after seeing the social network

I got to see The Social Network last night with two of our awesome College Ministers Cohort attendees.

I found it masterful, actually. An excellent window into the world we serve – both the Millennials and college students. Whole college campuses, even. And it’s not just a window, it’s really a fascinating look at Harvard, for one, as well as (of course) the creation of the tool that has become one of our key tools for ministry, Facebook.

The movie certainly has, as my English teacher would say, its “racy page.” More than one, actually. It’s PG-13, and that’s appropriate – not R, but very far from PG. Obviously, watch at your own discretion.

I will post more on this movie, I imagine, but I need to sleep (I’m writing this Friday night).

But I will never write a review that’s nearly as good as the one Christianity Today posted this week. Apparently the author, Alissa Wilkinson, has a connection with the Coalition for Christian Outreach college ministry (I heard that yesterday at the Cohort!), and she is indeed a fairly recent college grad. In any case, it’s an excellent review, and I read it both before and after I saw the movie.

A key blurb:

Most everything about The Social Network is successful, but its real achievement stretches beyond the Facebook story. Decades from now, when we’ve all forgotten what Facebook even was, The Social Network will still tell us what it was to be part of the generation sociologists are calling the Millenials. I’m part of this generation, and I teach students who are, too, and what I see is this: Like Zuckerberg, who argues against advertising that would take away Facebook’s “cool” factor, Millenials care more about constructing their image and gaining influence than having a lot of money. Privilege and wealth are useful tools toward constructing an attractive identity, but knowing the right people, listening to the right music, and being in the right place at the right time is much more important.

Check the rest of it out (it’s really an excellent review), and consider seeing The Social Network. Alissa’s right about what it captures.


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  3. Bo

    I have read a few of your post on this movie, and I haven’t seen it myself to have my own judgment, but what I am curious about is why all of the high praise and proudness to be part of the “millennials” generation, but I do not hear anything about the One who died for this generation. And more than that, who was raised from the dead which gives us the reason and motivation to do college ministry.

    please keep Christ at the center. Witout Him everyone perishes.

  4. Thanks for your thoughts, Bo. I’m sorry I’ve made you concerned enough to feel the need to confront me. Hopefully I can clarify some things!

    The only reason I care so deeply about helping college ministry be better is because of Christ, his work, and the work He wants to do in the lives of college students (and college ministers). But we’re each assigned a portion, and my ministry portion (right now, at least) appears to be focusing on advancing campus ministry practice and thought, not so much instructing college ministers in their inner motivations and basic theological beliefs. I hope and pray that college ministers are slaves of Christ – but I don’t want to presume that I am the one to shepherd them in that regard, unless the Lord gives me that ministry. “Not many of you should presume to be teachers…” at least gives me some trepidation.

    I also don’t want to try to jam one part of theology (Christology) into a discussion of a movie that speaks much more to anthropology. I kinda think that might treat the One I serve with dishonor, not honor.

    I’d be interested to know if you’ve read more of my blog, or just the posts about The Social Network.

  5. Bo

    Hey Benson

    Thanks for your well thought out response and humility in receiving my hopeful encouraging criticism. I see the angle that you are coming from but what I would encourage you with is this, we are all ambassedors of Christ and we are all called to encourage each other, whether they be pastors, teachers or laymen, in the ways of Christ. Anthropology without Christ is huministic in it’s stance since “all things have been created through Him and for Him.” Col 1:16

    Paul Tripp says it so well in his book “Instruments in the redeemer’s hands”, that the sole ministry of the believer is to point to the creator. And I believe if we as Christians take “every opportunity” to put Christ on display is an opportunity to live out 2 Corinthians 5:11-21.

    I hope this encourages you.

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