“The world’s view of Christ, Christianity, and Christians has all come from people that aren’t saved. Most people don’t have a clue, including people that consider themselves Christians; they don’t have a clue who Christ is, they don’t have a clue what it means to be a Christian, and they don’t know that much about Christianity.” Curtis Bowers
Mining for God is a documentary written and directed by Brandon McGuire and produced by Curtis Bowers and John Hedger. The idea for the film was born out of McGuire’s experience of comparing the middle class American Christianity of his upbringing with the church culture he observed on a three-month post-college graduation visit to Africa. The differences he observed in the African church caused McGuire to wonder how outsiders viewed Christianity in the Unites States. What he found was that American culture espoused distorted views of God’s nature and the tenets of the Christian faith. McGuire identified several ideas that undergird these distorted views. These ideas, which include Cultural Christianity, Naturalism, Pluralism, Relativism, and Mythicism are explored in Mining for God through the eyes of several notable evangelical apologists, writers, and clergymen.
Essentially, Mining for God is a recounting of the major premises of William Lane Craig’s magnum opus, Reasonable Faith, against a back drop of B-roll. The arguments espoused by the film’s featured apologists will be very familiar to those Christians conversant in contemporary apologetic thought. Such Christians will be equally familiar with these featured apologists, which include Craig, Gary Habermas, and Paul Copan. However, for those Christians unfamiliar with contemporary Christian apologetics and the church-inoculated state of the Postmodern West, the film may prove to be eye-opening. It is to this latter group that the film is targeted. Mining for God is meant to be screened at churches with the hope that it will foster discussion about an effective Christian witness among the local body. In a culture where Christianity is most visibly represented by TBN charlatanry and seeker-sensitive tomfoolery, intelligent discussion about the tenets of the Christian faith and the power of the gospel message are needed. Mining for God is thoroughly gospel-centered, evangelistic, and accessibly intelligent.
The film is very clearly not a product of the vast and vapid evangelical industrial complex. In contrast to efforts at Christian film-making from that arena, such as God is not Dead, Mining for God is intelligent, sincere, and thought-provoking. It is not apparently aimed at selling companion studies or encouraging aisle-walking decisions but rather at equipping Christians to be effective witnesses. For those elders interested in taking the first steps towards developing intelligent, culture-engaging Christian apologists at their local churches, Mining for God is well worth the $10 price to stream it.
*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.
**There are a number of contributors in this film with which the Pulpit & Pen is unfamiliar. Pulpit & Pen does not necessarily endorse the ideas espoused by all of the film’s contributors. The Pulpit & Pen encourages church leaders to exercise caution and discernment when exposing congregations to any outside author or theologian.
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