Joni is of course Joni Eareckson Tada. She was a person who became paralyzed. Because of her faith she believed that she would be healed. She wasn’t. This caused some time of self reflection, but she eventually worked her way through it. She became famous for her story and her paintings. She painted by holding the brushes in her mouth. The tickets (referenced on the button) are for the movie that was made about her life. She starred in it. As I recall, churches would contact movie theaters and get them to book these Christian movies and then church members would help with the ticket sales. The theaters made money selling tickets, and the churches helped people hear about Jesus. I just was a kid when all this was going down, so I may not have my facts quite right. I remember Time to Run being another one of these movies. This was before VHS/DVD; nowadays Christian movies like this–seems like there was a football movie and a firefighter movie–just go straight to video so churches can show them on their own big screens.
I’m not a fan of the division of art into categories of Christian and secular. Although I guess if the purpose of a piece of art is to get someone to make a religious decision, that puts it in a different category. I think the word for art, the purpose of which is to persuade, is propaganda. I know that word carries a bit of baggage, but some propaganda is considered pretty good art: Picasso, Norman Rockwell, Casablanca, Chaplin’s Little Dictator, Animal Farm, Dr. Strangelove, and Red Dawn (ok, maybe not great art, but Wolveriiiiiiines!).
Anyway, if you were asking, you can buy the Joni movie (6.6 on imdb) on Amazon. I can’t find Time to Run (7.6 imdb).
When I first published this on facebook it lead to a bit of a discussion. Much of it is below.
Andy There is a great movie now touring the country that is both a great piece of art in and of itself (great acting, powerful story, great cinematography, etc..) but also a powerful Christian movie. It’s based on the life of Rich Mullins and called “Ragamuffin” and if you want to look at more info you can check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/richmullinsfilmBryan They’re still doing the “partner with theaters” thing. This past year, our Celebrate Recovery group worked with the local Nevada theater to get them to show “Home Run”, which was a baseball movie with a similar religious point. It didn’t beat you over the head with it, but I don’t think anyone could leave thinking it wasn’t trying to persuade you towards Christianity. Overall not a great movie, but definitely better than anything starring Kirk Cameron.Carrie Saw her movie, read her book and had her album.Matt Carrie, one of the reviewers on imdb said that every teenage girl she knew back in the day had a copy of Joni’s book.Bryan, one of the youth groups we worked with years ago brought one of those Cameron movies to a lock in–so that they could make fun of it.Anyone seen Blue Like Jazz? I read it and liked it.Oh,and speaking of great art, I wish I had a Thief in the Night button.Andy Are you talking about the semi-recent ones by that church out of Georgia? I’ve seen three of them… Facing the Giants, Fireproof, and Courageous… they all have an element of cheesiness to them…I think it’s the so-so acting and so-so writing. Courageous came the closest to a good movie though.I’ve listened to the audiobook of it (Blue Like Jazz) … and I have a couple of other Donald Miller books that I want to read on my bookshelf. I liked some of it…Bryan Blue Like Jazz was a good book, but haven’t seen the movie. If you want true cheesiness, I suggest the Left Behind moves. Kirk Cameron takes terrible material to a whole new level of weirdness.Andy Oh yeah. Those are awful.Matt Thief in the night was from the 70s, end of the world, mark of the beast, guillotining believers, amazing. I saw it in the basement of the Methodist church back when. It may even have been the first of a trilogy.Marnie I had a copy of the book. I think all of the girls in our youth group read it and saw the movie. Really vivid memories of this being a huge turning point in my faith. That and some mission weekend we had. I remember the couple who led it. He was black and she was white. That was breaking barriers back then.