ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. – An experienced Christian moviemaker plans to release a film this September which he hopes will be ‘an excellent discussion starter’ on the creation/evolution debate.
Rich Christiano is a filmmaker in southern California who has directed a number of popular Christian movies, including the award-winning 2009 film, The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry. Many believe Christiano’s latest project, titled A Matter of Faith, has the potential to powerfully impact the Christian church and the culture at large.
The subject matter of A Matter of Faith, Christiano told Christian News Network, is the evolution versus creation debate.
“Evolution is basically taught in our schools and universities across this great land of ours as a matter of fact,” Christiano said. “Yet nobody can prove evolution, because nobody was there at the beginning—just as no person can prove creation, since nobody was there at the beginning. Both of these then become a matter of faith, not fact.”
The film’s plot centers around a Christian girl who is influenced during her first year of college by an evolutionist Biology professor. When the student’s father notices his daughter drifting from the faith, he decides to do something about it and agrees to publicly challenge the professor in a debate.
Christiano told Christian News Network that A Matter of Faith will likely spark widespread discussion on the creation/evolution debate once the film is released in theaters September 26.
“I think this movie can be an excellent discussion starter,” he stated. “I think it’s a very strong movie to show to a non-believer.”
The crux of the evolution/creation debate, Christiano said, ultimately comes down to a simple question: “Who are you putting your faith in? Darwin? Or God?” Christiano hopes the message of the film will resonate with Christians across the country.
“We hope this film will cause a stir about the issue of evolution and creation, to bring this to the forefront,” Christiano added. “Christians can dialogue with other people about this, and use the subject as a witnessing tool.”
Christiano also hopes the film will arouse an increasingly apathetic Christian church to a greater zeal for God and the gospel.
“Too often the church plays defense,” Christiano asserted. “The world does something we don’t like and we complain about it. I feel we need to play offense. Forget what the world is doing. Let’s just put forth the truth in love and trust the Lord to use the message in the lives of the viewers. Showing Christian films in theaters can be a very effective way to communicate this message.”
In order to spread the word for A Matter of Faith, Christiano is asking Christians across the country to sponsor the film in local theaters.
“We are partnering with people who want to reach out to the culture and minister,” he explained. “Then, as a thank you, we are sharing with them half the revenue we receive from theaters. Local groups will create revenue for their own ministries while at the same time sharing the gospel to their communities, and we are excited about that.”
Though the release date is still over three months away, many Christian leaders who have previewed the film are praising its biblical message. Both Ray Comfort and Ken Ham describe A Matter of Faith as a must-see.
“A great movie,” Comfort said. “Heart-warming, educational, God-honoring, and timely.”
“We don’t endorse very many movies, not even many of those that are supposedly ‘Christian’ based,” Ham explained. “But we are getting fully behind A Matter of Faith!”
The response from pastors and Christians across the country, Christiano told Christian News Network, has already been very encouraging.
“God’s raising up a great group of people here that are helping us,” he said.
Nevertheless, Christiano stressed, there is still a need for many more sponsors. Those who are interested in bringing A Matter of Faith to local theaters are encouraged to explore the film’s website for sponsorship details and more information about the film.
“We’re hoping that people will contact us if they want to bring the movie to their community,” Christiano explained. “We will set them up to where they can preview the film and see if they want to sponsor it. … We’ll partner with them.”
By September, Christiano hopes the film will be released across the country and impact countless lives with its biblical message.
“I’m most excited about the message of this movie and what it says,” he explained. “I feel we presented the truth in love and this movie’s got heart at the end. I think you could show this to the staunchest atheist and I think he’ll be touched at the end.”
“But only,” Christiano added, “if someone or a group steps up to bring the movie to their city. We hope the Christians will at least consider this as an outreach vehicle because we need them.”
Editor’s note: Christiano welcomes questions about the film via email at [email protected]
Photo: Rich Christiano