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July 18, 2007


Kate Tennikoff

It's not true! Shane did a great job, at what is a whole new education medium, and I had fun mixin' it up :-) I'm sure you'll enjoy it.


Good stuff.

Shane, I was LLOL (literally laughing out loud) @ the image of you at an Amy Grant concert!!

BTW, along with Jeremy I like some Linkin Park have to check out the video clip for 'What I've Done' -

The '20 Reasons not to attend the Sinema' is certainly amusing but as you say it is sobering to think on its continuing impact today....

In the early 90s my parents graduated from Bible College and moved out to Parkes, one of the oldest and more traditional AOG churches in Australia. They managed to offend one of the elders by taking their grandchildren to see The Jungle Book at the local cinema. Some of the older people in the church still remember being taken to the park opposite the cinema every Sunday, being told by their parents 'look at all those evil people going to the movies!'.

Thankfully they've come a long way since then :)

My Dad was recently reflecting on how the Houstons first began to appreciate that secular culture is not all bad (he recalls at first being shocked and concerned at references to U2 music and movies in their sermons!). Just this week all AOG pastors were sent an email from Brian Houston encouraging them to see Amazing Grace at the movies, as genres in the movie industry will grow where they find support.

Anyway, I must say I am glad this is appearing on the blog...Theology and Film is a subject I would have loved to have done, but work commitments won out. So now I can participate online, and I'm looking forward to the weeks to come and all the reviews :)

Chris Lee

This is a great way to hear Lectures, i've been sitting here listening to You and kate having fun for the last 50mins. Its very effective! and i could go back to it and hear the parts that i missed.

The 20 reasons why people shouldn't attend cinemas, was the highlight, because it brought me back to my early days being a Christian. I remember being told when i fast and watch a movie, while fasting, that i would break it. very funny!

I've actually heard the 20th reason, about 10 years ago. If i watch a movie, Jesus might come and i might be left behind. So i stopped watching Movies!! for awhile...^_^

It's very interesting how much things have changed in the period of 10 years.

Even for this subject, it would have been very unlikely that a subject like this to be accredited 10 years ago.

I like what you said, "films helps us to read culture", it really does show what our society is going through, for example; there's alot more reference to Terrorism within Movies now since 9/11. CGI Technology have helped film makers be very creative and are able to do so much more, and in the past few years there's alot of movies which have been created, that was impossible 10 years ago. And also War movies, i have learned so much about the wars through movies then in History class in High School.

In terms of a theological concept, it will be interesting to see how we will unwrap theology within the films that we are going to watch.

I'm really excited about this subject, because i know that i'll be equiped to watch Movies and also review it theologically.

Thanks guys! ^_^

Angie Bulic

FANTASTIC! This is great, i love it!

I came to college to learn how to explain the truth about God - especially when people have an incorrect understanding of who He is, usually from what they've seen in movies. So this is the ideal subject for me!

Totally agree with the importance of engaging in contemporary culture. Since i've been a Christian i've hardly ever listened to the radio or watched TV (for the last 2 years)

I've suddenly realised that i haven't got a clue about current affairs, or recent discussions. It's quite embarrassing for the pre-Christians i work with think i'm weird. I want to be intentional about finding out what's going on but it's hard without an accessible TV.

I totally agree that theologians should listen first before telling people how it is - pre-Christians are more likely to listen to you if they know you know where they are at!

Absolutely brilliant - I am really excited about this subject :)

Joshua Ballard

I'm enjoying the fact that this lecture is delivered via podcast, pause and rewind being the advantages to this particular method of delivery.

The 20 reasons not to attend Sinema was also disturbing for me in that the earlier class distinctions that were done away with in the Azusa St Scandal (As the L.A. Times percieved it at the very least) seemed to be brought back in such a short period of time.

Added to this, it appears that the Triumphalist attitude was already experiencing some revision towards a near superstition in regards to the effects of movie posters on boys(!) as well as "darkness" in the cinemas.

I also wonder what effects the Great Depression had on the construction of these types of theologies. If the percieved excesses of the roaring 20's were viewed in a particular way, with the Depression viewed as the judgement of God, it would be easy to see this kind of reactionary theology being developed.


First of all I would like to say that I found it very relaxing to listen to a lecture in the comfort of my own room. :) Some how that made it easier to focus on what you're saying...

Anyway, as this podcast was an introduction to the course and the topic of theology and film in general, my comment is also somewhat general. Namely, that I am looking forward to exploring the ways in which film expresses culture. I also anticipate expanding my understanding of how we can positively interact with our culture through the medium of film - considering that I too went through a phase where I thought movies were bad. :P

Also, I'm looking forward to watching some interesting movies that I haven't seen yet. :D Will be good times.

Liz Langton

I think the podcasts are great because not only can you take notes, you can just have them esaily accessible to go back and listen to.

I am excited for the course content that is to follow and to see the dynamics of engaging theology with our culture and in particular film. Not only do I believe it will be really interesting, it is so important to be able to take that into our ministries, whatever form they may take.

If I can be bold enough and leave feedback you may think is irrelevant - the music at the beginning and end could perhaps be more in line with our engagement with our culture?!? Although, I am sure that opinion would be open to criticism given personal interests. I hope that isn't rude...because please don't get me wrong, I think both of you have done a fantastic job! The podcasts rock!

Jessica Edward-Paul

I think the podcasts are a great idea. They are easily accessible and we can listen to them whenever we have time.

I enjoyed the introductory lecture. The course sounds great. I'm really looking forward to discussing the films that have been placed in the course outline.

I agree with the comment made regarding the fact that theology is not just about engaging with Biblical sources but also engaging with contemporary culture. I think this has a huge part to play with making Christianity relevant in our world by attempting to understand our world.

Good job with the podcasts! This is going to be fun!

I enjoyed listening to the Podcast.Some of the 20 reasons for not attending Cinema were not new to me. I joined the AOG movement over 30 years ago in Fiji and watching films is almost regarded as a sin.I've never went to a cinema since. I have little choice now but to agree that contemporary issues affecting individuals and families today can be better understood as potrayed through films.I agree with the Podcast that "film speaks of the culture that we are a part".Another important issue discussed is the influence of culture on our faith and how changes affect the lives of our children.I today ask the same question, Do I compromise or not with how my children are responding to the changes affecting their lives and what we believe as a family. I know that this course will provide me with some of the answers.

Matthew Lowe

I always love the application aspect of lectures on theology. Without the application, How can we be effective? I think what I'm most excited about is that we are going to focus on the way theology affects and impacts contemporary culture. That we are using Film as the vehicle makes this subject a dream come true for me. Film is a passion of mine and is such a relevant part of our culture, and more recently our churches, that to ignore it's relevance and potential as a tool would be such a waste.
There's an interesting mix of films, I look forward to hearing how people respond to them. Let's hope we are a little more open
than the example given on why not to attend the cinema.
I liked the podcast, simple and easy.

Josefa Davui

I enjoyed listening to the Podcast.Some of the 20 reasons for not attending Cinema were not new to me. I joined the AOG movement over 30 years ago in Fiji and watching films is almost regarded as a sin.I've never went to a cinema since. I have little choice now but to agree that contemporary issues affecting individuals and families today can be better understood as potrayed through films.I agree with the Podcast that "film speaks of the culture that we are a part".Another important issue discussed is the influence of culture on our faith and how changes affect the lives of our children.I today ask the same question, Do I compromise or not with how my children are responding to the changes affecting their lives and what we believe as a family. I know that this course will provide me with some of the answers.

Chris Hutcho

Very interesting! As everyone else has mentioned there were a few funny points such as the 20 reasons for not going to a cinema and Shane listening to Amy Grant. However I'm interested to begin reviewing the films and to determine how the "world" views God and theology. Maybe the movies we watch may have elements of truth or be totally blasphemous. Although some of the critique made of the church in some films may have some validity and might bring an awareness of issues that people raise who don't attend a church.

I enjoyed the podcast and I look forward to discussing what Christians should watch and so on.

Amanda Huthnance

Great job – as you have heard several times now!! But really – I am heaps excited about this subject – predominately for the variety of films I get to see that I yet haven’t… hehe

I think the films we are going to watch are going to be great to contemplate how we engage with the culture of today!! To see the controversial ideas of how Jesus is portrayed through our society! It is so important to engage with the culture of today instead of just living in our own Christian world… but to engage and yet still be authentic Christians… that is the challenge…

I had a similar experience as you Shane in my childhood when the church told everyone that they had to burn their music and films that weren’t Christian – my pastor said I had to give up the little mermaid and Aladdin! It was a traumatic time – really really! So I can understand how you felt about midnight oil :)

paul tan

Hi Shane!
The idea to post the lectures as podcasts is a fantastic idea, and I think will work brilliantly. The 20 reasons why christians should not attend sinema are reflected in reasons why christians historically have also shunned contemporary music and instrumentation. I'm really looking forward to delving into the social and cultural commentaries which the medium of film offer us.

Kasie Carpenter

Rather enjoyed the podcast! I find it extremely effective as a resource and teaching strategy. I mostly enjoyed how it at times seemed to come across as a discussion, as Kate was in the room interacting in the podcast aswell.

On topic, however, what creates more excitment for me about this course was when you were referring to the task of theology demanding we listen adn not just speak. That, to make more of an effective impact we need to be, "listening to what culture has to say and then we can respond with a more effective message."

Culture is an interesting thing. Jesus used the world-view of His day to communicate most effectively regarding the Kingdom and we should use the world-views around us to bring that same message.

Todd Janus

Hello Shane,

The podcast idea is good in theory however it is a little annoying to be in an on campus subject and have to listen to lectures at home like a distance subject. Having said this, your lecture was fine as an introduction on the course and the old '20 reasons why not to attend the Sinemas' was a funny way to start (but because it was the view of many Pentecostals, a little scary also). I think you were right, you are better in a class room. Maybe you could get a poster of the crowd at a Reinhardt Bonke crusade and stick it in front of you while you record the lectures.


Natalie Janus

Let me say that you are a lucky man to have someone as competent and nice as Kate! She makes you look good. I feel that the podcast is a great way to get the most out of the course enabling our class time to be focused on actual movies. My critique would be that your volume tends to go up and down throughout, which can make it a little hard to hear at times. Also, I must say I was a little disappointed that you forgot that you were a proud feminist theologian at one point, goodness me! The podcast did clarify what we had discussed in class which was good. Also, as all good wives should , I agree with Todd's poster idea!!! Or, maybe you could venture into the world of Harry Potter and nab one of its moving photographs.

Pete Hordern


Well to be honest I'm already doing two correspondance subjects so I'm already having to listen to lectures outside of college. But I guess that extra effort is fair enough due to the fact that we get to watch movies during class.
I wasn't too suprised about the old pentecostal reasons for not going to the movies. I remember Steve Fogarty saying something about the church elders being against him going surfing on a Sunday. Not that I'm implying Steve is really old, but it is intriguing to think how much our views today will be held differently years down the track.
anyways, I'm excited about the rest of the semester which is filled with movies. And I'm just waiting for the first long feminist tangent.
Oh and thanks for mentioning my question in the podcast, I felt apart of it all.
I'm actually interested to know if you let your kids see this Harry Potter movie.
P.s. I'm happy to give you a list of Adam Sandler movies if your interested

Stephen Wall

Enjoyed the podcast, but I will miss the interaction that we have with the lecturer when in class. I must say I prefer listening to a podcast than reading 20 pages of a book - so keep them coming. Especially liked the "20 reasons why not to attend the SINema" and I am embarrassed to say I used some of these lines once upon a time. However now I can look forward to catching up on all the years the devil has stolen from me... bring on Blade Runner & in the dark I hope - haha

For an intro to this subject, I felt you wandered from your topic a number of times, and did not say the intentions for the class as well as you did in class, but understandably as it was your first attempt at recording for the www or second :).

Your voice is good to listen too, but not too sure about the one-on-one interaction with Kate in the Podcast... sorry Kate no offense - but doing this makes the podcast feel like a personal tutorial and not a "theology lecture" trying to appeal to a wider audience.

That said, I am looking forward to the class and all that we will discover and think through whilst watching the various films. It will be a great class, and to be honest I dont mind waking up earlier to get to it... :)

janelle acevedo

yeh was a good podcast. i used itunes and worked just fine. took about half an hour to download but it is probably the connection here at campus.

nathan (who was listening with me), made a nice comment about your voice intonation stating that you'll be good on radio. maybe you should give it a try sometime. who knows...103.2 might put you those call in shows when people will ask question like why do i hurt? and at least you will be able to give them some kind of a coherent answer. random thoughts really....
nevertheless i agree with todd with the compentency of kate...she's great. although i've seemed to find out she hasn't seen u totally stack it yet, which is actually rather odd. half a year and no stack? what is the world coming too??

cheers :)

Neil C.

Great start to the podcast lectures Shane! You covered a lot in this one, and it was really insightful to hear about your own stories from days of old- I guess that at one stage or another in our lives we go through the whole giving up music we like because of "conviction", only to pick it back up again because of "conviction" hehe.
I enjoyed listening to the podcast, and although i can laugh along at certain bits, it's different not being there in person. I guess it gives room for our creative minds to imagine away...

The top reasons you mentioned were entertaining also, reminds me of when I used to be taught some of those things. Some were understandable, most were just plain funny.

Thanks for not being so formal in your podcast lecture by the way, not that you usually are, but it helps when you sit there listening for about 50 mins...

Kate did an excellent job as usual. You make a good team. Oh and you gotta love the instrumental intro and outro of the podcasts :)

Looking forward to this course, with what we can all learn from the films we delve in to.

Rebecca Lowe

I really enjoyed the Podcast great work guys! The 20 Reasons not to attend the Sinema was a little disturbing to say the least! But I'm really excited about all that we will learn looking at theology in culture through film and i'm looking forward to how it will all unfold :-)

Anders Kjondal


I listened to the podcast while assembling some IKEA furniture, and it made the assembling much more enjoyable indeed. I am excited for this class, I am quite a moviebuff myself and it's interesting to see how this class evolves. I liked the film and the format of the first class. I hadn't seen Life of Brian for a while, last time I saw it was a part of one of our friday night youth programs in my church back home.

I really enjoyed the podcast, the best thing is probably that I can pause and rewind you:) quite a helpful tool sommetimes when there are new big words or concepts that I don't get the first time around.

So thanks for doing it this way, I think it's awesome!

And just another film request:
Fight Club is a film that I've heard preachers mention quite a few times, especially just after it came out. Although quite violent and abusive languagewise (R rated I would guess), it deals with some interesting concepts and ideas about our culture, and it would be interesting to see what the class and the reviewer have to say about it.


anders - i wanted to watch fight club - but the rating prevented me!

Sara A

Some of the 20 reassons for not going to the sinema were new to me. What I found strange was how they authors could included in the safty issues. Those could be true in any setting (including going to church).
There is an iteresting mix of films that are planned for this course. There are so many films on many difrent issues, it must be hard chosing wich to show and on what grounds. Let alone the work gone into preparing a new course.

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