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What do Christian pastors Alistair Begg and John MacArthur have in common with atheist Bart Campolo and emergent theologian Tony Jones? They appear together in the 2019 film American Gospel: Christ Crucified—second in the American Gospel series created by Brandon Kimber and available on Amazon Prime and Apple TV.
With the help of theologically sound pastors and teachers like Begg and MacArthur, the American Gospel films help viewers scrutinize distortions of the Biblical gospel in American culture. While the first film criticizes prosperity teaching and the Word of Faith movement, Christ Crucified takes on “progressive Christianity.”
Using a debate-style format, Kimber lets his opponents speak for themselves when possible, although the film clearly supports a Reformed view. Topics covered include God’s attributes (His love and wrath) and the doctrine of penal substitution, or the idea that Christ bore God’s wrath for sinners. Overall, it’s a powerful presentation.
Minor quibbles: The label “progressive Christianity” might not fit interviewees like Bart Campolo, and Christ Crucified, running nearly three hours, is too long and sprawling for one sitting.
A third American Gospel film, Spirit and Fire, debuts next year. Meanwhile, the films are impacting the culture they critique. Some viewers say the films brought them out of false teaching, and last July, evangelist Todd White publicly recanted several theological errors featured in the first film.