Biblical Marketing

So there’s another Bible-based movie preparing to be unleashed hot on the heels of the epic Noah of a few months ago.  This is another Old Testament thriller based on Moses and the Israelite Exodus from Egypt in the opening half of the book of Exodus.  Exodus: Gods and Kings certainly sounds interesting.  And the title actually seems to imply an awareness of and perhaps empathy with the core issues in the book of Exodus.  

At least based on a 90-second trailer.

Hollywood has been fascinated with Biblical stories since the beginning (of Hollywood, not the Bible!).  Many people remember the fantastic Biblical films of mid-20th century.  Epic and heroic in every sense of the word.

But it seems different now.  In a culture – and particularly a Hollywood culture – that is often rabidly anti-Christian (or anti-Biblical), there is a great deal of irony in producing films loosely based on Biblical events.  In every other aspect of our culture it seems that faith in general, and Christianity in particular, is being marginalized and pushed closer and closer to the closet with strict instructions never to come out in public again.  

Money talks though, and apparently Hollywood recognizes that there is money to be made from the faithful.  Mel Gibson demonstrated that a decade ago.  I’m skeptical.  Movies are almost always a money-making venture, but should we laud Hollywood for capitalizing on a faith and a book it otherwise would prefer didn’t exist?  Should we praise Hollywood for exposing people to Christian stories, or condemn it for playing off of rampant Biblical illiteracy (among Christians, let alone among others)?  

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