give them a call.

    aside from that, if u are saying that Jesus IS mentioned in the movie, then i would like to know specifically when, because i never heard his name. i never heard the question answered, “How do I know God?” I never heard the gospel in this movie. i sympathize with where you are at, i really do. but i do not agree with how this movie is being portrayed as the gospel when it is not. sure, it is steps in the right direction. it is improvement. but i want a voice to be heard that demands the life changing power of God in Christ Jesus be told in a movie. because ill tell you what, this movie, it might make kids nicer at school. it might do some good things. but it is not helping people have faith in Jesus Christ. it’s helping them have faith in their works. it makes them feel that they have to ACHIEVE God’s grace which is a slap in the face to everything Jesus did on the cross.

    ill admit that it is possible i have been too harsh with the movie. i hope you will admit that perhaps someone with greater discernment than many recognizes a very real danger to faith in Jesus Christ in a movie like this.

    and that scripture said Jesus would divide. i didnt see Jesus doing much of anything in this movie. was there even a Bible ever shown?

  65. Brian January 24, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    i think we may have different expectations. if we are to expect the movie to be directly responsible for evangelizing, then yes, it did a poor job. directly that is. i totally understood what was going on. i didn’t expect it to bear the weight of evangelical responsibility. i don’t expect that of any Christian produced movie. what i expect is that they would glorify God and expose the lies of the world. regardless if the Gospel is presented or not. at the least, I would expect it to point people in the right direction. to dialogue with people. and i believe To Save a Life did….firmly. I also think it was more intended to exhort the current Christian church to stop living life for Jesus on Sunday and to actually take Him out to the world. I think we just have different perspectives. I do appreciate yours though. You want Jesus glorified. Who can argue with that? I just felt like He was. Funny how two people can see the same thing and walk out with different views.

    Here are two reviews written by prominent Christian media institutions (MovieGuide and Christianity Today) that reflect two different takes on the movie like you and I have:

    Christianity Today

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/movies/reviews/2010/tosavelife.html

    Movieguide

    http://www.movieguide.org/box-office/7/10098/to-save-a-life

  66. Bret January 24, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    Brian.

    Shai Linne does bring it….thats why we both appreciate him, right? Not because hes labelled “Christian”, like this movie, certainly not becasue of the genre (at least for me)…its because he “brings it”. As Christians, I fear we are far to quick to jump on the “its a Christian movie, album, band, shirt, etc”, bandwagon…..when in fact, its a label with no real substance. Look at the crosses being worn around certain people necks nowadays as an example….just becasue theres a cross, does it mean they are Christian?

    Scripture teaches us over and over again, its the internal that matters, the content, not the pretty outer wrapping. THis movie has the pretty wrapping but it lacks the internal content.

    As for your friend who has the band…do his songs allude or imply teen drinking, sex, abortion, drugs, use curse words to make the lyrics “more real”…Im sure they dont….why would he use those worldly things to get across the message in his song? Why do the makers of this movie?

    Again, it may be a terrific secular, moral movie, pointing kids to doing the right thing, but its shame it doesnt point them to the only real thing that matters.

    I appreciate your spirit of edification.

  67. Bret January 24, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    Hey Brian

    I think your dead on, that we have different expectations of the movie.

    I see the problem being this: as a Chriatian, you were able to connect the dots…you were able to see Jesus magnified and our Creator glorified.

    Frankly, non Christians can not connect those same dots. Some milk drinking Christians wont even connect the dots,,,read “teens”. So what does the movie, and those taking their youth groups to see the movie, expose these teens to? “Well, Pastor so and so took me to see a movie with sex, drinking and drugs in it” so maybe its okay that I do go to that worldy party Friday night”. Its about risk management.

    For the nonebeleivers, the message of the movie, minus the gospel, is nothing more than morality. Lots of moral people in hell. They simply can not connect the dots.

    “Morality minus God equals plan hypocrisy..first was the Word and the Word was with God and Word was God, God is still in charge”

    You get ten bonus poiints if you figure out what song thats from.

  68. Bret January 24, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Tyler, I am officially hijacking your site, until you post a review of Lecrae, Flame or Tedashii. This ones for you Brian.

  69. Tyler Hess January 24, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Bret…I have no problem with posting reviews of Christian hip hop artists or rappers (if anyone still calls them rappers), but i’m not the best expert on them so I try to stay away from doing so unless the artist/label/pr person goes out of their way to give me the album to review. If you feel like you are a talented writer and would like to write a review for an album that has recently come out and can objectively write about it and criticize it then send me an email with that review and i’d be happy to post it. This is why i don’t have many hardcore or metal reviews, simply because i’m not the most qualified and i only have a few other contributors to the site and I do most of the reviews. also, if you have any “news” regarding such artists please feel free to submit that as well and I’d be happy to post that news if it is really newsworthy :)

  70. Bret January 24, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    Thanks Tyler…..since I have not been blessed with your writing talents, its musch easier for me to simply hijack…..thanks for what you do brother.

  71. Tyler Hess January 24, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    haha…well if you see news then let me know :) and maybe one day i’ll find a hip hop fan to write for cmz haha

  72. Brian January 24, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Hate to disagree with you Bret, but I do. Yes To Save a Life alluded to sex, had drugs, alcohol and mild language in it – but it was totally exposed to be….empty? Weird. Context. What I suppose you’re calling for is Brady Bunch Christianity? Give us stories with no moral quandary. No temptation. No characters wrestling within. Just a clean lives with easy choices? Have you seen Saving God? (Vhing Rhames)? Your criticism may be true in that it wasn’t as complete as it could have been…there was no clear in your face Gospel presentation. But is it what “should” have been. I don’t think so. God speaks in different ways to different people. I’m not going to judge that here.

    As for my friend Dustin, he talks about sex in this story-telling song:

    http://www.lyricstime.com/dustin-kensrue-folk-i-knew-you-before-lyrics.html

    I have Tedashii’s Make War on my IPOD. I like it. He’s bold and he’s got game…but Make War…again, irony….further bolsters my support of this movie because it captures the heart of this song. Dude’s life in the movie caught in sin but the conviction of the Spirit leads him out of it…He walks away. He gets down on His knees, seeks God and God intervenes. Secular?

    Yeah, it was obvious to me because I’m a Christian. For the non-Christians – it blatantly points to Jesus. But there’s this truth…

    “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
    1 Corinthians 1:18.

    Movies don’t bring people to Christ. People don’t bring people to Christ. The Spirit does. I believe the Youth Pastor that wrote and produced this movie did so out of a burden he felt from God. He’s got God to answer to if he compromised. I’m not going to dare step in and say otherwise….

  73. Bret January 24, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    How does this movie “blatantly point to Jesus”. specifically to the nonbeliever? How does the non Christian determine if the movie is relating to Jesus, Allah, Buddha or Dr. Phil? In your own words “there was no clear in your face Gospel presentation”, at best, secular morality with a leaning towards universlaism. This movie in no way captures the essence of “Make War” neither the sermon nor the song. You make war through recognizing yourself as raggedy and fallen and that none other than Christ, can redeem us from this fallen state. You are bold and unashamed Rom 1:16. By your own admission this movie does not do that.

    You build a straw man with your Brady Bunch example, so I wont respond. Peace., and lets pray for proper discernment over such matters for both of us.

  74. threegirldad January 25, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Three cheers for Bret and Caleb.

  75. Brian January 25, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    Threegirldad – I didn’t know this was a competition? I understand your post is meant to affirm but…cheerleading? Bummed…

    For Bret, Caleb and Tyler:

    Obviously – this is getting nowhere. It’s not fruitful. I’m going to say my peace and end it here. This is what matters to all of us: That Jesus be glorified. Where we differ…again…is our expectations of what a Christian movie should be vs. what it should not be.

    My unshakeable position: I trust the Spirit to Save people. Not a movie. And because Jesus is my lord and those who serve Him are my brothers and sisters, I cannot and will not condemn work created to do His work. In my opinion was Left Behind II a good movie? Time Changer? From an artistic an technical standpoint, in my opinion – Horrid. But they are both Biblical and thus have their place and God will use them. If you guys really feel the need to dissent and slam this movie for being unBiblical when it was created by a believer…in a leadership position no less….out of inspiration from God…then what does the Bible say our response should be? If you have a serious problem with Him on grounds of compromising – telling people to stay away from the movie and labeling it ‘secular’ is not going to change things. Dialogue is fruitful for sure. But contacting him by e-mail, written letter or by phone with your sincere reservations (birthed by the Spirit and not your own opinions) is the best route. His name is Jim Britts and his church is New Song in Oceanside, California. His contact information is easily accessible. Go to the source.

    For my wife and I, it was a powerful movie. Although I understand that your hearts desire Jesus to be glorified, to hear this movie being robbed of God’s work is both hurtful and divisive. It was created as a tool to exhort churched kids to reach out to the hurting beyond their church boundaries. It was created for the kids who are hopeless and at the end of their rope to let them know that they are cared for. If that’s not enough for you – that’s your opinion and you’re absolutely entitled to it. In those I have spoken to, the movie points people toward Jesus. It lets the unchurched know that Church is a safe place to go ask questions. It lets people know that only a life in pursuit of God is where only true Love and meaning is found.

    I contest the notion that it paints a Universalist picture. There is nothing I hate more than postmodernism. This movie never once leaves room for that. In this film – God is prayed to in Jesus’ name. The popular kid is made fun of for becoming a “Christian” and he is mocked for associating himself with “Jesus people”. And it is these “Jesus people” that are a refuge for the hurting. It is not a movie about evangelism but a movie about the work the church should be doing. Didn’t Jesus say “I was naked and you clothed me. I was hungry and you fed me. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. What you did to the least of these, you did to me”. (paraphrased) I saw this plainly. I’m sorry you did not.

    The immorality displayed in To Save a Life is not exploited or glorfied. It is confronted and exposed to be empty and abandoned by the main character out of conviction. Not morals. I am not willing to argue about this. Now where we can argue is the effectiveness….could it have been better? Sure. We should all seek to edify. But really? Has any human birthed artistic endeavor meant to glorify God been free from criticism? There will always be flaws and we will always fall short.

    Bret – the ‘brady bunch’ was a straw man invoked to wrestle with your straw man when you said this:

    “Frankly, non Christians can not connect those same dots.” I understand that that’s a possibility. But it’s also an assumption. Some Non-Christians will.

    “Some milk drinking Christians wont even connect the dots” Likewise, some milk drinking Christians will connect the dots.

    “So what does the movie, and those taking their youth groups to see the movie, expose these teens to? “Well, Pastor so and so took me to see a movie with sex, drinking and drugs in it” so maybe its okay that I do go to that worldy party Friday night”. Its about risk management.”

    I understand the need to protect. But this is why I believe so strongly in context. If sin is made to look fun and awesome and esteemed to be the oasis of all meaning and purpose – then absolutely – TRASH. (this is why I absolutely HATE the video game series Grand Theft Auto. Because it takes destruction and turns it into fun). As far as storytelling goes, its a fine line. Sin is sin. It exists. And in my opinion – the world is preaching it so why shouldn’t we confront it – out in the open? The Old Testament is a romp in and of itself. To say because a movie has immorality in it, its not Christian…that I don’t agree with.

    I understand the protection here…but thats why we’re to use our discernment. It’s rated PG-13 so parents can make that decision. And I see nothing wrong with keeping it away from those who aren’t mature enough to get it.

    Anyway…this is my final comment. I appreciate the dialogue but I can’t keep going back and forth. I know we are all believers in here and that’s what matters. This is a grey area. One worth pursuing in prayer and study and discussion but we’re all coming from totally different places that I don’t think we’ll ever settle on anything. Bottom line – you are my brothers (and sisters) and Jesus is both our Savior and our Lord. Done.

    Besides…computer talk is tricky. I’m sure up close and personal this would be over and we would all be a little closer to understanding each other in a 10 minute conversation :)

    Word
    Brian

    reduxinflux@gmail.com
    myspace.com/reduxinflux (i dont check it anymore but its who i am so you can have context of where this is coming from)

  76. Bret January 25, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    YOu went from calling me one “who fights the enemys battles” to being your brother in Christ….and you want to now claim divisiveness?

    THe movie “blatantly points to Jesus”, but “its not a movie about evangelism”?

    According to you the movie is made for “church kids” while the writer says “We said we wanted to make a film for teenagers that would never set foot in a church but would go to the movies”, but you claim the movie disciples?

    There must be two different versions of this movie out there.

  77. threegirldad January 25, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    Brian,

    For someone who hates postmodernism as much as you profess (and I’m taking you at face value), that was a fine job of deconstructing a common figure of speech. Besides, you’ve done your own “cheerleading” in this thread. Would you like for me to point it out to you?

    Of course this is a competition of ideas, in a sense. You’re certain of one viewpoint about the movie, while Tyler, Bret, and Caleb are equally certain of an opposing viewpoint.

    If you guys really feel the need to dissent and slam this movie for being unBiblical when it was created by a believer

    Believers can be in error — sometimes seriously so. You think that Tyler, Bret, and Caleb are in error to some extent. You’ve made that plain enough…and in a public forum, rather than privately (irony of ironies).

    …in a leadership position no less….

    A position of leadership isn’t some sort of trump card that makes a person immune to criticism.

    out of inspiration from God

    You aren’t in any position to know if it has been inspired by God.

    then what does the Bible say our response should be?

    False application of Matthew 18. I see people use this ploy all the time. A movie (or a book, or a blog post, or an online sermon) is a public work subject to public scrutiny. Suppose that someone emails the gentleman, and never gets a reply, for whatever reason? It isn’t as if he is under any obligation to respond. Then what? Can’t criticize his work publicly because of Matthew 18? I don’t buy it. And in the end, you don’t either. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be criticizing fellow believers in a blog meta. “Physician, heal thyself.”

    It is not a movie about evangelism but a movie about the work the church should be doing.

    Wow. Evangelism is the work the church should be doing (Matt 28:18-20).

    It was created as a tool to exhort churched kids to reach out to the hurting beyond their church boundaries.

    So, there are lots of “churched kids” (and parents, and single adults, and you name the category) who are waltzing through life not taking The Great Commission seriously. Tragic, but not news. There’s a solution to that problem, and a movie isn’t it.

  78. Brian January 25, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    First Bret –

    “You went from calling me one “who fights the enemys battles” to being your brother in Christ….and you want to now claim divisiveness?”

    Yes. Both can be true. You are my brother in Christ. And I did say that I believed that your derision of this movie as being a secular work is causing divisiveness and may be doing the ‘enemy’s work’. I think I qualified that too: If this is of God – to claim its not would be acting contrary to what He instigated. That doesn’t mean that you’re doing it on purpose. Or that you’re messed up. Or that its absolute. I’m saying *if* this is of God – then to speak against it would be – in effect – doing the enemy’s work. Is this what you’re saying about the movie…that it’s not of God? Since conversations are organic – different conclusions can be drawn over a period of time with new information and consideration. I realized that this wasn’t going anywhere and I’ve concluded that we disagree on this subject. There seems to be no budging. I think this movie is God glorifying and you do not. You have your reasons. I have mine. I can’t understand why and yes…I think delegitimizing this movie as a secular work is counterproductive to the Great Commission – but that doesn’t mean we’re not brothers or that I don’t respect you. I disagree and your perception of the movie honestly bums me out.

    “The movie “blatantly points to Jesus”, but “its not a movie about evangelism”?”

    Okay. I’ll concede there. I misspoke. What I mean is its purpose is not to deliver an alter call and Save people outright. It doesn’t have a soul rattling Gospel presentation. It doesn’t call its viewers to repent and turn. But I don’t think that’s what its purpose is – directly speaking. Being that it points to Jesus as being the source of Truth and Love, I’m sure its the prayer and hope of the makers that repentance will logically follow. I see this. Others have too. But some – like yourself – don’t see it that way. Thus this conversation.

    “According to you the movie is made for “church kids” while the writer says “We said we wanted to make a film for teenagers that would never set foot in a church but would go to the movies”, but you claim the movie disciples?”

    Can’t both be true? The movie speaks to both. It both disciples and dialogues with the unchurched about spiritual things they might not have considered outside of viewing this movie. Like I said before, it doesn’t get in their face about making a decision and call them to repent, but it definitely plants a seed. Maybe that’s its role? Can’t it be? This is its power – I think (my opinion) that it both exhorts the church and in doing so – calls out to a lost world in need of Love – saying “I know we’re screwed up (the Church) but we’re human and we’re in this together. There is a God and He is Love and sometimes we’re not good about showing it, but we’re trying…This is who He is and what He wants. He Loves you and refuses to let you settle for a life dedicated to the destruction of self. He wants to you to come to Him – so that you might know Love and in turn Love others as you have received it” It’s this aspect I appreciated most about the movie.

    ThreeGirlDad –

    If you were blindsided by my comment to you – I’m sorry. Really. I feel passionate about what New Song has done in producing this movie. It’s not the greatest movie ever but I’m thankful for it. I’ve been trying to defend the integrity of it and when I read your post – it took me aback. I view these posts as a conversation – not a debate. Yes I’m trying to defend the movie but not in a competitive light. I feel a legitimate investment in it and it feels like I’m trying to defend a friend…to put it that way. I have my ideas and my thoughts and Bret and Caleb have theirs. When you’re on the defense, its natural to question the offense. I’ve been trying my best to listen – and they have too. We obviously all have strong opinions. Your post came across as if we’re all trying to win some objective. But you probably didn’t mean it that way. I took it that way and maybe that’s my bad. But yes – you’re right though – it is a competition of ideas…in a way. But I think that mischaracterizes the heart of this? We’re all wanting the same thing – Jesus’ glorification. I think its destructive to criticize the movie as being an immoral ‘secular’ proponent of universalism. (to lump them all together. if that’s not fair, please contradict me) You don’t have to support it – that’s not what I’m calling for. What I’m asking for is to step back and look at it with fresh eyes. Look for the good and see the bad in context. If there’s a disagreement in execution – let it exist as it is and let it reach those its intended for. If its a destructive movie – bring it to the attention of those responsible for it. The Passion of the Christ is way too distractingly brutal for me. And I could criticize it as torture porn but I’m not going to because although I disagree with its execution, the story it tells is obviously powerful and beautiful. I am willing to lay my criticisms aside and though I probably won’t watch it in its entirety again and though I find it difficult to recommend, I will let it reside in history as God inspired – to let Him use it to reach who He wants to. Its rated R for a good reason. To Save a Life is PG-13 for good reason. It’s up to the discernment of parents and pastors who should see this film and who should not. I’m not too sure youth pastors should be reading Song of Solomon aloud to their kids either? What I don’t like is that we’re not leaving any room for To Save a Life to exist for those it exists for. Everything in its right place. Does that make sense?

    “Believers can be in error — sometimes seriously so.”

    Absolutely.

    “You think that Tyler, Bret, and Caleb are in error to some extent.”

    True. I do.

    “You’ve made that plain enough…and in a public forum, rather than privately (irony of ironies).”

    How is that ironic? This conversation started long ago in response to Tyler’s public review of the movie. I disagreed with his conclusion that Jesus was left out. I heard His name in it. So I brought my objection to the table and offered my perspective. And the conversation about the role of the Gospel in Christian cinema was born. I sincerely don’t see how this is ironic? I’ve even alluded to the fact that even Christian media publications are divided as well. MovieGuide sees what I saw. Christianity Today sees what the majority of you saw. As a film major at Biola, this is something I’ve always wrestled with. What role Jesus plays in story-telling and what responsibility Christians have in the arts. Tough stuff.

    “in a position of leadership isn’t some sort of trump card that makes a person immune to criticism”

    I wasn’t intending to mean that Jim Britts is immune to criticism. On the contrary, I was meaning to say that *because* he is in a position of leadership, criticism should be all the more important. Keeping our leaders accountable is huge and if there are valid criticisms out there concerning his presentation of the Gospel, then he needs to hear it. He’s molding young minds. If he’s wrong in the way he’s going about doing ministry – he at the very least needs feedback from concerned brothers and sisters. Right? So I agree with you…Leaders need strong accountability.

    “You aren’t in any position to know if it has been inspired by God.”

    If I see somebody doing work out there that is excited about reaching kids for Jesus – adheres to sound doctrine in doing so and reflects accurately the heart of God and the Truth of Scripture, then I believe we can discern the things of God and not of God. But yes – in principle, you’re right. I don’t know absolutely. But I can trust that its God inspired if it points to Him by intention and merit. On a Scriptural basis and what its doing in the lives of kids, I’m confident that God blessed it. Like I’ve mentioned before, God doesn’t speak the same language to everyone. Sometimes He needs to YELL to get our attention. Other times, He needs to whisper. Even the Bible has been translated a gazillion times to make it more accessible to more people. This movie is in teen-speak and it brought me back to my high school experience. I heard the voice of God through it. But if it were true – that I’m in no position to know if its been inspired by God – don’t you think that works both ways? That I’m also not in the position to know that it *isn’t* inspired?

    “False application of Matthew 18. I see people use this ploy all the time.”

    I apologize. I wasn’t intending to use a ‘ploy’. My heart wants God to be glorified. I experienced something where I believe He was wholly glorified and I’m excited about it. I hear criticism directed toward what I believe is of Him – therefore I naturally want to defend the integrity of the work in question and the hearts of those people behind it…and through it, try to figure out what’s going on with everyone opposed and the ramifications thereof. By ‘ploy’ – I’m not attempting to strategically invoke Scripture in order to win an argument. I’m trying to get to the heart of whats going on. I may be wrong. But I’m not ‘ploying’? Besides, I was referring to Galations 6. Not Matthew 18. (This may sound hostile..but I assure you, it’s not. I was misunderstood and I’m adamant about clearing this up)

    “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load.

    Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor.”

    My bad for not including a specific reference. I absolutely know that I am imperfect and need a good rebuking as much as the next guy! :) I think this is what should be followed. Not Matt 18. More on this below…

    “A movie (or a book, or a blog post, or an online sermon) is a public work subject to public scrutiny. Suppose that someone emails the gentleman, and never gets a reply, for whatever reason? ”

    Fair. But we’re not talking artistic merit here. We’re delving into matters of the Spirit and the heart. We’re ready to call this secular and not of God when a (supposedly) God-Fearing youth pastor is responsible for bringing it to the public at large in order to reach lost teens and wake up churched kids to the destitute world around them. Got a problem with it? Scrutinize it. Take its flaws and build on them. Break it down with Scripture and correct it. Share your thoughts. Constructive criticism is good. Tyler said Jesus wasn’t mentioned in the movie in a Gospel context and that’s a valid point. He expounds on this fairly as does Christiany Today’s review. Where I get defensive is when we chastise this movie as being secular and therefore unChristian.

    “It isn’t as if he is under any obligation to respond. Then what? Can’t criticize his work publicly because of Matthew 18?”

    I think we cleared up Matthew 18. And you’re right, he’s not under any obligation to respond. But I believe we are in obligation to lay our God-birthed burdens at his feet if we are legitimately concerned that he is straying from the Gospel and leading others into folly. I think we should do our part and leave the rest to God. Right? I need to learn to do this too. It’s not easy for me. Just as Galations 6:6 says “Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor.”

  79. Brian January 26, 2010 at 12:02 am

    in case my Gal 6:6 reference is misunderstood

    http://versebyversecommentary.com/2000/06/04/galatians-66/

    (Tell me if this computes). I’m interpreting it to mean to pursue fellowship with the instructor (in this case Youth Pastor Jim Britts) who is using To Save a Life to teach the things of God to our culture. (That is the role he is playing as screenwriter and producer). As one who is also partaking in the’good things’ of God and has equal access to divine guidance – namely yourselves – share those things with Mr. Britts in pursuit of Truth…

    (As the universal Christian Church expands beyond the borders of local church space in this technological era, its tough to discern the appropriate application of teachings intended for a small body to a larger context. So I admit…this may be a stretch…) Nonetheless an idea worth considering….I mean…what bad can come from it? If enough people write him …who knows? I’m pretty sure more movies will follow so maybe you can have a collective impact on him and the content of future projects?)

  80. Caleb January 26, 2010 at 12:09 am

    how can you even put the movie “Passion of the Christ” into the same category with this movie?

    let me tell you something: i don’t know mel gibson’s heart. given all the stuff ive heard, i would be surprised if he made that movie for anything other than money. but i didnt criticize that movie. why? because it got the message out. it told the story. ill let God judge his heart. so the passion in my eyes was a great movie produced by maybe not so great intentions.

    this To Save a Life movie never points to Jesus once. i dont know why u keep insisting that he prayed in the name of Jesus, he didnt. was the youth pastor’s heart right? maybe so. but this movie wasnt. it failed to point to Jesus in any way. when Jesus said that the way to life was narrow and few there be that find it, he wasnt talking about adhering to some strict moral code. he was referring to himself as the way.

    if people can talk for two hours about life, pain, God, faith, truth, church, devotions, and somehow skirt around using the name of Jesus even ONE time, i HAVE A HUGE PROBLEM WITH THAT AND SO DOES THE HOLY SPIRIT.

    i want to say this emphatically. im not speaking lightly of these things. The Holy Spirit points to that Holy Name of Jesus. that Name that the Pharisees forbid the apostles to teach in the books of Acts. that Name that Satan hates so much. that beautiful Name that heals the sick and casts out devils. the Name above every name… Satan doesnt care that we believe in God. he does too. but oh how he cares when we use that Name that so humiliated him, that stripped him of all he has, that gives us the power to lead overcoming lives.

    so, you can think what you want. but unless you can put your emotions on the back burner (and for the record, the movie almost brought me to tears in some parts) and look at the movie with the eyes of the Word of God, then you will never see what i am trying to relate.

    there is war going on for the hearts and minds of men. and the name of Jesus is all that matters.

  81. Brian January 26, 2010 at 8:31 am

    Caleb – I totally agree with you. My conclusion – we just see this movie differently. I heard Jesus’ name in it a handful of times. And it seems obvious to me. The prayer by the youth pastor using Jesus’ name. The Christian kids being called Jesus people. The term Christian being used. The cross in the youth room. It may not be direct – but He’s pointed to. And in my opinion, it was enough for what was trying to be accomplished. But again – that’s where we all differ.

    I will admit this – God will judge it accordingly. As He will all of us and what we’ve done. One day, all things will be made right.

    I CORINTHIANS 3:11-15

    “For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”

    furthermore, I realize that all things done in the name of Jesus –
    aren’t necessarily of Him…this too will come to light…

    MATTHEW 7:22-23

    “On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”

    God will expose these things. Where I stand now, I believe To Save a Life is a godly work. Years later, I might see things differently. You might too. But one thing is for certain – God knows. And if there is weak teaching coming from a pastor and you have an opportunity to at least try to correct it – it would be awesome if you listened to whats going on inside and said something. Regardless of the result. God will see that you listened and spoke on His behalf…

    Bret – one more thing –

    Let me ask you this – as someone who likes hip hop – are you aware that guys like Shai Linne and Lecrae, et al are being persecuted by their own brothers and sisters because of the medium by which they’re spreading the Gospel? Check out YouTube and search for Holy Hip Hop. There is a faction of Christians who feel passionately that their form of communication is destructive and secular. And they’re campaigning against it through a series of documentary-like videos. “Holy Hip Hop Uncovered (or Exposed)” or something like that. To these God-fearing Christians, Christian hip-hop is an oxymoron. These guys ‘talk like gangstas, dress like gangstas and dance like they all up in the club.’ Therefore, they’re wolves in sheep’s clothing – leading young impressionable minds astray with their worldly ways. To them this is UNholy hip hop and Satan’s got a grip on ’em and is using them – regardless of the Gospel they preach – to destroy the kids. And because of it, God is against what they’re doing and it grieves the Holy Spirit. They believe this with all their heart and think they are doing God’s work by speaking out against it. But you and I both know what’s really going on. They are taking the message of the cross to the street using their own language. To some the Spirit is against this. To us – it’s the Spirit working…

  82. J January 26, 2010 at 11:19 am

    I went with low expectation the movie would be good due to it would be a low budget and be geared towards teenagers (which is the main targeted audience). However I still recommend it for adults. I think it would be really good if a teenager who is a non Christian saw it because it could get them to start thinking about Christianity and they could ask their friends more about how does one become a Christian and their Christian friends could then bring Jesus up. The movie was made to help convert people to Christianity. The movie was good even to watch when you feel down about something other than that being those problems of a teenager in highschool.

    I was concerned about the PG13 rating at first but then decided that was probably given to the movie industry to try to prevent Christians from seeing the movie because it gets a PG-13 rating. I am sure they would have like to have given it a R rating like the Passion which did not deserve a R rating. I think if we look at the top 5 Christian movies made in the last decade, we could find something wrong with all of them including the Passion. I recommend the Passion because that movie is the closest representation of Jesus death as there is and is very accurate but not totally accurate. It far better for one to fill their mind with this movie than a secular movie about nothing.

    Christians should boycott and never watch movies like Tom Hanks in the Div. Code.

    I agree with the website below author that reviewed the movie:

    “So what to make of this? Well, besides that my honesty may have hurt some people’s feelings that I really wish I did not have to hurt, this provides us an opportunity. People may be talking about this at your church (or maybe not, this wasn’t a huge budget film, so how far it reaches I do not know), so this may give you who are Christians the opportunity to do what the film lacks, which is to point people to Jesus Christ. “
    http://christianmusiczine.com/2009/09/08/review-to-save-a-life-movie/

    I will not be critical of the movie, because if I am critical of it, I am in danger of being like one of the Pharisees when it comes to one of the 6 Woes especially Luke 11:52:

    52″Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.”

    After the moving I was thinking about some non Christian people I know that I never had talked to them about Christ and need to. I totally recommend this movie.

  83. Jess January 26, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Wow-hot topic!
    I just don’t get it-for anyone who wants a rough, edgy, non-brady bunch Christianity-what about Eph. 5:3-5?
    Btw, desensitization may be one reason some “hooch” dancing does not offend… ;) (again, above verse-sexual immorality may apply).

  84. threegirldad January 26, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Brian wrote:

    How is that ironic? This conversation started long ago in response to Tyler’s public review of the movie.

    Here’s how, Brian: you apparently didn’t think twice about criticizing Tyler and his review in a public forum, but now you’ve taken him and others to task for criticizing the movie publicly rather than privately. Can’t have it both ways. Why didn’t you follow your own advice?

    By the way, I do apologize for jumping to conclusions about the Scripture reference.

    Like I’ve mentioned before, God doesn’t speak the same language to everyone.

    I have no idea what that is supposed to mean. If it means anything in opposition to “God calls all men in all ages to repent, and the means by which He does so is the preaching of the Gospel,” then I couldn’t disagree more.

    Fair. But we’re not talking artistic merit here.

    Neither am I. Sorry that it wasn’t clear.

    This movie is in teen-speak and it brought me back to my high school experience.

    “Teen-speak” in what sense? The profanity? The subject matter? Both? I really don’t understand your point.

    We’re ready to call this secular and not of God when a (supposedly) God-Fearing youth pastor is responsible for bringing it to the public at large in order to reach lost teens and wake up churched kids to the destitute world around them.

    How is it reaching lost teens? That’s a sincere question. Spell it out for me — please. And I’ll say again, there’s a solution to the tragedy of “churched kids” (and any other class of professing Christians) being oblivious to a lost and dying world. No movie is the solution to that problem.

    Also, intent and sincerity don’t automatically sanctify something…right? Pastor Britts’ motives and sincerity aren’t at issue with me. I don’t know the man — never heard of him until you mentioned his name — so I wouldn’t even pretend to know his motives. I’ll take your word that he is a good and sincere Youth Paste. The thing is, though, if he “gets it wrong,” all the good motives in the world don’t matter.

    One more thing: you made these comments in a post stamped January 16, 2010 at 8:28 am:

    for those who have a problem with cussing, does anyone have a problem with what paul said in his letter to the phillipians?

    No, I don’t. Why do you ask? Ahh, here’s why:

    he says sh**. that’s right.

    Sorry, but no. This is a wearisome claim that doesn’t even begin to stand up to scrutiny.

    From BDAG, the definitive New Testament Greek-English Greek Lexicon:

    BDAG 6725
    skubalon, ou, to, useless or undesirable material that is subject to disposal, refuse, garbage (in var. senses, ‘excrement, manure, garbage, kitchen scraps’: Plut. et al.; PSI 184, 7; PRyl 149, 22; PFay 119, 7; Sir 27:4; Philo, Sacr. Abel. 109; 139; Jos., Bell. 5, 571; SibOr 7, 58.—ta. sku,bala specif. of human excrement: Artem. 1, 67 p. 61, 23; 2, 14 p. 108, 21; Jos., Bell. 5, 571 [cp. Epict., Fgm. Stob. 19 avposkubali,zw].—MDibelius, Hdb. on Phil 3:8) pa,nta h`gei/sqai sku,bala consider everything garbage/crud Phil 3:8 (cp. AcPl Ha 2, 23; Spicq. s.v. “to convey the crudity of the Greek … : ‘It’s all crap’.”).—DELG. TW. [emphasis added by me]

    You can’t even make that case from extra-Biblical ancient Greek literature. So, back to the drawing board with that argument.

    its all context people. language is relative.

    You just rendered passages like Eph. 4:29 and Col. 3:8 pointless and nonsensical. Paul took it for granted that the churches at Ephesus and Colossae would understand without further explanation what he meant by the phrases “unwholesome word” and “abusive speech” [NASB] — otherwise, why even say it? What purpose would it serve? I reject the notion that those two bodies of believers, upon hearing Paul’s letters read to them, engaged in a protracted debate about his exact meaning and intent.

  85. threegirldad January 26, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    {sigh} “Youth Pastor

  86. threegirldad January 26, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Good grief. Time to fire my copy editor.

    The mention of extra-Biblical Greek literature was supposed to link here:

    http://www.leithart.com/archives/002863.php

  87. Kristy L. January 26, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    Hi Tyler! I just wanted to say THANK YOU so much for posting this review! It is SO refreshing to hear a Christian taking a stand for righteousness, during a time when compromise and lukewarmness is so prevalent in the “church”. We do not need the world to reach the world, nor do we need to water down the gospel to make it more relevant to today’s society! We as a church have become so desensitized to sin and to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, that the things of this world have become more and more acceptable (even entertaining) to us. This movie does NOT point to Jesus Christ, the gospel is not clearly presented, and I believe that it stirs up flesh. It is pure compromise. Thank you again, for taking a stand for holiness! God bless you.

  88. R. Margarette January 26, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Just so you guys know I am a Christian who is very concerned about holiness and also concerned about how the gospel is being watered down in our culture, but am I am just as offended by pharisaical Christians who misrepresent the gospel and make it more about the outside of the cup being clean rather than looking at the heart. I understand there are a few things in the film that are “edgy” and uncomfortable like the implied sex scene, drug use and mild “curse” words. I would not be so supportive of this film if the non-Christian characters in the film were the ones who were doing these behaviors but they weren’t. Once the lead character gives his life to God he begins the process of transformation and we see him leaving his old life behind and becoming a new creation. Regarding the fact that there is no altar call in the film – I believe the best ART (not sermon) is not an overt, preachy, in your face gospel message. I also want to commend Brian for exemplifying the Fruits of the Spirit in his tone in spite of the blatant rudeness and attacks from many of you on this site. This fruit is what demonstrates you are truly a believer and is evidence of the Holy Spirit in your life. Brian – just for some encouragement I’d encourage you to check out the Facebook page for To Save a Life or the website where you will find hundreds of testimonies of kids lives who are being changed. And just for the record the name of JESUS was mentioned twice in the film. Trust me, I’ve seen it 3 times.
    Join the 93,000 and growing fans on Facebook!

    http://www.tosavealifemovie.com/stories/
    http://www.facebook.com/search/?q=To+Save+a+Life&init=quick#/tosavealife?ref=search&sid=100000591353892.1326099842..1

  89. Sally R. January 26, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    Let the movie speak for itself. Teens are raving and lives are being CHANGED!!! HALLELUJAH! Check this out!!! PRAISE GOD FOR THIS AWESOME EVANGELISTIC TOOL. Its about time someone preached the Gospel in a way that teens could understand!!!

    Here’s just a sampling of THOUSANDS of stories:

    Marie (Name changed for privacy) – Posted on January 25, 2010
    I saw this movie the other night with my mom and we had no clue on what it was about. we intentionally bought tickets for “up in the air”, but exchanged them when “to save a life” poster caught our eye. I thank God!!!! that we saw this movie instead, because it made me realize it’s not about me, there are others out there who need more love and support than my own selfish desires. After watching this movie I realized that I need to be alot more nice to others because I don’t know what they’re going through that day and who knows they might have needed a simple “hello” or smile.

    Elizabeth – Posted on January 25, 2010
    ok so this movie has completely changed my life. i dont consider myself popular even a little bit, but i know i have more friends now than i ever have. so this movie has inspired me to go out, and use what little friend connections i have to make a difference. i dont know how big of an impact it could be, but i have learned from this movie that one life, is just as valuable as saving many lives. :D

    Read many many more at: http://www.tosavealifemovie.com/stories/

    May we all be effective as salt and light in a dark world around us!!! God bless you all.

  90. Sally R. January 26, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    Just a few more! I’m in tears, reading about these changed lives. God is SO good… Praise be to HIM!!
    He leaves the 99 to go after the one. Its so AWESOME to see first hand!

    Sarah – Posted on January 25, 2010
    ok, so I have been struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts for such a long time, and I know what those kids were going through. I finally after 3 years of it came to know God and it all ended that for me. I do still struggle with a little bit of depression, but no suicidal thoughts. I have learned that my place in life is to love EVERYONE and not to judge, and thats what I am going to do. This movie, was more than just inspiration to me, it was a matter of Heaven or Hell, I decided that night to get baptized because I had so much faith in God the last year and this just sent me over the edge. I had to do it then and I did right when I got back to my church. For the first time in my life, I feel loved with no judgement, and that I fit in somewhere. I want to be able to help the people that have gone throught this and that are going through this. I LOVE all of you, and so does God. It was and incredible movie. Thank you.

    Rachel – Posted on January 25, 2010
    when i saw this movie i had been a christian but until i saw this movie i realized that i wasnt being true to God. I felt like God wanted me to see this movie to show that i was moving away from him. It really touched my heart. i hope i can change peoples lived like they did i this movie. I just moved to a new school who many dont believe in God or anything. i hope i can make a different even being the new kid! thanks for everything you have done. form now in everything is going to be different! thanks i love all the people who made this. and the music made me cry and happy at the same time!

  91. threegirldad January 26, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Oh, dear. I see that the “tone police” have finally arrived on the scene. It was bound to happen sooner or later.

    I am just as offended by pharisaical Christians who misrepresent the gospel and make it more about the outside of the cup being clean rather than looking at the heart.

    Charges of “pharisee” and “pharisaical” have become the Christian Blogosphere equivalent of Godwin’s Law. Thread dead, R. Margarette — you lose.

    I also want to commend Brian for exemplifying the Fruits of the Spirit in his tone in spite of the blatant rudeness and attacks from many of you on this site.

    I see. So, calling other believers “pharisaical Christians” and pretending to know their hearts is not an example of “blatant rudeness and attacks.” Hypocritical much?

    This fruit is what demonstrates you are truly a believer and is evidence of the Holy Spirit in your life.

    The same person who wrote Gal. 5:22-23 also publicly rebuked Peter for getting cozy with the Judaizers.

    It is utterly ridiculous and self-contradictory for you to have behaved and spoken the way you did in this comment. And I categorically reject the accusation you’ve made. Either provide evidence to support it, or give it a rest. As things stand now, I say that you are bearing false witness.

  92. Sally R. January 26, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    WOW! Talk about tone.

  93. threegirldad January 26, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    Yes, Sally. Let’s do exactly that. You can begin with R. Margarette’s “unloving” accusation against those who have begin disagreeing with Brian.

  94. Sally R. January 26, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    The teens are LOVING this movie & God is really using it to transform people.

    Here’s yet another story.

    Hannah – Posted on January 26, 2010
    I am part of a youth group with kids who love each other and love to spread the word of God. We all went to see this movie, and we all came back in tears and changed hearts. I could not stop thinking about the movie and I thought it was so convicting and I had to see it again, so within the three days it had been out I had already seen it twice. The past Sunday night we were discussing the movie and the presence of God came over all of us and we were all just crying because we knew we needed to change and it was so inspiring. I think this should be allowed to be shown in every school, every teenager should be able to see it. Thank you so much!

    You should all check out what teens are saying about it at:

    http://www.tosavealifemovie.com/stories/

    GOD IS TOTALLY SPEAKING THROUGH THIS MOVIE TO PEOPLE’S HEARTS!
    He is SO good!!! Oh, its wonderful!

  95. Monique January 27, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    one question: what’s wrong with cussing? does cussing show that you are not a Christian and therefore do not belong in the small world of Christianity? I saw the movie and it really hit home with me. The scene where the kid was ignored and where that girl was judged really related to me. The churches i have been to where so judgemental and that it was really exclusive (youth groups). I wanted to go to a place where i would belong but i have not found it in any church that I have been to. I’m a 16 year old girl by the way and i hope that one day church would actually be enjoyable for me.

  96. Sally R. January 28, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    This movie is reaching teens!
    Having done alot of missions in my past & lived overseas, I know a big part of ministering to people and sharing the gospel is that you have to do it in a way that is appropriate for them culturally & linguistically. Too many times I have tried to share the gospel and not been effective because I had not taken the time to understand to whom I was speaking and how they would best understand this message of God’s love for them. Likewise, speaking English, and not knowing Zulu, I would not understand if a Zulu person tried to tell me anything in his language, even it was the best news ever.

    By seeing the results of this movie, I see great wisdom in how the filmmakers have studied youth culture & know how to speak into their lives. I am awed at the responses. Here’s one more from: http://www.tosavealifemovie.com/stories/

    Lauren – Posted on January 27, 2010
    For the past 5 years I haven’t had a relationship with God, after the movie I couldn’t even make it out of the theater when I completely broke down and cried. The story seemed so real to me, it had so much of my life in it. My friend heard about it in church and persuaded me to go and I can truly say that it changed my life. This movie helped me understand who God is, and what his purpose is in all of our lives. I never thought that I would have the reaction I did to the movie, but I’m so glad that I did. After the movie I asked my friend if I could go to church with her, I’m planning to go this Sunday. Thank you for making such a wonderful film.

  97. Caleb January 28, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    i hope that they preach the grace of God through faith in the Lord Jesus to Lauren when she gets there.

  98. Jake January 29, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Mr.Muller ive seen you commenting on so many other review websites and i have to ask HAVE YOU NOT SEEN THE REAL POINT OF THIS FILM you have looked past everything this film is trying to convey. This is an outreach film intended to get non christians to ask questions this movie is a seed. also as a highschooler they hit the nail on the head as to what a highschooler has to go through. and i am truly sorry that you havent yet realized reality. because that is exactly what this movie is, if your sheltering your teens as much as you convey they are going to be EXTREMELY shocked when they get out on there own becuase they are going to have to deal with exactly what this movie talks about, intimate relationships, drunks, people who swear, its all a part of the real world. also they do not promote the swearing, drinking, making out, they show the downsides and what happens when you take things that far. sometimes in order to save another person there is a little dog poop involved reality does not always taste good. And i recommend every highschooler see this movie CHRISTIAN or NON-CHRISTIAN

  99. Jess January 29, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Eph. 5:3-5!!!
    Sometimes something may seem really good, but if it goes against how we’re supposed to think/talk/conduct ourselves (or the Word)…is it really good?
    Someone asked a ques. about cussing-the above verses, to me, set my thinking on that. And much more.
    “Christian”=”little Christ”. Why, oh why, can’t I see Jesus back in the day doing all these things that everyone’s debating about?
    I want to be sensitive to whatever Jesus says be sensitive to. B/c I LOVE that guy :)

  100. Greg January 30, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    I am a youth pastor, and I saw the movie tonight. I actually had to take my youth group out of the movie. The inappropriate words that were used in this movie really took away from what the movie could actually be. This is a movie I wouldn’t recommend for youth pastors to take their groups to. I think Facing the Giants and Fireproof were great, but this doesn’t even compare. It uses profanity several times and I just find it inappropriate to take a youth trip to go and see it.

  101. Jess January 31, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    I agree w/ the above post. No doubt it can have positive points for a “secular” type movie, but to try and sell it as a must-see for church groups?

    FYI-the kids-in-mind review…a break down of everything in the movie. (not sure if there’s one on screenit.com)
    http://www.kids-in-mind.com/t/tosavealife.htm

  102. Colin February 1, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    you may not be aware, but Paul cussed in the Bible Paul compared sin to s**t which is exactly what Jake was doing, he was fed up with the fakers in the church and that movie impacted me and changed my life, it was the first Christian movie that was REAL about what goes on in a high schooler’s life, seriously this movie shows how God impacts people where they are, don’t know what your talking about

  103. Colin February 1, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    for all the people that said that this was a worldly movie, it was a real movie, and even though you saw the parties and the sex, you also saw jake leave all that to follow God and save lives, it showed how unfulfilling all the worldly stuff is, best movie ever

  104. Colin February 1, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    To Dennis: they did point us to salvation, jake leaves his former life to go and follow God, that is salvation right there

  105. Tyler Hess February 1, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Paul did not use a word that did not exist either in his language or in his time period, I am confident of this. he did use a word that might be considered a synonym, but was not considered a curse word at his time, no matter what you heard or read somewhere.

    salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ, in His death and resurrection, not just in following some God for some reason and then doing things as best as you can.

  106. Christine February 1, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Hello brothers and sisters, My name is Christine I am a college student studying media with an emphasis in film and video production. I know a bit about the production side of things, filming, writing, editing, story. Etc.
    First thing is first, I am not getting on here to state my opinion on this film. Yes I have seen it…multiple times, but my opinion is irrelevant and in the long run won’t matter a bit.
    I am writing a paper on this film for school and I have been reading reviews and such online for some time. This movie has quite a bit of controversy surrounding it, some people love it…and some people hate it (that’s usually the way movies go though.) I stumbled across this site by accident and have been reading the comments for some time.
    The only reason why I am writing a comment is to say that I am sickened by some of the things you all are saying. It’s hard for me to believe that my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ can be commenting/arguing with each other about what is Christian, what is not Christian…what the Bible says, what this movie is about, whether this movie is Christian or not…stop and think for a second people.

    As a student studying media and film, I know the power that the media has on our lives…I know that people are effected more by the media than any other outlet. You don’t believe me? Think about how much time you spend listening to the radio, watching t.v, reading magazines, seeing Ads. Media is everywhere-

    Who cares about your opinions- this movie was made to be a TOOL to get Christians and non-Christians (especially teens) thinking. If some of you disagree with this films motives, than woop-de-ding, who gives a rip. If you have nothing good to say about this film then I encourage you to get off your bums and make yourself a film that you think God would be genuinely proud of. Because, who are we to say that He isn’t up in Heaven dancing around and rejoicing over people who have been touched for Him by this film.

    Although this movie has positives and many negatives, the thing I have to keep remembering is, brothers and sisters, we are on the SAME side. Why are we having pointless arguments over a film that will possibly reach someone for Christ. I praise Jesus that He is using people within the media to spread his word (whether it has a curse word or not). Let’s ban together and realize that though this film may fall short in some areas…I praise it for getting through Hollywood…because that in itself is a huge feat. God has many different outlets to share His Gospel- and each and everyone of them (whether everyone agrees with them or not) IS an outlet and we should be supporting the efforts of our fellow Christians in the media because at the end of the day, we’re all in the same fight.

  107. Christine February 1, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Oh, and btw- for all of you saying this movie is “real life” or this movie “isn’t real life…”

    People, it’s a movie, or course it isn’t real life. Every line spoken has been previously written, every movement was previously planned. Movies cannot be real or unreal- they simply are a story meant to drive a point across/share something/entertain/etc.

  108. Caleb February 1, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    Christine… i don’t think you understand the argument here. Colin said, “To Dennis: they did point us to salvation, jake leaves his former life to go and follow God, that is salvation right there”

    this movie never shows Jake following God because without Jesus you cannot follow God. it shows him doing some good works. but these works must be borne through faith in Jesus Christ, something that the movie did not show.

    “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”

    it wasnt that this movie was so “worldly” that offended me. that was fine. Jesus wasn’t offended by sinners…. what offended me was that the Christians of today are so weak that they wont even confess Christ before men, when they have a stage to proclaim his name the size of a nation.

    good movie? sure. building up the body of Christ? not so much.

  109. BlurryHeel February 22, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    I got the message of this movie, and its a little overplayed. Don’t get me wrong, turning to God is good and through any circumstances is much better than someone living unreligiously. But for once… please give me a movie where a writer doesn’t use God as the plot point for a kid getting out of hard times. For once give me someone who has an utterly satisfying life who turns to God for emotional fullfilment. Stop with the “God solves all problems” message. It’s probably one of the least respected phrases of my generation. Get a character middle class white kids, you know the only demographic for this movie, can completely relate to and emulate realistically if you want more people turning to God.

  110. BlurryHeel February 22, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    also to Caleb… dogma is bad. The Jews and Muslims are right in their own way. Back off their religion a little there.

  111. Pingback: Movie Review: To Save A Life

  112. louis stutes August 22, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    hahahaha what ever man i think the movie kicked ass honestly. i am a guy goin through stuff like that and inj highschool its not about talking about God. Those people who made this movie were trying to make it real. No one in highschool goes around going Mathew 4:13 sais this. Those people are the ones who don’t get response. Talk biblical all you want but I know for a fact im going to listen to the guy who shows us how to act by example not the one who strait up tells me im wrong. You know i have been to church group from time to time and i always get the judgemental look and here kids say what are you doing here. What the heck. I am sure thats alot like God acts. You think God is going to make some one feel like they cant fit in at church group. I’m sure that guy can qoute a 100 more bible verses than i can but guess what man, when i go to school and show God’s love not by speaking a word of God, but by acting as if God is there in our presence, I sure get a whole lot more respect and show alot more about faith than that cocky guy who is going to tell people how to live there life. I used to be depressed and i mean wack depressed and now i am one of the happiest most possitive people i know and i love it. Thats why people ask how did you do it, which i have been asked several many many times, i say its all about your attitude i believe, you can beleive if youd like but i tell you what its a whole lot easier to dig out of a whole when some one helps you. Theres what i think and know from personal experience. I dont know if you remember high school or if you were just one of those guys that just hung out with the cocky holly rollers who aparently i wasnt good enough for back then. Oh but for sure im good enough now, for sure. Just think about it. Hearing it from some one who actually experiences it everyday. Man its posts like that, that make me want to just teach people that its not about your bible your church or your holly roller fashion its about you how you act and your belief and love and faith for God.

  113. louis stutes August 22, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    ohh and burryheel you have an extrememly good point. I love how you said that. props to ya bro.

  114. Ryan September 7, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    you christian people seem mean to each other. I don’t think I want what you have.

  115. Paul A Rose Jr September 18, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    I’m sorry, I wasn’t going to comment, but I just feel I have to… Let me state first and foremost – THIS MOVIE IS NOT MEANT TO MAKE PEOPLE INTO CHRISTIANS. Cause guess what – it won’t. To be complaining that the message of Jesus isn’t there or is watered down or polluted, in my opinion, is people looking for an excuse to justify using the movie to witness instead of getting off their butts and do it themselves. MOVIES do not save people, MUSIC doesn’t save people, BOOKS don’t save people – Jesus IN OUR LIVES saves people. Apparently, you missed the point of the movie, which is two-fold. One is an outreach to get kids and people to ask questions – ask their friends, pastors, teachers, about God, about Jesus, about why this movie ends the way it does. The second is to encourage people to get up and DO SOMETHING.

    It’s called the Book of ACTS of the Apostles, not the ideas, thoughts or media outreach of the Apostles but their ACTS – what they did. If all you’re doing is inviting someone to see a movie, read a book, go to a concert or listen to a CD, or, worse, complaining that these things aren’t doing YOUR job reaching people for Christ, then you’re missing more than the point of a movie. You’re clearly missing out on Jesus’ purpose for your life. Time to get busy BEING a Christian and not just promoting ‘Christian’ things.

  116. Weewritle February 15, 2011 at 4:58 am

    Whatever your motivation, you want to learn how to play poker, A Straight Flush is comprised of five cards in numerical order, all of the same suit.

  117. david February 16, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    i vote comments get turned off on this post

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