For those following the recent posts, I am going to be on NPR (National Public Radio) regarding the Rocky movie being marketed to churches & pastors. If you'd like to catch it, it is going to be on NPR's Day to Day National Show (at 11:30am on KPBS radio here in San Diego). From what I've been told, it is going to include TBN founder and president Paul Crouch, Sylvester Stalone and me. Again, this all goes back to the post Hollywood: Turning the Christian Faith into a Marketing Gimmick. The audio from the show will be posted 'Rocky Balboa' Born Again in Christian Theme'.
UPDATE: I interviewed for 20 minutes and they took a two sentence sound bite. My main points were:
1. Christians should use film and all forms of art in sermons. At our Kaleo Church we have a whole area dedicated to art/culture.
2. To me, the Rocky marketing crossed the line when they said this was a 'Christian Film' even preparing sermon series for pastors to use in their preaching. For example, one study suggests, "Involve women and girls in your study…noting Rocky's high regard and respect for women – a powerful theme." Or they suggest preaching using an illustration where one of the tallest in the congregation is faced by a junior high kids with gloves on for "an underdog meets Goliath" sketch. Again, a misrepresentation of the thrust of what this story means.
3. Additionally, the message/theme behind Rocky is NOT the gospel. The good news isn't about our faith and courage, but about Jesus. Jesus was courageous, he is the one who was perfectly faithful. He lived the life we could not and paid the price for our sins so that we can be reconciled to God. He was not just an example (as Rocky's marketing tells us) but he is our Savior.
Sadly, I communicated the gospel through my interview 3 or so times, but it managed to find itself in the editing recycling bin.