How should Christians relate to the difficult and contradictory messages of modern movies? In Useless Beauty, Robert K. Johnston presents the bold position that films can be our "eyeglasses and hearing aids" in understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes. Taking up movies such as American Beauty, Magnolia, and About Schmidt, he addresses such biblical issues as life and death, chance and choice, loneliness and connection, and God's presence and absence to deepen our understanding of life's beauty amid its confusion and pain.
Christian filmgoers, pastors, and youth leaders will find Johnston's book a valuable source of insight into the relationship between Christianity and popular culture.
Robert K. Johnston (Ph.D., Duke University) is professor of theology and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is the author or editor of over twelve books, including Reel Spirituality and Finding God in the Movies. He served as dean at North Park Theological Seminary for eleven years and is currently president of the American Theological Society.