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Published On: Fri, Mar 23rd, 2018

‘Paul Apostle of Christ’ highlights the Christian persecution and hunger for righteousness in Paul’s ministry

Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ attempted to capture some of the horror and tragedy of Jesus Christ’s murder, his crucifixion. Now, picking up years after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, Paul, Apostle of Christ focuses on the shocking persecution of Christ’s followers during the reign of Emperor Nero in Rome.

Paul, played by James Faulkner (Game of Thrones), has been imprisoned in 67 A.D., the Romans are literally feeding Christians to the lions and setting them on fire to light the streets. Luke (Jim Caviezel), a Greek physician, meets with Paul to put the Christian leader’s final thoughts down on paper as Rome’s underground community is in jeopardy.

Led by Priscilla (Joanne Whalley) and Aquila (John Lynch), Christians are divided whether to flee from Rome or risk capture to minister to the orphans, widows and starving in the streets. The third element of the film’s plot is the looming death of a local Roman prefect’s daughter and the division in his household. Olivier Martinez plays the soldier, portrayed in a similar way as Pontius Pilate was characterized in other films, conflicted between the reputation of “these Christians” and the actions he witnesses.

Jim Caviezel as Luke and James Faulkner as Paul in “Paul, Apostle of Christ”

Paul, Apostle of Christ writer-director Andrew Hyatt mishandles the great cast, struggling to escape the dark and gloomy start to the film with narrative about Paul’s life, more specifically, his transformation from the murderous Saul.

Faulkner’s Paul is tormented by the faces of those murdered in his past, weary yet wise. He espouses scriptures from various books and letters of the New Testament, a detail which will connect well to the faithful in the audience, completing his role as a righteous leader.

Caviezel’s Luke is a powerful figure, respected and revered by his peers, as well as Paul. The gravitas comes from The Passion‘s star’s performance, not gripping dialogue or moving scenes.

In fact, Hyatt loses control, stopping short of showing any details from Nero’s circus, wasting time on Paul’s nightmares by repeating the imagery and never creating any conflict for the other plot points.

Lynch and Whalley have good moments, “Christ asked us to care for the world, not rule it!” Priscilla pressed, without ever really mattering to somewhat flat ending to the film.

Paul, Apostle of Christ is a great step forward for faith-based films, particularly those which shy away from the horror of persecution and torture. The first fifteen minutes should be a must see for Christians to add visuals to God’s word.

Paul’s final days do come alive with a ton of scripture and Biblical references, but never fully illustrate his bigger impact on the world. Paul’s writings are the foundation of the church, but get lost in the tedious story.

The cliche ending with the sick girl and Christians fleeing, just feed raw meat to the Hollywood haters, instead of setting up a profound shift in church unity under the teachings of Paul’s work. There are only fleeting moments of spiritual integrity in this corrupt world, but not enough for the non-believer.

Paul, Apostle of Christ earns 2 1/2 stars out of 5 stars

Rated Pg-13 for some violent content and disturbing images may keep some squeamish churchgoers away. The biggest impact the film is delivered in the conflict of Christians serving against the hopelessness in a world consumed by death, torture and persecution.

Watering down the scriptures and the events of Luke and Paul have caused a lessening of respect for the Bible and it’s teachings — Paul, Apostle of Christ did the right thing here, just too little of it.

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professional in 2008 on sites like Examiner and blogs: Desk of Brian, Crazed Fanboy. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) will be a licensed Assembly of God Pastor by the Spring of 2017. "Why do we do this?" I was asked and the answer is simple. "I just want the truth. I want a source of information that tells me what's going and clearly attempts to separate opinion from fact. Set aside left and right, old and young, just point to the world and say, 'Look!'" To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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