Is Jesus Revolution a Christian Movie?

Based on the autobiographical book of the same name co-written by Greg Laurie, ‘Jesus Revolution’ is a film about faith, family, and a spiritual revolution that purportedly revived Christianity in certain parts of America. The story begins in 1968 as South California pastor Chuck Smith (Kelsey Grammer) finds his church increasingly empty. However, things begin to change after he meets the enigmatic Lonnie Frisbee (Jonathan Roumie) through his daughter. A hippie evangelist, Lonnie’s presence pulls other hippies to the church, and the congregation becomes so massive that it turns into a movement.

Elsewhere, Greg Laurie (Joel Courtney), a high schooler with a complicated childhood, meets a girl named Cathe (Anna Grace Barlow) and is drawn into the hippie subculture before meeting Lonnie and Chuck and becoming immersed in their Jesus Movement. If you are wondering whether ‘Jesus Revolution’ is a Christian movie, we got you covered.

Jesus Revolution: Deeply Christian Themes

As a film, ‘Jesus Revolution’ is deeply rooted in the Christian faith, telling a story where a significant portion of youths of California and beyond is drawn to the teachings of Frisbee and Smith. The film explores the messages of Christianity with earnestness and optimism, noting how the notion of exclusivity goes against the teachings of Christ. In that regard, ‘Jesus Revolution’ is definitely a Christian movie. ‘Jesus Revolution’ is based on the incredible true story of the Jesus Movement, Harvest Fellowship, Calvary Chapel movement, and the people who were involved in it.

In an interview with PluggedIn, co-director-writer-producer Jon Erwin spoke about what drew him and his collaborators to the project. “The TIME Magazine cover [from which the film’s title originally comes] from 1971,” he explained. ”… was something I bought in 2015 from eBay. I read an article you couldn’t read online and was blown away by it. We were doing another movie called ‘Woodlawn,’ so I was researching the time period, and I read this story and I was mowed over by it like I wasn’t quite aware of this last Spiritual awakening.”

Erwin reached out to Laurie in the Spring of 2016 and brought a copy of the latter’s book with him to their meeting. “He said, ‘You know, I want this to happen for my generation. And I want to make a movie about this,’” Laurie recalled in an interview with TIME magazine. The makers of ‘Jesus Revolution’ seem to consider their film as a Christian movie. In various interviews, they expressed their belief that the success of their film would make Hollywood understand that there is definitely an untapped market for faith-based projects. “I think you’re gonna see some really, really strong talented people that actually came up in Hollywood making more faith films, so they’re going to be excellent quality,” co-director Brent McCorkle told Christian Headlines.

The filmmaker continued, “That’s going to be incredible,” he said. The filmmaker continued, “I think we’re in a time where we’re gonna see Christian sci-fi and Christian fantasy, Christian space movies… The questions [the films raise] are universal, and they’re fundamental. … I think we’re at a time where we’re going to continue to see it get wider and bigger as a genre, and the stories get better, and the technicality of them continue to improve as more talent comes on board to the genre.” So to sum it up, ‘Jesus Revolution’ is undeniably a Christian film, but it’s also a candid biographical story about a group of real and flawed people.

Read More: Is Jesus Revolution Based on a True Story?