I saw the movie on Sunday. It was a real treat to see. The short version, 10/10 Go see it.
Seeing the movie brought to mind the following:
Some of the background was a great touch. Yep, they had Janice Joplin and Timothy Leary at a beach concert and a host of period music in the soundtrack, some of which you will recognize.
The movie was grounded and a blast from the past. Just a few short years after this movie was set was when many people on my mom’s side of the family gave their lives the Christ (1974-1975). I think religious faith was portrayed as a struggle and not an end.
I knew of Chuck Smith and the many music groups that began at his church, but the origin of his youth-oriented church was fun to watch. Talk about the ungrateful death (his congregation) being given life… From what I recall of the 60’s, the counter-culture movement was a bunch of rebels without a clue. After many years of trying stupid stuff (drugs, sex, and rock-n-roll), many finally found what they were looking for, a lively faith to fill the God-shaped vacuum in their soul.
Not everything coming out of the Jesus Revolution was orthodox but some great theologians did come to prominence during this time period. If you can dig up some sermons by David Chilton, on a few recordings, he discusses some of the abuses on the fringes of this movement.
The other comment about the Jesus Revolution that I heard recently from Gary DeMar was that it was a movement that emphasized an internal transformation as opposed to previous revivals which were also culturally transformative.
One result of this period is what I call the franchise church: Calvary Chapel, Vineyard, LifePoint, Hillsong, etc.
Another and different version of Christianity coming out of this movement was Jesus People USA. They are still around today. They are a cooperative community—think baptized commune—that specializes in ministering to the poor in urban communities. I don’t know how many locations they are in, but Chicago and Milwaukee were ones that I remember.
Kelsey Grammar was really good as Chuck Smith and Jonathan Roumie did a great job as Lonnie Frisbee. I guess Jonathan plays Jesus in The Chosen; sorry, I’ve never seen the show. There is a line in the movie about him trying really hard to look like Jesus, guess that has more than one meaning.
Final thought, I’d see it again and plan to buy DVD once it goes on sale.