Wellspring at the Movies – “Collateral Beauty”
During summer, Wellspring strives to watch films in Jesus’ name, ie. as Christians seeking to be entertained but also educated in what values drive our culture. We believe the complete Christ is at the end of whatever incomplete story our movies tell, and that it is the Christian’s task to take people from what they do know to Someone they don’t (like Paul did in Acts 17:16-34). For 5 Sundays, we focus on a different movie, unpacking its themes and messages in light of Scripture. You’re encouraged to go deeper with this week’s film with the Reflection and Questions below.
How do you cope when a child dies? Howard Inlet, central character of “Collateral Beauty”, writes letters to Love, Time, and Death. He cuts a sad, despairing figure as a grieving father, this man who once charismatically led his advertising firm but now has shut down and shut out. One day, Howard’s letters get replies, as Love, Time and Death begin showing up in his life. Or do they? This film ends on a hopeful note, promising a second chance at love. Yet the Christian worldview questions whether it’s too neat, too vague, and too sweet. We soon discover that centring life’s disappointments (including suffering) on Jesus Christ yields better answers, for he is proof that God can make dead things come alive.
- When it comes to engaging with cultural inputs (eg. film, books, advertising, festivals), what do you think about the RECEIVE / REJECT / REDEEM framework? Pick an example to run through the 3 Rs.
- Based on how his colleagues seek to fix things, how would you describe Howard’s main struggle? What does this say about any solution?
- The Love character tells Howard: “I am the only ‘Why’.” How does the Christian worldview sit with the idea that love is the reason for everything?
- Read Acts 17:16-34. Pull out from this passage all the statements that relate to God’s uniqueness. How might this critique pantheism or any other worldview that believes all things to be divine and connected?
- Read Romans 5:1-11. What do you here notice about love, time, and death?