Jesus Revolution

Dan N

Puritan Board Freshman

Some people have asked me about the new movie out called Jesus Revolution. Does anyone have comments about whether we should be watching this movie? I can't find anything online from reformed thinkers on the movie--maybe that's the answer--but was hoping someone could shed some light on this. I don't want to encourage people to see it if they are 2nd commandment violations or if it's something like The Shack (I think that's what it was called).

Grace and peace.


Puritan Board Junior

Looks like it details hippie culture which is part of the background story.

Who are these people asking for your opinion?


Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I am not sure other than it is supposed to detail the Jesus Freak Movement with Kelsey Grammar.


Puritan Board Freshman
The Jesus Revolution Movie is not a theological treatise, it is a movie covering the last real known revival in American History. A lot of people, even and sometimes especially the Reformed tradition can learn something from it, and that is we should be carful not to get too caught up in staunch exterior formalism or traditionalism when the Gospel is offered to all. It doesnt seek to uplift Chuck Smith or Lonnie Frisbee, but instead is the story of Greg Lauries (and his wife) journey from skepticism to faith in the midst of the hippie era via the Jesus Movement. While some do not agree with the theology of Calvary Chapels, them being conservative Arminians; or Jesus Movement Music, it being the harbinger of CCM; the movie makes many valid points in that "weirdos" are not too weird to be changed and/or offered the Gospel.

Maybe I am more sympathetic to them because I came to faith in a Calvary Chapel offshoot in So. Cal. But that is besides the point. Chuck Smith and Lonnie Frisbee parted ways very early on; Chuck continuing with Calvary, and Lonnie helping start the Vineyard Church movement. Calvary is known mostly by its expository, verse by verse, through the Bible form of preaching; while the Vineyard is known for its theatrical, charismania type craziness. They should not be bundled together.

The movie is good at checking us not to get too judgmental on the way people look, or the music they listen too. But God in his self-counsel, can redeem and regenerate anyone he chooses. It is not up to us to judge who is worthy of the Gospel, but to preach the Gospel to all and we just may be surprised who the elect are among them.

Jesus didnt die to sell suits and ties. He died and rose again to reconcile men to God.
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Jeri Tanner

Staff member
I made a profession of faith in 1973 having been very much influenced by the movement, especially the music. Having been there first-hand and looking back, I would say that there were most likely many true conversions to Christ, but also many that later turned out to be false. If the movie promotes what happened as biblical revival and reformation (because if true, they'll always go together), then the movie is problematic. There is much to say about that time and what went on. And yes, I'd be interested to know about 2nd commandment violations, etc. It wouldn't be too surprising if there are such.

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
I know a bit about this time, as I was converted to Christ in 1968 (at 26 years old), and have written an entire book about both it, and the following decades into the 21st century and the present ( Though I missed the original 1969 Woodstock gathering in Bethel, NY, as I was already beginning my discipleship with the Saviour. I wonder about Jonathan Roumie (of The Chosen films) having a major part. I suppose I shall have to watch it to comment intelligently.


Puritan Board Freshman
I am in my late 50s (but the youngest of my siblings by a lot) so I grew up with this generation. I think it's complicated trying to summarize an era through the lens of just 3 people, who went on to be major figures. The movement was highly imperfect, certainly not ideal as we would plan things, and a mixed bag to be sure which is nothing new (Exodus 12:38). But redemptive things did happen in spite of the wrongheaded and misguided - just like they do in spite of Arminianism.

Living in Southern California, (as noted above) these names live on and it seems everyone knows someone in this area, serious about their faith who was impacted by these ministries. Our church, a large Calvinistic church family, began as part of the Jesus movement on the grounds of a Hollywood retreat in the early 1970s. It's a very stable church that continues to mature and reach quite a number of people looking for more depth of teaching.

Not to be dour, but I'll probably skip the movie.

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
On second thought, I'll probably skip it also – not much to further say about the Jesus movement of that time. A poem of then:

we were​
and even when washed​
so that our facets gleamed​
were dark within​
black diamonds it was said –​
but treasure nonetheless​
even in the mud​
for we were God’s elect​
in the womb of darkness​
yet in the furnace of His forming​
– skillfully wrought​
by His deft hand​
till He lifted us into the glory​
in His Son.​
From the foolish, the base,​
the despised​
things of the world​
– what some in their culture’s hauteur​
call, as if spitting,​
Woodstock” – has He chosen​
to confound the mighty and the wise.​
Into these low vessels​
prepared from everlasting​
has He poured the new wine​
of His joyous eternal kingdom​
that whosoever thirsts and will come​
may drink​
and live forever.​
In the dark but clear vision​
of the ‘60s​
we saw the falsity and lies​
of both our cultures​
yours and ours in the thrall of evil​
and longed for the Light​
our sorcerers promised but failed to deliver​
we cut the teeth of our personhood​
in this darkness,​
foolish in our failures​
but no fools in our quest​
led as we were by His love​
ears attuned of everlasting to hear but one Voice,​
in that One only to find our rest​
for each of us the day came – or yet will –​
we wakened from our sleep,​
children of Woodstock​
children of God, hearing​
“Arise from the dead​
and Christ shall give thee light,”​
now living diamonds brilliant in His glory.​