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Stephen McGarvey Christian Blog and Commentary

"Fireproof" Shouldn't be Critic Proof

  • Stephen McGarvey
    Stephen McGarvey is the Executive Editor of Crosswalk.com and Christianity.com for the Salem Web Network. He is a World Journalism Institute fellow and has previously worked for BreakPoint with Chuck Colson, and the Home School Legal Defense Association. His articles have appeared in several publications including WORLD, The Washington Times, byFaith, BreakPoint WorldView, and the Union Leader (Manchester, NH).
  • 2008 Oct 09
  • Comments
Over on WORLD magazine's website, Warren Cole Smith has some thoughtful things to say about Fireproof, the latest "Christian" film to hit the mainstream. As Smith says, many Christian film reviewers have overlooked the film's shortcomings because of the filmmakers' noble intentions. Many of the film's viewers and supporters have lashed out at critics who have pointed out the movie's poor technical quality. (See for example the reader feedback on Crosswalk.com's review of Fireproof.)

The Kendrik brothers, who also brought us the film Facing the Giants, are Christians who are looking to make films that reflect their Christian values and worldview. This was their goal with their film Fireproof and that's a good thing. But do we as Christians who watch such films, and desire to support the Kendricks, overlook the flaws in their art simply because they are like-minded? Says Smith:

We do the [filmmakers] no favors when we grant them a “pass” based on good intentions. I learned this lesson as a writer many years ago. I am not the greatest writer in the world, but (I assure you) I am much better than I was last year, and I am much, much better than I was a decade ago. I improved because of tough feedback from teachers, mentors, and—sometimes—critics...

If we truly want to encourage the Kendricks, let’s say: “Congratulations. Making a movie, even a bad one, is no easy task. This one is an honorable ‘next step’ in the process, but is it really your best?”


Well said Mr. Smith. Those of us who are Christians assessing this art for a Christian audience must not create a different standard for reviewing Christian films than the standard we have for secular ones. We must graciously preach the truth.

Read the full article: "Fireproof" Shouldn't be Critic Proof