The movie comes out in theatres tomorrow for one day only, March 30. I will be interested to see it for myself after reading some things about it.
I watched the trailer here, and I think that caution is appropriate when approaching Cameron’s movie. It is predictably overhyped and somewhat cheesey, what with the (annoying) melodramatic electric guitar and drumbeat accompanied by three second scenes that have lots of emotional content but little in the way of meaning. Someone in the trailer makes a reference to the fall of Rome and connects Rome’s fall with contemporary America. We’re on shaky ground when we try to draw connections between Rome and America. One reason Christians in particular should be careful in doing this seems pretty obvious: Rome was an explicitly “Christian nation” when it fell in 476. America is not now, nor has it ever been, a Christian nation.
What also makes me abundantly cautious is that David Barton is called upon in the movie as an expert on America’s Christian heritage. Barton is a self styled “master teacher” of American history, but his writings do not demonstrate a broad understanding of the ideas of the American founding. Here is a well written critique of Barton’s part in the movie. Barton is either ignorant of many historical facts, or something worse. I prefer the explanation that he just doesn’t know better.
Watch the movie if you can, because I”m certain it has some value to it (at least, I hope so). After you watch it, get this book and see what contrasts you might find.