18 January 2006

Does anyone even remember when BlogSpotting was a staple here?

BlogSpottingIt's been so long since I've done this that I practically forgot how. The following short list is by no means a complete record of all the worthwhile links I've found pointing this direction, but it's a good-faith effort at logging as many as possible in the hour I have to devote to blogging tonight:

Two miscellanies on which I want to comment briefly:

  1. A group of scholars at The University of Edinburgh have started an excellent blog called The New College Conventicle as a way of sharing their interest in Puritan history. Here's a wonderful opportunity to eavesdrop on something worthwhile.
  2. There's a considerable amount of chatter in the Christian blogosphere about the new movie telling the story of Nate Saint's martyrdom. The conversation focuses on the Christian film producers' decision to cast Chad Allen, an outspoken gay rights advocate, in the role of Saint. Sharper Iron has had an active forum on the issue, and they are doing a good job of tracking the debate across the blogosphere.
         For those who have inquired as to my position: I agree with those who are appalled at the casting decision. But I can't honestly say I'm surprised or shocked at stuff like this anymore. It's what inevitably happens in the academic and entertainment worlds when Christians begin to care more about being accepted by the world than they do about proclaiming our Lord's message clearly.
         Some have asked whether I will boycott the movie. Is it technically a "boycott" if you weren't planning to attend anyway?
         It disturbs me that even while they are ratcheting up their ongoing campaign against everything righteous, Hollywood moguls want to exploit evangelicals. It disturbs me even more that so many evangelicals seem blithely willing—almost eager, in fact—to be exploited.

Phil's signature


Evan May said...

As far as the End of the Spear is concerned, Triablogue (one of the blogs linked above) presents two different perspectives. Alan and I are in agreement, while Gene Bridges offers a differing perspective. For those interested in the discussion, here are the posts that have come from there:

The Unregenerate and "Gospel Art" by Evan May (me)
The Unregenerate and Gospel Art--Redux by Gene Bridges
Are Homosexuals Acceptable in Christian Films? by Alan Kurschner


Away From The Brink said...

Not a surprise at all about the casting of Nate Saint with a gay actor. Ian Charleson, whom played Eric Liddell in "Chariots of Fire," died of AIDS in 1990.

Kay said...

Yay for the return of blogspotting. Always when I've got nothing interesting on my blog. Meh!

Jeremy Weaver said...

What were your reasons for not seeing the movie before?

donsands said...

The subject of practicing gifts in the Church for today is always a hot one.

But there were a few excellent comments among the 350.

As far as a homosexual acting in this role of Nate Saint, I personally do not like it. Can the truth of his being killed for the gospel still be effective? Sure.

Will Hollywood smother the gospel in all kinds of sentimentality? Most likely. However, it's another opportunity for us to speak the truth in love, (the gospel of grace), that was so dear to these five men and their families. And I wish I could be as on fire for our Savior as Jim Elliott was. What an incredible example to the Church he was, and still is.
Gal. 6:14

Cindy Swanson said...

eLove Blogspotting...glad to see it back!

The "End of the Spear" story (which I've been following on Sharper Iron) is disappointing and troubling. Personally, I feel the casting of Allen dishonors the memory of the slain missionaries.

Back in Bible college, I was in a play based on the story ("Bridge of Blood"). That, and Elisabeth Elliot's books, "Through Gates of Splendor" and "Shadow of the Almighty," had an enormous impact on my life.

Impacted Wisdom Truth is right about Eric Liddell being played by a gay. However, the Liddell story was not as well-known and beloved as this one, and I don't believe Charleson was as outspokenly gay as Allen.

Cindy Swanson said...

By the way, I don't know how my "Love blogspotting" comment ended up with an "e" in front of it. Too bad one can't edit one's own comments. :)

candy said...

People bring up Ian Charleson but there is a difference between the actors. Ian Charleson was not a gay activist with a possible agenda to neutralize the position between Christians and gays.

I saw the trailer for this movie, and to be honest, it looked a bit hokey anyway. One of the tribal members looked like the tall dark stranger that would grace the cover of a Harlequin Romance novel. I expect low quality on this movie, like most Christian films, and decided that I will reread Through Gates of Splender if I want to delve into this story.

Besides, the documentary of the missionaries is interesting. Rent the DVD.

Gavin Deakin said...

Are you ‘appalled’ because Chad Allen is gay or because he is an outspoken gay rights advocate.

MSC said...

People keep bringing up Ian Charleston from "Chariots of Fire" and comparing him to Chad Allen being casted for "End of the Spear." There is a profound difference. As far as I know "Chariots of Fire" was made by secular producers with no purported Christian Worldview. "End of the Spear" is supposed to be made by a Christian film company with a decidedly evangelistic thrust. I find the incongruity between espousing a Christian Worldview (certainly questionable at this point) and then hiring a known gay activist to play the central role of the film utterly dismaying.

Phil Johnson said...

Gavin: What I'm appalled at are the Christian producers who knowingly cast an actor well-known for his gay advocacy. Then I'm apalled all over again at the fact that they did so (by their own testimony) without any pang of conscience or concern whatsoever.

candy said...

oops! Spelled splendor wrong. Teacher coming out in me.

It is of vital importance to understand that Chad Allen is a spokesperson for gay agendas and possibly sees his moment of fame as a platform to espouse his particular belief system. He is not just an actor quietly playing a role.

For a very interesting conversation regarding these issues with Chad Allen and Al Mohler among others on the Larry King Show go here:


Stephen Dunning said...

candyinsierras said...
oops! Spelled splendor wrong.

No - you spelled (spelt?) splendour wrong.

Sorry! Couldn't resist...

Richard D said...

Where do we stop when we head down this road of condemning something we disagree with? I was raised in an Independent Fundie Baptist church that rejected the use of accompaniment tapes in the church because they were not able to verify the "born again" status of all the musicians on the tape. I think that's ridiculous. And I see the potential to get to that point when we head down this road. BTW - I don't like the fact that Nate Saint is depicted by a gay activist either, but I don't want to get too postmodern in my excitement to be offended.

Jim Crigler said...

Okay let's calm down and remember something basic:

An actor is someone who gets paid to pretend to be someone else.

Given that, I can say with some certainty that I've never heard of this Chad Allen individual. But if he's any good as an actor and the script is any good, he won't be able to hide the Gospel he is fighting so hard in his "public life." This is rather like Joseph Fienes being cast as Luther. I haven't heard that Fienes is politically active an any fashion (though I may be wrong), and he is certainly not a great moral example in his choice of roles, but he played Luther rather convincingly, I thought. (Biggest beef with the movie: There was so much dialog overdubbing, a/k/a looping, that I wondered whether some of the actors could even carry on an intelligible conversation.)

dumbutdeep said...

This is very off-subject, but can anyone recommend an excellent, healthy church, with an active college group in the Roseville area in Northern California? If you can email me at timsfox@yahoo.com, it would be appreciated and I won't tie up this blog. Thanks.

Via Crusis said...

I'm mad that Chad Allen isn't a pilot, since he's playing such a good one. As pilots it offends my wife and I. (kidding)
I agree with Phil, another real "in your face" stance, but not shocking.

I rented the documentary, and it's good, especially since it shows Gods mercy and grace with the next generation. But I don't remember anyone naming the name of Christ in it or presenting anything like the gospel.

I took my older kids to see Narnia, and explained to them the Bunyan like "similitudes" but will skip "Spear."

Gavin Deakin said...


I share your disappointment in our brothers who produced this movie. The bible clearly teaches that homosexuality is sin. Would you be equally appalled by an openly adulterous actor staring in the movie.

Char said...

The thing I wonder about with this film is whether the casting decision and broadcasting of this actor's sexual orientation and supposed activism was simply done as a publicity stunt. you know to generate exactly the controversy it is now beginning to generate and so add to it's notoriety.
I mean, I had never even heard of this guy before this started so I think he can't be all that outspoken an "activist" (of course we are now providing him with quite the platform)Yet man has this fact ever been trumpeted around-just in time for the release.

Anyway, this begs the question, how bad is the film that it has to create controversy to get people to see it rather than relying on the merits of the screenplay and acting? Too much junk is passed off as quality material in the art world through this ploy.

Am I just too cynical?

Rhology said...


It would be very disappointing also if an openly adulterous actor were cast as N Saint, but not as much as a gay rights advocate. The most obvious reason for this is that Allen is a *gay-rights advocate*, not merely a gay man. Those are two different things, and the one is yet more objectionable than the other for several reasons.
Also, I'm not sure if I've ever heard of an "adultery-rights advocate."

Unknown said...

Not seen this film, and no idea whether it'll get a UK release... but.. surely the big deal is that this guy isn't a Christian rather than gay? His homosexuality is presumably just the presenting issue.... If this is a problem why isn't it a problem for Liam Neeson to play Aslan.... or me to use a laptop computer made by a company with inevitably non-Christian values.

I can see the distaste of the whole thing, but the "in the world" thing surely has something to say here... and we have to get big picture on sin rather than just pick on particular sins as unacceptable???

rustypth said...

I remember blogspotting =)

donsands said...

Sure we are "in the world" and not of the world, but sometimes it would be better to make a firm stand agaisnt the flow for the sake of the gospel, and for the honor of what our Savior did for us, I would think.
Suppose Steve Saint would have said to Allen Chad that his conscience would not allow him to play this part because of his pro-active stance on homosexuality, which the Bible condemns. And of course speak the truth in love with grace.
Maybe Mr. Chad or(Mr. Allen) would have been convicted of his rebellion agaisnt a holy Lord, and would have repented and would have come to the foot of the Cross, and cried out for mercy.

That's what it's all about for me.
Speaking the truth in love. Always remembering how God's grace saved me.
And never being ashamed of the gospel while we serve our Lord in this ungodly age.
Gal. 6:14

LeeC said...

Lets put it this way.
I would be equally bothered if it was political activist for evolution, and humanistic aetheism Dr. Eugenie Scott.

All unbelievers are lost, ad we are saved by grace, but some individuals take Romans 1:18-32 as a creed almost. Especially this part which I find the most heinous:

Rom 1:32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

They are not only sinning,or even casually encouraging others, but their active goal is to sear the consciences of those around them.

I'm not hunting witches, I just believe that when you see someone like that looking for a megaphone we probably should not hand them one.

Sled Dog said...

I blogged some thoughts about the END OF THE SPEAR controversy yesterday.


Steve Sensenig said...

rhology wrote: Also, I'm not sure if I've ever heard of an "adultery-rights advocate."

Sure...they're usually referred to as polygamists ;)

Gordon said...

The sad part of this whole mess is that the promotion of this movie has turned from the story to the lifestyle of it's lead actor. That seems to be precisely what his goal was. You have a B-list actor who suddenly is the hottest topic in the country, promoting immorality on the platform of Christian missions. What an abomination before God!

donsands said...


"The scriptural revelation knows nothing of a doctrine in which Christian love for God is guaranteed by the mere fact that one is a Chistian". -Z. Hodges

"If anyone does not love the Lord, let him be accursed." (1 Cor 16:22)

Your's and Zane Hodges interpretation of the Holy Scriptures is heretical. May the Lord grant you His grace to see. Amen.

Carla Rolfe said...


you nailed it. I don't know which is worse, that it happened, or that professing Christians are defending it.


with all due respect, Phil blogspots those posts he finds interesting & worth a note. So, there ya go.


Phil Johnson said...

I deleted Antonio's post because it was nothing more than a spam ad for his blog.

Note to folks who are not regular readers or commnters here: I don't do ads on my own websites. I'd appreciate it if commenters (especially those touting bizzarre doctrinal notions) would not use my comments as a billboard for advertising. All such posts will be summarily deleted.

Thank you. We now return to our regularly-scheduled programing...

Phil Johnson said...

PS: Links are fine when they are on topic (see Evan May's opening comment in this thread). But gratuitous trolling for hits is not tolerated. Buy ad space at Technorati.

Darel said...

I prefer the blogspotting to the cessation thing. Really, anything but the cessation stuff.

I am only one man with one non-vote...

Michael Russell said...

"Does anyone even remember when BlogSpotting was a staple here?"

Does anyone even remember when regular posting was a staple here?


Michael Russell said...


You might want to reconsider the cross-dressing thing.

Darel said...

Dr. Mike:

I only buy Girl Scout cookies if they're made out of real Girl Scouts.

Warren Sager said...

I saw "End of the Spear" and thought it was an excellent film. I was recommending it to everyone and then I heard about the gay actor issue. I am a Christian actor (though I have never been a professional) and I was told years ago by the Christian studios, that they hire their actors from the screen actor's guild like everyone else. They are not interviewed for parts by giving their testimony. So... most of the actors you see in Christian films are probably not Christians. This is just another actor who needs Christ.

MTG said...

Of course maybe its like the NBC show Daniel....there are some things that we can just leave to the general public....ticket sales and viewing.