Skip to content ↓

Procrastination, The Passion and September 11

I had planned on writing something about procrastination but decided I’d do it later.

I’m funny.

Anyways, I was thinking today about some similarities between The Passion of the Christ and September 11. That’s a strange duo, I can’t deny, but hear me out.

After the Western world was shaken by the events of September 11, many Christians became convinced that this sort of event would drive people back to the church. And sure enough, in the weeks immediately following the event it seemed to be true as pews were more full than they had been in many years. People were shaken to the core and returned to their roots – family roots and often spiritual roots. But it took only a month or two before the people who had drifted in drifted right back out. At the one year anniversary of the attacks, Barna released a study which showed that very few people credited the attacks with having any impact on their religious beliefs. Bible reading, prayer, church attendance and small group attendance remained largely static. Many Christians found this surprising.

The Passion of the Christ was regarded by many as the greatest opportunity for evangelism since Pentecost. Data gathered in the months subsequent to the release of the movie prove that it made no significant impact either on Christians or on unbelievers. In the end it was near-total failure as a tool for evangelism and churches across North America bear this out.

Rather than critiquing these events as means for evangelism or leading people into the church, I believe our response should be to acknowledge anew that God does not adhere to human wisdom. On our own these are the types of events we might assume God would use. But God has ordained that He will use means that seem simple and that seem foolish to bring people into His church. “It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” God does not save lives through movies or through tragedies; He works now as He always has – by the faithful preaching of the gospel to those who are perishing. God’s wisdom uses foolish people to preaching a foolish message in a foolish way. God’s foolishness is so much greater than our wisdom. If we as a church could just learn this lesson we would not be swayed by every program and opportunity that comes our way. We would remain faithful preachers of the Word which contains the power of God to save lives.


  • New and Notable Books

    New and Notable Christian Books for February 2024

    February is typically a solid month for book releases, and this February was no exception. As the month drew to its close, I sorted through the many (many!) books that came my way this month and arrived at this list of new and notables. In each case, I’ve provided the editorial description to give you…

  • A La Carte Thursday 1

    A La Carte (February 29)

    A La Carte: Is it ever right to lie? / When the “perfect” fit isn’t / An open letter to Christians who doubt / When a baby is a disease / The long view of preaching / and more.

  • A Freak of Nature (and Nurture)

    A Freak of Nature (and Nurture)

    We are probably so accustomed to seeing bonsai trees that we don’t think much about them. But have you ever paused to consider how strange and freakish they really are?

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (February 28)

    A La Carte: Can Christians buy expensive things? / You are probably WEIRDER than you think / Our limits are a gift from God / Big dreams impress. Ordinary faithfulness delivers / The biggest problem in worship education / Children’s books / and more.

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (February 27)

    A La Carte: God doesn’t owe me kindness / Jordan Peterson’s “We Who Wrestle with God” tour / Does your church have an evangelist? / Putting Jesus first in a world of pleasures / Send help. My husband believes in me / and more.

  • Unite in Prayer with Persecuted Believers

    This week the blog is sponsored by Help The Persecuted. “Can I have a Bible?” The guard studied Qasem. “If you paint the walls of every cell in this prison, I’ll get you a Bible.” “Where is the paint?” And so Qasem, enduring what would ultimately be a three-year sentence for running house churches throughout…