affinity with Biblical worldview
Every film has a point of view, a worldview, making a statement of some sort about the human condition and the nature of our world. It may be vivid, quiet, subtle, obscure, weak, confused.
Our greatest enjoyment in film is discerning the worldview and considering its compatibility with the Biblical worldview.
We use four categories.
- strong The worldview depicted is strongly compatible with the Biblical worldview. It illustrates at least moderately well Biblical truth and values. It's a grand slam if the storyline also offers at least some modicum of a Biblically accurate explanation for the human condition and the world's fallenness.
- compatible The worldview doesn't contradict the Biblical worldview. It may range from being a good fit to being weak but non-contradictory. In our experience to date, most films are somewhere in this category.
- incompatible The worldview contradicts the Biblical account of the human condition and the fallen state of our world. It doesn't attack the Biblical record. It merely offers matter of factly a view of reality inconsistent with the Biblical version.
- hostile The storyline is handled in a way that tries to elicit from viewers sympathy for and embrace of a worldview contradicting Scripture. The film's worldview is not offered as if to say "Wouldn't it be interesting if this is the nature of reality." Rather, it posits a worldview that seems to want to challenge and debunk the Biblical perspective by way of saying this is the way it is and anything else you think you understand about the human condition and the nature of our world is a myth.
We enjoy and recommend a lot of films that are not suitable for viewing by the whole family. We recommend films we think are worthy of the believer's time and attention, but most require the maturity sufficient to view critically what Hollywood usually describes as 'adult content,' or' adult situations.' and 'adult language.' By viewing critically we mean with mind actively engaged making judgments about what's being seen and heard in terms of good and bad, right and wrong.
At what age a young person qualifies by this criterion we leave to the wisdom of parents. Our experience in our family is that this stage of life was between 15 and 17 years of age for our children. We benchmark 'younger viewers' or 'children' at age 12 and under.
We use six categories.
- warm As family friendly as it gets. We have no concerns about the film's suitability for all age groups. The family, including the youngest, can relax, watch, and enjoy together. The film's compatible with the Biblical worldview and values.
- good Next best thing to 'warm.' May not be suitable for younger (12 and under) family members due to some dialog or intense action scenes.
- OK Not bad. The suitability for family viewing could be better. Parents are advised to preview it before deciding whether they're good to go for their children to view it.
- fair Theme, dialog, language, and/or intense scenes probably disqualify these films for younger viewers. But discerning, skilled parents may find teachable scenes worth shepherding their younger children through.
- not so much The film has some worthy teachable moments through which attentive parents could shepherd their children, talking, teaching them through scenes and dialog containing those moments. If parents don't do this, the film belongs in the 'poor' category described next.
- poor These would not work for family viewing in our home. In fact, in our home we'd ratchet up the minimum age for viewing to 16.