The Passion of the Christ -- The Film
|"The Passion of the Christ" - resources and comments on
another hot topic
Click here for a variety of comments from
The request that got us started:
received this note from a frequent visitor, a Presbyterian pastor, and a
Perhaps your readers have some wise thoughts about "The
Passion of Christ." I have been asked by parishioners literally dozens of
times this week if I think they should go to see Mel Gibson's movie. No, I
haven't seen the movie, so I am facing the same decision myself, however,
I have come up with an answer using the familiar WWJD criteria.
What would Jesus do? Would he go see "The Passion of
I think not, first of all because Jesus would never have
considered violence a form of entertainment. Secondly, he would not have
wanted his story to be told for profit (and a large one at that).
What do you think?
A great piece in the New Republic Online has some good
points to make, as well. Here's a link to it:
God bless you,
So, always glad to get a note that
blesses us (unlike some), we're happy to offer a few other things we've
found that look like they might be useful:
The Rev. Bruce P. Gillette, Co-Pastor of the First
Presbyterian Church in Pitman, NJ, has posted an
extensive collection of
Biblical passages and hymns relating to the Passion of Christ, along
with a number of commentaries on the movie. (Some of them are mentioned
You may want to visit
the official site for the
Charles Henderson, host for the Christianity section of
about.com, offers a good essay on the
film, headed by the divine Word according to Hosea (6:6): "I desire
steadfast love, not your bloody sacrifice."
Smackdown: 'The Passion' by John Dominic
Crossan and Ben Witherington III. A liberal professor and a conservative
professor debate Mel Gibson's movie, the Bible, theology and more.
Death of Jesus and Anti-Semitism: Seeking Interfaith Understanding"
by the late Raymond E. Brown, explores anti-Judaism in New Testament thought
about the Passion of Christ, and exposes faulty interpretations of the
passion narratives, as literal history or a product of Christian
Raymond E. Brown was the Auburn Distinguished
Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies (Union Theological Seminary, NYC) and
a member of the Roman Pontifical Biblical Commission.
This Update article is adapted from his book, Reading the Gospels With
the Church: From Christmas Through Easter (St. Anthony Messenger
NCC Interfaith Relations Commission
offers reflection guide for 'Passion of the Christ' film
The National Council of Churches Interfaith
Relations Commission has prepared
reflection guide for Christians who want to consider an array of issues
raised by the film. The guide, in a bulletin-insert style suitable for
reprinting and sharing with congregations, is available on this site in PDF
format, which requires that Adobe Acrobat Reader be installed on your
Michael Lerner of the progressive Jewish group Tikkun has issued a
thoughtful "plea to Christians to Respond with a Gospel of Love and Hope in
place of this new fundamentalism."
Theological Understanding of the Relationship Between Christians and Jews"
is a helpful study by the PCUSA General Assembly.
"Not My Passion" is a brief essay by Martin Marty, long-time church
historian at the University of Chicago, who raised half a dozen issues about
the movie (like "I don't take to depictions of gratuitous violence. It
puzzles me that conservative Catholics and Evangelicals who oppose violence
in films find it fine if Jesus is in one ... you get your kicks from the
sight of blood and gore, this is a way to get them "sacredly.").
Christianity Today, a conservative
Christian magazine, has a special section of many positive articles about
offers many pro and con perspectives on the movie
ABC News provides
an interview with Mel Gibson.
Thanks again to Bruce Gillette and many others!
What have we missed?
We'd like to hear from you - either your own comments on the film, or
others you've found helpful.
Just send a
note to be shared here!
ratified (or not) by the presbyteries
A number of the most important actions of the 219th
General Assembly are now being sent to the presbyteries for their
action, to confirm or reject them as amendments to the PC(USA) Book
We're providing resources to help inform the
reflection and debate, along with updates on the voting.
Our three areas of primary interest are:
which would remove the current ban on
lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender persons being considered as
possible candidates for ordination as elder or ministers.|
which would add the Belhar Confession to our Book of
10-1, which would adopt the new Form of Government
that was approved by the Assembly. |
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Some blogs worth visiting
Mitch Trigger, PVJ's
Secretary/Communicator, has created a Facebook page where
Witherspoon members and others can gather to exchange news and
views. Mitch and a few others have posted bits of news, both
personal and organizational. But there’s room for more!
You can post your own news and views,
or initiate a conversation about a topic of interest to you.
Voices of Sophia blog
Heather Reichgott, who has created
this new blog for Voices of Sophia, introduces it:
After fifteen years of scholarship
and activism, Voices of Sophia presents a blog. Here, we present the
voices of feminist theologians of all stripes: scholars, clergy,
students, exiles, missionaries, workers, thinkers, artists, lovers
and devotees, from many parts of the world, all children of the God
in whose image women are made. .... This blog seeks to glorify God
through prayer, work, art, and intellectual reflection. Through
articles and ensuing discussion we hope to become an active and
John Harris’ Summit to
Theological and philosophical
reflections on everything between summit to shore, including
kayaking, climbing, religion, spirituality, philosophy, theology,
politics, culture, travel, The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), New
York City and the Queens neighborhood of Ridgewood by a progressive
New York City Presbyterian Pastor. John is a former member of the
Witherspoon board, and is designated pastor of North Presbyterian
Church in Flushing, NY.
John Shuck’s Shuck and Jive
A Presbyterian minister, currently
serving as pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton,
Tenn., blogs about spirituality, culture, religion (both organized
and disorganized), life, evolution, literature, Jesus, and
Got more blogs to recommend?
send a note, and we'll see what we can do!