I am home from my four days/three nights with friends, a too-short long weekend. While we worked hard brainstorming three books, we also had lots of fun. One thing we did was go to see the movie, The End of the Spear. Several hundred members of my church went on premier night (January 20), and my pastor said the next Sunday that it was not only the best Christian movie he’d seen but it was one of best movies he’d seen.
I am here to say, I agree. This movie is high quality — the script, the acting, the photography. Everything is wonderfully done. It is a film everyone involved in it can be proud of. I highly recommend it. If you haven’t seen it, you should. I was aware going in to see this movie of the controversy over the actor who plays Nate Saint and, as an adult, Steve Saint. To the audience watching the movie, it shouldn’t matter. The men he portrayed are who matter. The Nate Saint who died to share his faith matters, and the man Steve Saint became matters. The actor did the job he was hired to do. He showed us the beauty and heartbreak of lives laid down for Jesus.
The documentary Beyond the Gates of Splendor tells this same story. It came out last fall, and I watched it then. I recommend it too. In fact, my friends and I stopped at the video store on the way home from seeing The End of the Spear and rented the documentary to watch again.
As mentioned briefly above, despite how great the film is, there has been controversy about the movie because of the actor who plays Nate/Steve Saint. This controversy has swirled through the blogosphere, untruths and half-truths flung around in all directions. Much of the time, I love this medium. I love the way truth can get out when the mainstream media ignores or twists something. But the blogosphere is just as subject to doing wrong because there is no fact checking much of the time. I’m an author whose books are read and edited thoroughly, and mistakes still make it into my books, despite everyone’s hard work and effort. But there are no editors looking over the shoulders of we who blog. We must take responsibility for what we say and the information we put forward.
Randy Alcorn, a dear friend and author, has taken his time to speak personally with the producers of this movie and with others involved, and he has written an article (Perspectives on End of the Spear and the Chad Allen Controversy) that believers should take the time to read. Please do so, and if you can help reach others with this information, all the better. Randy says:
My main reason for writing this relates to the issue of slander and false
witness, and the Christian community’s participation in these matters, which I
consider to be wrong, dishonoring to Christ and nonnegotiable. However, before I
address that, I need to make clear that I sympathize with some of the concerns
about the effect of Chad Allen’s part in the movie, even though I understand and
believe my brothers with ETE as to what happened and why.
There is also a link from Randy’s article to the full transcript that producers Mart Green and Steve Saint submitted to Christianity Today Movies, most of which is not in the final published article. It is worth reading as well.
Read these, shares these, and please go see The End of the Spear.