Rarely does this website wander away from its technology based focus. The following entry is one of those times. This past week I made a trip to the theater to see the movie Amazing Grace. The movie is about the life story of William Wilberforce, a gifted young legislator in Britain who dedicated his life to two purposes: the abolition of slavery in the British Empire and the raising of Britain’s moral tone. Besides the obvious message that all men deserve to be free, a few powerful messages resonated in the movie.
Faith and Redemption – The movie makes the point that Wilberforce believed God called him to the task of serving God by being a politician. It is a prime example of how the Gospel can affect the culture of the times. Secondly, while a minor theme in the movie, the story of John Newton and his conversion from a slave trader to playing an influential role in ending slavery is a wonderful story of redemption. This is fully illustrated in one of Newton’s lines in the film, “I know two things for certain: I am a great sinner. And Christ is a great Savior.”
Marriage – In the movie Wilberforce was about to give up until he got married. His marriage spurred him on with a new passion. The importance of having a loving spouse who shares similar convictions and beliefs to yours and supports your work is immeasurable.
Perseverance and Purpose – One individual, driven by clarity of purpose, can be the tipping point in effecting social change. Wilberforce persevered in his cause, even though he faced immeasurable odds and tremendous opposition. Changing any long-held belief is not an easy task, it takes a dedicated sense of purpose and perseverance.
The movie is a first-class production with some fine actors and its production values are excellent. I found it to be one of the most moving films that has been released in a long time, wonderfully executed, and a deserving film to be considered for some 2008 awards. Amazing Grace is a compelling story of how to live out the social implications of one’s faith.