Friday, February 23, 2007

William Wilberforce, An Example of Engaging the Culture

The film released today, "Amazing Grace", is an excellent example of how Christians can engage the culture effectively. The film highlights the life of William Wilberforce, a great man who successfully walked the line of being in the world, but not of the world. Because of his faith in God, he saw the need to communicate God's truth to a society that had little interest in doing what was right, and a great interest in doing what was profitable and expedient.

The film appropriately shows us Wilberforce's motivation for addressing the issue of slavery without being patronizing or hitting the viewer over the head with religion. The secular reviews so far have been very positive, even though the Christian nature of the film is clear!

Let us pray that God will use this film effectively, not only to highlight the life of a great man, but to show the relevance of Biblical Christianity to a society that is not interested in doing what is right.

Kenneth Turan is a reviewer for the LA Times and NPR. You can find his insightful review here.

You can find a deeper discussion of the film and the life of William Wilberforce with director Michael Apted, and Eric Metaxas, author of the companion book "Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery" on NPR's Talk of the Nation here. Eric is a close friend of mine. His book is excellent (it is #24 on the New York Times bestseller list), and gives a fuller picture of the Christian commitment of Wilberforce. I would encourage you to pick up a copy.

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