Time for Christians to Engage, Even If Hollywood Movie Has a Bible Story Wrong

Filmmaker and Media Consultant Phil Cooke Talks to CP Insider at NRB 2014

Phil Cooke leads panel discussion on social media during first day of annual National Religious Broadcasters conference held in Nashville, Tenn. (Feb. 22, 2014)
Phil Cooke leads panel discussion on social media during first day of annual National Religious Broadcasters conference held in Nashville, Tenn. (Feb. 22, 2014) | (Photo: Christian Post/Scott Liu)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Filmmaker and media consultant Phil Cooke, who has been the host of several panel discussions at the four-day National Religious Broadcasters Convention, said that even though some of the recent movies coming out based on stories from the Bible are inaccurate, it's important for Christians to engage in the conversation about such films.

"Hollywood is putting millions and millions, and millions of dollars putting biblical stories out there, and my feeling is some will be accurate, some will not be so accurate. But the fact is that they are giving us an incredible opportunity to share those stories with friends and co-workers," Cooke told The Christian Post during a break in sessions at the NRB event. "I mean, 'Noah,' it's going to be water-cooler conversation. So let's get in there and start sharing our views on the story."

Cooke, whose expertise and accomplishments in the media marketplace are highly regarded, often talks about the need for better quality movies from the Christian community.

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"I think it's incredibly important, and I do remember Douglas Gresham, C.S. Lewis' [stepson], said, 'We don't need more Christian movies, we need more Christians making good movies," he explained. "That's the thing I'm trying to get across to people here, that we need to get out into the mainstream world in that kind of media world where the culture is and really make a difference. "

Cooke told CP that NRB's annual gathering of Christian radio stations, TV stations, Internet companies and filmmakers includes discussion about how to impact culture in the best way.

"One of the things that I'm telling people is that all media has a place," he said. "If you remember a few years ago that people talked about everything going to the Internet, but it's interesting that prime-time television, their rates are going higher than ever. More people are watching than ever. So everything finds its place. It's not that one thing goes away and something else comes in, it's that everything finds its place.

"So I think the important thing is that if you are into radio, television, Internet, apps, whatever, mobile devices, focus on that because they are all incredibly important for how we get our message out there."

When asked about what his takeaway was from a panel discussion he hosted during the first keynote session of the conference on Saturday, he said, "The important thing is that we've got to get in the conversation. Whether you are a pastor, a leader, a nonprofit organization, whoever you are, if you have a message to share you need to be doing it through social media.

"Jesus spent His time where the people were. In His time it was the marketplace, the temple square, it was social gatherings like weddings. Guess what? Today, people are looking at their mobile devices, they are online, they are watching television – we need to be where the people are. So I think it's important that we get into that stream of social media and get into that conversation."

Follow Phil Cooke on Twitter: @PhilCooke.

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