The following letter is written by Casey Schumacher, who is not a member of the Greenville College community, in response to an article recently published in the Papyrus entitled “Should Museums Preserve our Digital Heritage?” by Bailey Ochs. What follows is being published as written and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Papyrus or Greenville College.
Last week, in response to the Papyrus opening up the entertainment section to reviewing rated “R” films, Austin Schumacher posted an article providing an argument why Christians should engage such films, even when they have received this rating because of objectionable or offensive content such as gruesome violence, blatant sexuality, or profane language. In this he cites reasons of the need to portray the reality of life in art - life can definitely be gruesome, blatant, and profane at times - as well as the fact that our sacred texts include stories with similar content. In discussions with me, Austin thought that I would do well at providing a part II to his initial article on “why” Christians should engage these types of film, and therefore, I have been drafted into tackling the idea of “how” Christians should go about this engagement. I have decided to go about this by first developing a theoretical model for engagement that can apply to all types of art - not just film - and then take the model and practically apply it to an “R” rated film to provide an example of how this theory works in practice. The application will come in the final installment of “Christians Rated R” next week, and this week I will focus on the theoretical aspect of engaging art. Because I’m splitting this into two weeks, this week’s article may seem to stray a bit on the broad side - away from films specifically - but hang with me until next week, and I hope it will begin to make a bit of sense.