Posted by: Don Linnen | 29 February 2016


Why do I have willing suspension of disbelief while watching far-fetched episodes of Lord of the Rings or Star Wars but not when I watch allegedly “realistic” television shows like NCIS and its spin offs?

Is it the format, the genre, the time period, the subject matter? I don’t think so. For me it’s because some stories are better told than others. They are just better written whether they’re believable or not.

Then there’s the Easter story – the story of Jesus’ crucifixion, burial, and resurrection from death. The story of that resurrection is really, really hard to believe. It’s not especially well written in its original form, but I believe it anyway.

Why I believe is another story (mine) for another time. Lets get back to this resurrection story. It’s far more interesting.

As a recovering skeptic, there is a new telling of that story that strongly resonates with me. The recently released movie, Risen, views the historic scenes of the Easter story through the eyes of an non-believing Roman soldier…one who is dedicated to his job and determined to find the truth.

After two weeks Risen has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 57% by critics and 79% by audiences. The critics really prefer Kung Fu Panda 3 and Deadpool (a critique of critics?) … but an overtly Christian movie getting a 57 on the rotten tomato meter? Unheard of!

Perhaps everyone who likes this movie shares my worldview. But 79% seems like a very high audience approval rating. Are there some secular viewers of Risen who willingly suspend their disbelief to enjoy a historically accurate CSI Jerusalem set 2000 years ago? Do they just suspend disbelief or do they actually believe?

Janet Denison asks: “Why do people struggle to believe in the resurrection? Most people have an easier time believing that God can create the earth, the skies, and our children, but they struggle to trust He can raise his Son from the dead.” 

This Easter, how many people will emphasize pretty dresses and the Easter bunny over the story of the resurrection? How many avoid or reject that story because they are frightened of being wrong?



  1. […] disbelief, more doubt, and now uncertainty. A common thread has appeared in my titles over the last nine […]

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