Hollywood Mythology and Christian Education

When we talk about Christian education at RealityBites we are not talking primarily about explicit biblical teaching. We are not urging Christian educators to 'Bible-bash'. Rather our concern is to help adults and young people to understand the powerful Worldview Stories that shape and mould our imaginations and lifestyles.

Consider for a moment the powerful Hollywood perspective that repeatedly urges us to:

Trust in your instincts!
Follow your heart!
Follow your dreams!
Have faith in yourself!
Be who you want to be!

This powerful religion is the central theme of Legally Blond and many other Hollywood films. In the words of billionaire talk show host Oprah Winfrey: "Follow your instincts. That's where true wisdom manifests itself."

Is Winfrey aware of the hidden trajectory of this 'wisdom'? Should budding paedophiles follow their instincts?

These powerful mantras are frequently invoked in Hollywood films and yet few people, including Christians, are able to discern the hidden romantic worldview here that urges us to embrace our individual autonomy as the supreme purpose and goal of life.

In its best sense Christian education should be 'implicit' and encourage people to be critical and discerning about the beliefs and commitments that shape western people, like Oprah Winfrey. Perhaps surprisingly, both Christian and non-Christian people enjoy this kind of education that challenges without offending or irritating. It stands in stark contrast to the aggressively explicit Bible-thumping devotee.

Are people able to critically evaluate a romantic worldview that affirms the original goodness of the human heart and yet rejects biblical teaching about sin? Can we detect the human trajectory of Hollywood mythology that sponsors unethical and destructive behaviour? In short, should Al Capone be true to himself?

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