This article originally appeared on December 28, 2020 at Baptist News Global.
Based on the heated responses I’ve received to my review of the first American Gospel: Christ Alone documentary, I began to realize I should review producer Brandon Kimber’s second film, American Gospel: Christ Crucified.
Kimber had read my first review and reached out to me, and despite our clear differences, our conversation was nice and I was thankful for his kind offer to screen the second film, especially since he knew I wouldn’t like it.
That I wouldn’t like the documentary is not what bothered me over the past few months. It was that I knew this one would hurt more. While Kimber’s first documentary was against the prosperity gospel, which we both agree is dangerous and oppressive, this second documentary confronts progressive Christians including Rob Bell and Richard Rohr, two men who have been instrumental in my ongoing spiritual healing from the wounds that were shaped in me by the very theology that American Gospel promotes.
In reviewing this documentary, I would be doing more than simply reviewing something I disagreed with. I would be facing my wounds once again, while hearing that my healing was actually an embrace of death.
However, the ability to know and name my own faith story helped me better understand what I was watching and how to critique it.