Reviews: family entertainment, documentaries, resources, books, music
AFA Staff
AFA Journal staff reviews movies, books and other resources

Above, Debbie’s friendship with Denver is the most powerful relationship depicted in the film. Debbie is played by well known Hollywood actor Renee Zellweger. Denver is portrayed by Djimon Hounsou. Also in the film are Greg Kinnear and Jon Voight. Copyright 2017 Paramount Pictures. All rights reserved.

November 2017 – Respected actors star in movie with strong Christian values
Same Kind of Different As Me is an inspiring movie based on a true story and permeated with Christian values such as forgiveness, healing, love, and compassion. However, with a few notable exceptions, the distinctive gospel motives of the Christian characters are understated.

Based on the 2006 best-selling book by the same title, the story follows two years in the marriage of Ron and Debbie Hall. Ron is a successful art dealer in the Ft. Worth/Dallas, Texas, area. Their 19-year marriage hits rock bottom because of Ron’s infidelity, but Debbie offers forgiveness, and they reconcile.

Debbie persuades Ron to join her volunteering at a local homeless shelter. There they encounter Denver Moore, a violent, homeless man who has endured poverty, racism, and a decade in prison. The Halls respond with compassion and respect, and a profound friendship develops changing all their lives.

Due for release in theaters on October 20, Same Kind of Different As Me is a character-driven movie for mature audiences. Producers deal realistically with hard issues, such as infidelity, racism, alcoholism, and death. There is one slightly off-color reference; a scene in which a husband and wife argue; and a scene in which they express their renewed love for each other.

Ron Hall and Denver Moore co-authored the book. Hall is credited with being one of the screenwriters and producing the movie. Learn more about the movie and backstory at samekindofdifferentasmemovie.com.
Rusty Benson

undefinedThe Day Christians Changed America
The 2016 presidential campaign was unlike anything ever before in the political history of America. When Donald Trump announced his intentions to run for president, most people did not take him seriously. Fast-forward to 2017, and he is in the White House.

George Barna, executive director of the American Culture and Faith Institute and founder of the Barna Group, analyzes the 2016 campaign in his book The Day Christians Changed America, giving contexts and back stories that paved the way for Donald Trump’s political miracle.
Jordan Chamblee

undefinedLiving Together
The number of couples living together prior to marriage began increasing in the late 1960s. Today, cohabitation is the new norm.

Aware of where the trend was going, Mike McManus and his wife Harriet, co-founders of Marriage Savers (marriagesavers.org), co-authored a book titled Living Together: Myths, Risks & Answers. Published in 2008, it is even more relevant today. It exposes the risks of cohabitation and offers couples tried-and-true principles necessary for a lasting marriage. It is perfect for pastors, parents of cohabiting children, and couples who are considering living together.

Available at online booksellers or from Marriage Savers: 301-978-7105 or e-mail harriet@marriagesavers.org.
Rebecca Davis

undefinedGenesis: Paradise Lost
This new documentary relies on proven science to affirm biblical accuracy in the Genesis account of creation. In Genesis: Paradise Lost, Ken Ham and Ray Comfort join a panel of highly credentialed scholars to validate the reliability of the Bible and entertain with stunning, cutting-edge cinematography available in both 2D and 3D.

Dr. Charles Jackson of Creation Truth Foundation (creationtruth.com), points out how growing fervor in the creation-evolution debate has spurred evolutionists to seek every way possible to discredit creationism and has spawned a “small movement … to try to get the doctoral degrees rescinded from all professing creationists.”

Genesis: Paradise Lost will be in select theaters November 13 in a one-night-only debut. Locate theaters at genesismovie.com.
Randall Murphree

undefined‘I Believe’ will engage, entertain, challenge
Photo, Brian and his skeptical dad
In I Believe, 9-year-old Brian Webber reads Jesus’s words carved on a monument outside Blessed Hope Church: “…he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do.” Brian is gripped by the words, and his interest in Jesus quickly leads to tension with his parents, who told him not to read the Bible and that Christians like to tell everyone else how to live their lives. 

Subsequently, the Webber family is caught up in a complex tangle of media frenzy, intrigue, kidnapping, persecution, eviction from their home, and more – all rooted in the young boy’s connection to a series of miracles. The gospel is woven seamlessly into the script when Brian’s dad is challenged to accept Christ.

The gripping plot provides a perfect balance between the calm, uncanny depth of a child’s faith and the chaotic conflicts of fast-paced action. I Believe is well done in every respect – story, cinematography, acting, and production.

Whatever one believes about modern-day miracles, the story will engage believers and challenge others to consider the power of God and the claims of Jesus.
Randall Murphree