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Are We Desperate Enough? | Jon Erwin on the Making of “Jesus Revolution”

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
September 17, 2022 3:00 am

Are We Desperate Enough? | Jon Erwin on the Making of “Jesus Revolution”

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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September 17, 2022 3:00 am

Are we desperate enough for another spiritual awakening in America? In this exciting conversation, Pastor Greg Laurie sits down with Jon Erwin, the director of Jesus Revolution to talk about the making of this landmark film, coming to theaters in February of 2023. 

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Hey everyone, Greg Laurie here with John Irwin, the director of such films as Jurassic Park, Jaws. No, not really.

No, didn't do those, but I wasn't gonna correct you. That's Spielberg. No, you directed I Can Only Imagine, I Still Believe, American Underdog, and now this film that's coming out in February of 2013, Jesus Revolution. So we're in a movie theater right now, we just did a test screening. And John, this thing is testing off the charts. Tell me about that. Well, we test the movies when we make them and there's companies that we do the official tests and it's actually the highest tested movie that we've ever made, Higher Than I Can Only Imagine even, but it just means that people really, really love the movie.

Why? And I just think they resonate with the story. I think there's something magical about an idea that's found its time.

And it's so interesting how it's the story then that really is the story now. It's such a relevant story and I just think it's a movie that makes you laugh. It's a movie that makes you cry. It's a movie that you see yourself in and it's a movie that you instantly want to be a part of.

How can this happen again right now? How can we have another Jesus Revolution today? It is truly a movie you have to experience. There's nothing like, we're in a theater right now, we're just now showing it to people after all this time.

Even in its unfinished state because it doesn't come out till next spring. It's just a movie that people deeply resonate with and it's a movie you have to see with an audience and it just feels really, really special. I think people are going to be really surprised, John, by the twists and turns this film takes with conflicts, a resolution of the conflicts, disappointment, and things that happen to all of us in life but you show in such a powerful and beautiful way how Christ can heal and restore and put things back together. But I think what sets this movie apart, I think it's a masterpiece of a film.

Brilliant performances by Kelsey Grammer as Pastor Chuck Smith, Joel Courtney as me playing my role, Anna Grace Barlow as Kathy, and Jonathan Rumi best known for his role of Jesus in The Chosen in the role of evangelist Lonnie Frisbee. But what's unique about this film, John, is the gospel is in the film complete with a sinner's prayer. I don't think I've ever seen that in a film before.

I'll tell you something that happened. I've never had this happen at a movie screening. It was the same when we were shooting the scenes. I screened it for a film festival and there was a lot of families there, there was a lot of young people there, just to see how they'd respond to it. And it was a Christian worldview film festival down at church in Georgia and Sherwood Church, a wonderful church and great friends. And they literally had to tear down the screen after the movie because I think it was like 16 kids wanted to be baptized when they saw it at a film festival.

And I've never had anything like that happen. And I just think that that is going to be what's going to happen when people see this movie. They're going to say I want this to happen in my life.

Wow. It's life imitating. Even when we were shooting the baptism scenes and the Pirates Cove plays a key role in this movie, beginning, middle and end. But this little spot where we actually did the baptisms back in the Jesus movement days. And for the film, like there's this one character that's baptized in the film. And right after he was baptized in character, he came to me and said, I want to accept Christ and be baptized for real. And then I baptized him over to the side where you were still shooting. We were literally filming your baptism dramatizing and nobody even knew it was happening. And you were baptizing characters in the film. Not only that, you know, you taught Jonathan, you know, how to you would you took him to baptism school and you were teaching him how to how to not throw your back out to say the Baptist, the sinner's prayer in the in the movie.

You know, you wrote and taught it to Jonathan. And he was he was doing those performances. And he came.

He's a wonderful actor and sort of a method actor. And he came out of the water. He came to me. He's like, I just want you to know this is happening for real. Like these extras. They're actually making decisions for Christ. I think I'm doing it the right way.

I just want to check with Greg. I'm taking this very seriously. And it was like seven or eight people. And it just there was it was in the air. The power was in the air. And to be at the same place that those events actually happened and feel that same power.

I just I think that it can happen again. So we have a bold vision for this film. I see this as more than a film. I think this can become a movement.

Only God can make that happen. But we're going to do everything we can to make this film successful. In fact, our vision and our goal is to make this the number one film in America when it opens. What is the exact date it opens? February 24.

It's February 24. And Jesus being number one at the box office would be amazing. But I think it would also revolutionize. I think it would also, you know, I believe that if we can launch the movie correctly and unify our voice together as believers, I think millions and millions of people that need the movie will see it.

That's the way movies work. And I think it would be really if we could if we could unify our voice and rally around this movie and this concept that God did it once. He can do it again. And he can do it now. And he can do it in my life and in my family and in my in my generation and my time.

And I think that launching the movie correctly is a huge part of that. And we want to be ready on the back end with follow up to provide New Believers Bibles, which is a special edition of the New Testament that I wrote these notes for. There's 10 million of them in print, but it has the gospel in it, follow up steps on how to grow as a Christian. We want to provide every person that sees a number at the end of the screen that they can text.

We want to supply them with one of these Bibles and then follow up on them. So there's a QR code on the screen right now. If you scan that QR code, you can find out more about how to support the revolution. The revolution is coming. The Jesus Revolution.

It's a film. But our prayer is it will become even something more than a film. Yeah, I just think my daughter just turned 13, you know, and my prayer is that what what God did in your generation when you were a teenager, God can do as my daughter is becoming a teenager, God can do it now. We need it. We're ready for it. We need another Jesus revolution now.

And I think it can happen. I think if it doesn't happen, our country is in deep trouble. Because, you know, it's not a political revolution we need. It's not a moral revolution we need. It's a Jesus revolution we need. We need a spiritual awakening. It may be America's only hope.

Well, it worked before. You know, what's interesting is when we did the research and we talked, when I talked to you and so many other people, this word desperation just kept coming up. It's like it was a time where we were all just desperate.

And I've never felt more desperate in my lifetime in America. Like we just need hope. We need help. And we need God. And we sort of, we need each other. And so I think we're reaching that same moment. Yeah. And when it was really bleak.

And it was really dark. But it's in the darkness that light shines. And if revival broke out then in a very similar time, why not now? Why can't this be the answer that we need, you know?

Yes. Let's pray to that end. I once asked Chuck, I'll close with this, but a number of years ago, I was sitting with Chuck having lunch, you know, who's portrayed in this film by Kelsey Grammer. And I said, Pastor Chuck, do you think we'll ever see another Jesus movement? And he said, you know, Greg, I'm not sure. I don't know if we're desperate enough. But I actually think we've become more desperate since that day I asked him that question. And that's what we need desperation and call on the Lord. He says, and I'll do great and mighty things. So let's pray to that end. Jesus revolution coming in the spring of 2023.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-24 18:35:06 / 2023-02-24 18:38:56 / 4

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