The TFB College Ministry watched and discussed The Last Temptation of Christ this past Friday. While some may question (and indeed have questioned) the wisdom of this choice, I stand by the decision. Yes, the film is rated R—for good reason (nudity). Yes, the film depicts a Jesus that is not based upon the gospels. Yes, the film has assumptions that are, well, heretical.
So, why show the film? All too often we concentrate so much on Jesus’ divinity that we utterly forget his humanity. He was not part human. He was fully human. This film is a fictional investigation of Jesus’ humanity. The notion of humanity portrayed in the film was that, in its essence, humanity is flawed. Scripture does not teach this. Genesis 1:31 says, “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.” God judged all of creation—humanity included—to be very good. In its essence, humanity is the image of God. Jesus’ humanity is just that sort of humanity. He is the "Last Human" come to pay the death debt that the rest of us cannot pay--the death debt earned by the "First Human" (Adam). The film, with its false assumptions, completely missed that point. Most of the students Friday night did not miss that point. For that I am pleased and thankful.
Question the wisdom, if you will, but I would rather show and a meaningful, substantive R-rated film, than merely show a deceptively "safe" PG anyday.
Read the hollywoodjesus review