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Christ, Culture, and Cinema: How Faith and Films Intersect

by Jeffrey Skopak

Item #: 124614 / 2022 / Paperback / 216 Pages


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Movies are deeply ingrained in American culture, showcasing many of the pain points, troubles, and even joys of the culture. They are a perfect way for Christians to see where the world needs to hear about Christ. Dig into seven different movies with Rev. Jeffrey Skopak to see how blockbuster hits, or even loved favorites, can spark easy conversation about Christ and His love for the world. 

Each film contains discussion questions to help you think critically about the movie and see how to apply similar questions in your conversations. Time stamps for specific movies scenes are also included so that you can follow along as Skopak unpacks each film. 

Featured Movies:
Captain America: The First Avenger
Hidden Figures
Toy Story
A Star Is Born
The Princess Bride

About the Author

Jeffrey Skopak was born and raised in New Jersey. He has served as a pastor all over the United States, from small urban ministries to large churches and schools. He is currently the senior pastor of Grace Lutheran Church and School in Florida, where he lives with his wife, Amy, and their rescue dog, Reggie.

What Others are Saying

"How do entertainment trends and the biblical narrative relate to each other? Jeffrey Skopak has masterfully crafted an answer. By connecting selected stories from the big screen with the saving stories of Jesus, Skopak interprets Hollywood with God’s Holy Word. . . Skopak lays bare both the contemporary significance as well as the eternal considerations we can and should draw from motion pictures."

—John Arthur Nunes, Ph.D., President, Concordia College New York

"Jeff Skopak has put together a delightful study and presents in a very relatable way how the movies can, and often do, influence our faith life. . . Drawing on popular and celebrated movies, the book takes readers on a journey of insight and enjoyment as we look at movies in light of culture from a new perspective. It is the marriage of how we can use means like our modern culture as reflected in the movies and gain deeper spiritual insights, all as a platform to connect people to Jesus. "

—Rev. Dr. Gregory S. Walton, President,The Flordia-Georgia District of the LCMS

Item Number:
Adult - Mature Adult
In Stock

Customer Reviews

Christ, Culture, and Cinema: How Faith and Films Intersect

by Skopak, Jeffrey

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Worthy of a Sequel

Too often a book about the Christian faith comes along that the author promises will "engage the culture" in a new and exciting way. Too often, so many of those books don't deliver. Skopak, on the other hand, is able to navigate that narrow road and deliver a book that satisfies the reader without being preachy. The films Skopak chose to engage cover a wide range of genres and tease out aspects that speak both to the human condition and it's redemption. Discussion questions for each chapter perfectly set this book up for use in a group setting, especially if it's attached to a viewing party. As was said elsewhere, the "scene" from "Captain America: The First Avenger" alone is worth the purchase price.

Approachable and applicable to "real life"

Jeff Skopak provides a timely take on how a Christian can not only thoughtfully look at the culture around them but also engage with it in a Christ-honoring way. Each of the seven "scenes" highlight well-known films to assist the reader (and viewer) in applying their faith to the entirety of their experience - including arts and entertainment and media. Skopak manages to weave together real questions from the everyday lived experience of people with meaty theology but to do so in a way that is approachable for all. This book could be used in a variety of group settings, including small group ministry, youth groups or within families, while still being able to be adapted for use by individuals.

From Gladiator to Gospel

For those of us who've grown tired of fighting the culture wars, along comes a book that not only engages our culture, but creatively and masterfully makes the connection between Jesus and the society (read: people) He loves so much! And Jeff does so without pietistic handwringing or paternalistic browbeating. I found myself mentally re-watching movies I hadn't seen in years or even forgotten about, but now seeing the opportunity to help people understand that the common obstacles and angst of humanity portrayed on film is also addressed in Scripture. Jeff skillfully points us to the ultimate Hero while embracing the mystical and magical escape of movies that allows us to identify with the characters and the plot lines from the safety of our theater seats. But we always know when the lights come back up, we have to exit the theater and step back into our daily struggles. Only now, Jeff has provided us a wonderful resource that encourages and equips us to see Jesus in the ordinary and the extraordinary, using wisely selected cinematic releases as the medium for a relevant and enjoyable proclamation of the power, presence and peace of Jesus Christ. I'm actually looking forward to going to the movies again, and I know I'm going to have to watch all seven of these again! My pastor brain is already calculating how and when we can incorporate Christ, Culture and Cinema into our small group ministry. Quite frankly, I had fun reading the book!

Great Resource for Congregational Use

A fantastic easy read that provides though provoking examination of Christian themes in popular movies. Skopak has chosen movies from many different genres so finding one you have seen and enjoyed is easy. I found the chapter on Captain America: The First Avenger to be particularly valuable. Each chapter also comes with discussion questions that will allow the book to be easily adapted to use in a congregational class setting. Reading this book may cause you to think differently about any movie you watch in the future. I recommend it.

An easy read that will keep you thinking!

I love when I find a book that’s easy to read and filled with nuggets of wisdom that make me stop to think. Christ, Culture, and Cinema hits both marks! Jeffrey Skopak says that “our challenge today is understanding how to apply God’s guidance from the Bible to what confronts us in our culture and our lives.” He helps readers prepare for that challenge through a discussion of favorite movies and Bible stories. Movie fans- you’re going to love this! You get to revisit scenes and characters from movies you already love. Not a movie fan? No problem! I’ve only seen two of the movies referenced in the book, but thanks to Skopak’s conversational style that moves seamlessly back and forth between scenes from life, movies, and the Bible, I was always engaged in the story and found myself wanting to talk about it with friends. You'll want to do to same, so be prepared to invite a friend to read it too!

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