There is nothing wrong with these types of films. There are probably some in this vein I could do without (and some my family enjoyed together), but they help and encourage many.
However, other films written and developed by Christians do not have an overt Christian message. This type of movie seeks to shape culture in a completely different way than the others—they are creating culture that engages the broader culture.
They are not evangelistic, but they are creating and presenting a picture of a different—and better—reality to a culture that needs a picture of the vision they present.
The purpose is to create art that crosses religious boundaries, yet communicates particular constructs that reflect those of the Christian artist.
These types of projects are being produced in several genres of art, including music, theater and film. The idea is that Christians, having been changed by the power of the gospel, espouse a worldview that creates culture. As believers, they engage in activities that shape the culture around them.
Andy Crouch has written about this in his book Culture Making (you can see my interview with him here). I would encourage you to read what he has written about the creation of culture. We need a lot more culture creators. For two examples, and there are many others, see the music of Lecrae and the movie The Blind Side. Neither see Christian as a genre but rather hold up Christian values and a better way.
We need more Christians in culture creation and we need more churches encouraging them that way.
When we assess our current situation, I believe that we find the need for all three types of respondents: culture engagers, defenders and creators.
Many Christians will go about this in different ways—and it won’t fit in three nice little categories. Regardless, it does matter that we think well about culture: how we engage it, defend things within it and create it. And we need to do so “christianly.”
The challenge will be developing ways that honor Christ, while loving and living with those who think differently. And that’s our new and great challenge.
These three different types of people interacting with culture—engagers, defenders and creators—need to stop shouting at each other and start acknowledging the value that each brings to this new culture moment. All three types of cultural interaction are important.
In this new and shifting context, we need all hands on deck, and even though we’re working in different ways, we need to work together.
If we are not a moral majority, how do we show and share Jesus in the cultural moment where we find ourselves?
Somehow, as God’s people, that’s how we should engage culture—that because of our good works they might glorify God (1 Peter 2:12) and, ultimately, might consider the truth claims and gospel and the Christian worldview that undergirds it.