In today’s mail, I received a note from a reader named Trace:

Hello Mr. Overstreet.

… I am reading Through a Screen Darkly and thought I’d share a short story with you.

When I was about 20 years old I was watching the movie Blade Runner. Near the end of the movie Harrison Ford is trapped with Rutger Hauer on the roof. Hauer’s character explains to Ford some of the incredible things he has seen in his short life and it becomes very clear why he has struggled so hard for more time to live.

This scene, Mr. Overstreet, forced me to think about God and Christianity. I don’t know why it had this affect on me but it did. It’s known as “Tears in the rain” if you ever look it up. Thank you for your time and very good book. I’ve always allowed myself to become completely absorbed in movies, without losing touch with reality I might add, and relate well with your book.

Wow. Fantastic. I love that scene. (And I’ve read that Rutger Hauer claims to have ad-libbed that speech. If that’s true… that’s quick thinking, and profound!)

I never cease to be amazed by the wide variety of ways in which art speaks to people, opens “the eyes of their eyes” and “the ears of their ears.” I’ve received testimonies from folks who came to Christ because they caught glimpses of the truth in films as diverse as The Exorcist and… yes… I am not making this up… The Love Bug.

So who are we to tell the Holy Spirit where he can and cannot be working?

There are moments of profound truth in movies as varied as Chariots of Fire, Pan’s Labyrinth, Amazing Grace, The Last Temptation of Christ, The Lord of the Rings, and, yes… The Golden Compass. Discernment is important, because any of these films can be deceiving too, if viewers aren’t careful to sift truth from lies, excellence from mediocrity. But far be it from me to condemn somebody for thinking deeply about any work of art.

I too have been challenged, inspired, and moved by Blade Runner. And I’m looking forward to seeing director Ridley Scott’s “final cut.”