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REVIEW: The Armor of Light

At this point in time, it seems as if guns and evangelical Christians are the new baseball and apple pie. So to see, in the new documentary, The Armor of Light, evangelical leader Rob Schenck tackle this problematic relationship head-on is as inspiring as his opponents are frustrating. 

Schenck is probably most (in)famous for his anti-abortion protests in the 1990s. However, the death of an abortion doctor gave him pause and he was forced to consider, at least, the ways in which the vehemence of his words could incite others to violence, especially with guns. This, along with the mass killings at the naval yard in Washington, D.C., in September 2013, set him on a quest to explore the theological, moral, and ethical implications of his evangelical brothers and sisters’ obsession with guns and the second amendment.

Along the way, Schenck is inspired by and partners with Lucy McBath, the mother of Jordan Davis, a 17-year-old African American who was killed in Florida in November 2012. Their story is chronicled in another stirring documentary out this year, 3 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets. Lucy (and Jordan’s) experience puts an even more personal face on “the issue,” for Schenck and makes him realize that not speaking out is no longer an option.

As Schenck travels the country attending NRA conventions and speaking with fellow conservative believers, he is shocked by how firmly the latter hold to their devotion to the former. This raises a host of spiritual and theological problems for him. The first being that in the fight to preserve the second amendment, many Christians have violated the second commandment. Lucy also puts it plainly for him, to rely on guns for protection is to abandon faith in God’s ability to protect us. In the process, they have allowed fear to be a controlling factor in their lives, which Schenck argues is antithetical to the Christian faith.

Read the rest of Ryan’s review HERE.

Ryan Parker

Ryan Parker is the manager of operations and content development for Aspiration Media. He is also the creator, editor, and main contributor to Pop Theology (poptheology.com). He completed his PhD in Religion and the Arts at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, with a focus on film and religion, particularly the history of religious cinema and contemporary independent religious films. He holds a BA in English from Mississippi College and an MDiv from Wake Forest University Divinity School. He and his wife Amy live in Los Angeles.

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