The Virtual Extension to Faith Forward Forum | Jan 22-24, 2007

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Christmas is Coming, and Christ is Making a Comeback:

By Dr. Ted Baehr [bio for event]

I believe our nation is on the threshold of a major revival, perhaps not equaled since the Great Awakening. The signs are there – some of them subtle, some not-so-subtle. One important sign is what appears to be the re-emergence of Jesus Christ in Christmas.

Christians have long known that it is more important to be “correct” than “politically correct.” Christmas is about Christ, and that is “correct,” accurate and true to history and tradition. Santa Claus, reindeer, wreaths, Christmas trees are fine, but what it is all about is the birth of the Messiah. Christmas heralds the turning point in history.

There is now evidence that our prayers over the last few years are being answered. Hollywood, Big Business – they seem to be finally getting the message: There are believers out there! God is alive and well in the popular culture!

Yes, the Christ-child is creeping back into Christmas. No, let me rephrase that – Christ is marching triumphantly back into Christmas. Hollywood is recognizing it, as are Wal-Mart, Kohl’s, Sears, Macy’s and others.

The tide is starting to turn.

The new movie, “The Nativity Story,” to open Dec. 1 in more than 3,000 theaters nationwide, will be a welcome reprieve from the usual holiday fare of action, violence, cornball comedy, and even those films that revolve around “the holiday season.”

Incidentally, “The Nativity Story” will make history when it premieres at the Vatican. That hasn’t happened before, as far as a feature film is concerned.

People, especially families, will want to go together to see this remarkable movie. Children will want to see it. Church members will go in groups. And yes, non-Christians will go out of curiosity. And how they will be rewarded – not just by a wonderful, dramatic, engaging movie, but one that tells the ultimate truth of what Christmas is all about.

I believe the movie is destined to become a Christmas classic. So move over “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Home Alone.” You’ve got some real, make that REAL, competition.

The movie is incredibly true to the authenticity of Scripture. Filmed in extraordinarily vivid color, it begins with a passage from Jeremiah. The rest of the movie references and quotes the Bible. The script was written by a Christian, Mike Rich, whose credits include “Finding Forrester.” Costuming and settings are authentic.

In short, it is a near perfect movie.

With all the fallout from fallen leaders and election turnabouts, Christians have an opportunity this year to put aside political agendas and really focus on what Christmas is all about. The distractions are behind us. Let us not miss this wonderful, crucial opportunity to proclaim the birth of our Lord in the highways and byways, yes, even in the marketplaces and the movies.

Dr. Ted Baehr is a noted critic, educator, lecturer and media pundit. He is founder and publisher of Movieguide ( and is chairman of the Christian Film and Television Commission. For more information, please go to:

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Blogger Mike Rapp said...

Is it possible to overstate the impact of The Passion of the Christ? That movie, coupled with the continuing "adult appeal" family movies from Pixar, are dramatically expanding the reality of Hollywood in ways none of us would have dared to project just three years ago.

The Nativity is long overdue, but the fact that this is a big budget film is even more remarkable! Three years ago, this movie pitch wouldn't have gotten a lunch appointment from a Hollywood exec. Now, you have Hollywood agents and script writers scouring the Bible for anything that looks like it could make a movie.

With the emergence of digital downloads and online community building, I think the expanding market for "christian" content of all sorts will explode. Now, defining what "christian" is will be the interesting factor.

The great thing about the Passion is that Hollywood first thought this was an absurd concept with an even more absurd budget. Mel Gibson did more than make a great movie and market it effectively; He proved that you can make big money by spending big money to the so-called "Red Statet" marketplace.

1:55 PM


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