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Believe Me (Bakke, 2014)

Believe Me

 

I don’t think I have ever bumped into a principle of sociology stated this way anywhere, but a subculture may be defined by its ability to mock itself. The defining characteristics of contemporary Evangelicalism are not dogmatic. This is surprising, given that Evangelicalism as a movement began as a set of theological distinctives packaged with a certain pose toward “cultural engagement” that inspired participation in American politics, legislation, and the culture wars.

The Evangelicals of this generation inherited this movement as a well-developed and funded establishment. And with establishment comes satire, which is a defining characteristic of contemporary Evangelicalism. One can only really laugh at oneself when they have gained the confidence and power to do so, which is a feature of the movement regardless of recent conversations about its persecution complex.

Our constant stream of Evangelical self-satire that populates social media channels is a reminder that Evangelicalism is in a new, odd cultural moment – one poised at a Hegelian precipice between its classic dogmatic theses and growing parodic antitheses. The synthesis of these elements yet eludes us.

A film like Believe Me is utterly unique from this perspective. In fact, I have never seen a movie like this and don’t... Read More

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